Department of Geography


Photo of Professor Humphrey Southall

Professor Humphrey Southall

  • Role Title: Professor in Historical Geography
  • Address: Buckingham Building, Lion Terrace, Portsmouth, PO1 3HE
  • Telephone: 023 9284 2497
  • Email:
  • Department: Geography
  • Faculty: Faculty of Science


I graduated from the University of Cambridge in 1976, and then spent a year as a Special Student at Harvard University. I returned to Cambridge from 1977-9, studying for my PhD, then moved to a lectureship at Queen Mary, University of London.  I was awarded my PhD in 1984 and was promoted to a Readership at Queen Mary in 1995.  I moved from Queen Mary to Portsmouth in 2000.

Teaching Responsibilities

I deliver historical geography components of the undergraduate teaching in the Department. I am the co-ordinator of two human geography units:

  • Applied Human Geography (Level 4)
  • Geography Of The North-South Divide In Britain Since 1800 (Level 6)


  • History of the North-South divide in Britain
  • Data models for gazetteers and geospatial ontologies
  • Long-run impacts of locality characteristics on health inequalities
  • The role of travellers in the development of political life

PastPlace historical linked data gazetteer, with funding from University of Pittsburgh, Mellon Foundation and commercial earnings; collaborators include Isaksen (Southampton), Pridal (Klokan Technologies Gmbh), Berman (Harvard) and Mostern (UC Merced).

Economic geography of pre-1800 England, with funding from the Frederick Soddy Trust; with Paula Aucott.

British electoral geography 1884-1910, with Daniel Ziblatt (Harvard); exploiting data computerised by the JISC-funded Historic Boundaries of Britain project in 2007-9.


Research profile

Explore my research profile, publications and activities on the Portsmouth Research Portal

View profile