Department of Geography


Photo of Professor Liz Twigg

Professor Liz Twigg

  • Qualifications: BA Geography, PhD Geography (Birkbeck College, University of London)
  • Role Title: Professor of Human Geography
  • Address: Buckingham Building, Lion Terrace, Portsmouth, PO1 3HE
  • Telephone: 023 9284 2466
  • Email:
  • Department: Geography
  • Faculty: Faculty of Science


I graduated from the Department of Geography in 1984 and undertook my PhD studies in GIS and Health at Birkbeck College, University of London.  In 1996 I joined the University as an ESRC-funded part-time research fellow working on multilevel analyses and small area estimates of lifestyle behaviour. I became a full-time lecturer in 2003, was promoted to Reader in Human Geography in 2011 and became a Professor of Human Geography in 2015.  My main research interests focus on the influence of place and space on health, health behaviour and well-being.

Teaching Responsibilities

I am currently coordinating two units:

  • Applied Spatial Data Modelling (Level 5)
  • Geographies of Health and Urban Wellbeing (Level 6)

I also contribute to several other core units within the department and am a regular contributor to University-wide Graduate School sessions. 

Whenever possible, I use examples drawn from my own research to illustrate the importance and relevance of a geographical awareness of real-world problems.


My research interests include:-

  • Multilevel modelling of health outcomes, behaviours and community well-being. This work also covers the development and application of multilevel small area synthetic estimation
  • The geography of compulsory admission to secondary mental health care
  • Geographies of smoking, including smoking identity and the interplay between cannabis and tobacco consumption.
  • Geographies of low fertility in developing countries

Current Research Projects

Evaluating the Effects of Community Treatment Orders (CTOs) in England Using the Mental Health Minimum Dataset – funded by NIHR and with Professor Scott Weich (Warwick Medical School).

This study builds on previous work looking at the geography of compulsory admission across England. The research looks at the spatial and secular disparities in the use of CTOs over a four year period and the variation in mental health outcomes associated with CTOs . The project will begin at the start of 2016 and last for 24 months.

Reserves Mental Health and Support Service Provision (DSTL, MoD funded).

This MoD commissioned project reviews the profile and wellbeing of military reservists across Britain and involves collaborators from Portsmouth Business School (Dr Peter Lee) and colleagues at Anglia Ruskin University and QinetiQ.

Geographies of Smoking

A number of live projects are being undertaken under the broad heading of ‘Geographies of Smoking’. Rich Tyler’s recent PhD is has examinined g the micro and macro contexts of tobacco and cannabis co-consumption amongst young people and is continuing to publish from this work. Liz Twigg (with colleagues from Southampton, Edinburgh and Christchurch, New Zealand) are putting together a research monograph sponsored by the RGS-IBG Book Series entitled ‘Smoking Geographies: Space, Place and Tobacco. KIm van Diepen has recently joined the health and wellbeing group as a postgraduate research student and her PhD focuses on the use of social media to support smoking cessation services for young people. Kim is working in close collaboration with ASH Wales.


Research profile

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

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