Dr Lars Brabyn

Senior Lecturer

Qualifications: BSc (Hons) BA (Hons) PhD Canterbury

School of Social Sciences


About Lars

I completed my Ph.D. in 1996 at the University of Canterbury and started lecturing at the University of Waikato soon after. It is great to be part of the GIS and digital revolution that is transforming the way society operates. I like developing new applications of Geographical Information Systems and remote sensing and seeing how resources can be better managed through improved information management. Funding from Marsden, MBIE, FRST, DOC, MOH, and private industry have helped me develop a range of innovative GIS applications, which are highlighted below and in publications.


Cartography; Computers and Education; Environmental Change; Geography

Geographical Information Systems;
Remote Sensing

Research Interests

Innovative applications of GIS; classifying visual landscape character; the use of GIS for biodiversity mapping and modelling; understanding population change; social atlas of population diversity; remote sensing of vegetation and water quality; the use of drones for detailed mapping and monitoring.

For further information on my landscape research refer to the following link:

Landscape Classification

Recent Publications

  • Olivia, S., Boe-Gibson, G., Stitchbury, G., Brabyn, L., & Gibson, J. (2018). Urban land expansion in Indonesia 1992-2012: Evidence from satellite-detected luminosity. Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, 62(3), 438-456. doi:10.1111/1467-8489.12258

  • Jackson, N., & Brabyn, L. (2017). The mechanisms of subnational population growth and decline in New Zealand 1976-2013. Policy Quarterly, 13(Supplementary), 22-36. Open Access version:

  • Mason, N. W. H., Palmer, D. J., Vetrova, V., Brabyn, L., Paul, T., Willemse, P., & Peltzer, D. A. (2017). Accentuating the positive while eliminating the negative of alien tree invasions: a multiple ecosystem services approach to prioritising control efforts. Biological Invasions, 19(4), 1181-1195. doi:10.1007/s10530-016-1307-y

  • Brabyn, L. (2017). Declining towns and rapidly growing cities in New Zealand: developing an empirically-based model that can inform policy. Policy Quarterly, 13(Supplementary), 37-46. Open Access version:

View all research publications by Lars Brabyn

Papers Taught


A highlight of my job is supervising Masters and PhD students. Past topics have included: impacts of tourism on forest cover in Nepal; "hotspots" of crime; planning solutions for integrating conflicting land-use values; remote sensing of wetlands and forests; predicting habitats; monitoring water quality using satellite images; and modelling wetness in Antarctica.

Contact Details

Name  Extn.  Username  Room  Department
Brabyn, Dr Lars 9170 larsb I.2.13 Geography Programme