• Spatial Analysis

    Spatial Analysis

    Understanding the nature and outcome of human and physical processes

Niko Yiannakoulias
Niko Yiannakoulias
Associate Professor
General Science Building, Rm 204
(905) 525-9140 ext. 20117
(905) 546-0463

Dr. Niko Yiannakoulias came to McMaster University in 2007 after completing his PhD at the University of Alberta in 2006. His primary fields of interest include environmental health and geographic information science (GISci). He has done applied work in the areas of environmental health, transportation safety, mental health and crime.  He has developed methods for analyzing spatial patterns of disease, solving political districting problems, geographic crime profiling and public health surveillance. Dr. Yiannakoulias' research has been funded primarily by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSRHC) and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).

Research Interests:

1. Environmental health

  • Understanding and characterizing interactions between the environment and human health
  • Understanding spatial-temporal structures in infectious disease
  • Geographic health surveillance
  • Paediatric injury and the social and physical environment

2. Environmental risk analysis and risk communication

  • Associations between environmental decision making and risk perception
  • Risk communication systems for rare events
  • Risk mitigation strategies
  • Research game approaches to environmental policy analysis

3. Agent-based models of human and environment interaction

  • Developing agent-based models to observe the emergence of spatial patterns in cooperative and competitive social environments
  • Studying how changes in social behaviour (such as immunization) interact with the evolution of disease virulence in pathogenic microorganisms
  • Agent-based models for infectious disease control and planning
  • Environmental games and game theory


Environmental health; risk communication; value of information; uncertainty; serious games and environmental applications of game theory; geocomputation

  • Geog 3MB3 (Course Outline): Statistical Analysis, (Term One) 2018-19
  • Geog 4ET3 (Course Outline): Environmental Policy, Ethics and Risk, (Term Two), 2018-19
  • Geog 4HH3 (Course Outline): Environment and Health, (Term One) 2018-19
  • Geog 6ET3: Enviro Policy, Ethics & Risks, (Term Two), 2018-19
  • Earth Sc/Geog 6HH3: Environment and Health, (Term One), 2018-19
  • Geog 714: Applied Data Analysis for Geographers and Earth Scientists, 2018-19

Publications (2012-present)

On each of the entries below, authors are listed as published with the first author being the principal author.

Slavik C, Yiannakoulias N (2020) Cancer risk communication in the news coverage of suspected cancer clusters in Ontario: Contrasting media messaging on cancer by geography. The Canadian Geographer. In Press


Gordon J, Yiannakoulias N. (2020) A serious gaming approach to understanding household flood risk mitigation decisions. Journal of Flood Risk Management. In Press


Yiannakoulias, N., Gordon, J. N., & Darlington, J. C. (2020). The decision game: a serious game approach to understanding environmental risk management decisions. Journal of Risk Research, 23,81-94


Yiannakoulias, N., Slavik, C. E., & Chase, M. (2019). Expressions of pro-and anti-vaccine sentiment on YouTube. Vaccine37(15), 2057-2064.


Yiannakoulias, N., Darlington, J. C., Elshorbagy, A., & Raja, B. (2018). Meta-analysis based predictions of flood insurance and flood vulnerability patterns in Calgary, Alberta. Applied Geography96, 41-50.


Kim, K., Beach, J., Senthilselvan, A., Yiannakoulias, N., Svenson, L., Kim, H., & Voaklander, D. C. (2018). Agricultural injuries among farm and non‐farm children and adolescents in Alberta, Canada. American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 61(9), 762-772.


Yiannakoulias N, Bland W. (2018).  A space-time approach to reducing child pedestrian exposure to motor-vehicle commuter traffic.  In GeoComputation Analysis and Modeling of Regional Systems.  Jean-Claude Thill and Suzana Dragicevic, Eds.  pp. 355-372.


Sturrock, S. L., Yiannakoulias, N., & Sanchez, A. L. (2017). The Geography and Scale of Soil-Transmitted Helminth Infections. Current Tropical Medicine Reports4(4), 245-255.


Yiannakoulias N, Tooby R, Sturrock S.  Celebrity over science? An analysis of Lyme disease video content on YouTube.  Social Science & Medicine. 2017;191: 57-60


Yiannakoulias N. Hazards of Safety: Transportation Externalities and the Rights of Children. In Geographies of Children and Young People. Tracey Skelton Chief Editor. 2017; 389-404


Yiannakoulias N., Kielasinska E. The effect of temperature on arson incidence in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. International Journal of Biometeorology. 2016; 60:651-661.


Yiannakoulias N., Sanchez-Ramirez A., Svenson L., Voaklander D.C. Regional migration and the risks of parasuicide and violent assault injury. Injury Prevention. 2016; 22:407-411.

Adams M.D., Yiannakoulias N., Kanaroglou P. An activity based analysis of air pollution exposure during children's active transportation trips between home and school. Atmospheric Environment. 2016; 60:651-661.


Bennet S, Yiannakoulias N. Motor-vehicle collisions involving child pedestrians at intersection and mid-block locations. Accident Analysis & Prevention 2015; 78:94-103.


Cherry N, Beach J, Parboosingh J, Schouchen J, Senthilselvan A, Svenson L, Tamminga J, Yiannakoulias N. Genetic susceptibility to beryllium: a case-referent study of men and women of working age with sarcoidosis or other chronic lung disease. Occupational and Environmental Medicine 2015; 72:21-27.


Yiannakoulias N, Bland W, Scott DM. A geography of moral hazard: sources and sinks of motor-vehicle commuting externalities. Health & Place 2014; 29:161-170.


Clark A, Scott DM, Yiannakoulias N. Examining the relationship between active travel, weather, and the built environment: A multilevel approach using a GPS-enhanced data set. Transportation 2014; 41:325-338.


Devotta K, Wilton RD, Yiannakoulias N. Representations of disability in the Canadian news media: A decade of change? Disability and Rehabilitation 2013; 35:1859-1868.


Yiannakoulias N, Bland W, Scott DM. Altering school attendance times to prevent child pedestrian injuries. Traffic Injury Prevention 2013; 14:1-10.


Yiannakoulias N, Scott DM. The effects of local and non-local traffic on child pedestrian safety: a spatial displacement of risk. Social Science & Medicine 2013; 80:96-104.


Yiannakoulias N, Bland W, Svenson LW. Estimating the effect of turn penalties and traffic congestion on measuring intra-urban accessibility to primary health care. Applied Geography 2013; 39:172-182.


Yiannakoulias N, Bland W. A spatial scan approach to detecting focused-global clustering in case-control data. Geographical Analysis 2012; 44:368-385.


Bennet S, Yiannakoulias N, Williams AM, Kitchen P. Playground accessibility and neighbourhood social interaction among parents. Social Indicators Research. 2012; 108:199-213.


Yiannakoulias N, Bennet S, Scott DM. Mapping commuter cycling risk in urban areas. Accident Analysis & Prevention 2012; 45:164-172.

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