Colin John McClean

Colin John McClean


Former affiliation

Accepting PhD Students

Personal profile



Colin McClean is a geographer and spatial analyst with over 20 years experience of spatial modelling across a range of research areas from conservation ecology and biodiversity through land use modelling  and pollution impacts to biogeochemistry. His work involves the application of spatial analysis and GIS to environmental management.  This work has involved modelling the potential impacts of climate change on African and UK plant species using species distribution modelling, the application of a number of reserve modelling and selection algorithms to both marine and terrestrial conservation problems. This work has include the use of machine learning optimisation methods such as genetic algorithms and simulated annealing.  Other recent collaborative work has included looking at Sahelian “greening” using detailed hydrologically relevant terrain modelling and the climate change impact modelling for the Shea Tree in the Sudano-Sahelian zone.  Common to most of this diverse work is the use of large and readily available spatial data sets for novel applications. Results from the climate change impacts work for Africa are cited in both the Stern Review and 2007 IPCC impact report. Work sponsored by WWF has been cited in the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution’s marine fisheries report.  


BSc Edinburgh (1986) - Geography

PhD Durham (1991) - Geography

Post-doctoral research  -  Wales and South West Regional Research Laboratory, Cardiff (1989-1991)

Post-doctoral research  - Centre for Land Use and Water Resources Research, Newcastle (1991 -1995)

Lecturer/Senior lecturer - University of York (1996 - )

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or