Rodolphe Devillers

RDevillers_smallI am a geographer coming from a multidisciplinary background and interested in way too many things, including how Geographic Information Systems (GIS) can be used or extended to improve our understanding of our oceans or support their management, and the questions of usabiity of geographic data by non-expert GIS users. My research interests are at the interface between geography, computer science, biology and earth sciences.

After having studied Biology in France for my first two years of University, I moved to Canada in 1996 to complete a BSc (Honours) and an MSc in Earth Sciences, looking at how cysts produced by dinoflagellates (phytoplankton) can be used to reconstruct marine paleo-environments. I then significantly shifted my academic path again to do do another MSc and a PhD in Geomatics Sciences, looking at how information about data quality can be communicated to GIS users. After obtaining my PhD in 2004, I have completed a short post-doc in 2005 at the Canadian national mapping agency (Geomatics Canada), before starting in the Fall 2005 in the department of Geography at Memorial University, teaching Cartography and GISciences.

My research lab is composed of students coming from very diverse backgrounds, reflecting the research questions we are Iooking at. Most of our research projects are done in collaboration with other universities and involve government or NGOs. I am adjunct professor in Geomatics Sciences at Laval University,  associate researcher at the Centre for Research in Geomatics and associate editor in Marine Geomatics of the journal Geomatica.

For the Marine Geomatics part, our research group has looked at fisheries ecology in relation to environmental changes, the study of cold-water corals in Atlantic Canada, the use of acoustic mapping techniques (e.g. multibeam) for benthic habitat mapping, and marine conservation and systematic conservation planning. We have also explored ways to improve current GIS tools/methods, such as developing new marine 3D data structures and developing new visualization techniques to communicate and analyze marine data.

For the Spatial Data Quality part, most of our work is at the interface between spatial data quality, users and usages, data visualization and decision-making, with for example projects that looked at communicating data quality on GIS maps and in virtual globes environments, and questions related to the quality of volunteered geographic information (VGI).