Leslie Hepple

Professor Leslie Hepple, faculty member in the School of Geographical Sciences at the University of Bristol, passed away recently at the age of 59. He was one of the longest-serving faculty members at the school. Hepple’s areas of early work involved spatial autocorrelation and spatial econometrics. He extended that work through major ESRC-supported research programs on Bayesian spatial econometrics, developing both theory and algorithms. His command of theory led government officials to call upon him to attempt to resolve policy issues ranging from rate support grants to census undercounting.

In addition to spatial analysis, Hepple’s interests extended to a broader range of subjects and methods in human geography. A 1986 paper on the revival of geopolitics was recently celebrated in the Progress in Human Geography series “classics in human geography.” His undergraduate courses on both geopolitics and Central America were well-known at Bristol, and he pursued an interest in historical geography through studies of English landscape evolution much in the manner of those by H.G. Hoskins. One of his former students, Derek Gregory, remembered his former teacher as possessing “a wonderful gift for clear exposition combined with such good humour and gentleness.” At the time of his death, Hepple was working on a revised approach to spatial interaction models.

Leslie Hepple (Necrology). 2007. AAG Newsletter 42(3): 21.