Dr. Liang Mao


Associate Professor

Undergraduate Coordinator



(352) 294-7516

Personal Website

Curriculum Vitae

Focus Areas

Areas of Specialization

  • Agent-based modeling for infectious diseases
  • GIS&RS for environmental health
  • Simulations for human health behavior
  • GeoSocial network analysis
  • Spatial disparities in health

Educational Background

  • PhD in Geography, State University of New York at Buffalo, 2010
  • M.S. in GIScience, Nanjing Univerisity, 2005
  • B.S. in Geography, Nanjing University, 2002

Recent Courses

Current Graduate Students



Recent Graduate Students

  • Sheldon Waugh M.S. (Fall 2014)
  • Nirav Patel M.S. (Fall 2013)
  • Mike Falkner M.S. (Fall 2013)

In My Own Words

Human and diseases composes a complex and interactive system, where diseases infect human beings and human beings react to prevent infection. In recent years, emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases have obtained unprecedented attention due to the wide spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), bird flu, and new H1N1 flu. My research aims to offer better understandings on the human-disease system with GIS techologies, agent-based simulation, and statistical methods. My dissertation established an agent-based dual-diffusion model to couple the diffusion of influenza and the diffusion of human preventive behavior. This spatially explicit model is used to: 1) understand the spatio-temporal dynamics of this dual-diffusion in the city of Buffalo, NY, 2) evaluate the combined effects of mitigation strategies and human preventive behavior, and 3) explore health policies to promote preventive behavior against influenza. The research results are expected to inform scientists, health policy makers, and local governments to overcome current challenges from looming influenza pandemics.

Recent Publications

Rojas, A., Patarroyo, P., Mao, L., and Kowalewski, M. (2017). Global biogeography of Albian ammonoids: A network–based approach. Geology. 45 (7): 659-662. PDF

da Paixão Sevá, A., Mao, L., Galvis-Ovallos, F., Lima, J. M. T., & Valle, D. (2017). Risk analysis and prediction of visceral leishmaniasis dispersion in São Paulo State, Brazil. PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 11(2), e0005353. PDF

Mao, L., Yin, L., Song, X.Q., Mei, S.J. (2016). Mapping intra-urban transmission risks of dengue fever with big hourly cellphone tracking data. Acta Tropica 162: 188-915. PDF

Schiaffino K. M., Nara A., Mao, L. (2016) Where are the hospital language services? Geographic trends in language services and met and unmet service areas need among U. S. hospitals. Health Affairs 35(8): 1399-1403. PDF

Ha S., Hu, H., Mao, L., Roussors-Ross, D., Roth, J., Xu, X.H., (2016) Potential Selection Bias of Using Geocoded Birth Records for Epidemiological Research. Annals of Epidemiology 26(3): 204-211. PDF

Mao, L., Stacciarini, J.M., Smith R., Wiens, B. (2015) An individual-based rurality measure and its health application: A case study of Latino immigrants in North Florida, USA. Social Science and Medicine 147: 300-308. PDF

Mao, L (2015) Predicting self-initiated preventive behavior against epidemics with an agent-based relative agreement model. Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 18(4):6. PDF

Mao, L., Wu, X., Huang, Z.J., Tatem, A. (2015) Modeling monthly flows of global air travel passengers: an open-access data resource. Journal of Transport Geography 48: 52-60. PDF

Y. Wang, P. Waylen, L. Mao. 2014. Modeling Properties of Influenza-Like Illness Peak Events with Crossing Theory. ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information. 3: 764-780 (doi:10.3390/ijgi3020764).PDF.

L. Mao. 2014. Modeling Triple-Diffusions of Infectious Diseases, Information, and Preventive Behaviors through a Metropolitan Social Network— An Agent-based Simulation Applied Geography. 50: 31-39 (DOI:10.1016/j.apgeog.2014.02.005).PDF.

L. Mao. 2014. Ranking Academic Impact of GIS Research Organizations in the United States: A Bibliographic Network Analysis over 20 years GIScience and Remote Sensing. 51(1): 51-62 (DOI:10.1080/15481603.2014.883211).PDF.

L. Mao. 2013. Cost-Effectiveness of Workplace Closure and Travel Restriction for Mitigating Influenza Outbreaks: A Network-based Simulation. Proceedings of 21st ACM SIGSPATIAL International Conference on Advances in Geographic Information Systems (HealthGIS 2013). ISBN 978-1-4503-2529-5/13/11. PDF.

L. Mao, D. Nekorchuk. 2013. Measuring Spatial Accessibility to Healthcare for Populations with Multiple Transportation Modes. Health & Place. 24: 115-122 (http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.healthplace.2013.08.008).PDF.

L.Mao, 2013.Geography, Structure, and Evolution of GIS Research Community in the United States: A Network Analysis from 1992-2011. Transactions in GIS. doi: 10.1111/tgis.12054.PDF.

Y.X. Liu , M.C. Li, L.Mao, L. Cheng, K.F. Chen, 2013.Seasonal Pattern of Tidal-Flat Topography along the Jiangsu Middle Coast, China, Using HJ-1 Optical Images. Wetlands 102(5):1016-1025.PDF.

Y.X. Liu , M.C. Li, L.Mao, L. Cheng, W. Hu, F.X. Li, 2012.Toward a Method of Constructing Tidal Flat Digital Elevation Models with MODIS and Medium-Resolution Satellite Images. Journal of Coastal Research 102(5):1016-1025.PDF.

L. Bian, Y. X. Huang, L. Mao, E.J. Lim, G.J. Lee, Y. Yang, D. Wilson,& M. Cohen, 2012. Modeling Individual Vulnerability to Communicable Diseases – A Framework and Design. The Annals of the Association of American Geographers 102(5):1016-1025.PDF.

L. Mao, Y. Yang, Y. L. Qiu, Y. Yang, 2012. Annual economic impacts of seasonal influenza on US counties: Spatial heterogeneity and patterns. International Journal of Health Geographies 11:16 PDF

L. Mao,Y. Yang, 2012. Coupling infectious disease, human preventive behavior,and social networks — A conceptual model for simulation. Social Science & Medicine 74(2):167-175.PDF.

L. Mao,Y.L. Qiu, C. Kusano, X.H. Xu, 2012. Predicting regional space-time variation of PM2.5 with land use regression model and MODIS data.Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 19(1):128-138.PDF

L. Mao, L.Bian, 2011. Agent-based Simulation for a Dual-Diffusion Process of Influenza and Human Preventive Behavior. International Journal of Geographical Information Science 25(9): 1371-1388. PDF

L. Mao, 2011. Agent-based simulation for weekend-extension strategies to mitigate influenza outbreaks. BMC Public Health , 11(1): 522 PDF.

L. Mao, 2011.Evaluating the combined effectiveness of influenza control strategies and human preventive behavior. PLoS ONE , 6(10): e24706. PDF .

J. Liang, F.X. Li, L. Mao, 2010. Review of the methods of delimitation for the spatial scope of urban agglomeration. Proceedings of Geoinformatics, 2010 18th International Conference. PDF

L. Mao, L. Bian, 2010. Spatial–temporal transmission of influenza and its health risks in an urbanized area. Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, 34(3):204-215. PDF

L. Mao, L. Bian, 2010. A Dynamic Network with Individual Mobility for Designing Vaccination Strategies. Transactions in GIS, 14(4):533-545. PDF

L. Bian, T. Whalen, M. Cohen, Y. Huang, G. Lee, E. Lim, L. Mao, Y. Yang, 2008. Explicit Spatial-Temporal Simulation of a Rare Disease. Joint Conference on Information Sciences Proceedings: Advances in Intelligent Systems Research PDF

W. Guo, S.H. Li, L. Mao, Y. Yin, D.K. Zhu, 2007. A Model for Environmental Impact Assessment of Land Reclamation. China Ocean Engineering, 21(2):343-354. PDF

Y.X. Liu, M.C. Li, L. Mao, F. Xu, S. Huang, 2006. Review of remotely sensed imagery classification patterns based on object-oriented image analysis. Chinese Geographical Science, 16(3):282-288. PDF


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