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Dr. Liang Mao

Associate Professor

Undergraduate Coordinator

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(352) 294-7516

Personal Website

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Curriculum Vita

Focus Areas

Research Statement

My research aims to offer better understandings on the human-disease system with geospatial science approaches and technologies. My research interests focus on: 1) Agent-based modeling and simulation; 2) Geospatial network analysis; 3) Spatial accessibility and disparities, such as cancer and access to healthcare/healthy food.

Recent Courses

  • GEO3452/6451: Intro. to Medical Geography
  • GEO4930 Senior Seminar
  • GIS3420C/6425C: GIS models for public health
  • GIS4113/6104: Spatial networks
  • GIS4115/6117: Applied Geostatistics

Recent Funded Projects

  • 2018-2020

PI. National Research Council Transportation Research Board. Phase 2: The role of air travel in the transmission and spread of insect-borne diseases ($14,692).

  • 2016-2018

PI. UF Informatics Institute Seed Fund. Developing temporally comparable high resolution rurality maps for social and health sciences. ($45,120).

  • 2018-2021

Co-PI. National Natural Science Foundation of China. Individual-based epidemic modeling at a city scale with multi-source trajectory data (¥770,000 as $114,925).

  • 2017-2020

Co-Investigator. National Natural Science Foundation of China. Modeling individual’s decision-making dynamic and its collective effects on urban sprawl using micro-simulation. (¥650,000 as $97,320).

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

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

Yaghyan, L., Cogle, C.R., Deng, G.R., Yang, J., Jackson, P., Hardt, N., Mao, L.. (2019). Continuous Rural-Urban Coding for Cancer Disparity Studies: Is It Appropriate for Statistical Analysis? International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 16(6).1076. DOI: 10.3390/ijerph16061076

Wu, C.Y., Mossa, J., Mao, L. Almulla, M. (2019). Comparison of different spatial interpolation methods for historical hydrographic data of the Lowermost Mississippi River. Annals of GIS. DOI: 10.1080/19475683.2019.1588781

Zhang, J. W., Mao, L. (2019). Integrating multi-modal transportation into measures of spatial food accessibility. Journal of Transport & Health.13:1-11. DOI: 10.1016/j.jth.2019.03.001

Yang, Y., Mao, L., Metcalf, S., (2019). Diffusion of hurricane evacuation behavior through a home-workplace social network: A spatially explicit agent-based simulation model. Computers, Environment and Urban Systems. 74: 13-22. DOI: 10.1016/j.compenvurbsys.2018.11.010

Mollalo, A., Mao, L., Rashidi, P., Glass, G. (2019) A GIS-based Artificial Neural Network Model for Spatial Distribution of Tuberculosis across the Continental United States. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health,16. DOI: 10.3390/ijerph16010157

Gomez,J.P., Nekorchuk,D., Mao, L., Ryan S. J., Ponciano, J.M., Blackburn K.J.(2018). Decoupling environmental effects and host population dynamics for anthrax, a classic reservoir-driven disease. PLoS ONE 13 (12). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0208621

Deng, GR., Mao, L. (2018). Spatially explicit age segregation index and self-rated health of older adults in U.S. cities. ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information. DOI: 10.3390/ijgi7090351

Stacciarini, J.M., Vacca, R., Mao, L. (2018) Who and Where: A socio-spatial analytic approach for community-based health research. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 2018, 15(7). DOI: 10.3390/ijerph15071375

Yaghjyan, L., Rich, S., Mao, L., Mai, V., Egan, K.M. (2018). Interactions of coffee consumption and postmenopausal hormone use in relation to breast cancer risk in UK Biobank. Cancer Causes & Control, 29(6):519-525. DOI: 10.1007/s10552-018-1028-x

Mao, L., Yang, J., Deng, GR. (2018). Mapping rural–urban disparities in late-stage cancer with space-time rurality index and GWR. Spatial and spatio-temporal epidemiology, 26: 15-23. DOI: 10.1016/j.sste.2018.04.001

Wang, L.H., Liu, Y.X., Mao, L., Sun, C. (2018). Potential Impacts of China 2030 High-Speed Rail Network on Ground Transportation Accessibility. Sustainability, 10(4): 1270. DOI: 10.3390/su10041270

Yang, J., Mao, L. (2018). Understanding temporal changes of spatial accessibility to healthcare: an analytic framework for local factor impacts. Health and Place 51, 118-124. DOI: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2018.03.005

Rojas, A., Patarroyo, P., Mao, L., and Kowalewski, M. (2017). Global biogeography of Albian ammonoids: A network–based approach. Geology. 45 (7): 659-662. DOI:  10.1130/G38944.1

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). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0005353

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. DOI: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2016.06.029

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. DOI: 10.1377/hlthaff.2015.0955

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. DOI: 10.1016/j.annepidem.2016.01.002

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. DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2015.10.064

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. DOI: 10.18564/jasss.2892

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. DOI: :10.1016/j.jtrangeo.2015.08.017

Wang, Y., Waylen, P., Mao, L. (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

Mao, L., (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

Mao, L., (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. 10.1080/15481603.2014.883211

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

Mao, L., (2013). Geography, Structure, and Evolution of GIS Research Community in the United States: A Network Analysis from 1992-2011. Transactions in GIS, 18(5), 704-717. DOI: 10.1111/tgis.12054

Liu, Y. X., Li, M. C., Mao, L., Chen, L., Chen K. F. (2013). Seasonal Pattern of Tidal-Flat Topography along the Jiangsu Middle Coast, China, Using HJ-1 Optical Images. Wetlands 33: 871-886. DOI: 10.1007/s13157-013-0445-6

Liu, Y. X., Li, M.C., Zhou, M. X., Yang, K, Mao, L. (2013). Quantitative Analysis of the Waterline Method for Topographical Mapping of Tidal Flats: A Case Study in the Dongsha Sandbank, China. Remote Sensing. 5(11):6138-6158. DOI: 10.3390/rs5116138

Mao, L., Yang, Y., Qiu, Y. L., Yang, Y., (2012). Annual economic impacts of seasonal influenza on US counties: Spatial heterogeneity and patterns. International Journal of Health Geographies 11:16.  DOI: 10.1186/1476-072X-11-16

Liu, Y. X., Li, M. C., Mao, L., Cheng L., Hu W., Li, F. X., (2012). Toward a Method of Constructing Tidal Flat Digital Elevation Models with MODIS and Medium-Resolution Satellite Images. Journal of Coastal Research 29(2): 438-448. DOI: 10.2112/JCOASTRES-D-12-00088.1

Bian, L., Huang, Y. X. , Mao, L., Lim, E. J., Lee, G. J., Yang, Y., Wilson, D., & Cohen M., (2012). Modeling Individual Vulnerability to Communicable Diseases – A Framework and Design. The Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 102(5): 1016-1025. DOI: 10.1080/00045608.2012.674844

Mao, L., & Yang, Y. (2012). Coupling infectious disease, human preventive behavior, and social networks–A conceptual model for simulation. Social Science & Medicine, 74(2):167-175. DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2011.10.012

Mao, L., Qiu, Y. L., Kusano, C., Xu, X.H. (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. DOI: 10.1007/s11356-011-0546-9

Mao, L, (2011). Agent-based simulation for weekend-extension strategies to mitigate influenza outbreaks. BMC Public Health, 11(1): 522. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2458-11-522

Mao, L, (2011). Evaluating the combined effectiveness of influenza control strategies and human preventive behavior. PLoS ONE, 6(10). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0024706

Mao, L., & Bian, L. (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. DOI: 10.1080/13658816.2011.556121

Mao, L., & Bian, L. (2010). Spatial–temporal transmission of influenza and its health risks in an urbanized area. Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, 34(2):204-215. DOI: 10.1016/j.compenvurbsys.2010.03.004

Mao, L., & Bian, L. (2010). A dynamic social network with individual mobility for designing vaccination strategies. Transactions in GIS, 14(4):533-545. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9671.2010.01201.x

Current Graduate Students


Recent Graduate Students