Preventive Medicine

MEMPHIS TN 381632199
Tel: (901) 448-2829


  • Ph.D., University of Buffalo, SUNY, GIS and Spatial Analysis
  • M.S., National University of Ireland, UCC, Cork, GIS

Biographic Sketch

Current Research InterestsGeographic Information Systems (GIS), Geographic Information Science, Geovisual Analytics, Visualization and Cartographic Design, Geography and Algorithms, Pattern Recognition, Environmental Health and Exposure, Spatial Epidemiology, and Spatial Analysis

Dr. Oyana’s research and teaching interests include Geographic Information Science and Spatial Analytical Methods. Within these areas, he has several substantive foci, including GIS, spatial analysis, visualization and cartographic design, spatial analytics, and spatial epidemiology. His core research focuses on three lines of inquiry: (1) establishing the relationship between environmental health and exposure, (2) advancing GIS methods, algorithm design, and spatial analytical methods, and (3) understanding factors that contribute towards land systems change. He has significant research interest in emerging interdisciplinary topics and works with very large-scale spatial datasets. He is expanding his extensive knowledge of geography, data science, and algorithms to solve complex problems. He has authored over 85 scientific publications including 40+ journal articles, 20+ refereed conference proceedings, 1 book, 10 book chapters, 10 book reviews, presented over 90 papers at regional, national, and international conferences, and written 20+ technical reports. He has over twenty years of demonstrated research and academic experience grounded in North America, South America, Asia, Europe, and Africa. He has received over 20 national and international honors and awards. He spent his eight-month sabbatical leave as a Visiting Professor in 2010 at Yonsei University, South Korea. As a major advisor, he has directed the dissertation work of over 20 Master and 3 PhD students, many of whom have gone on to responsible positions in academic, industrial, and government. In total, he has served on 6 completed PhDs and 33 Master’s committees. He has been awarded over $1.2 million in external, internal, and service grants. His work has been funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Health Effects Institute, START International, and Kaleida Health Foundations. Earlier studies were funded by the Center for Development Research of Denmark, University of Nairobi, and the United Nations Center for Regional Development. Early in his research career, Dr. Oyana conducted research in development issues—the role of small scale enterprises in Africa’s Industrial Development, and a preliminary study on cross-border activities and its implications on development. He was a visiting Research Fellow at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture in Colombia, South America. Dr. Oyana’s contribution to CIAT included the first applications of GIS in environmental health. He has advanced skills and knowledge of public health informatics and works with big geospatial datasets. He is using it to tackle health disparities challenges. Dr. Oyana has a long history of applying GIS, visualization, and spatial analytics methods to public health issues.