Prof. Tonny J. Oyana

Prof. Tonny Oyana is the Principal, of the College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS), at Makerere University.

He holds a Ph.D. in Geography with a concentration in Geographical Information Systems (GIS) from the State University of New York (SUNY) Buffalo.

He has previously served as Director of the Undergraduate Programs, at the Department of Geography and Environmental Resources, Southern Illinois University (SIU), and as the Director of Informatics for the Institute for Research, Innovation, Synergy, and Health Equity (i-RISE) Community & Collaboration Core, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis both in the U.S.

His research interests are GIS and GIScience; visualization and cartography; spatial epidemiology; applying GIS techniques to the subfields of disease surveillance and monitoring, bioterrorism, and environmental health and exposure; spatial epidemiology; multivariate statistics; spatial statistics.

Prof. Oyana is an internationally-recognized and seasoned expert in GIS, data management, strategies, GIS/GPS methods, algorithms, data visualization, spatial analytics, and data science communication. His research and teaching interests include Geographic Information Science, Computational Intelligence, and Spatial Analytical Methods. Within these areas, he has several substantive foci, including GIS, spatial analysis, visualization, cartographic design, spatial trajectories, and spatial epidemiology. His core research focuses on three lines of inquiry: (1) establishing the relationship between environmental health and life course exposure, (2) advancing GIS methods, algorithm design, and spatial analytical methods, and (3) understanding factors that contribute to land systems change. He has a significant research interest in emerging interdisciplinary topics and works with very large-scale spatial datasets. He is expanding his extensive knowledge of geography, data analytics, and algorithms to solve complex problems. He has authored over 100 scientific publications including 46+ journal articles, 1 book, 22+ refereed conference proceedings, 10 book chapters, and over 10 book reviews, presented over 120 papers at regional, national, and international conferences, and written 20+ technical reports.

He has over twenty-two years of demonstrated research and academic experience in North America, South America, Asia, Europe, and Africa. He has received over 18 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 Masters and several Ph.D. students, many of whom have gone on to responsible positions in academic, industrial, and government. In total, he has served on 7 completed PhDs, 1 medical fellow, and 34 Master’s committees.

He has been awarded over $1.4 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, the University of Nairobi, and the United Nations Center for Regional Development. Early in his research career, Prof. Oyana conducted research on development issues—the role of small-scale enterprises in Africa’s Industrial Development, and a preliminary study on cross-border activities and their implications on development.

He was a visiting Research Fellow at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in Colombia, South America. Prof. Oyana’s contribution to CIAT included the first applications of GIS in environmental health.

Prof. Oyana has advanced skills and knowledge of analytical methods and works with big geospatial datasets. He is using it to tackle complex computational and analytical challenges.