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F. Benjamin Zhan, Ph.D.


F. Benjamin Zhan received his Ph.D. in 1994 from the Department of Geography in the University at Buffalo, the State University of New York. His doctoral study was supported by the National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis, a center funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation. He is currently professor of geographic information science at Texas State University. He was the founding director of the Texas Center for Geographic Information Science at Texas State University and served as the first director of the center from 2003 to 2015.

Zhan’s main research interests are in health/medical geography, geographic information science, and spatial data science, focusing on cancer disparity reduction and environmental health. He has made significant original contributions in cancer disparity analysis, environmental epidemiology, network analysis and the development of geospatial analytical methods. He has written or co-authored more than 120 peer-reviewed publications. His work has been cited widely by researchers in over 40 countries. His research has been supported by various state and federal agencies.

Among the 19 graduated Ph.D. students that Zhan supervised or co-supervised, many of them secured tenure-track or research positions in tier-one research universities, prestigious private companies, federal or state government agencies and other organizations. Two of his Ph.D. students won the prestigious J. Warren Nystrom Award (best dissertation award in geography in North America). Among other awards, Zhan was a recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Scholarly/Creative Activities at Texas State University and the Outstanding Mentor Award from the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools in the United States of America.

Awards & Honors
  • Presidential Award for Excellence in Scholarly/Creative Activities
    Texas State University, 2011
  • Outstanding Mentor Award
    The Conference of Southern Graduate Schools, 2017