Visiting Scholars in the 2022-23 Academic Year

Pedro Amaral, PhD

Fellow, Center for Spatial Data Science
Associate Professor, Department of Economics (Cedeplar/FACE), Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil

Pedro Amaral is Associate Professor at the Department of Economics at Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil. He is Chair of the Latin America Division of Regional Studies Association (RSA) and Deputy Secretary of the Brazilian National Association of Graduate Studies and Research in Urban and Regional Planning (ANPUR).

Pedro Amaral

Roger Bivand, PhD

Professor Emeritus, NHH Norwegian School of Economics

Roger Bivand is a professor emeritus in economics at the NHH Norwegian School of Economics. He received his PhD degree in geography from the London School of Economics in 1975, after undergraduate study in Geography at the University of Cambridge. His research interests are in developing and supporting the development of open source software for analysing spatial data, including spatial econometrics.

Jonathan Dunn, PhD

Senior Lecturer in Linguistics, University of Canterbury
Visiting Scholar, Center for Spatial Data Science

Jonathan Dunn is a senior lecturer in linguistics at the University of Canterbury (NZL) where he uses computational models to understand spatial variation in language as part of the earthLings project ( The goal is to find out both (i) how large-scale population movements influence language and (ii) how information about human geography is available through language data.

Sara Lafia, PhD

Research Fellow, ICPSR, University of Michigan
Visiting Scholar, Center for Spatial Data Science

Sara Lafia is a Research Fellow at the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) at the University of Michigan where she studies the impact of data curation on issues of data discovery and reuse. She holds a Ph.D. in Geography from UC Santa Barbara with an emphasis in Information Technology and Society.

Frantisek Masek

PhD Candidate in Economics, Sapienza University of Rome
Visiting Scholar, Center for Spatial Data Science

Frantisek Masek is a PhD candidate in Economics at Sapienza University of Rome, Department of Economics and Law. His main research lies in the fields of monetary policy and heterogeneous agent models. Simultaneously, he conducts research in causal inference, especially using quasi-experimental methods in the spatial econometrics framework.

Johannes Moser

Research Associate and PhD Candidate with the Chair of Urban Development at the Technical University of Munich (TUM)
Visiting Scholar, Center for Spatial Data Science

Johannes Moser is a research associate and PhD candidate with the Chair of Urban Development at the Technical University of Munich (TUM). He is currently investigating relations between high-speed rail and socioeconomic outcomes in Germany. His main research interests are spatial statistics and econometrics, transport geography, applied network science and economic history. He currently works on the spatial distribution of firm locations and real estate price developments as well as on space-time visualizations.

Renan Serenini

PhD student, Socio-Economic and Statistical Studies, La Sapienza University of Rome
Visiting Scholar, Center for Spatial Data Science

Renan Serenini is a PhD student at the European PhD in Socio-Economic and Statistical Studies at La Sapienza University of Rome and works at the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE). His research interest lie in Econometrics, Causal Inference and Public Health. His research includes the identification of spatial spillovers of public health policies in Brazil, the analysis of the spatial distribution of obesity and the use of spatial analysis in causal inference

Gang Xu, PhD

Research Associate in Geography, Wuhan University
Visiting Postdoctoral Scholar, Center for Spatial Data Science

Gang Xu is a research associate with the Department of Geography and the Center of Geocomputation for Social Sciences at Wuhan University, China. His research interests include urban land use changes and environmental consequences, urbanization and complex urban systems, and spatial analysis. He is currently applying the theory of complex systems to understand cities undergoing rapid urbanization, including urban land, air quality, and urban health.