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About Joni Downs

My research aims to develop new methods of spatial analysis and modelling that can be broadly applied within GIScience and related fields. Specific statistical and mathematical approaches of interest include: density estimation, point pattern analysis, time geography, spatial optimization models, and network analysis. Application areas of interest encompass a variety of topics, including wildlife ecology, global sustainability, public health and safety, and transportation. I am also interested in geovisualization, particularly in how it facilitates spatial analysis and modelling.


Present Professor & Chair, University of South Florida School of Geosciences


2011 - 2015 Collaborative Research—Developing a statistical time geography for analyzing animal movements and interactions
National Science Foundation, Geography and Spatial Science & Methodology, Measurement and Statistics Programs
2013 - 2014 Delineating EEEV over-wintering and early season amplification mechanisms
National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Program (R56)
2012 Research & Development Grant
USF College of Arts & Sciences
2010 Faculty International Travel Grant
USF Division of Sponsored Research
2009 New Researcher Grant
USF Division of Sponsored Research
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Professional Service and Affiliations

2013 - Present Graduate Committee, USF School of Geosciences
2019 Distinguished University Professor Committee, University of South Florida
2015 - 2017 CAS Instructor Promotion Committee, University of South Florida
2010 - 2013 Tampa Technology Fee Advisory Council, University of South Florida
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Honors and Awards

  • Best Full Paper, 2010, 6th International Conference on Geographic Information Science
  • Dewey Stowers Research Award, 2009, USF Department of Geography (1 course release)
  • Best Paper, 2007, Ph.D. Honors Competition, SouthEastern Division of the Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting, Charleston, SC ($1000)


  • Animal Tracking Applications in GIS
  • Environmental Applications of GIS
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Introductory GIS laboratory
  • Computer Cartography
  • Spatial Data Analysis


2008 Ph.D., Florida State University
2004 M.S., The Ohio State University
2001 B.S., The Ohio State University

Contact Information

Office: NES 303


Articles (51)