Somayeh Dodge

I am Somayeh Dodge. I serve as an Assistant Professor of Spatial Data Science and run the MOVE Research Lab at the Department of Geography at the UC Santa Barbara. I am a recipient of the prestigious NSF CAREER Award 2021 for the project CAREER: Modeling Movement and Behavior Responses to Environmental Disruptions. I received my Ph.D. in Geography with a specialization in Geographic Information Science (GIScience) from the University of Zurich in November 2011. I hold an MS in GIS Engineering and a BS in Geomatics Engineering from the KNT University of Technology in Tehran, Iran. Before joining the UC Santa Barbara faculty in July 2019, I worked as an Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (2016-2019) and the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs (2013-2016). Prior to that, I completed two postdoctoral fellowships at the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geodetic Engineering at The Ohio State University (2012-2013) and at the University of Zurich (2011-2012) on Computational Movement Analytics. My research focuses on understanding and modeling of movement in human and ecological systems. I develop computational data analysis, knowledge discovery, modeling, and visualization techniques to study how movement patterns are formed in dynamic systems across spatial and temporal scales. For more information about my research and teaching, please see

Current Graduate Students

Seonga Cho

My name is Seonga Cho. I am a graduate student with a focus on Geographic Information Science at the Geography Department of the University of California, Santa Barbara, USA. I received my MA and BA degree from the Department of Geography, Seoul National University, Republic of Korea. My research focus is on urban spatiotemporal movement data and accessibility analysis. Also, I am interested in spatial optimization and housing problem in urban areas.

Yifei Liu

I am Yifei Liu, a Ph.D. student at UCSB Geography Department. I received my B.S. and M.S. degree in Ecology from Fudan University (Shanghai, China) in 2018 and 2021, respectively. My research focuses on movement ecology and ecosystem dynamics, especially the impact of human interference and land-use change on the movement behavior of tigers and leopards in Thailand, assisted with spatial data science and spatiotemporal modelling.

Evgeny Noi

My name is Evgeny Noi. I am a quantitative geographer doing research on locational theory pertaining to urban environment. My current focus is on geoAI and smart city policies. Previously, I worked in consulting capacities at the United Nations, Iowa Initiative for Sustainable Communities, Swedish Institute for Public Administration (SIPU) and the city of Moscow. Prior to joining the lab, I was merging big spatial data and machine learning analysis in prototyping smart city solutions for Moscow IT Department. I hold a BA in Political Science from Irkutsk State University, Russia and an MS in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Iowa, USA.

Rongxiang Su photoRongxiang Su

I am Rongxiang Su, a Ph.D student at the Department of Geography, University of California Santa Barbara. I obtained my M.S. degree in GIS from Wuhan University, China and my B.S. degree in GIS from Hefei University of Technology, China. My research is focused on understanding human mobility patterns, travel behavior and urban dynamics using spatiotemporal analytics, discrete choice modeling, and machine learning techniques. More information can be found on my personal website.

MertTokaMert Toka

I am Mert, a media engineer and computer scientist who researches computational creativity through programming, systems design, data analysis, and visualization. I use custom tool-making, immersive media, and emerging technologies to create audiovisual systems as my media arts practice. As a Ph.D. student at UCSB Media Arts and Technology program, I am currently researching generative art systems from the lens of information aesthetics. I hold an M.S. in Media Arts and Technology from UCSB and a B.S. in Computer Science and Engineering from Sabanci University, Istanbul, Turkey. More information is available on my website.

Zijian Wan

My name is Zijian Wan. I am a graduate student with a focus on movement modeling and analysis, often in a big geospatial data context and using approaches in spatiotemporal data mining. My research interests lie at the intersection of GIScience, spatial data science and machine learning. I received my BS in Geographic Information Science from Wuhan University, China, in 2020. With the increasing availability of a massive amount of movement data and the advancement of data analytics to explore the full potential of spatiotemporal data, we can investigate movement for a variety of application domains, such as transportation and wildlife migration study in which behaviors and movement patterns are key topics. Please find more information about me on my personal website.

Current Undergraduate Researchers

Jovany Cota photoJovany Cota

My name is Jovany Cota and I am a third year student at the University of California, Santa Barbara with a major in Geography (GIS emphasis) and a minor in Architecture & Urban history. My academic interests include: GIS, data visualization, income inequality & mobility. I am currently working with MOVE on COVID-19 transmission and mobility in wildfire impacted areas. My research is supported by CAMP – California Alliance for Minority Participation.

RA TeresaTeresa Gonzalez

My name is Teresa Gonzalez and I am a third year Environmental Studies and Physical Geography B.S. major. My academic interests include hydrology, data analysis, and oceanography. I am currently working as Crystal Bae’s research assistant studying how humans perceive movement patterns using information from surveys and data analysis through R.


Alex Rudolph photo
Alex Rudolph

My name is Alex Rudolph, and I am a second year at the University of California, Santa Barbara pursuing a B.S. in Statistics and Data Science, and a B.S. in Applied Mathematics. My academic interests include data science and data visualization, especially for the web. I am currently helping the MOVE lab to analyze different metrics of mobility during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lab Affiliates

Dr. Crystal Bae (University of Chicago)

Dr. Bae is a former MOVE Postdoctoral Researcher (2020-2021), working on the intersection of geographic movement visualization and spatial cognition. After her Postdoc in the MOVE lab, she accepted a position of Instructional Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago. She is currently collaborating with the MOVE lab to develop cognitive studies on evaluating cartographic visualizations for movement data. She holds a Ph.D. in Geography with an emphasis in Cognitive Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her dissertation work focused on how dyads (pairs) and individuals carried out wayfinding plans during situated navigation. Her previous work includes the assessment of residents’ cognitive boundaries of Koreatown, Los Angeles with relation to home locations, socio-demographics, and travel behavior. More information is available on her personal website.