Deborah van Gaans

Deborah van Gaans

School of Social Sciences

Faculty of Arts


I am a spatial scientist who uses Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to identify inequity in service accessibility. My research focus is to improve the quality of life for all people and in particular the disadvantaged.

Dr. van Gaans has over 25 years of experience in social science research.  Her research is focused on improving the equity in health service provision through understanding the geographic and socio-economic aspects of accessibility.  Deborah's innovative research has been undertaken in direct partnership with health service providers, state and federal government and community.  Her research focus is to improve the quality of life for all people and in particular the disadvantaged.  She has been acknowledged as a prominent national and international leader within the spatial industry.  Dr. van Gaans has won peer reviewed excellence awards for her innovative health service modelling and was the recipient of the 2012 South Australian Spatial Excellence Community Contribution Award, 2014 South Australian Spatial Excellence Postgraduate Award, and the 2018 Geospatial World Excellence Award for the Application of Geospatial Technology in Health Services.

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  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2017 Research Fellow: Spatial Epidemiology University of South Australia
  • Awards and Achievements

    Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount
    2019 Award Asia-Pacific Spatial Excellence People & Community Award Surveying and Spatial Sciences Institute Australia
    2018 Award Geospatial World Excellence Award for Application of Geospatial Technology in Health Services. Geospatial World forum India
    2015 Award National Asia Pacific Spatial Excellence Award (APSEA) Finalist Australia
    2014 Award South Australian Spatial Excellence Award (SASEA) Postgraduate Research Award Australia
    2012 Award South Australian Spatial Excellence Award (SASEA) Community Contribution. Australia
    2007 Scholarship Australian Research Council Postgraduate Award (Industry) Australia
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    2013 University of Adelaide, Adelaide Australia Doctor of Philosophy
    2003 University of Adelaide, Adelaide Australia Masters of Applied Science
    1990 University of Adelaide, Adelaide Australia Post Graduate Diploma of Applied Science
    1989 Flinders University, Adelaide Australia Bachelor of Arts Degree
  • Research Interests


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