The University of Southampton
Geography and Environment

Population Health theme

The work of this theme is concerned with the study of the health outcomes of population groups and the spatio-temporal distribution distribution of health outcomes within these groups.

Overview

Malaria poster
Malaria burden estimation

In this context, Prof. Moon’s work has focussed on the influence of the effect of place on smoking behaviour through the development of multi-level modelling techniques. He has related interests in environmental influences on both drinking behaviour and nutrition, and this interest extends also to non-communicable diseases diseases (common mental disorders, colorectal cancer and chronic kidney disease). Prof Moon edits the leading journal Health and Place and is one of the Directors of the Population Health University Strategic Research Group.

Dr. Samantha Cockings’ research focuses on innovative methods for modelling and representing populations in order to understand how the environment influences people’s health. Her work applies spatio-temporal population modelling (via the Population 24/7 project), automated zone design techniques (AZTool) and integrative information systems to understanding of population environmental exposure.

The study of environmental influences on population health extends to the developing world. Dr. Tatem directs several major international mapping projects such as www.worldpop.org.uk, focused on the application of population and urbanization mapping for malaria burden estimation, the dispersal of diseases and their vectors through global transport networks and quantifying population movements in relation to malaria elimination planning. Dr. Carla Pezzulo is involved in mapping projects focusing on poverty and demographic characteristics and mobility patterns of populations in developing countries. She processes various spatial demographic surveys and census datasets to construct high resolution spatial maps to support polio eradication efforts and to tackle poverty. Dr. Wardrop uses Bayesian modelling techniques to synthesise geospatial data on tropical zoonoses in both animals and humans, thereby developing a ‘One Health’ approach that combines animal and human health in an integrated analytical framework. Dr. Wright’s work examines the distribution of population access to safe drinking-water in developing countries with current projects funded by the Natural Environment Research Council and Department for International Development.


One component of the environment, broadly conceived, is the nature of healthcare provision and the PHEW group also examine geographic patterns of healthcare access. In this context, Prof. Martin’s work has examined healthcare access in the context of public transport systems and out of hours access, whilst Prof. Moon has published extensively on the catchment geography of UK primary care. Measuring inequality in health outcomes is a central component of population health and is thus also a focus area for the group.

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