culture + environment creating health + wellbeing engaged research

Karyn Morrissey

Centre Academic


I am a Senior Lecturer whose research focuses on understanding the impact of socio-economic and environmental inequalities on health outcomes, using data both big and small.

I’m an economist by background, interested in multi-disciplinary research, particularly the application of spatial and regional analysis to human health and the environment. I’m particularly interested in developing and applying geo-computational models, such as spatial microsimulation and spatial interaction models for health policy analysis. Increasingly frustrated by existing research in population health outcomes, I’m interested in moving away from cross-sectional models – which focus on just one point in time – to a life course analysis based on longitudinal and cohort datasets – which follow people over time.

Highlights of my career to date

Since completing my PhD in December 2008, I have become a truly interdisciplinary and international research leader in Big Data and data linkage techniques. My interdisciplinary background has been forged by time spent across the economic, sociological, political, geographical and health disciplines. More particularly: The Department of Economics at NUIG, where I conducted ground breaking research in Big Data analysis for population health research through my use of advanced data linkage techniques: the Department of Geography and Planning at University of Liverpool, where worked with the East Kent Hospital Trust to develop the first small area dataset of comorbidity for England and with the Medical School in the University of Malaysia to develop a data and statistical framework to examine the impact of climate change in Kuala Lumpar: And, the ECEHH in Exeter University Medical School, where I have worked with the WHO and University College London, among other national and international partners, to develop a coherent set of indicators to measure the impact of climate change on human health. This work resulted in the publication of the ‘The Lancet Countdown: tracking progress on health and climate change’ in the Lancet.

The research I will be undertaking in the Centre

My research interests focus on the use of data for exploring the world around us, particularly in the area of health and environmental inequality. However, I do not believe that our complex world can be simply represented in data and I am interested in working with people to understand the data they create and how data can be used to inform policy for the environment and human health.

Something about me you can’t Google!

My favourite book is Tender is the Night by F.S. Fitzgerald, but my favourite movie is Terminator 2 (go figure!)