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20102020

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Personal profile

Particulars

Leandro Garcia joined the Centre for Public Health, Queen’s University Belfast, in 2019 as a Lecturer in Complexity Science in Public Health. He is an expert in the application of systems thinking and complex systems science in public health, and in the intersection between physical activity behaviour and health. His research combines epidemiological and systems-oriented approaches and methods to understanding behavioural, environmental, social, and policy determinants of population health.

Leandro holds a DSc from University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. He conducted postdoctoral research at the National School of Public Health, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Brazil, and MRC Epidemiology Unit, University of Cambridge.

He is co-chair of the Public Policy Working Group and member of the Environment and Physical Activity Working Group from the Brazilian Society of Physical Activity and Health.

Research Focus

Leandro has two main research focus:

1) Development and application of systems thinking and complexity science lens and methods to public health issues, including but not limited to health-related behaviour, upstream determinants of non-communicable diseases, urban health, and health inequalities.

2) Physical activity and population health, with particular interest in the dynamic interactions between the multiple determinants and consequences of physical activity behaviour, how these interactions shape population levels and inequalities in physical activity, and the resulting public health and societal impacts.

Research Statement

Leandro is Co-Principal Investigator in two research projects:

- A vision of healthy urban design for NCD prevention: in partnership with University of Melbourne and funded by UKRI and NHMRC, this 3-year project (2020 to 2023) aims to explore the relation between urban design, non-communicable diseases risk factors and outcomes, and health inequalities in cities across the UK and Australia. We will combine epidemiological, computer vision, artificial intelligence, and comparative risk assessment methods, and develop a web-based, interactive toolkit for action to help inform future policies and lead to powerful, actionable changes in cities.

- Developing system-oriented interventions to reduce car dependency for improved population health in Belfast: funded by MRC, this 18-month project (2020 to 2022) aims to co-develop sustainable and scalable systems-oriented interventions at the intersection of policy and environmental infrastructure and individual agency to reduce car dependency for improved population health in the Belfast City Region. Our project is organised upon 3 pillars: 1) understanding the multiple layers that shape car dependency in Belfast; 2) synthesizing evidence and knowledge of what has worked in other cities; 3) developing a shared vision and co-ordinate innovative actions with stakeholders to reduce car use in Belfast.

He is also Co-Investigator in a population-based prospective cohort designed to investigate the relationship between built environment, physical activity, and nutritional status in Brazilian adults, led by Professor Alex Florindo, from University of Sao Paulo.

Leandro has acted as expert advisor for various international and national organizations, including the Pan-American Health Organization, World Health Organization, United Nations Development Programme, C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, Brazilian Ministry of Health, and Colombian Ministry of Health and Social Protection. Some of these works are:

- Update of the guidelines on physical activity and sedentary behaviour, commissioned by World Health Organization.

- Development of Brazilian guidelines for physical activity, commissioned by Brazilian Ministry of Health.

- Update of the Colombian guidelines for physical activity, commissioned by Pan-American Health Organization and Colombian Ministry of Health and Social Protection.

- Health impacts of transportation choices and alternative scenarios in Accra, Ghana, commissioned by World Health Organization.

- Guidance on modelling methods and choice of data for modelling health impacts of walking and cycling policies and scenarios, commissioned by C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group.

Teaching

Leandro contributes to the master courses offered by the Centre for Public Health and undergraduate courses from the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences.

He currently supervises two PhD students: Abdullah Alsarrani on the association between friendship network and mental well-being in adolescents, and Mariam Mansouri on the investigation of COVID-19 prevention and control from a system dynamics perspective (co-supervisor). He also supervises MPH, MSc, and BSc dissertations.

Enquiries from prospective students are welcome in any of the research areas listed in the "Research Focus" section above.

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Research Output

A systematic review of empirical and simulation studies evaluating the health impact of transportation interventions

Stankov, I., Garcia, L., Mascolli, M. A., Montes, F., Meisel, J. D., Gouveia, N., Sarmiento, O. L., Rodriguez, D., Hammond, R., Caiaffa, W. & Roux, A. V. D., 23 Apr 2020, In : Environmental Research. 186, 109519.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
File
1 Citation (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)
Open Access
File
1 Citation (Scopus)
42 Downloads (Pure)

Exploring the emergence and evolution of population patterns of leisure-time physical activity through agent-based modelling

Garcia, L. M. T., Diez Roux, A. V., Martins, A. C. R., Yang, Y. & Florindo, A. A., 19 Nov 2018, In : International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. 15, 13 p., 112.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
File
  • 1 Citation (Scopus)
    90 Downloads (Pure)

    Development of a dynamic framework to explain population patterns of leisure-time physical activity through agent-based modeling

    Garcia, L. M. T., Diez Roux, A. V., Martins, A. C. R., Yang, Y. & Florindo, A. A., 22 Aug 2017, In : International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. 14, 1, 111.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
    File
  • 6 Citations (Scopus)
    5 Downloads (Pure)

    Prizes

    American Journal of Preventive Medicine’s best paper of 2016

    Garcia, Leandro (Recipient), Jun 2017

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

    Brazilian Journal of Physical Activity and Health’s best papers of 2012-13

    Garcia, Leandro (Recipient), Oct 2013

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

    Early career fellowship

    Garcia, Leandro (Recipient), 2016

    Prize: Fellowship awarded competitively

    Activities

    Update of the World Health Organization guidelines for physical activity for youth, adults, and older adults

    Leandro Garcia (Advisor)

    20192020

    Activity: Consultancy typesContribution to the work of national or international committees and working groups

    Development of Brazilian guidelines for physical activity

    Leandro Garcia (Advisor)

    20192020

    Activity: Consultancy typesContribution to the work of national or international committees and working groups

    Update of the Colombian guidelines for physical activity

    Leandro Garcia (Advisor)

    2016

    Activity: Consultancy typesContribution to the work of national or international committees and working groups

    Development of guidelines for establishing and consolidating the Colombian Healthy Cities Network

    Leandro Garcia (Advisor)

    2016

    Activity: Consultancy typesContribution to the work of national or international committees and working groups

    Complexity science applied to public health

    Leandro Garcia (Invited speaker)

    2020

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation