• Room 02.015 - Clinical Science B

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Prof Hunter has opportunities available to get involved in two core programmes of research:
- Application of systems-thinking and complexity science approaches, for example, network analysis, agent-based modelling, for NCD prevention
- Investigating the impact of the urban environment on health


Research activity per year

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Personal profile

Research Interests

My work primarily involves investigating how we can improve our urban environment for better population health and planetary health. I am particularly interested in research at the intersection of public health and planetary health. My work involves the application of systems-thinking and complexity science methods, as well as social network analysis, causal inference and computer vision methods. I have secured > £12M in research grants from the UKPRP, NIHR, MRC, ESRC and GCRF-British Council.

Current research projects include:

- Director, WHO Collaborating Centre for research and training on complex systems and network science for Noncommunicable Disease (NCD) prevention and control

- UKPRP GroundsWell Consortium which applies systems science to maximise the contribution of Urban Green and Blue Space to the primary prevention of, and reduction of inequalities in, non communicable diseases (NCD) in urban settings. Find out more here - https://www.qub.ac.uk/sites/groundswell/; @GroundswellCon

- SPACE project (funded by the ESRC) to investigate the impacts, and possible mechanistic pathways, of urban environments on healthy
ageing and cognitive health, through the novel integration of multi-omics,
lifestyle behaviour and environmental exposures from urban environments, to ensure that we create healthy active places
that are supportive, attractive and accessible to people as they age. Find out more here: https://www.qub.ac.uk/sites/space/ ; @spacequb

- Development of systems-oriented interventions to reduce car dependency in Belfast (funded by MRC PHIND). Find out more here: https://www.qub.ac.uk/sites/cardep/ 

- A vision of healthy urban design for NCD prevention (funded by UKRI and NHMRC) focuses on generating new evidence from the application of state-of-the art computer vision techniques for analysing urban form and connecting this information to measures of population health. Digital technologies will be used to generate evidence and create tools to support urban planners, working with the health sector, to design urban spaces that improve public health, rather than cause health problems. Find out more here: https://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/CentreforPublicHealth/News/AvisionofhealthyurbandesignforNCDprevention.html

Membership: I am a member of the Public Health Research funding panel for the NIHR and the MRC Public Health Intervention Development (PHIND) panel. I am a member of the WHO expert panel on urban green space interventions, Non Communicable Disease prevention, Health and the SDGs and other aspects of urban environment and health, and an executive board member for WHO Belfast Healthy Cities and Connswater Community Greenway Trust.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


Dive into the research topics where Ruth Hunter is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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