My Research

My research centres on social justice and health, and seeks to identify and understand various social, political and physical mechanisms operating at a range of geographical scales that establish and perpetuate spatial inequalities in health. Working at the intersection of human geography, public health and epidemiology, I have particular interests in unhealthy commodities (e.g. tobacco, alcohol), environmental justice and health (e.g. air pollution and multiple environmental deprivation), and macro-level health-related processes (e.g. social and economic inequality). In 2016 completed a book for the Wiley RGS-IBG Book Series ‘Smoking Geographies: Space, Place and Tobacco’ (with G Moon, L Twigg, L Thompson and R Barnett).  More recently I have published two books with colleagues from Canada entitled COVID-19 and Similar Futures: Pandemic Geographies (2021) and Routledge Handbook of Health Geography (2018). 

I have completed a number of funded projects that have sought to appreciate the role of the physical and built environments in influencing inequalities in health status. Current and recent funded projects include:

  • 2021-24 Artificial Intelligence & Multimorbidity: Clustering in Individuals, Space & Clinical Context. (B Guthrie ( PI). Funded by NIHR for £3.9m.
  • 2021-23 Neighbourhood differentials in tobacco pricing across England, Wales and Scotland. (J Pearce (PI), N Shortt, AS Brennan, D Gillespie, C Angus). Funded by CRUK, £101,000.
  • 2020-22 Lifecourse of Place: how environments throughout life can support healthy ageing. (J Pearce (PI), N Shortt, C Ward Thompson, I Deary, S Cox). Funded by the ESRC for £298,000. ES/T003669/1.
  • 2019-24 Shaping Public hEalth poliCies To Reduce ineqUalities and harm (SPECTRUM) (L Bauld (PI). Funded by UKPRP for £5.9m. MR/S037519/1
  • 2019-22 Change in alcohol and tobacco availability, population health and the lived experience (N Shortt (PI), J Pearce, R Mitchell, C Emslie, T Clemens). Funded by the ESRC for £749,009. ES/T003669/1.
  • 2018-19 Recession and Mental Health in Scotland: Do Personal or Community Factors promote Resilience to Labour Market Change? (J Pearce (PI), C Dibben, C Bambra, N Cunningham). Funded by the ESRC for 152,964. ES/P008585/1
  • 2018 To determine whether cigarette price differs between areas of high and low density. (J Pearce, N Shortt) Funded by NHS Health Scotland for £15,820.
  • 2018 Tobacco retailing in children and vulnerability to smoking (J Pearce, N Shortt) Funded by NHS Health Scotland for £23,487.
  • 2017-18 Modelling historical air pollution and dementia/cognitive decline – towards a life course approach. (T Russ (PI), S Reiss, T Clemens, C Dibben, J Pearce, R Agius, U Dragosits, S Tomlinson, E Carnell, S Reis, M van Tongeren, M Vieno, R Beck). Funded by NERC for £56,518. NE/P010849/1.
  • 2016-20 Methodologies and Data mining techniques for the analysis of Big Data based on Longitudinal Population and Epidemiological Registers (LONGPOP). Funded by Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Framework Programme, Training networks for €3,860,725 (J Pearce, C Dibben leading UoE component: €546,575)
  • 2013-18 Administrative Data Research Centre – Scotland (ADLS-S). Funded by ESRC for £6,485,292 (with C Dibben (PI) J Pearce et al.) ES/L007487/1
  • 2013-16 The policy challenges of tobacco control: Implications for public and global health. Funded by ESRC (Research Seminars Competition) for £29,763 (J Collin (PI) A Amos, L Bauld, M de Andrade, G Hastings, S Hill, C Holden, J Pearce, C Rooke, K Smith).
  • 2013-16 Mobility, Mood and Place: a user-centred approach to design of built environments to make mobility easy, enjoyable and meaningful for older people. Funded by EPSRC for £1,273,657 (C Ward Thompson (PI), J Roe, I Deary, I Scott, J Pearce, R Coyne, P Aspinall, G Mead, N Shortt, A Tinker and N Thin). EP/K037404/1.
  • 2013 Geographical inequalities in air pollution in the EU. Funded by British Heart Foundation for £22,982 (J Pearce, N Shortt, R Mitchell).
  • 2012-15 Scottish Health and Ethnicity linkage study (SHELS): Examining inequalities in all mortality all hospitalisation infectious and parasitic disease injury and  poisoning and bowel screening. Funded by Chief Scientist’s Office for £235,000 (with R. Bhopal (PI), C Fischbacher, J Pearce, A Sheikh, C Povey).
  • 2012-15 Designing and managing forests for health. ESRC-Scottish Government PhD Studentship. £60,000 (J Pearce (PI), C Ward Thompson, N Shortt).
  • 2012-17 Determining the Impact of Smoking Point of Sale Legislation Among Youth (DISPLAY) Study. Funded by NIHR for £1,543,345 (S Haw (PI), A Amos, D Eadie, J Pearce, M Stead, W van der Sluijs). 10/3000/07.
  • 2012-3 Youth tobacco and alcohol environments in Scotland and the relationship with risky behaviours for £52,850 (N Shortt (PI), J Pearce, R Mitchell, J Mooney).
  • 2011-16 Physical Built Environments and Health Inequalities Funded by European Research Council for €1,399,570 (J Pearce (PI), N Shortt, R Mitchell). ERC-2010-StG Grant 263501 PHYBEHI.
  • 2011-14 Air pollution and weather-related health impacts: methodological study based on spatio-temporally disaggregated multi-pollutant models. Funded by Environmental Exposures & Health Initiative (NERC, MRC ESRC, Department of Health, and Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs) for £1,800,000 (P. Wilkinson (PI), R. Doherty, M Heal, M Davies, J Pearce, I Beverland, I Ridley, D Mumovic). NE/I007849/1.

Contact Details

Professor Jamie Pearce
Professor of Health Geography
Centre for Research on Environment Society and Health (CRESH)
Institute of Geography
School of GeoSciences
University of Edinburgh
Drummond Street

Tel: + 44 131 650 2294
Fax: + 44 131 650 2524