Dr Ben Wheeler Senior Research Fellow

Dr Wheeler‘s main research interest is the interplay between environment, socio-economic status and public health, with particular regard to health inequalities and informing health and environmental policy.

Key methodologies include the application of Geographic Information Systems and spatial analysis to study these issues and the use of large, national and international secondary datasets. He is also interested in methods that apply Global Positioning System (GPS) and other technologies in the study of environment and health and wellbeing.

Dr Wheeler works with Prof Michael Depledge, Dr Mat White and others in a group carrying out research on nature, health and wellbeing, investigating the potentially positive effects of natural environments on population health. He also works with collaborators in the European Centre, across the University of Exeter, and at other institutions to apply geographical methods to the investigation of a wide variety of environmental impacts on health.

Dr Wheeler is a member of the Society for Social Medicine and the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology, and is module lead for the Environmental Science and Sustainable Practice module of the MSc in Environment and Human Health

Recent research projects include:

  • Beyond Greenspace: linking ecological, socioeconomic and health data to deepen our understanding of relationships between nature, health and wellbeing (ESRC ES/K002872/1)
  • Proximity to the coast – relationships with physical activity and mental health
  • Investigating the effects of radon on skin cancer
  • Bottom-up Climate Adaptation Strategies towards a Sustainable Europe (BASE) – investigating climate change effects on mental health (FP7)
  • Systematic review of the role of biodiversity on promoting good health and wellbeing
  • Personal and Environmental Associations with Children‘s Health (the PEACH project), at the University of Bristol (NPRI/WCRF)
  • Geographical analysis of general practice (GP) data, including investigating the geographies of mental health

Dr Wheeler is an ASPIRE Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, you can find out more here and follow Dr Wheeler on Twitter here

Key recent publications include:

Wheeler, BW, Allen, J, Depledge, MH and Curnow, A (2012) Radon and skin cancer in south west England: an ecological study. Epidemiology 23 (1) http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/EDE.0b013e31823b6139

Lachowycz, K, Jones, AP, Page, AS, Wheeler, BW, Cooper, AR (Online 1/2012) What can global positioning systems tell us about the contribution of different types of urban greenspace to children’s physical activity? Health & Place http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.healthplace.2012.01.006

Wheeler, BW, Cooper, AR, Page, AS, Jago, R, (2010) Greenspace and children’s physical activity: a GPS/GIS analysis of PEACH project. Prev. Med. 51(2):148-52 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ypmed.2010.06.001