Informing and shaping public policy on environment and health is a critical interface in linking knowledge with action to improve health. Physical activity, community engagement, work-life balance and diet are critical determinants of health that are influenced by public policy in the areas of planning, transportation, and food safety and supply. With an increasingly urban population, research on the influence of urban design (walk-ability, open spaces, time-space management) on community formation and well-being are key areas that NUI Galway is well placed to contribute to.


Sub-theme Leader:

Prof. Kevin Leyden

School of Political Science & Sociology, Whitaker Institute Member

+353 (0)91 492848


Professor Leyden’s teaching and research interests include social capital, public policy, public opinion, elections, interest groups, health policy, energy policy, land-use & transportation planning and issues of sustainable development. His research has been published in the American Journal of Public Health, Environmental Health Perspectives, The British Journal of Political Science, Political Research Quarterly, Legislative Studies Quarterly, American Politics Quarterly, American Journal of Health Promotion, American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Presidential Studies Quarterly, and Policy Studies Journal, among others. His current research focuses primarily on the relationship between the community design, social capital, health, and climate change.


Prof. Barry is the Director of the Health Promotion Research Centre at NUI Galway. She has published widely in mental health promotion and works closely with policymakers and practitioners on the development, implementation and evaluation of mental health promotion interventions and policies at national and international level. Her research interests include mental health promotion; evidence-based practice and evaluation research in health promotion; public perceptions of mental health and health inequalities; community mental health; capacity building and health promotion competencies.

Ann Marie Crosse

EcoHealth Officer, Health Promotion Department , HSE West, Letterkenny.

+353 (0)74 9109114


Ann Marie Crosse is the first Eco-Health Promotion Officer in the Health Service Executive and is based in Health Promotion, Letterkenny, (HSE West Donegal). Her role involves driving eco-health policy and practice within the public sector and communities. Her main interests include building interconnections between health, the environment and the economy. She believes a healthy planet leads to healthy people and that joined up thinking is crucial to creating positive and sustainable change to the wellbeing of people and the world around us. Her current work includes the relationship between the ecosystem, the natural environment, health and sustainable development, ecological based approachs to health and sustainable development and community development approaches to developing healthy sustainable communities.

Dr. Su-Ming Khoo

School of Political Science & Sociology

+353 (0)91 493643


Current research interests include contested meanings of development and globalization; development alternatives from the perspectives of sustainability, rights and citizenship; The Right to Development and Right to Health; global citizenship, public advocacy and public goods; development education and the globalization(s) of higher education.

Prof. Murphy’s research, largely quantitative and always collaborative, addresses chronic disease management and professional practice in the community.He was principal investigator of the Health Research Board (HRB) funded five year research programme on the provision of secondary cardiac care in the community which is the largest non-pharmaceutical trial ever conducted on the island of Ireland. He is currently enjoying collaborative work looking at antimicrobial resistance in the community.

Dr. Diarmuid O’Donovan

Health Promotion and Director of Public Health HSE West

+353 (0)91 493923


Dr. O’Donovan is Senior Lecturer in Social & Preventive Medicine at NUI Galway and Director of Public Health in the Health Service Executive (HSE West, Galway). He is a Project Leader in the Health Promotion Research Centre. His research interests include equity in health, health policy, communicable disease control and environmental health, health and human rights, and global health and development.