Contacts

Associate Professor Thomas Astell-Burt Thomas Astell-Burt

Associate Professor in Public and Population Health
PhD, MSc, BA Hons


Email: thomasab@uow.edu.au
Phone: +61 2 4221 5081

BACKGROUND

Thomas Astell-Burt is the Associate Professor in Public and Population Health in the School of Health and Society at the University of Wollongong (UOW). Astell-Burt earned his PhD from the University of St Andrews and has held postdoctoral fellowships with the Medical Research Council’s Social and Public Health Sciences Unit and the National Heart Foundation of Australia.

Astell-Burt’s research is located at the interface between population, wellbeing and environmental studies using a range of quantitative approaches (e.g. multilevel modelling, longitudinal data analysis, Geographic Information Systems). His recent work has involved analysing sources of health, demographic and spatial data to enhance understandings of how where people live shapes their health, lifestyles and wellbeing.

Astell-Burt is leading an NHMRC-funded research project which focuses on diabetes prevention and care (APP1101065). He is also working on several projects with The Australian Prevention Partnership Centre and China’s National Center for Chronic and Non-communicable Disease Control and Prevention in the areas of neighbourhood liveability, non-communicable disease risk factors and population health geo-surveillance.

Prospective interns, Honours, Masters and PhD students, as well as Postdoctoral scholars and Career Development Fellows in any area of Public and Population Health are encouraged to contact A/Prof Astell-Burt via email. Domestic and international candidates with a background in Urban Planning, Public Health, Geography, Statistics and/or Geographic Information Systems are particularly welcome.


CURRENT PROJECTS

  • ‘Communicating Prevention’ – a research collaboration with the Menzies Centre for Health Policy (University of Sydney) and The Australian Prevention Partnership Centre (the Sax Institute)
  • ‘Transitions and Tipping Points’ – research involving analyses of the 45 and Up Study, HILDA and LSAC to identify areas for social policy interventions
  • ‘Diabetes Care and Built Environment’ – NHMRC-funded research exploring features of built environment that enhance or undercut diabetes care
  • ‘Greening for Healthy Ageing’ – research collaborations with the Western Sydney Parklands Trust and Park and Leisure Australia on the potential of green spaces (e.g. parks) for preventing disability and promoting healthy ageing
  • ‘Mapping food Environments in Australian Localities’ (MEAL) – a project in collaboration with Western Sydney Primary Health Network which examines the whereabouts of ‘food deserts’ in Australia
  • ‘Population Health in China’ – analyses of national health, risk factor and mortality data with the China Center for Disease Control and Prevention

 

RESPONSIBILITIES

  • The Western Sydney Diabetes Prevention and Management Initiative Steering Committee (member).
  • NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in Healthy Liveable Communities, University of Melbourne (Early Career Investigator)
  • Kildare Road Medical Centre Research Steering Committee (member)
  • Centre for Western Sydney Steering Committee – Western Sydney University (Member).


HDR STUDENTS

Current

As lead supervisor

  • Faysal Shuvo: ‘Enhancing resource allocation for the promotion of active ageing through geodemographic classification and design of green spaces: international studies in the cities of Sydney, Singapore and Dhaka.’ PhD candidate, UOW International Postgraduate Research Scholarship. Commenced in 2015 (currently ongoing).

 

As co-supervisor

  • Rhiannon White: ‘Domain-Specific Physical Activity and Subjective Well-Being in Adolescents: Understanding the Role of Self-Determined Motivation.’ PhD, Australian Postgraduate Award. Commenced in 2013 (currently ongoing).
  • Katherine Owen: ‘Active Engagement? The Relationship Between Adolescents’ Physical Activity and School Engagement.’ PhD, Australian Postgraduate Award. Commenced in 2013 (currently ongoing).
  • Paul Fahey: ‘Relationship between pre-diagnosis lifestyle and duration of cancer survival.’ PhD. Commenced in 2012 (currently ongoing).
  • Hosamaldien M Kamel: ‘Are socio-economic and dietary determinants of oral health modified by mental health status?’ MPhil. Commenced in 2015 (currently ongoing).


PREVIOUS

As lead supervisor

  • Taren Sanders: ‘Investigating Associations between Neighbourhood Green Space and Weight Status: A Longitudinal Study of Australian Children Aged 4 to 13 Years Old.’ PhD, Australian Postgraduate Award. Submitted in 2015.
  • Melissa Dunshea: ‘Neighbourhood Green Space and Childhood Mental Health in Australia.’ Honours thesis completed in 2014, receiving ‘High Distinction’ grade.

 

As co-supervisor

  • Aymen El Masri: ‘Physical activity, sedentary time, and cardiovascular disease among Lebanese-Australian adults: A cross-sectional study.’ Honours thesis completed in 2015, receiving ‘High Distinction’ grade.
  • Horia Razban: ‘Investigation of the relationship between the neighbourhood environment and young children’s (2-5 years) physical activity: findings from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children.’ Honours thesis completed in 2015, receiving ‘High Distinction’ grade.

 

 

PUBLICATIONS

  1. Astell-Burt T, Zhang, M. Feng, X. Wang, L. Li, Y. Page, A. Zhou, M. Wang, L. Geographic variation and correlates of tobacco smoking, second-hand smoke exposure, workplace tobacco prohibition, and pro- and counter-tobacco advertising in mainland China: multilevel evidence from 98,058 participants. The Lancet. 2015. Accepted 18 September. (Impact Factor: 45.217)
  2. Astell-Burt T, Feng X, Kolt GS, Jalaludin B. More area-level crime, more sitting and less active? Longitudinal evidence from 37,162 Australians. American Journal of Epidemiology. 2015. Accepted 1 December. (Impact Factor: 5.23)
  3. Feng, X. Liu, Y. Astell-Burt, T. Yin, P. Page, A. Liu, S. Liu, J. Wang, L. Zhou, M. Analysis of health service amenable and non-amenable mortality before and since China’s expansion of health coverage in 2009. BMJ Open. 2015. Accepted 27 November (Impact Factor 2.27)
  4. Astell-Burt T, Feng X. The influence of urban form on mental health. An evidence check commissioned by NSW Ministry of Health. Centre for Population Health, Sydney.
  5. Parker PD, Jerrim J, Anders J, Astell-Burt, T. Does Living Closer to a University Increase Educational Attainment? A Longitudinal Study of Aspirations, University Entry, and Elite University Enrolment of Australian Youth. Journal of youth and adolescence, Accepted on 29 October (Impact Factor: 2.27)
  6. Astell-Burt T, Feng X, Kolt GS. Large-scale investment in green space as an intervention for physical activity, mental and cardiometabolic health: Study protocol for a quasi-experimental evaluation of a natural experiment. BMJ Open. 2015. Accepted on 10 September (Impact Factor: 2.27)
  7. Astell-Burt T, Feng X. Geographic inequity in healthy food environment and type 2 diabetes: can we please turn off the tap? Medical Journal of Australia. 2015. 203(6): 246-248 (Impact Factor: 4.09)
  8. Astell-Burt, T. Liu, Y. Feng, X. Yin, P. Page, A. Liu, S. Liu, J. Wang, L. Zhou, M. Health reform and mortality in China: Multilevel time-series analysis of regional and socioeconomic inequities in a sample of 73 million. Scientific Reports. 2015. 5: 15038 (Impact Factor 5.578)
  9. Sanders, T. Feng, X. Fahey, P. Lonsdale, C. Astell-Burt T. The influence of neighbourhood green space on children’s physical activity and screen time: findings from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. 2015. 12: 126. (Impact Factor: 4.11)
  10. Astell-Burt T, Feng X. Investigating ‘place effects’ on mental health: implications for population-based studies in psychiatry. Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences. 2015. 26: 1-11. (Impact Factor: 2.5)
  11. Olson, R. Klupp, N. Astell-Burt, T. Reimagining health professional socialisation: An interactionist study of interprofessional education. Health Sociology Review. 2015. Accepted on 8 August. (Impact Factor: 0.456)
  12. Astell-Burt T, Feng X, Kolt GS, Jalaludin B. Does rising crime lead to increasing distress? Longitudinal analysis of a natural experiment with dynamic objective neighbourhood measures. Social Science and Medicine. 2015. 138:68-73. (Impact Factor: 3.69)
  13. Astell-Burt T, Feng X, Kolt GS. Identification of the impact of crime on physical activity depends upon neighbourhood scale: multilevel evidence from 203,883 Australians. Health and Place. 2015. 31: 120-123 (Impact Factor: 3.0)
  14. Salvador-Carulla L, Fernandez A, Astell-Burt T, Feng X, Gillespie J, Smith-Merry J. Recovery in Mental Health in Western Sydney: Use of the Integrated Atlas of Care for context analysis and planning. International Journal of Integrated Care. 2015. 15: 5. (Impact Factor: 1.26)
  15. Zhou M*, Astell-Burt T*, Yin P, Feng X, Page A, Liu Y, Liu J, Li Y, Liu S, Wang L, Wang L, Wang L. Spatiotemporal variation in diabetes mortality in China: multilevel evidence from 2006 and 2012. BMC Public Health. 2015. 15: 633. (Impact Factor: 2.943) *joint first author – all efforts equally shared between joint first authors
  16. Liu S, Page A, Yin P, Astell-Burt T, Feng X, Liu Y, Liu J, Wang L, Zhou M. Spatiotemporal variation and social determinants of suicide in China, 2006–2012: findings from a nationally representative mortality surveillance system. Psychological Medicine. 2015. 45(15): 3259-3268. (Impact Factor: 6.159)
  17. Guo K, Yin P, Wang L, Ji Y, Li Q, Bishai D, Liu S, Liu Y, Astell-Burt T, Feng X, You J, Liu J, Zhou M. Propensity score weighting for addressing under-reporting in mortality surveillance: a proof-of-concept study using the nationally representative mortality data in China. Population Health Metrics. 2015. 13: 16. (Impact Factor: 3.35)
  18. Yin P, Feng X, Astell-Burt T, Page A, Liu Y, Liu J, Li Y, Liu S, Wang L, Wang L, Zhou M, Wang L. Spatiotemporal variations in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease mortality in China: multilevel evidence from 2006 to 2012. COPD: Journal Of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. 2015. In press. (Impact Factor: 2.943)
  19. Salvador-Carulla L, Fernandez A, Astell-Burt T, Feng X, Gillespie J, Smith-Merry J. The Integrated Atlas of Mental Health Services in Western Sydney. A report for WentWest Ltd, the Western Sydney Primary Health Network.
  20. Fahey PP, Mallitt KA, T Astell-Burt T, Stone G, Whiteman DC. Impact of pre-diagnosis behavior on risk of death from esophageal cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Cancer Causes & Control. 2015. 26(10):1365-73. (Impact Factor: 2.735)
  21. Merom, D. Gebel, K. Fahey, P. Astell-Burt, T. Voukelatos, A. Rissel, C. Sherrington, C. Neighborhood walkability, fear and risk of falling and response to walking promotion: The Easy Steps to Health 12-month randomized controlled trial. Preventive Medicine Reports. 2015. In press. (Impact Factor: not assigned)
  22. Sanders T, Feng X, Fahey P, Lonsdale C, Astell-Burt T. Green space and child weight status: does outcome measurement matter? Evidence from an Australian longitudinal study. Journal of Obesity. 2015. 138:68-73. (Impact Factor: not assigned)
  23. Harding S, Whitrow M, Lenguerrand E, Molaodi O, Enayat A, Cassidy A, Astell-Burt T, Maynard M, Teyhan A. Determinants of young Adult Social well-being and Health (DASH) study: diversity, psychosocial determinants and health. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology. 2015. 50(8): 1173-1188. (Impact Factor: 2.575)
  24. Fernandez A, Black J, Jones M, Wilson L, Astell-Burt T, Black D. Flooding and mental health: a systematic mapping review. PLoS One. 2015. 10(4): e0119929. (Impact Factor: 4.3)
  25. Sanders T, Feng X, Fahey P, Lonsdale C, Astell-Burt T. Greener neighbourhoods, slimmer children? Evidence from 4423 participants aged 6 to 13 years in the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children. International Journal of Obesity. 2015. 39(8):1224-9. (Impact Factor: 5.22)
  26. Hunter RF, Christian H, Veitch J, Astell-Burt T, Hipp A, Schipperijn J. The Impact of Interventions to Promote Physical Activity in Urban Green Space: A Systematic Review and Recommendations for Future Research. Social Science & Medicine. 2015. 124: 246-256 (Impact Factor: 3.6)
  27. Astell-Burt T, Feng X, Kolt GS, McLean M, Maberly G. Understanding geographical inequities in diabetes: Multilevel evidence from 114,755 adults in Sydney, Australia. Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice. 2014. 106(3): e68-e73 (Impact Factor: 2.8)
  28. Kolt GS, Astell-Burt T, Feng X. The impact of neighbourhood crime on physical activity: Evidence from 203,883 Australians. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport. 2014; 18:e147–e148. (Impact Factor: 2.90)
  29. White R, Lubans D, Parker P, Astell-Burt T, Lonsdale C. The Motivation for Active Travel to School Survey (MATSS): Instrument development and initial validity evidence. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport. 2014; 18:e51–e52. (Impact Factor: 2.90)
  30. Giles-Corti B, Badland H, Mavoa S, Turrell G, Bull F, Boruff B, Pettit C, Redman S, Bauman A, Hooper P, Villanueva K, Astell-Burt T, Feng X, et al. Reconnecting urban planning with preventive public health policy: The development and validation of national liveability indicators associated with chronic disease risk factors and health outcomes. Public Health Research and Practice. 2014. 25: 1 (No impact factor)
  31. Zhou M*, Astell-Burt T*, Bi Y, Feng X, et al. Geographical variation in diabetes prevalence and detection in China: multilevel spatial analysis of 98,058 adults. Diabetes Care. 2015. 38: 172-181 (Impact Factor: 8.6) *joint first author – all efforts equally shared between joint first authors
  32. Mavoa S, Koohsari MJ, Badland HM, Davern M, Feng X, Astell-Burt T, Giles-Corti B. Area-level disparities in proximity to and quantity of public open space in metropolitan Melbourne. Urban Policy and Research. 2014. In press (Impact Factor: 0.57)
  33. Feng X, Astell-Burt T, Kolt GS. Is an index of co-occurring unhealthy lifestyles suitable for understanding migrant health? Preventive Medicine. 2014. 69C: 172-175 (Impact Factor: 4.26)
  34. Astell-Burt T, Feng X. Food deserts in Western Sydney: a report to the Western Sydney Diabetes Prevention and Management Initiative. The Western Sydney Primary Health Network, Blacktown.
  35. Astell-Burt T, Feng X, Kolt GS, Jalaludin B. Identifying the impact of local crime on mental health: a longitudinal fixed effects analysis. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. 2014. 68: S1: A43-A43 (Impact Factor: 3.19)
  36. Feng X, Jiang Y, Astell-Burt T, et al. Body mass index and socio-economic circumstances in China: people and places matter. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. 2014. 68: S1: A25-A25 (Impact Factor: 3.19)
  37. Astell-Burt T, Feng X. Geographic and general practice variation in diabetes risk in Western Sydney: a report to the Western Sydney Diabetes Prevention and Management Initiative. The Western Sydney Primary Health Network, Blacktown.
  38. Astell-Burt T, Feng X, Badland HM, Mavoa S, Giles-Corti B. Do low-income neighbourhoods have the least green space? A cross-sectional study of Australia’s most populous cities. BMC Public Health. 2014. 14: 292 (Impact Factor: 2.32)
  39. Astell-Burt T, Mitchell R, Hartig T. The association between green space and mental health varies across the lifecourse. A longitudinal study. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. 2014. 68: 578-583 (Impact Factor: 3.19)
  40. Astell-Burt T, Feng X, Kolt, GS. Is neighbourhood green space associated with a lower risk of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus? Evidence from 267,072 Australians. Diabetes Care. 2014. 37(1): 197-201. (Impact Factor: 8.6)
  41. Astell-Burt T, Feng X, Kolt, GS. Greener neighbourhoods, slimmer people? International Journal of Obesity. 2014. 38(1): 156-159. (Impact Factor: 5.22)
  42. Astell-Burt T, Feng X, Kolt, GS. Green space is associated with walking and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) in middle-to-older aged adults. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 2014. 48(5): 404-406. (Impact Factor: 3.67)
  43. Zhang J, Astell-Burt T, Seo D-C, Feng X, et al. Multilevel evaluation of ‘China Healthy Lifestyles for All’, a nationwide initiative to promote lower intakes of salt and edible oil. Preventive Medicine. 2014. 67: 210-215 (Impact Factor: 4.26)
  44. Astell-Burt T, Feng X, Kolt GS. Neighbourhood green space and the odds of having skin cancer: Multilevel evidence of survey data from 267,072 Australians. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. 2014. 68: 370-374. (Impact Factor: 3.19)
  45. Kolt GS, Feng X, Astell-Burt T. Ethnic And Country-of-birth Differences In Co-occurring Unhealthy Lifestyles: Findings From 190,028 Australians. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 2014. 46: 5: 783-783 (Impact Factor: 4.48)
  46. Astell-Burt T. Ethnicity and health in context. Ethnicity and Health. 2013. 18(6): 505-507. (Impact Factor: 1.20)
  47. Astell-Burt T, Feng X, Kolt, GS. Mental health benefits of neighbourhood green space are stronger among physically active adults in middle-to-older age: Evidence from 260,061 Australians. Preventive Medicine. 2013. 57(5): 601-606. (Impact Factor: 4.26)
  48. Astell-Burt T, Maynard MJ, Lenguerrand E, Whitrow MJ, Molaodi OR, Harding S. Effect of air pollution and racism on ethnic differences in respiratory health among adolescents living in an urban environment. Health and Place. 2013. 23: 171-178. (Impact Factor: 3.01)
  49. Astell-Burt T, Feng X, Croteau K, Kolt, GS. Influence of neighbourhood ethnic density, diet and physical activity on ethnic differences in weight status: A study of 214,807 adults in Australia. Social Science and Medicine. 2013. 93: 70-77. (Impact Factor: 3.69)
  50. Feng X, Astell-Burt T. Neighbourhood socioeconomic circumstances and the co-occurrence of unhealthy lifestyles: Evidence from 206,457 Australians in the 45 and Up Study. PLoS One. 2013. 8(8): e72643. (Impact Factor: 3.70)
  51. Astell-Burt T, Feng X, Kolt, GS. Does access to neighbourhood green space promote a healthy duration of sleep? Novel findings from a cross-sectional study of 259,319 Australians. BMJ Open. 2013. 3(8): e003094. (Impact Factor: 2.27)
  52. Owen KB, Astell-Burt T, Lonsdale C. A self-determination theory perspective on the relationship between motivation and physical activity in adolescent boys. Journal of Adolescent Health. 2013. 53(3): 420-422. (Impact Factor: 3.85)
  53. Feng X, Astell-Burt T, Kolt GS. Do social interactions explain ethnic differences in psychological distress and the protective effect of local ethnic density? A cross-sectional study of 226,487 adults in Australia. BMJ Open. 2013. 3: e2713. (Impact Factor: 2.27)
  54. Kolt GS, Astell-Burt T, Feng X. Proximity to Green Space Increases the Propensity for Regular Walking and Physical Activity in Adults. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 2013. 45: 5: 495-495 (Impact Factor: 4.48)
  55. Astell-Burt T, Feng X. Health and the 2008 economic recession: Evidence from the United Kingdom. PLoS One. 2013. 8(2): e56674. (Impact Factor: 3.70)
  56. Astell-Burt T, Maynard MJ, Lenguerrand E, Harding S. Racism, ethnic density and psychological well-being through adolescence: evidence from the Determinants of Adolescent Social well-being and Health longitudinal study. Ethnicity and Health. 2012. 17: 71-87. (Impact Factor: 1.20)
  57. Astell-Burt T, Flowerdew R, Boyle PJ, Dillon JF. Is travel-time to a specialist centre a risk factor for non-referral, nonattendance and loss to follow-up among patients with hepatitis C infection? Social Science & Medicine. 2012. 75(1): 240-247. (Impact: 3.69)
  58. Richardson EA, Mitchell R, de Vries S, Hartig T, Astell-Burt T, Frumkin H. Green cities and health: a question of scale. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. 2012. 66: 160-165. (Impact Factor: 3.19)
  59. Astell-Burt T. Greener neighbourhoods, healthier lives? Evidence from Britain. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport. 2012. 15: S100. (Impact Factor: 2.87)
  60. Mitchell R, Astell-Burt T, Richardson EA. A comparison of green space measures for epidemiological research. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. 2011. 65(10):853-858. (Impact Factor: 3.19)
  61. Astell-Burt T, Maynard MJ, Lenguerrand E, Harding S. Ethnic differences in adolescent mental health trajectories and the influence of racism and context: the (Determinants of Adolescent Social well-being and Health) DASH study. Longitudinal and Life Course Studies. 2011. 2(1): 60. (Impact Factor: Currently Tracking)
  62. Astell-Burt T, Flowerdew R, Boyle PJ, Dillon JF. Does geographic access to primary healthcare influence the detection of hepatitis C? Social Science & Medicine. 2011. 72:1472-1481. (Impact Factor: 3.69)
  63. Astell-Burt T, Maynard MJ, Lenguerrand E, Harding S. Influence of racism and context on ethnic differences in adolescent mental health trajectories: the Determinants of Adolescent Social well-being and Health (DASH) study. Longitudinal and Life Course Studies. 2010. 1(4): 108. (Impact Factor: Currently Tracking)
  64. Astell-Burt T, Flowerdew R, Boyle PJ, Dillon JF. Does the detection of Hepatitis C match the distribution of methadone prescriptions and multiple deprivation in Scotland? Gut. 2008. 57(Suppl 1): A108. (Impact Factor: 13.73)
Last reviewed: 26 May, 2016