• Prior to joining UNH, Aytur completed a postdoctoral fellowship in cardiovascular epidemiology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Her research interests focus on relationships between policy, environment, and systems change to promote healthy behaviors and prevent chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. She is particularly interested in health disparities and in relationships between land use, transportation, and environmental policies which affect access to health- promoting resources. Aytur received a dissertation grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to examine the relationships between land use policies, transportation infrastructure investments, physical activity, and obesity. She also received an award in 2008 from the University of North Carolina Center for Urban and Regional Studies to conduct a community-based participatory research project in a rural African-American community, examining the impact of a local Farmer's Market on health behavior. Additionally, Aytur obtained practical public health experience by working in public health departments in several states, focusing on policies related to healthy eating, active living, and chronic disease prevention. She also has experience working in hospital settings, conducting patient-centered outcomes research. Aytur continues to be involved in collaborative, transdisciplinary projects to examine how policy, environment, and systems change can improve population health.
  • Publications

    Academic Article

    Year Title
    2018 Through the Lens of a Camera Exploring the Meaning of Competitive Sport Participation Among Youth Athletes with DisabilitiesTherapeutic Recreation Journal.  52:95-125. 2018
    2017 Qualitative Exploration of Cross-Sector Perspectives on the Contributions of Local Health Departments in Land-Use and Transportation Policy.Preventing chronic disease.  14:E118. 2017
    2017 A case study characterizing animal fecal sources in surface water using a mitochondrial DNA marker.Environmental Monitoring and Assessment.  189:406. 2017
    2016 Perceptions of youth on health, nutrition, and well-being in their local community: The Somersworth Photovoice ProjectInquiry Journal (UNH)2016
    2016 The Role of Health-Related Community Investing As a Strategy to Promote Active LivingEnvironment and Behavior.  48:89-110. 2016
    2015 The Importance of the "Local" in WalkabilityBuildings.  5:1187-1206. 2015
    2015 Aligning Climate Change Adaptation Planning with Adaptive Governance: Lessons from Exeter, NHJOURNAL OF CONTEMPORARY WATER RESEARCH & EDUCATION.  155:83-98. 2015
    2015 Obesity and cardiometabolic disease risk factors among US adolescents with disabilities.World Journal of Diabetes World Journal of Diabetes.  6:200-207. 2015
    2015 Measuring Physical Activity in Outdoor Community Recreational Environments: Implications for Research, Policy, and Practice.Current Cardiovascular Risk Reports.  9:423. 2015
    2013 Policy, systems, and environmental approaches for obesity prevention: a framework to inform local and state action.Journal of Public Health Management and Practice.  19:S23-S33. 2013
    2013 Spatial and temporal patterns of North Carolina pedestrian and bicycle plans.Journal of Public Health Management and Practice.  19:S83-S88. 2013
    2013 Pedestrian and bicycle plans and the incidence of crash-related injuries.Accident Analysis and Prevention.  50:1252-1258. 2013
    2012 Complexity in built environment, health, and destination walking: a neighborhood-scale analysis.Journal of Urban Health.  89:270-284. 2012
    2012 Exploring a public health perspective on pedestrian planning.Health Promotion Practice.  13:204-213. 2012
    2011 Planning for Pedestrians and Bicyclists: Results From a Statewide Municipal Survey.Journal of Physical Activity and Health.  8:S275-S284. 2011
    2011 Planning for pedestrians and bicyclists: results from a statewide municipal survey.Journal of Physical Activity and Health.  8 Suppl 2:S275-S284. 2011
    2011 Pedestrian and bicycle planning in rural communities: tools for active living.Family and Community Health.  34:173-181. 2011
    2011 Barriers to municipal planning for pedestrians and bicyclists in North Carolina.North Carolina Medical Journal.  72:89-97. 2011
    2011 Health, Transportation, and the Built Environment: Building a Roadmap for Change with Smaller Cities 2011
    2010 Examination of trends and evidence-based elements in state physical education legislation: a content analysis.Journal of School Health.  80:326-332. 2010
    2010 An analysis of state legislation on community trails.Journal of Physical Activity and Health.  7 Suppl 1:S40-S47. 2010
    2010 Master plans for pedestrian and bicycle transportation: community characteristics.Journal of Physical Activity and Health.  7 Suppl 1:S60-S66. 2010
    2010 Addressing pedestrian safety: a content analysis of pedestrian master plans in North Carolina.Traffic Injury Prevention.  11:57-65. 2010
    2009 Physical activity beliefs, barriers, and enablers among postpartum women.Journal of Women's Health.  18:1925-1934. 2009
    2009 Are perceptions about worksite neighborhoods and policies associated with walking?American Journal of Health Promotion.  24:146-151. 2009
    2008 Relation of modifiable neighborhood attributes to walking.Preventive Medicine.  47:260-264. 2008
    2008 The sociodemographics of land use planning: relationships to physical activity, accessibility, and equity.Health and Place.  14:367-385. 2008
    2008 Emergency medical services education, community outreach, and protocols for stroke and chest pain in North Carolina.Prehospital Emergency Care.  12:366-371. 2008
    2008 Urban containment policies and physical activity. A time-series analysis of metropolitan areas, 1990-2002.American Journal of Preventive Medicine.  34:320-332. 2008
    2007 Promoting active community environments through land use and transportation planning.American Journal of Health Promotion.  21:397-407. 2007
    2006 Five-year changes in North Carolina outpatient cardiac rehabilitation.Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and Prevention.  26:366-376. 2006
    2006 Transport implications of urban containment policies: A study of the largest twenty-five US metropolitan areasUrban Studies.  43:1879-1897. 2006
    2004 Effects of a tailored follow-up intervention on health behaviors, beliefs, and attitudes.Journal of Women's Health.  13:557-568. 2004
    1999 PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND DEPRESSION: A PROSPECTIVE ANALYSISMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise Medicine and science in sports.  31:S394-S394. 1999
    1995 ACTIVITY-BASED ASSESSMENT OF SLEEP-WAKE PATTERNS DURING THE 1ST YEAR OF LIFEInfant Behavior and Development.  18:329-337. 1995
    Associationas Between Cognitive Decline Risk Factors, Chronic Pain, and Cardiovascular DiseasePreventive Medicine
    Core Capabilities for Local Health Departments to Engage in Land Use and TransportationAmerican Journal of Preventive Medicine
    Integrated Urban Water Management Applied to Climate Change Adaptation.Urban Climate
    Isotopic profiles of response to seasonal variation and laboratory controlled ocean acidification conditionsMicrobial Ecology
    Motor Programming Treatment of Lexical Stress and segmentation in Childhood Apraxia of SpeechJournal of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
    The PATH to active living: Promoting Access, Transition, and Health for rural veterans in the home/community environment.American Journal of Health Promotion


    Year Title
    Capabilities for Public Health Agency Involvement in Land Use and Transportation Decision Making to Increase Active Transportation Opportunity
    Health, Transportation, and the Built Environment: Building a Roadmap for Change with Smaller Cities
    The impact of public parking fees and fines in U.S. citiesPublic Works Practice Journal


    Year Title
    2014 Health Policy Analysis 2014


    Year Title
    2014 Creating Safe Neighborhoods for Obesity Prevention Perceptions of Urban Youth.  362-369. 2014
    2012 Policy for Physical Activity Promotion.  321-341. 2012

    Conference Proceeding

    Year Title
    2004 Promoting physically active environments through community design: The role of land use and transportation plansMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise Medicine and science in sports. S192-S192. 2004
    Community-based recreational therapy for Veterans with disabilities: Impacts on functioning and quality of life.

    Teaching Activities

  • Environmental Health Taught course 2019
  • Epidemiology&Communty Medicine Taught course 2019
  • Independent Study Taught course 2019
  • Rsrch Exp/Health Man & Policy Taught course 2019
  • Public Health Policy Taught course 2018
  • Adv Rsrch Exp/HealthMan&Policy Taught course 2018
  • Health Policy Taught course 2018
  • Rsrch Exp/Health Man & Policy Taught course 2018
  • Adv Rsrch Exp/HealthMgt&Policy Taught course 2018
  • Environmental Health Taught course 2018
  • Epidemiology&Communty Medicine Taught course 2018
  • Public Health Policy Taught course 2017
  • Adv Rsrch Exp/HealthMan&Policy Taught course 2017
  • Health Policy Taught course 2017
  • Environmental Health Taught course 2017
  • Epidemiology&Communty Medicine Taught course 2017
  • Public Health Policy Taught course 2016
  • Health Policy Taught course 2016
  • Independent Study Taught course 2016
  • Environmental Health Taught course 2016
  • Human Behavior & Public Health Taught course 2016
  • Health Policy Taught course 2015
  • Rsrch Exp/Health Man & Policy Taught course 2015
  • Public Health Policy Taught course 2015
  • Human Behavior & Public Health Taught course 2015
  • Independent Study Taught course 2015
  • Public Health:Hist & Practice Taught course 2015
  • Rsrch Exp/Health Manage&Policy Taught course 2015
  • Health Policy Taught course 2014
  • Independent Study Taught course 2014
  • Rsrch Exp/Health Man & Policy Taught course 2014
  • Public Health Policy Taught course 2014
  • Human Behavior & Public Health Taught course 2014
  • Education And Training

  • B.A. Biology/Biological Sciences, Brown University
  • M.P.H. Health Services Administration, Boston University
  • Ph.D. Epidemiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Full Name

  • Semra Aytur