Dr Tony Robertson

Health Sciences Pathfoot J04 University of Stirling Stirling FK9 4LA United Kingdom

About me


Tony studied Behavioural Ecology at degree and PhD level before changing focus to human health and Social Epidemiology and Public Health in 2010 when he joined the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, University of Glasgow as a Career Development Fellow. In 2013 Tony moved to the Scottish Collaboration for Public Health Research & Policy (SCPHRP), University of Edinburgh, as the Research Fellow and Lead for the Working Age/Adult Life Working Group. In January 2016 Tony moved to become Lecturer in Public Health in the Faculty of Health Sciences & Sport, University of Stirling.

Tony is a key member of the Centre for Population Health and Public Health Research Group (CPHPHR) and co-lead for the Social and Economic Determinants of Health and Health Inequalities programme within CPHPHR. Tony’s work focuses on trying to better understand the mechanisms linking our socioeconomic circumstances (e.g. education, employment, housing) and our health across the lifecourse to help reduce health inequalities. This includes investigating the biological pathways between socioeconomic circumstances and health; investigating the prevalence, incidence and predictive power of (novel and traditional) chronic disease risk markers; working with community organisations and grassroots activist groups trying to improve population health and reduce health inequalities; and a growing interest in social prescribing for mental health.

More info: www.BiologyOfInequality.com

Follow @tonyrobertson82

PhD Supervision

I am keen to supervise students for any research projects that include linking social and economic data (work, housing, education etc.) with health data, with the aim of helping us better understand and reduce health inequalities in society. My expertise is predominantly in quantitative methods and using biomarkers to assess physiological health, so this might include primary data collection and/or secondary data analysis of existing datasets. We already have a vast array of cohort and survey data available to analyse throughout the UK such as Understanding Society and the Scottish and English Health Surveys. However, depending on the research question I would also be happy to discuss alternative methods such as qualitative or mixed methods approaches. For example, some of my research and advocacy work looks at engagement and empowerment of community and activist groups in trying to improve health and reduce health inequalities and has utilised qualitative methods. As a PhD student, you would be based in the Faculty of Health Sciences & Sport PhD programme.

Contact me if you'd like to discuss more.

Past student projects

Divisional/School Contribution

  • Programme Director - Master of Public Health (MPH)
    DescriptionProgramme Director for a new fully online taught MPH programme based in the Faculty of Health Sciences & Sport. The programme will launch in September 2017. This new course has been specifically designed for students from various backgrounds who have an interest in Public Health research, policy and practice, but will be particularly relevant to those considering a future Public Health career, either in the UK or abroad. The online nature of this interdisciplinary programme is ideal for those wanting to gain a Master’s level qualification concurrently with full-time employment. The flexibility on offer in terms of module choices will allow students to create a bespoke learning environment, suitable to their learning needs, interests and aspirations. Graduates can expect to have received the relevant theoretical and practical skills that are needed for careers as Public Health researchers, policymakers and/or practitioners across the public, private and voluntary/community/not-for-profit sectors.
  • Deputy Chair, Faculty Athena SWAN Implementation Group
    DescriptionAthena SWAN is a charter established in 2005 by the Equality Challenge Unit. It was originally set up to advance the representation of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM). In 2015 the charter was expanded to include staff in academic, professional and support roles and broaden the substantive areas to include arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law. The focus of the charter was also expanded to address gender equality more broadly not just barriers that affect women. It also saw the inclusion of intersectionality – which recognises that people can face discrimination based on different elements of their identity not just their gender – e.g. age, disability, race, religion and sexuality. ‌ Following the University successfully achieving an Institutional Bronze award in 2013, the School (now Faculty) submitted itsapplication for Athena SWAN in April 2015 and were awarded this in December 2015. The focus for the team now is to press on with implementing the action plan to promote equality and apply for our Silver award in the future.


  • PhD in Ecological Endocrinology
    Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
    DescriptionProject: Hormonally-mediated maternal effects in birds Research Group: Ornithology Research Group Supervisors: Professor Pat Monaghan & Professor Neil Evans  Description: My PhD investigated environmental influences (e.g. human interactions) on the maternal transfer of stress hormones to developing offspring in wild and captive bird species. This work involved developing novel assays to measure corticosterone stress hormones in avian eggs, fieldwork in urban and non-urban environments and laboratory experiments with captive zebra finches. Statistical analysis using SPSS included general linear models, hierarchical/mixed models, repeated measures and linear regression.
    Type of educationDoctorate
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