Dr Suzanne Bartington MBBS, MSc, PhD, FFPH

Suzanne Bartington

Institute of Applied Health Research
Clinical Associate Professor in Environmental Health
Honorary Consultant in Public Health
UKRI Clean Air Champion

Contact details

Address
Institute of Applied Health Research
The Murray Learning Centre
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B15 2TT
UK

Dr Suzanne Bartington leads interdisciplinary research and policy impact focussed activities at the intersect of air quality, climate change and health.

Suzanne has developed specific interests in developing clean air and climate solutions which deliver co-benefits for public health and equity. In her role as UK Clean Air Champion she works closely with policymakers, commercial and not-for-profit partners to translate research outputs arising from the £42.5million UKRI Clean Air Programme into knowledge and tools available for policy and practice.  

Suzanne is co-lead for the University of Birmingham Institute for Global Innovation Clean Air theme, where she supports integration of disciplines, perspectives and activities to address global environmental challenges.

Qualifications

  • MFPH Member of the Faculty of Public Health, 2019
  • MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery, UCL 2012
  • PhD in Infectious Disease Epidemiology, UCL Institute of Child Health, 2009
  • MSc in Modern Epidemiology, Imperial College London, 2003
  • BA Medical and Veterinary Sciences, University of Cambridge, 2002

Biography

How do you ensure advice on air pollution doesn’t backfire?
Birmingham Heroes: Dr Suzanne Bartington talks about the health impact of air pollution

Dr Suzanne Bartington trained in Medicine at Fitzwilliam College, University of Cambridge and University College London. She developed early research interests in infectious disease epidemiology as a member of the Millennium Cohort Study Child Health Group at the UCL Institute of Child Health. Her doctoral training supported by a Medical Research Council Studentship, examined seroprevalence of viral infections in early life using population-based oral fluid sample collection. Suzanne further developed her research interests in environmental epidemiology as an Honorary Clinical Research Fellow at the Department of Primary Care and Population Health, Imperial College London.

Suzanne joined the Institute of Applied Health Research, University of Birmingham as a Public Health Specialty Registrar 2015. Since that time she established an interdisciplinary research group focusing on clean air science. Specific expertise includes environmental epidemiology, transport studies and public policy evaluation.

Her current research portfolio includes research funded by the Natural Environmental Research Council (NERC)National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Public Health ResearchEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

In her role as UK Clean Air Champion Suzanne is a regular panellist and speaker at regional, national and international public and policy engagement events.

Teaching

Postgraduate supervision

Dr Bartington is an experienced doctoral supervisor and is willing to supervise students in the following areas:

  • Indoor/outdoor air pollution exposure assessment
  • Air quality and transport intervention evaluation
  • Environmental and public health impacts of transport decarbonisation
  • Active travel, physical activity and health inequalities

Research

Suzanne is a Clinical Research Fellow in Environmental Health in the Institute of Applied Health Research, an Honorary Consultant in Public Health at Public Health England. Her research portfolio extends across ambient and indoor air quality, sustainable transport and environmental public policy.

Public Health Impacts of Ambient and Indoor Air Pollution

Suzanne is Principal Investigator for the OxAria Study investigating impacts of COVID-19 air and noise quality and health in Oxford City utilising a cloud-based low-cost sensor network. The project, a collaboration with Dr Felix Leach,  Department of Engineering Science, University of Oxford has supported rapid deployment of a low-cost air quality and acoustic sensor network in Oxford City, for evaluation of responsive COVID-19 interventions. Partners include Oxfordshire County Council, Oxford City Council, Ricardo Energy & Environment and Apertum.

The West Midlands Air Quality Improvement Programme (WM-Air) led by Professor William Bloss is a £5M NERC funded initiative, led by the University of Birmingham, in collaboration with over 20 cross sector partners, applying environmental science expertise to support the improvement of air quality, and associated health, environmental and economic benefits, across the West Midlands. As WM-Air Public Health lead Suzanne is leading development of a novel health and economic impact assessment tool to enable prediction, assessment and evaluation of future regional air quality policy scenarios.

Application of a multiplicity of datastreams for air quality and health impact evaluation in East Africa is a key focus of the EPSRC funded Digital Air Quality in East Africa project, led by Professor Francis PopeSchool of Geography and Earth Sciences. The network brings together leading UK and East African researchers in air pollution, public health, social sicences and development studies to co-design new data science techniques to synthesise disparate data streams for improved understanding of historic, contemporary and future air quality.

Research undertaken by Suzanne in collaboration with the University of Rwanda College of Science and Technology in Kigali, Rwanda seeks to identify the health impacts of domestic biomass cooking and inform effective interventions for harm mitigation in low-income contexts.

Transport and Health 

Suzanne leads the multidisciplinary TRANSITION Clean Air Network addressing future air quality challenges supported by UK Research and Innovation Clean Air Strategic Priorities Fund Wave 2 investment. The network aim is to identify, prioritise and address new emerging indoor and outdoor air quality challenges linked to the UK low emission mobility revolution. Partners include co-investigators at nine UK universities, Public Health England and over 20 public, commercial and civic sector organisations.  

Health and Environmental Public Policy

Suzanne is Co-Investigator and public health lead for Actively anticipating the unintended consequences on air quality of future public policies (ANTICIPATE) led by Professor Nigel Gilbert at the University of Surrey. The NERC funded study within Wave 1 of the Clean Air Strategic Priorities Fund seeks to bring together policy analysts and policy makers from UK central government, devolved administrations and local and regional authorities, stakeholders from business and civil society organisations, and academics and researchers to explore forthcoming policy initiatives for their consequences (intended or unintended, positive or negative) on air quality.   

Responsive evaluation of local authority public health interventions is the focus of the  NIHR Public Health Interventions Responsive Studies Team led by Professor Katherine Brown at the University of Hertfordshire. Suzanne is a Co-Investigator for the PHIRST team (one of four national units) providing natural experimental intervention evaluation with a focus on transport and infrastructure schemes.

Suzanne is also a member of the FUEL study team, led by Dr Miranda Pallan and Professor Peymane Adab at the Institute for Applied Health Research. The FUEL study is an evaluation of the School Food Standards and related national policy in secondary schools in the West Midlands, funded by the National Institute for Health Research Public Health Research scheme.

Research groups and Centres

Other activities

Suzanne was an elected member of Oxfordshire County Council from 2017 – 2021. 

In autumn 2021 Suzanne was appointed as UKRI Regional Clean Air Champion for the Midlands to the north of England. This role supports the work of the UKRI Strategic Priorities Fund (SPF) Clean Air Programme, alongside the existing national Clean Air Champions.

The programme is a £42.5 million investment that supports high quality research and innovation to:

  • develop practical solutions for today’s air quality issues
  • equip the UK to proactively tackle future air quality challenges.

Collaboration and impact

The champions will act as the central point for air quality research in their region:

    • Midlands to north of England
    • Wales
    • Scotland
    • Northern Ireland.

They will work to increase collaboration and impact across and beyond the programme.

Publications

Recent publications

Article

Pritchett, R, Bartington, S & Thomas, GN 2024, 'Exploring expectations and lived experiences of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods in Birmingham, UK', Travel Behaviour and Society, vol. 36, 100800. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tbs.2024.100800

Singh, A, Morley, GL, Coignet, C, Leach, F, Pope, FD, Neil Thomas, G, Stacey, B, Bush, T, Cole, S, Economides, G, Anderson, R, Abreu, P & Bartington, SE 2024, 'Impacts of ambient air quality on acute asthma hospital admissions during the COVID-19 pandemic in Oxford City, UK: a time-series study', BMJ open, vol. 14, no. 1, e070704. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2022-070704

Hall, J, Zhong, J, Jowett, S, Mazzeo, A, Thomas, GN, Bryson, JR, Dewar, S, Inglis, N, Wolstencroft, M, Muller, C, Bloss, W, Harrison, R & Bartington, S 2024, 'Regional Impact Assessment of Air Quality Improvement: The Air Quality Lifecourse Assessment Tool (AQ-LAT) for the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA)', Environmental Pollution. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2024.123871

Liu, B, Bryson, JR, Sevinc, D, Cole, M, Elliott, R, Bartington, S, Bloss, W & Shi, Z 2023, 'Assessing the Impacts of Birmingham’s Clean Air Zone on Air Quality: Estimates from a Machine Learning and Synthetic Control Approach', Environmental and Resource Economics, vol. 86, no. 1-2, pp. 203-231. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10640-023-00794-2, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10640-023-00794-2

Dickinson-Craig, E, Badarch, J, Bartington, S, Hemming, K, Thayakaran, R, Day, R, Pope, F, Chuluunbaatar, B, Boldbaatar, D, Ochir, C, Warburton, D, Thomas, GN & Manaseki-Holland, S 2023, 'Impact assessment of a raw coal ban on maternal and child health outcomes in Ulaanbaatar: a protocol for an interrupted time series study', BMJ open, vol. 13, no. 4, e061723. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2022-061723

Tivey, J, Davies, HC, Levine, J, Zietsman, J, Bartington, S, Ibarra-Espinosa, S & Ropkins, K 2023, 'Meta-Analysis as Early Evidence on the Particulate Emissions Impact of EURO VI on Battery Electric Bus Fleet Transitions', Sustainability, vol. 15, no. 2, 1522. https://doi.org/10.3390/su15021522

Pallan, M, Murphy, M, Morrison, B, Pokhilenko, I, Sitch, A, Frew, E, Rawdin, C, Adams, R, Adamson, A, Bartington, S, Dobell, A, Duff, R, Griffin, T, Hurley, K, Lancashire, E, McLeman, L, Passmore, S, Ravaghi, V, Spence, S & Adab, P 2023, 'School food policy in secondary schools in England and its impact on adolescents’ diets and dental health: the FUEL multiple-methods study', NIHR Journals Library.

Blanco, E, Ruiz-Rudolph, P, Yohannessen, K, Ayala, S, Quinteros, ME, Delgado-Saborit, JM, Blazquez, CA, Iglesias, V, Zapata, DA, Bartington, SE, Harrison, RM & Ossa, X 2023, 'Temporal and Spatial Trends of Adverse Pregnancy and Birth Outcomes in a Sample of Births from a Public Hospital in Chile', Journal of Urban Health. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11524-023-00733-y

Bush, T, Bartington, S, Pope, FD, Singh, A, Thomas, GN, Stacey, B, Economides, G, Anderson, R, Cole, S, Abreu, P & Leach, FCP 2023, 'The impact of COVID-19 public health restrictions on particulate matter pollution measured by a validated low-cost sensor network in Oxford, UK', Building and Environment, vol. 237, 110330. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.buildenv.2023.110330

Howlett, N, García-Iglesias, J, Boncroft, C, Breslin, G, Bartington, S, Freethy, I, Huerga, M, Jones, J, Lloyd, N, Marhsall, T, Williams, S, Wills, W & Brown, K 2022, 'A systematic review and behaviour change technique analysis of remotely delivered alcohol and/or substance misuse interventions for adults', Drug and Alcohol Dependence, vol. 239, 109597. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2022.109597

Penn, AS, Bartington, S, Moller, S, Hamilton, I, Levine, J, Hatcher, K & Gilbert, N 2022, 'Adopting a whole systems approach to transport decarbonisation, air quality and health: an online participatory systems mapping case study in the UK', Atmosphere, vol. 13, no. 3, 492. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos13030492

Other report

Hall, J, Zhong, J, Harrison, R, Baldo, C, Jowett, S, Mazzeo, A & Bartington, S 2023, Health impacts of air pollution in Birmingham. University of Birmingham. https://doi.org/10.25500/DFAR-M070

Baldo, C, Zhong, J, Hall, J, Muller, C, Bartington, S & Bloss, W 2023, New Air Quality Targets & Interim Goals for Fine Particulate Matter – PM2.5: Implications for the West Midlands. University of Birmingham. https://doi.org/10.25500/epapers.bham.00004251

Lacey, S, Zhong, J, Ghaffarpasand, O & Bartington, S 2023, Speed limits, air quality and health. University of Birmingham. https://doi.org/10.25500/epapers.bham.00004249

Review article

Blanco, E, Marin, M, Nuñez, L, Retamal, E, Ossa, X, Woolley, K, Oludotun, T, Bartington, S, Delgado Saborit, JM, Harrison, R, Ruiz-Rudolph, P & Quinteros, ME 2022, 'Adverse pregnancy and perinatal outcomes in Latin America and the Caribbean: systematic review and meta-analysis', Pan American Journal of Public Health, vol. 46, e21. https://doi.org/10.26633/ RPSP.2022.21

View all publications in research portal