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Profile_George_Disney-PhD (Southampton), MSc (Sheffield), BA(Hons.) (Cambridge)Research Fellow; NZCMS/CT

Contact details

Tel 64 4 918 6549
Twitter @migrationman

Research interests and activities

George is a Research Fellow on the NZ Census Mortality and Cancer Trends Study (NZCMS/CT). In his role George will be analysing socio-economic and ethnic inequalities in mortality and cancer, in New Zealand, using mortality and cancer data that has been probabilistically linked to the Census. George will also be working on the creation of a webtable and visualisation tool of mortality and cancer information. His current wider research interests are the social determinants of health; in particular how socio-economic inequality in society affects population health; and population statistics including their uncertainty. George is also involved in the Healthier Lives National Science Challenge through the Virtual Health Information Network (VHIN) project which will build on the 'big data' approach to healthcare.

George's background is in Demography and Social Statistics. Before working at the University of Otago, Wellington, George was a research assistant at the University of Southampton where he worked on a UK Home Office commissioned report on forecasting international migration to and from the UK. Prior to that George completed his PhD – “Model-based estimates of UK immigration” – at the University of Southampton, under the supervision of Jakub Bijak. The focus of his research was reconciling multiple sources of administrative and survey data, using a Bayesian model, to produce country-specific estimates of immigration flows to the UK, which included coherent expressions of uncertainty.


Cunningham, R., Milner, A., Gibb, S., Rijnberg, V., Disney, G., & Kavanagh, A. M. (2022). Gendered experiences of unemployment, suicide and self-harm: A population-level record linkage study. Psychological Medicine, 52, 4067-4075. doi: 10.1017/s0033291721000994

Milner, A., Blakely, T., Disney, G., Kavanagh, A. M., LaMontagne, A. D., & Aitken, Z. (2018). Do employment factors reduce the effect of low education on mental health? A causal mediation analysis using a national panel study. International Journal of Epidemiology, 47(5), 1423-1431. doi: 10.1093/ije/dyy128

Blakely, T., Disney, G., Valeri, L., Atkinson, J., Teng, A., Wilson, N., & Gurrin, L. (2018). Socioeconomic and tobacco mediation of ethnic inequalities in mortality over time: Repeated census-mortality cohort studies, 1981 to 2011. Epidemiology, 29(4), 506-516. doi: 10.1097/ede.0000000000000842

Teng, A., Atkinson, J., Disney, G., Wilson, N., & Blakely, T. (2017). Changing smoking-mortality association over time and across social groups: National census-mortality cohort studies from 1981 to 2011. Scientific Reports, 7, 11465 . doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-11785-x

Disney, G., Teng, A., Atkinson, J., Wilson, N., & Blakely, T. (2017). Changing ethnic inequalities in mortality in New Zealand over 30 years: Linked cohort studies with 68.9 million person-years of follow-up. Population Health Metrics, 15, 15. doi: 10.1186/s12963-017-0132-6

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