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Amber L. Pearson, Department of Public Health


B.A. (Hons), M.Sc, MPH, Ph.D.

Honorary Fellow; BODE³

Contact Details 

Fax: + 64 4 389 5319

Research Interests and Activities 

Amber is a health geographer with a focus on social justice and understanding the unexpected tenacity, adaptability and resilience of the underprivileged. She has worked on research topics including socioeconomic contributors to health in poor and wealthy countries, drinking water, health inequalities and aspects of the built, physical and social environments which bolster health despite high levels of poverty.


Journal articles

Wilson N, Brander B, Mansoor OD, Pearson AL, “Building a reliable measure for unobstrusive observations of street-connecting pedestrian walkways.” Journal of Urban Health. 2014; (in press).

Pearson AL, Kvizhinadze G, Wilson N, Smith M, Canfell K and Blakely T, “Is expanding HPV vaccination programs to include school-aged boys cost-effective? A cost-utility analysis in a setting with an existing school-girl program.” BMC Infectious Diseases. 2014; (in press)

van der Deen FS, Pearson AL, Petrovik D and Collinson L, “The impact of outdoor secondhand smoke drift on indoor air quality in selected New Zealand restaurants: A pilot study.” Submitted to New Zealand Medical Journal. 2014; (expected publication 20 June).

Pearson AL, Bentham G, Day P and Kingham S, “Associations between neighbourhood environmental characteristics and obesity and related behaviours among adult New Zealanders.” BMC Public Health. 2014; 14(1): 553. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2458-14-553.

Tisch C, Pearson AL, Kingham S, Borman B and Briggs D, “Environmental Health Indicators: A review of programmes worldwide.” Management of Environmental Quality. 2014; 25(4): 446-466.

Bowie C, Pearson AL and Barnett R, “Otitis media associated with household crowding among children in New Zealand.” Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health. 2014; DOI: 10.1111/1753-6405.12162.

Pearson AL, Nutsford D and Thomson G, “A novel application of viewshed analysis: To quantify visual exposure to smoking at outdoor bars and cafés across a capital city’s downtown area.” BMC Public Health. 2014; 14:300.

Blakely T, Kvizhinadze G, Karvonen T, Pearson AL, Smith M and Wilson N, “Cost-effectiveness and equity impacts of three school-aged girls HPV vaccination programmes in New Zealand.” Vaccine. 2014; [E-publication 21 March]

Pearson AL, Winter PR, McBreen B, Stewart G, Roets R, Nanayakkara A, Nutsford D, Bowie C, Donnellan N and Wilson N, “Obtaining fruit and vegetables for the lowest prices: Pricing survey of different outlets and geographical analysis of competition effects.” PLoS ONE 2014; 9(3): e89775. DOI: 0.1371/journal.pone.0089775.

Lovasi GS, Goh CE, Pearson AL and Breetzke G, “Is The Independent Associations of Recorded Crime and Perceived Safety with Physical Health for Men and Women in New Zealand.” BMJ Open. 2014; 4(3): e004058-e004058.

Pearson AL, Ivory V, Breetzke G, and Lovasi GS, " Are feelings of peace or depression the drivers of the relationship between neighbourhood social fragmentation and mental health in Aotearoa/New Zealand?” Health & Place. 2014; 26: 1-6

Breetzke G and Pearson AL, “The fear factor: Examining the spatial variability of recorded crime on the fear of crime.” Applied Geographer. 2014; 46:45-52.

Apparicio P, Martori JC, Pearson AL, Fournier É, Apparicio D, “Geo-Segregation Analyzer: An open-Source software for calculating indices of urban residential segregation.” Social Science Computer Review. 2013; 32(1): 117-128. doi: 10.1177/0894439313504539

Kingham S, Pattison W, Pearson AL, Longley I, Campbell M, and Apparicio P, "The use of a land use regression model to predict NO2 air pollution in two small areas of Auckland." Air Quality and Climate Change. 2013;47(3): 40-44.

Pearson AL, Telfar Bernard L, Pearce J, Kingham S and Howden-Chapman P, "Housing quality and resilience in New Zealand." Building Research and Information. 2013; 42(2): 182-190. DOI:10.1080/09613218.2014.850603.

Nutsford D, Pearson AL, and Kingham S, “An ecological study investigating the association between access to urban green space and mental health” Public Health. 2013; 127(11): 1005-1011.

Pearson AL and Breetzke G, “The association between the fear of crime, and mental and physical wellbeing in New Zealand.”Social Indicators Research. 2013; doi: 10.1007/s11205-013-0489-2

Day P, Pearce J and Pearson AL, “A temporal analysis of the spatial clustering of food outlets around schools in Christchurch, New Zealand, 1966 to 2006.” Public Health Nutrition, 2013; DOI:10.1017/S1368980013002863

Pearson AL, Apparicio P and Riva M, “Cumulative disadvantage? Exploring relationships between trajectories of neighbourhood deprivation 1991 to 2006 and mortality.” International Journal of Health Geographics. 2013; 12:38, DOI: 10.1186/1476-072X-12-38

Pearson AL, Kingham S, Mitchell P and Apparicio P, “Exploring potential impacts of ejecta dust inhalation on pneumococcal disease following the Christchurch earthquakes.” Spatial and Spatiotemporal Epidemiology. 2013; 7:1-9.

Pearson AL and Wilson N, “Optimising locational access of deprived populations to farmers’ markets at a national scale: one route to improved fruit and vegetable consumption?” PeerJ. 2013; e94; DOI: 10.7717/peerj.94 (Full free access)

Pearson AL, Griffin E, Davies A and Kingham S, “An ecological study of the relationship between socioeconomic isolation and mental health in the most deprived areas in Auckland, New Zealand.” Health and Place. 2013; 19: 159-166.

Pearson AL, Pearce J and Kingham S, “Deprived yet healthy: Neighbourhood-level resilience in New Zealand.” Social Science and Medicine. 2013; 91: 238-245.

Pearson, A.L. and Muchunguzi, C. (2011) Contextualizing privatization and conservation in the history of resource management in southwestern Uganda: Ethnicity, political privilege and resource access over time. International Journal of African Historical Studies 44(1): 113-140.

Pearson, A.L. and Paige, S.B. (2012) Experiences and ethics of mindful reciprocity while conducting research in Sub-Saharan Africa. African Geographical Review 31(1): 72-75.

Soge, O.O., Giardino, M.A., Ivanova, I.C., Pearson, A.L., Meschke, J.S. and Roberts, M.C. (2009) Low prevalence of antibiotic resistant gram-negative bacteria isolated from rural south-western Uganda groundwater. Water SA 35(3): 10-18.

Lovasi, G.S., Moudon, A.V., Pearson, A.L., Hurvitz, P.M., Larson, E.B., Siscovick, D.S., Berke, E.M., Lumley, T. and Psaty, B.M. (2008) Using built environment characteristics to predict walking for exercise. International Journal of Health Geographics 7(10): Online, 13pp.

Pearson, A.L., Roberts, M.C., Soge, O.O., Ivanova, I., Mayer, J.D. and Meschke, J.S. (2008) Utility of EC 3MTM petrifilmsTM and sanitary surveys for source water assessment in south-western Uganda. Water SA 34(2): 279-283.

Book chapter

Howden-Chapman P, Pearson AL, Rivera-Munoz G, Chisholm E, Woodbury E, Amore K. (2014) “Rebuilding Christchurch: A case of the Inverse Care Law” in Recovery, ed. Johnson E, Dann J, Reynolds R and Bennett B, Christchurch: Freerange Press (estimated publication July 2014).

Faubion, T., Paige, S.B. and Pearson, A.L. (2011) Co-opting the Global Health Agenda: The Problematic Role of Partnerships and Foundations in Defining Priorities. In O. Williams and S. Rushton (Ed.), Partnerships and Foundations in Global Health: 209-227. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Other publications

van der Deen FS, Pearson AL, Wilson N. (2014) A paradox: Limiting tobacco retail to “pharmacies only” could be part of the tobacco endgame. Journal of American Medical Association (in press).

Pearson AL and Breetzke GB. (2013) Examining the relationship between recorded crime and the fear of crime in Christchurch, New Zealand. A report for the Christchurch City Council, Christchurch, New Zealand.

Pearson AL and van der Deen FS. (2013) A pilot study of outdoor secondhand smoke drift on indoor air quality in selected restaurants in Wellington, New Zealand. A report for the New Zealand Cancer Society, Wellington, New Zealand.

Wilson N, van der Deen FS, Pearson AL, Cobiac L, Blakely T. (2013) Expert ranking of tobacco control interventions for health economic modelling research in New Zealand. New Zealand Medical Journal 126(1368)1-4. 

Pearson AL. (2010) “Vulnerability of Port of Seattle Assets to Flooding from Sea-Level Rise and Storm Events Related to Climate Change” a report for the Port of Seattle, Seattle, USA.

Pearson, A.L. (2010) AIDS, Sex, and Culture: Global Politics and Survival in Southern Africa. GeoJournal 75(2): 24-25. (Book Review.)

Pearson, A.L. (2007) Rural water and the Millennium Development Goals: Uganda. African Journal of Health Sciences 14(3-4): 219. (Letter to editor.)