Semra Aytur

Phone: (603) 862-3415
Office: Health Management & Policy, Hewitt Hall Rm 335, Durham, NH 03824

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.


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

Courses Taught

  • BMS 799H: Senior Honors Thesis
  • HMP 501: Epidemiology&Communty Medicine
  • HMP 715: Environmental Health
  • HMP 746: Health Policy
  • HMP 796: Independent Study
  • HMP 798H: Honors Project/Research Design
  • HMP 799H: Honors Project/Research
  • INCO 590: Rsrch Exp/Health Man & Policy
  • INCO 790: Adv Rsrch Exp/HealthMgt&Policy
  • PHP 907: Public Health Policy

Selected Publications

Lemon, S. C., Goins, K. V., Sreedhara, M., Arcaya, M., Aytur, S. A., Heinrich, K., . . . Schmid, T. L. (2019). Developing Core Capabilities for Local Health Departments to Engage in Land Use and Transportation Decision Making for Active Transportation. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, 25(5), 464-471. doi:10.1097/phh.0000000000000948

Smallwood, R. F., Price, L. R., Campbell, J. L., Garrett, A. S., Atalla, S. W., Monroe, T. B., . . . Robin, D. A. (n.d.). Network Alterations in Comorbid Chronic Pain and Opioid Addiction: An Exploratory Approach. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 13. doi:10.3389/fnhum.2019.00174

Affleck, R. T., Gardner, K., Aytur, S., Carlson, C., Grimm, C., & Deeb, E. (n.d.). Sustainable Infrastructure in Conflict Zones: Police Facilities’ Impact on Perception of Safety in Afghan Communities. Sustainability, 11(7), 2113. doi:10.3390/su11072113

Kirshen, P., Aytur, S., Hecht, J., Walker, A., Burdick, D., Jones, S., . . . Mather, L. (2018). Integrated urban water management applied to adaptation to climate change. Urban Climate, 24, 247-263. doi:10.1016/j.uclim.2018.03.005

Aytur, S., Craig, P. J., Frye, M., Bonica, M., Rainer, S., Hapke, L., & McGilvray, M. (2018). Through the Lens of a Camera: Exploring the Meaning of Competitive Sport Participation Among Youth Athletes with Disabilities. Therapeutic Recreation Journal, 52(2), 95-125. doi:10.18666/trj-2018-v52-i2-8774

Lyn, R., Aytur, S., Davis, T. A., Eyler, A. A., Evenson, K. R., Chriqui, J. F., . . . Brownson, R. C. (2013). Policy, Systems, and Environmental Approaches for Obesity Prevention. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, 19(Supplement 1), S23-S33. doi:10.1097/phh.0b013e3182841709

Evenson, K. R., Aytur, S. A., & Borodulin, K. (2009). Physical Activity Beliefs, Barriers, and Enablers among Postpartum Women. Journal of Women's Health, 18(12), 1925-1934. doi:10.1089/jwh.2008.1309

Rodríguez, D. A., Aytur, S., Forsyth, A., Oakes, J. M., & Clifton, K. J. (2008). Relation of modifiable neighborhood attributes to walking. Preventive Medicine, 47(3), 260-264. doi:10.1016/j.ypmed.2008.02.028

Aytur, S. A., Rodriguez, D. A., Evenson, K. R., Catellier, D. J., & Rosamond, W. D. (2007). Promoting Active Community Environments through Land Use and Transportation Planning. American Journal of Health Promotion, 21(4_suppl), 397-407. doi:10.4278/0890-1171-21.4s.397

Sadeh, A., Acebo, C., Seifer, R., Aytur, S., & Carskadon, M. A. (1995). Activity-based assessment of sleep-wake patterns during the 1st year of life. Infant Behavior and Development, 18(3), 329-337. doi:10.1016/0163-6383(95)90021-7

Most Cited Publications