Semra Aytur

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

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.

Faculty Snapshot:

  • Multi-level models
  • Translational research on relationships between human behavior, chronic disease, environment, and policy factors (e.g., cardiovascular disease, stroke, brain injury, chronic pain, diabetes, obesity, cancer)
  • Analysis of complex socio-ecological systems



  • 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

  • 501: Epidemiology & Comm Med Lab
  • 715: Environmental Health
  • 750: Sustainability Capstone
  • 796: Independent Study
  • 798H: Honors Project/Research Design
  • 799H: Honors Project/Research
  • 907: Public Health Policy
  • 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/HealthMan&Policy
  • PHP 907: Public Health Policy

Selected Publications

Smith, S. L., Humphreys, E., & Aytur, S. (2022). Parent Satisfaction With a Telehealth Coaching Program for Families of Children With Special Health Care Needs. In AMERICAN JOURNAL OF OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY Vol. 76. doi:10.5014/ajot.2022.76S1-PO77

Bruce, S. A., Aytur, S. A., Andam, C. P., & Bucci, J. P. (2022). Metagenomics to characterize sediment microbial biodiversity associated with fishing exposure within the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, 12(1). doi:10.1038/s41598-022-13409-5

Caron, R. M., & Aytur, S. A. (2022). Assuring Healthy Populations During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Recognizing Women's Contributions in Addressing Syndemic Interactions. FRONTIERS IN PUBLIC HEALTH, 10. doi:10.3389/fpubh.2022.856932

Smith, S., Aytur, S., & Humphreys, E. (2022). Effects of telehealth parent coaching in supporting family participation, cohesion, and adaptability. OTJR Occupation, Participation and Health. doi:10.1177/15394492221083664

Smith, S. L., Aytur, S. A., & Humphreys, B. P. (2022). Effects of Telehealth Parent Coaching in Supporting Family Participation, Cohesion, and Adaptability. OTJR-OCCUPATION PARTICIPATION AND HEALTH. doi:10.1177/15394492221083664

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: A Framework to Inform Local and State Action. JOURNAL OF PUBLIC HEALTH MANAGEMENT AND PRACTICE, 19, 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 WOMENS HEALTH, 18(12), 1925-1934. doi:10.1089/jwh.2008.1309

Rodriguez, 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), 397-407. doi:10.4278/0890-1171-21.4s.397


Most Cited Publications