Profile: Paul Boyle

Paul Boyle, Professor of Human Geography and Head of the School of Geography and Geosciences, University of St. Andrews, Scotland. Paul is Director of the Longitudinal Studies Centre — Scotland, and Founding Director of the Social Dimensions of Health Institute. Paul’s research and teaching interests combine aspects of population and health geography and include: health inequalities, demographic change and health, and quantitative approaches to health analysis.

Paul Boyle was born in Felixstowe, England, and grew up in East Anglia. He studied at Lancaster University, UK, and the University of Colorado, US, for his undergraduate degree in Geography. Following the inevitable gap year travelling, he returned to Lancaster for his PhD supervised by Robin Flowerdew. His first lecturing position was in Swansea, followed by Leeds (including a year in Christchurch, New Zealand) and now St. Andrews, where he has been since 1999.

Paul’s broad research interests in population and health geography primarily involve quantitative methods. He is particularly interested in the intersection between population and health issues. Paul has over 100 research publications and has a strong record of securing grants. As Director of the Longitudinal Studies Centre Scotland (LSCS) his largest current project is the establishment of the Scottish Longitudinal Study (SLS) which is a 5.3% sample of the Scottish population, including information on approximately 265,000 sample members and the 500,000 people who live with them in their households. Now launched, this longitudinal dataset provides a unique resource for health research as it links information from census forms, vital events data, cancer registrations and hospital admissions records. Paul was also Founding Director of the Social Dimensions of Health Institute (SDHI) which is a joint initiative involving the Universities of Dundee and St Andrews. Focusing on three themes (self care and long-term conditions; socio-economic health variations and inequalities; record linkage and analysis), the SDHI is a genuinely inter-disciplinary attempt to examine the social dimensions of health and disease.

Paul may be contacted at

Updated: May 2009