Dr Matthew Walsh

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Senior Research Fellow

Phone: +64 9 921 9999 – ext: 8587

Email: matthew.walsh@aut.ac.nz


  • 2010 – Ph.D., Epidemiology, Population Health Sciences, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
  • 2005 – M.P.H., Epidemiology, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
  • 1997 – B.S., Biochemistry, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, IL
  • 1997 – B.S., Ecology, Ethology, and Evolution, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, IL

Memberships and Affiliations:


Matt is an Epidemiologist focusing on translational research moving data science into population impact. He has focused on collaborating with governmental agencies and physicians to improve policy, performance and practice. Matt’s dissertation work focused on the bias introduced when using incomplete sampling frames to select study participants in case-control studies. This bias will increase in importance as privacy concerns restrict coverage of population-based sampling frames.

Matt was fortunate to recently spend several years understanding how policy is created, applied and evaluated while working at the Department of Children and Families in Wisconsin as the Research and Evaluation Section Chief. His mission was to expand our Department’s analytic capacity by using its collective data assets to improve decision making. As government agencies implement predictive models to improve effectiveness and efficiency, staff will be required to understand the basics of the statistics and the algorithms employed. He served as a field and research mentor for 17 epidemiology, sociology, medical, and public policy graduate students. Increasing analytic capacity across non-academic government employees will continue to be part of the work Matt does. At CSDA he is focused on designing, conducting and evaluating predictive risk models for use by public health, clinical and social work professionals in New Zealand and the United States. He is excited to use the data infrastructure in New Zealand to conduct timely research informing and improving policy and practice.

Teaching Areas:

  • 2015 – 2016, Instructor, Leadership Foundations, Data Driven Decisions, Performance Management, and Program Evaluation, Department of Children and Families, Madison, Wisconsin (48 Supervisors in the Department:  1 Day Trainings: Winter 2015 and 2016)
  • 2011 – 2014, Instructor, University of Wisconsin – Madison, Population Health Sciences/Biomedical Informatics 650/451:  Introduction to SAS for Population Health (77 graduate students)
  • 2012, Guest Lecturer – University of Wisconsin – Madison, Introduction to Survey Research, Political Science 544 (1 lecture: Spring 2012)
  • 2008, Teaching Assistant, University of Wisconsin – Madison, Population Health Sciences 800:  Advanced Quantitative Methods in Population Health (25 students with 1 discussion section)
  • 2007, Teaching Assistant, University of Wisconsin – Madison, Population Health Sciences 717: Population Medicine and Epidemiology (175 medical school students with 4 discussion sections)

Research Areas:

  • Epidemiologic and Biostatistics Methods
  • Research Evaluation and Measurement
  • Performance Measurement and Evaluation
  • Predictive Risk Modelling

Current Research Projects:

Homeless Predictive Risk Modelling (United States):

  • Predicting who is most likely to become homeless and implementing strategies for county workers to help integrate services to prevent chronic homelessness.
  • Researching the use of predictive modelling to aid in the coordinated assessment of chronically homeless individuals to provide support to individuals and families at highest risk of adverse outcomes.

Beating the Odds (New Zealand):

  • Using Growing up in New Zealand data to understand correlates of children that have fewer than expected adverse childhood experiences.


  1. Bhutani S, Schoeller DA, Walsh MC, McWilliams C (2018). Frequency of Eating out at Both Fast-food and Sit-Down Restaurants Was Associated with High Body Mass Index in Non-Large Metropolitan Communities in Midwest. American Journal of Health Promotion: 2018 Jan; 32(1) 75-83
  2. Shin JI, Bautista LE, Walsh MC, Malecki KC, Nieto FJ (2015). Food Insecurity and Dyslipidemia in a Representative Population-Based Sample in the US.  Prev. Med 2015 Aug; 77: 186-90
  3. Halverson JL, Martinez-Donate AP, Palta M, Leal T, Lubner S, Walsh MC, Schaaf Strickland J, Smith PD, Trentham-Dietz A (2015)., Health Literacy and Health-Related Quality of Life Among a Population-Based Sample of Cancer Patients. J Health Communication. 2015: 20(11) 1320-9
  4. Givens ML, Malecki KC, Peppard PE, Palta M, Said A, Engelman CD, Walsh MC, Nieto FJ (2015). Shiftwork, Sleep Habits, and Metabolic Disparities: Results from the Survey of the Health of Wisconsin. Sleep Health. 2015 Jun: 1(2): 115-120
  5. Malecki KM, Wisk LE, Walsh MC, Williams MC, Eggers S, Olson M (2015). Oral Health Equity and Unmet Dental Care Needs in a Population-Based Sample: Findings From the Survey of the Health of Wisconsin.  American Journal of Public Health. 2015 Jul; 105 Suppl 3: S466-74
  6. Laxy M, Malecki KC, Givens ML, Walsh MC, Nieto FJ (2015). The association between the retail food environment, economic deprivation, fast food intake and obesity: Findings from the Survey of the Health of Wisconsin. BMC Public Health 2015 Mar 13;15(1):237
  7. Malecki KCM, Engelman CD, Peppard P, Bernardinello M, Bailey E, Grabow M, Walsh MC, Bersch A, Lo JY, Morgan L, Nieto FJ, Martinez-Donate A (2014). Wisconsin Assessment of the Social and Built Envirnoment (WASABE): A multi-dimensional neighborhood environment scale.  BMC Public Health 2014 Nov 13; 14:1165
  8. Kavanaugh MS, Kramer BJ, Walsh MC, Trentham-Dietz A (2015). Factors contributing to economic burden in spousal lung cancer caregivers. Palliat Support Care 2015 Jun; 13(3): 691-700
  9. Che J, Malecki KC, Walsh MC, Chan V, Bersch AJ, McWilliams CA, Nieto FJ (2014). Prescription Medication Use Among Wisconsin Adults: Data from the Survey of the Health of Wisconsin. WMJ 2014 Dec; 113(6):232-7
  10. Guerrero N, Walsh MC, Malecki KC, Nieto FJ (2014). Urban-Rural and Regional Variability of Food Insecurity: The Survey of the Health of Wisconsin. WMJ 2014 Aug; 113(4): 133-8
  11. Baily E, Malecki KC, Walsh MC, Bersch AJ, Martinez-Donate AP, Peppard PE, Engelman C, Nieto FJ (2014). Predictors of Discordance between Perceived and Objective Neighborhood Data. Ann Epidemiol. 2014 Mar; 24(3): 214-21
  12. Walsh MC, Trentham-Dietz A,  Gangnon R, Newcomb PA, Palta M (2012). Using propensity scores to reduce case-control selection bias. Epidemiology 2012 Sep; 23 (5): 772-3
  13. Walsh MC, Trentham-Dietz A, Gangnon R, Nieto JN, Newcomb PA, Palta M (2012). Selection bias in population based case-control studied due to incomplete sampling frame coverage. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev, 2012: 21(6); 881-6
  14. Guzman A, Nieto FJ, Malecki K, Walsh MC, Smith S (2012). Evaluating the effects of statewide smoking regulations on smoking behaviours among participants in the Survey of the Health of Wisconsin (SHOW). WMJ 2012: Aug; 111(4): 166-71
  15. Kramer BJ,  Kavanaugh M, Trentham-Dietz A,  Walsh MC, Yonker JA (2012). Complicated grief symptoms in caregivers of persons with lung cancer: the role of family conflict, intrapsychic strains and hospice utilization. OMEGA – Journal of Death and Dying. 2012 Jan 24: 62(3): 201-220
  16. Walsh MC, Trentham-Dietz A, Palta M (2011). Availability of driver’s license master-lists for use in government-sponsored research. Am J Epidemiol. 2011 Jun 15; 173(12): 1414-8
  17. Halverson J, Martinez-Donate A, Trentham-Dietz A, Walsh MC, Schaaf Strickland J, Palta M, Smith P, Cleary J (2013).  Health Literacy and Urbanicity among Cancer Patients.  Journal of Rural Health 2013 Sep; 29(4): 392-402
  18. Walsh MC, Trentham-Dietz A, Schroepfer TA (2010), Reding DJ, Campbell B, Foote ML, Kaufman S, Barrett M, Remington PL, Cleary JF. Cancer Information Sources Used by Patients to Inform and Influence Treatment Decisions. J Health Comm. June 2010: 15:4
  19. Kramer BJ, Kawanaugh M, Trentham-Dietz A, Walsh M, Yonker JA (2009). Predictors of family conflict at the end of life:  the experience of spouses and adult children of persons with lung cancer.  Gerontologist. 2009 Aug 11
  20. Levine RS, Yorita KL, Walsh MC, Reynolds MG (2009). A method for statistically comparing spatial distribution maps. Int J Health Geogr. 2009 Jan 30: 8:7.
  21. Yesupriya A, Evangelou E, Kavvoura FK, Patsopoulos NA, Clyne M, Walsh MC, Lin BK, YU W, Gwinn M, Ioannidis JP, Khoury MJ (2008). Reporting of human genome epidemiology (HuGE) association studies: an empirical assessment. BMC Med Res Methodol. 2008 May 20: 8:31.
  22. Li Y, Carroll DS, Gardner SN, Walsh MC, Vitalis EA, Damon IK (2007). On the origin of smallpox: correlating variola phylogenics with historical smallpox records. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2007; 104:15787-92.
  23. Lin BK, Clyne M, Walsh M, Gomez O, Gwinn M, Khoury MJ (2006). Tracking the Epidemiology of Human Genes in the Literature: The HuGE Published Literature Database Am J Epidemiol. 2006 Jul 1; 164(1): 1-4.