Media release: Achievements of rural health researcher recognised by university


AN international expert on rural health research has been awarded the title of reader by the University of the Highlands and Islands.

Dr Sarah-Anne Muñoz, from Elgin in Moray, has been given the title in recognition of her work with local residents and public sector professionals contributing to individual and community health and wellbeing.

Dr Muñoz is a health geographer and senior lecturer in rural health and wellbeing, based at the Centre for Health Science in Inverness. Since gaining her PhD in geography at the University of Dundee in 2007, Dr Muñoz has been engaged in various research orientated roles with the University of the Highlands and Islands.

From 2007, Dr Muñoz worked as a post-doctoral researcher, before taking on a research fellow role in 2009 and becoming senior research fellow in 2012. Since 2016, Dr Muñoz has been a senior lecturer in rural health and wellbeing, combining her role with her extensive research activities.

From 2009, Dr Muñoz worked as a principal and co-investigator on projects related to the interactions between health, wellbeing and place; including using outdoor environments to promote health and associations between community activities and wellbeing. More recently, Dr Muñoz has led the University of the Highlands and Islands’ research element of an Arts and Humanities Research Council funded grant on community participation and the university’s work packages within the NHS Highland being here programme evaluation.

She has also contributed to European Space Agency and Robertson Trust funded work on co-designing risk mitigation for Lyme disease. Dr Muñoz has also led consultancy projects for NHS Highland, the Highland Hospice, High Life Highland and Argyll and Bute Council, while completing international visiting fellowship work with La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia, and Texas A&M University-Kingsville in the USA.

Professor Clive Mulholland, the university’s principal and vice-chancellor, said: “The title of reader is reserved for an academic who has a distinguished international reputation in their research or scholarship. Sarah-Anne has contributed greatly to the university’s distinctive research output in the areas of rural health and wellbeing, focussing on the natural environment and culture of the Highlands and Islands and helping the university to better serve our region and communities. Dr Muñoz is a worthy recipient of the title of reader and this further endorses her growing national and international reputation.”

Speaking about her new title, Dr Sarah-Anne Muñoz said: “It is a real honour to have been awarded the title of reader. Working at the university over the last decade has given me the opportunity to develop as an independent researcher in a subject area that really matters to me – the health, wellbeing and sustainability of rural communities in Scotland and around the globe. As reader, I will continue to pursue that research agenda in a way that tries to produce positive impacts in the lives of rural people.”


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