Professor Michael Baker
Co-Director; Housing and Health Research Programme (HHRP)
Director; Health Environment & Infection Research Unit (HEIRU)
Email michael.baker@otago.ac.nz

Michael has a wide range of public health research interests, with a particular focus on infectious diseases, environmental health, and housing. He has published widely on these topics.

In 2013 Michael was awarded the Liley Medal (Health Research Council) for his contribution to the health and medical sciences. In 2014 he was a recipient of the Prime Minister’s Science Prize as a member of He Kainga Oranga / Housing and Health Research Programme. In 2015 he was the NZ-UK Link Foundation Visiting Professor at the School of Advanced Study (SAS), University of London.

In 2020 he received the Critic and Conscience of Society Award (from Universities New Zealand), and the Public Health Champion Award (Public Health Association) for his contributions to public health in New Zealand, notably his work on the COVID-19 response.

His research areas include:

  • infectious disease epidemiology
  • emerging infectious diseases, including COVID-19 and pandemic influenza
  • food safety and enteric diseases such as campylobacteriosis
  • zoonoses and One Health
  • immunisation and vaccine preventable diseases
  • the health effects of household crowding
  • home injuries, homelessness
  • seasonality of disease, health effects of climate change
  • public health surveillance and outbreak investigation
  • the International Health Regulations (IHR 2005) and global health
  • science communication

Michael is a public health physician and Professor in the Department of Public Health. Other positions include: