Dr Martina Roche

Geography

Rhetoric House
11
(01) 708 4566

Biography

Dr. Martina Roche is a graduate of NUI Maynooth with a Masters in Geographical Analysis and a PhD in Medical Geography. She worked as a Researcher at the National Cancer Registry from 2002-2005 where she was involved with the production of annual reports, including an all Ireland cancer atlas and a pilot project on cancer among farmers. Following this, as Research Officer for Kildare County Council from 2005-2009, she researched and authored several reports, including a socioeconomic profile of Co. Kildare and a poverty profile of the county. In this role also she established a self-funding County Research & Statistics Office in Co. Kildare and set up an annual 1-year internship in collaboration with the Geography Department, NUI Maynooth for graduates of their HDip in Remote Sensing & GIS.

Martina has taught in a number of positions  at the Department of Geography, Maynooth University since 2009, including acting as subject leader for Geography at Kilkenny Outreach Campus from 2013-2018. She currently lectures in Medical Geography (GY326), Geography of Health & Healthcare (GY606) Rural Geography (GY223) and Methods of Geographical Analysis (GY201 & GY202).

Martina has broad interests across Medical/Health Geography, inequality, poverty & health and risk perception and how it influences behaviour in various health contexts. She is also interested in the changing rural economy, particularly in the context of the role of women in rural Ireland, rural poverty and the health of rural populations. In her current role she has focussed heavily on teaching development, co-authoring a publication on the 'Geo-locate' Project - a project where undergraduate Geography students acted as citizen scientists in resolving meteorological station location issues. More recently she has been working on a paper on the challenges of delivering practical classes during a global pandemic

Research Interests

My research interests fall into two main strands.
1. A focus on Medical/Health Geography, inequality, poverty & health and risk perception and how it influences behaviour in various health contexts.
2. The changing rural economy, particularly in the context of the role of women in rural Ireland and rural poverty. Both research strands interlink through work on the health of rural populations.


My PhD research considered patterns of cancer incidence and mortality in the South Eastern Health Board area and public perceptions of the same using both quantitative and qualitative methods. It found that respondents in three of six communities examined were considerably concerned about rates of cancer incidence and mortality in their local communities but that these perceptions paid little resemblance to actual incidence and mortality patterns in these areas. Neither age, gender nor marital status had any significant impact on these perceptions, instead threats to the ways of life and values of these communities posed by focal points of concern (namely a proposed dump in one community and mobile phone masts in two other communities) played a significant role in generating and perpetuating concern about cancer in these communities. This research emphasised the need for readily accessible small area health data in Ireland and the importance of community perceptions and their implications. This research has lead to a further interest in how risk perception influences behaviour in various health contexts.

Whilst working for the National Cancer Registry, as well as working on geographic analysis of cancer data for annual reports, I also initiated a project on cancer among farmers in Ireland, given that some cancers are more common among farmers.

With my role as Research Officer for Kildare County Council I moved into more socioeconomic research, publishing an atlas style socio-economic profile of the county as well as a poverty profile. In addition, I was funded to carry out research for Kildare County Childcare Committee, Kildare VEC and Kildare County Development Board.

Peer Reviewed Journals

  Year Publication
2019 'Geo-locate Project: A novel approach to resolving meteorological station location issues with the assistance of undergraduate students'
Noone, S.,Brody, A.,Brown, S.,Cantwell, N.,Coleman, M.,Sarsfield Collins, L.,Darcy, C.,Dee, D.,Donegan, S.,Fealy, R.,Flattery, P.,Mc Govern, R.,Menkman, C.,Murphy, M.,Phillips, C.,Roche, M.,Thorne, P. (2019) 'Geo-locate Project: A novel approach to resolving meteorological station location issues with the assistance of undergraduate students'. Geoscience Communication, 2 :157-171 [DOI] [full-text] [Details]

Conference Contributions

  Year Publication
2005 Understanding Community Concerns about Cancer in the South East.
Roche, M. (2005) Understanding Community Concerns about Cancer in the South East. [Oral Presentation], Conference of Irish Geographers, Galway [Details]
2004 Cancer in the South Eastern Health Board area: Actual Occurrence Versus Public Perceptions of Risk - Winner of poster competition.
Roche, M. (2004) Cancer in the South Eastern Health Board area: Actual Occurrence Versus Public Perceptions of Risk - Winner of poster competition. [Poster Presentation], All Ireland Social Medicine Meeting, Mayo [Details]
2003 Cancer among farmers in Ireland: proportionate risk ratios based on incident cases.
Walsh, P.M., Roche, M., Deady, S., Comber, H (2003) Cancer among farmers in Ireland: proportionate risk ratios based on incident cases. [Poster Presentation], All-Ireland Cancer Conference, Cork [Details]
2000 The Identification of Potential Localised Clusters of Cancer Cases in the South Eastern Health board area.
Roche, M (2000) The Identification of Potential Localised Clusters of Cancer Cases in the South Eastern Health board area. [Oral Presentation], ENRGHI 2000 (Emerging New Research in the Geographies of Health and Impairment), Portsmouth [Details]
2000 The Identification of Potential Localised Clusters of Cancer Cases in the South Eastern Health board area.
Roche, M. (2000) The Identification of Potential Localised Clusters of Cancer Cases in the South Eastern Health board area. [Oral Presentation], Conference of Irish Geographers, Belfast [Details]

Published Reports

  Year Publication
2008 A Poverty Profile of Co. Kildare.
Roche, M. & Prendergast, D. (2008) A Poverty Profile of Co. Kildare. Kildare County Council, Kildare. [Details]
2007 Lone Parents in Kildare: People, Services & Challenges.
Roche, M & Prendergast, D (2007) Lone Parents in Kildare: People, Services & Challenges. Kildare County Council, Kildare. [Details]
2006 Rural-Urban Dynamics in Kildare: Socio-economic patterns and trends.
Roche, M., Walsh, J., Smith, A. & Prendergast, D (2006) Rural-Urban Dynamics in Kildare: Socio-economic patterns and trends. Kildare County Council, Kildare. [Details]
2006 Mapping Childcare Provision in Co. Kildare.
Roche, M. & Prendergast, D. (2006) Mapping Childcare Provision in Co. Kildare. Kildare County Council, Kildare. [Details]

Professional Associations

  Association Function From / To
Geographical Society of Ireland Member /

Employment

  Employer Position From / To
National Cancer Registry Researcher 12-MAY-02 / 12-MAY-05
Kildare County Council Research Officer 01-JUL-05 / 01-JUL-09

Other Activities

  Description

Set up the County Research & Statistics Office at Kildare County Council in October 2005

Set up an annual 1-year Student Internship between NUI Maynooth and Kildare County Council in 2006, which provided work placement for students of the HDip in Remote Sensing & GIS course, Geography Dept, NUI Maynooth and valuable expertise for Kildare County Council.

Teaching Interests

I currently co-ordinate and lecture on the following modules:
GY201 Methods of Geographical analysis 1 
GY202 Methods of Geographical analysis 2 
GY223 Geography of Rural Development 
GY326 Medical Geography 
GY606 Geography of Health & Healthcare 

In the past I have co-taught GY152 Living Landscapes 2, taught GY310B Geography Research Workshops and both First Year Human Geography modules (GY161 Global Environments 1 & GY152 Living Landscapes 2) at Kilkenny Outreach Campus where I was Subject Leader for Geography. I have also planned and co-lead fieldtrip modules both within Ireland (GY205) and abroad (GY206). In 2018, I was part of a team, along with colleagues Dr Rowan Fealy and Dr Simon Noone, who developed synergies between research and teaching by integrating citizen science into the classroom through an innovative project called GEOLOCATE (GEO Locate land Observing ClimAte sTation attributEs) - a project undertaken by GY201 Methods of Geographical Analysis students as part of the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), operated by the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (ECMWF) on behalf of the European Union. I have supervised a range of UG thesis projects in both rural geography and medical/health geography.