Seulkee Heo

Seulkee Heo's picture
Associate Research Scientist

Curriculum Vitae               Google Scholar


Ph.D. - Department of Public Health, Korea University, 2016

M.P.H - Department of Public Health Science, Korea University, 2014

B.H.S. - Department of Environmental Health, Korea University, 2012


Seulkee investigates health effects of climate change, air pollution, and urban built environment. Her early experience involves assistance for numerous government research projects of climate change and public health, which has cultivated her passion in research that can aid decision-makers in environmental health policy and urban planning. These policy-relevant research works include establishment of processes for applying indicators for food and environmental hazards in policy-making, improving real-time hospital surveillance systems, drawing national disease maps for top climate-related diseases, and developing forecasts of extreme weather for susceptive subgroups and built environment.


Seulkee’s primary research interest is the health effects of ambient high temperature and air pollution with several facets such as health disparities and effectiveness of policy for reducing health risks. 


Seulkee is also investigating how and by what conditions and forms of green space affects various human health outcomes and modify the relationship between air pollution and health outcomes. Her work included novel research questions for the relationships between local green space, human mobility patterns, and mental health outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Further, she investigates Environmental Justice of access to green space by socioeconomic status. Her long-term goal is to understand the broad urban system of health, air pollution, built environment, and climate change.   


Summary of Research Interests

  • Health effects of ambient temperature and air pollution

  • Development of health-oriented extreme weather alert systems  

  • Evaluation of environmental health policies of climate change and air pollution 

  • Disparities of health in urban populations by built environment

  • Environmental justice 

  • Health implications of green space provisions.


Selected Awards

  1. IOP 2021 Outstanding Reviewer Award (2022)

  2. Competitive Scholarship, Korea University (2008, 2010, 2015)

  3. Scholarship for research assistant by Department of Public Health Science, Graduate School, Korea University (2012-2013)

  4. Award for student presentation in academic conference by Korean Society of Environmental Health (2011). “The importance of scientific approach to public health issues: Japanese well water contamination and DPAA exposure accident.”


Selected Publications

  1. S Heo, G Byun, S kim, W Lee, JT Lee, ML Bell. Associations between long-term exposure to fine particulate matter and osteoporotic fracture risks in South Korea. Environmental Research: Health, 2023;online 17 August 2023.  doi:10.1088/2752-5309/acf14e

  2. S Heo, J-Y Son, CC Lim, KC Fong, et al. Effect modification by sex for associations of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) with cardiovascular mortality, hospitalization, and emergency room visits: systematic review and meta-analysis. Environmental Research Letters, 2022;17(5): 123004. doi: 10.1088/1748-9326/ac6cfb. PMID: 35662857.

  3. S Heo, ML Bell, JT Lee. Comparison of health risks by heat wave definition: Applicability of wet-bulb globe temperature for heat wave criteria. Environmental Research, 2019;168: 158-70. PMID 30316101.

  4. S Heo, A Nori-Sarma, K Lee, T Benmarhnia, F Dominici, ML Bell. The Use of a Quasi-Experimental Study on the Mortality Effect of a Heat Wave Warning System in Korea. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 2019;16(12): E2245. PMID 31242672.

  5. S Heo, ML Bell. The Effect of Particulate Air Pollution on Hospitalization and Effect Modification by Green Space. Environmental research, 2019;174: 61-68. PMID 31039514.