Oscar O'Mara

Senior Research Fellow
Institute of Public Health and Wellbeing
 Oscar O'Mara



Oscar O'Mara is an interdisciplinary researcher with professional experience advising government ministers in public health, environmental monitoring, futures thinking, and social science research. His research has focussed on innovative public health approaches to health security and addressing social and health inequalities in marginalised populations, considering air quality, wastewater monitoring, less-than-lethal weapons, sleep, and new/ emerging technologies. His work has influenced policy internationally and in recent years has been the senior scientific advisor for the Ministry of Justice and HM Prison and Probation Service, contributing to the scientific response to COVID-19 by looking at novel approaches to identifying outbreaks using wastewater based epidemiology, excess mortality, testing approaches, and the overall response to the COVID-19 pandemic in custodial settings, including co-authoring the SAGE report on transmission in prisons. Oscar has qualifications in Public Health, Social Policy, and Criminology.


Journal articles (4)

Hassard, F., Smith, TR., Boehm, AB., Nolan, S., O'Mara, O., Di Cesare, M. and Graham, D., (2022). Wastewater surveillance for rapid identification of infectious diseases in prisons. The Lancet Microbe. 3 (8), e556-e557

Plugge, E., Burke, D., Czachorowski, M., Gutridge, K., Maxwell, F., McGrath, N., O'Mara, O., O'Moore, E. and Parkes, J., (2022). Determining the Prevalence and Incidence of SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Prisons in England: Protocol for a Repeated Panel Survey and Enhanced Outbreak Study. JMIR Research Protocols. 11 (1), e30749-e30749

McCarthy, CV., O’Mara, O., van Leeuwen, E., Sherratt, K., Abbas, K., Wong, KLM., Atkins, KE., Lowe, R., Meakin, SR., Davies, NG., Russell, TW., O’Reilly, K., Hué, S., Finch, E., Villabona-Arenas, CJ., Edmunds, WJ., Jafari, Y., Tully, DC., Bosse, NI., Pearson, CAB., Hodgson, D., Kucharski, AJ., Medley, G., Liu, Y., Procter, SR., Waites, W., Abbott, S., Barnard, RC., Sun, FY., Gibbs, HP., Eggo, RM., Chapman, LAC., Flasche, S., Endo, A., Mee, P., Munday, JD., Koltai, M., Gimma, A., Jarvis, CI., Quaife, M., Clifford, S., Funk, S., Prem, K., Knight, GM., Pung, R., Brady, O., Quilty, BJ., Jit, M. and Sandmann, F., (2022). The impact of COVID-19 vaccination in prisons in England and Wales: a metapopulation model. BMC Public Health. 22 (1), 1003-

Bays, D., Williams, H., Pellis, L., Curran-Sebastian, J., O'Mara, O., Team, PHEJM. and Finnie, T., (2021). Insights gained from early modelling of COVID-19 to inform the management of outbreaks in UK prisons. International Journal of Prisoner Health. 17 (3), 380-397



Colchester Campus

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