Katherine (Kat) Tumlinson, PhD
Dr. Tumlinson is an Assistant Professor of Maternal and Child Health (MCH) and a Fellow of the Carolina Population Center (CPC). She is trained as an epidemiologist and demographer, with a portfolio of work at the intersection of population and global reproductive health. Dr. Tumlinson has served as PI on research studies conducted in Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa, undertaking cross-sectional and longitudinal primary data collection activities at both the household level and within healthcare facilities. Professionally, Dr. Tumlinson has worked as a family planning service provider and reproductive health educator and advocate, and these roles have provided critical context for the development of a highly relevant and applied research agenda.
Dr. Tumlinson’s current research program, funded by an NIH career development grant, investigates the relationship between the quality of family planning service delivery and contraceptive use dynamics in low-income countries. She is using large-scale demographic data from Kenya to estimate the association between quality of care and contraceptive continuation and to assess the reliability of the retrospective reproductive calendar. Dr. Tumlinson is also using longitudinal data from Western Kenya to examine the validity of reproductive calendar data. Additionally, Dr. Tumlinson is collecting extensive qualitative primary data to better understand the motivations of healthcare providers in low-income settings in order to develop appropriate, feasible, and sustainable interventions to increase the quality of service delivery and improve public health outcomes.
Across her research activities, Dr. Tumlinson employs complex quantitative methodologies, integrated qualitative techniques, and a cross-disciplinary approach. Throughout all stages of her work, Dr. Tumlinson regularly engages with relevant key stakeholders to ensure her research agenda is informed by in-country priorities and to ensure her results find audience with in-country reproductive health program managers and policy makers.
Honors and AwardsFellow
2016-2018, Cambridge Reproductive Health ConsultantsBerton H. Kaplan Award for best student publication, Dep't of Epidemiology
2015, UNC-CHEpidemiology department nominee, UNC Distinguished Dissertation Award, Social Sciences
2015, UNC-CHStudent Travel Award, UNC Department of Epidemiology
2013, UNC-CHStudent Transportation Award, Graduate School
2013, UNC-CHHarry A. Guess Scholarship, Gillings School of Global Public
2010, UNC-CHNew Investigators in Global Health Award
2008, Global Health CouncilMichael and Linda Frieze Fellowship
2005, Brandeis UniversityPACEsetters Award for improving the lives of girls
2002, PACE Center for Girls
Principal Investigator, Provider imposed barriers to contraceptive uptake and continuation
Principal Investigator, Patient perspectives on addressing contraceptive discontinuation in low-income settings: Advancing patient-centered care through qualitative inquiry
2018-present Global Health MPH Concentration subcommittee
Association between skilled maternal healthcare and postpartum contraceptive use in Ethiopia. G Tessema, T Mekonnen, Z Mengesha, K Tumlinson (2018). BMC pregnancy and childbirth, 18(1), 172.
Pregnancy experiences of women in rural Romania: understanding ethnic and socioeconomic disparities. K LeMasters, A Baber Wallis, R Chereches, M Gichane, C Tehei, A Varga, K Tumlinson (2018). Culture, health & sexuality.
PhD, Epidemiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2014
MA, International Development, Brandeis University, 2007