A passionate, enthusiastic, interdisciplinary academic using data science to understand nutrition and lifestyle behaviours applied to health
I have always loved the outdoors, being physically active and enjoying good food. These interests now feed into my research.
After graduating with a degree in Neuroscience, followed by seven years working in health care IT, I returned to University to complete a MSc in Nutrition, Obesity and Health. While it was not my initial plan, I felt at home in academia and went on to complete a PhD investigating ‘Spatial analysis of dietary cost patterns and implications for health’, with case studies of Obesity and Breast Cancer.
My research continues to take an interdisciplinary approach, combining geography, public health, data analytics and medicine. I have since completed post doctoral fellowships in the Food Science and Nutrition and in Geography. Since 2016 I have been an Academic Fellow at the Leeds Institute for Medical Research, based in Leeds Institute for Data Analytics.
I lead a wonderful team working with novel data sources to better understand lifestyle behaviours and their impact on health. Over recent years I have forged partnerships with a variety of stakeholders, from health professionals to policy makers through to commercial organisations. This has allowed me to build a team all working on projects with non-academic partners, that start making real world impact from the outset.
For all research, especially interdisciplinary and cross-sector research, to remain relevant and meaningful, strong and wide ranging networks are essential. With this in mind I set up and Economic and Social Research Council funded Strategic Network for Obesity in 2015 bringing together leaders and emerging leaders with interest in using ‘big data’ to understand and tackle obesity.
Given the potential novel lifestyle data has to improving health, I am a founder of the Worldwide Universities Network Digital Health Network that brings together experts from around the world to share knowledge from our countries and specialist areas to move the digital health agenda forward.
Ensuring that my academic research achieves its potential impact at the earliest opportunity I am a members of the Food and Drink Sector Council Nutrition Working Group.