Academic and professional qualifications
I completed my undergraduate degree in human nutrition (BSc) at Manchester Metropolitan University. I proceeded to complete my masters degree in Publlic Health Nutrition (MSc) at the University of Chester. I subsequently went on to study part time my doctorate in public health nutrition at Chester (awarded by University of Liverpool). During this time I undertook the role of Evaluation Officer with Skelmersdale Community Food Initiative. The evaluation was incorporated into research towards my PhD. My research explores the process of dietary change and the broader social and cultural markers influencing dietary patterns.
September 2010 – Jan 2012 University of Chester
Lecturer on Undergraduate and postgraduate dietetics course. Subjects included health promotion and the sociology of eating. Involved in all aspects of teaching including module design, delivery, assessment and research supervision. Provided pastoral student support and participated in University open and visit days.
Jan 2008 - Dec 2011
I have been commissioned to carry out evaluations for public sector and community and voluntary organisations. My research expertise and experience as a Public Health Nutritionist ensures that evaluation is robust and disseminated appropriately. My involvement in these evaluations has enable applications for continued funding to be successful.
Other academic service (administration and management)
I am level 6 year manager and take an active role in employability. I organise a careers event each year that allows students to gain insight into future careers and directions after graduation. This is a popular event that is open to PG and UG students. Speakers come from a range of disciplines; Sports Nutrition, Public Health, Food Industry and Dietetics.
I am the academic support for the food and nutrition disability co-ordinator. Students experience times of stress and difficulty just like any other time in the lifespan and there are systems in place here at MMU to enable them to continue to achieve their qualifications with the necessary support.
Teaching & Research Supervision
Why study Public Health Nutrition?
Postgraduate supervision (completed/in progress)
My main areas of interest are public health nutrition policy, interventions and evaluation. Food access, geographical/place influence of food choice. Qualitative research investigating the food choice environment for different populations.
Current supervision activities:
- DOS for a self-funded student exploring school meal provision in Saudi, due to complete in September 2017.
- Supervisor for a student investigating the effects of specific dietary factors on type 2 diabetes who is due to complete in August 2017
- DOS for MRes student investigating take away meal consumption
- Supervisor for MRes student investigating pregnancy outcomes in obese mothers
- 2 PhD completions in 2016 from Stephen Whiting and Taqua Bushnaq
Research Expertise, Publications & Grants
My research expertise are in public health nutrition, food choice and behaviour change, using primarily qualitative methodologies, including focus groups, semi-structured interviews and thematic analysis. My current research focuses on food choice influences and behaviour change during the early life course and effective policy approaches to behaviour change. I also experienced in food access, geographical/place influence on food choice using quallitative methods and GIS.
I am part of a north west universities collaborationsince 2013. The North West Research Consortium is currently investigating takeaway meals (amongst other projects). This was the focus of my Masters by research student and 2 papers are in preparation.
I am collaborating with the RDS service and Debbie Smith at the University of Manchester. We have applied for research grants in the field of maternal nutrition. This research aims to explore the role of Midwives in nutrition education.
The Northern Heart Study is a multi-University study led by food and nutrition staff at MMU [Dr Tom Butler, Dr Laura O’Connor (Co-Is), Dr Rebecca Gregg (qualitative analysis expert)], in collaboration with colleagues at Liverpool John Moores University (Dr Ian Davies); University of Chester (Dr Sohail Mushtaq); Prof Yvonne Alexander at Healthcare Science, Manchester Metropolitan University; and exercise physiologists and dietitians at University Hospital, South Manchester.
I collaborate in a nutrition communication and policy research stream with Dr Ajay Patel, Dr Sumaiya Patel and led by Dr Laura O’Connor. This collaboration, in place since April 2016, has already generated one publication and two more are underway.
Awarded £5000 internal accelerator grant which was used to recruit a Masters by Research Student (January 2016 - January 2017) (Principal applicant)
As part of an inter-departmental collaboration with Dr Sumaiya Patel and Dr Christopher Murgatroyd was awarded £8000 accelerator grant which was used to recruit a Masters by Research student (September 2016 – September 2017) (Co-applicant).
Awarded internal summer studentship grant (2017) (Co-applicant with Dr Tom Butler and Dr Laura O’Connor)
Awards, Honours & Distinctions
Membership of professional associations
Registered Nutritonist (public Health) with the Association for Nutrition
Nutrition Society member