Judith Green news

New PhD Students join the Wellcome Centre

26 July 2021

As the old academic year draws to a close, and we begin to prepare for the new academic year starting in September, WCCEH are delighted to announce the appointment of a new cohort of PhD students to join the Wellcome Centre during the 2021/22 academic year.

Four of these students are funded by our core grant, following our successful extension earlier this year, and all of the cohort will be working on projects with a transdisciplinary, engaged basis.

Working on our Healing City research theme, we welcome Ben Addy: a sustainable transport and community engagement practitioner – currently based at SUSTRANS in London. He has an interdisciplinary background, including degrees in politics, creative writing, and international studies. At WCCEH, Ben will pursue a project on the concept of “healthy streets” in London, which describes the renewed prioritisation of walking, cycling and public transport access across; drawing on data from  arrange of London boroughs, Ben’s project re-thinks this development from an inequalities perspective, arguing that diverse communities are positioned differently by healthy streets initiatives; at the heart of his project is thus an attempt to think about what a more critical and collaborative community-based approach to creating healthy streets in London could look like. Ben will be working with Des Fitzgerald.

We also welcome Lucía Guerrero Rivière, who will be working with Judy Green on the Transitions across the Life Course research theme. Following her undergraduate studies in Biomedical Engineering at Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia, Lucía went on to do an MA in Cultural Studies at the same university. Most recently, she completed an exchange programme at Wesleyan University, where she also worked as a Foreign Language Teaching Assistant.  She is thrilled to be starting a Ph.D. fellowship at the Wellcome Centre for Cultures and Environments of Health. She will be looking at disability and debilitation in the context of the Colombian post-conflict. Specifically, she aims to examine the place of disability (especially as a result of political violence) in Colombia’s political transition and the narratives and practices that it has involved. More generally, she is interested in social studies of science and medicine, especially where medical technologies, their histories, and their biases are concerned.

Our final two PhD students will be working with Felicity Thomas on our Transforming research themes: Institutions, Relations and Engagement.

Robin Jakob will be looking at public health discourses around women living complex lives and how their experiences of health and the criminal justice system intersect. He has worked in public health for the last ten years in campaigns, policy and service delivery. This includes time as a sexual health worker and campaigner and as a Public Health Practitioner for local government. He is interested in progressive evidenced-based, public health policy and how this can be shaped by centring lived experience.

Laura Werner was awarded a Masters in Creative Writing by the University of Exeter in 2020. She is a poet and is particularly interested in writing that examines the treatment of the female body in the contexts of pain and illness. Her PhD project, Uterine Poetics, will research lived experience of endometriosis. She lives with her family near Dartmouth where she enjoys running, swimming, paddle boarding and generally being active outside.

The Centre is also delighted to welcome PhD students Cathrin Fischer and Juanita Navarro Paez, who will be joining the Imagining Technologies for Disability Futures project and the Shame and Medicine project respectively, under the tutelage of Luna Dolezal.

Cat began on July 1st, and her project will bring together phenomenological and crip-queer-feminist methods to investigate the lived experience of disability, especially in relation of prosthesis. Prostheses at once encompass a curative, medicalised approach to disability and a crip-queer possibility in the way that body, environment, and technology is used and related to. She therefore aims to examine the experience of those who use prosthesis, and how they imagine prostheses to feature in the future. More generally, she is interested in interdisciplinary philosophical approaches which centre the lived, bodily experience of marginalised people and challenge normative assumptions.

Juanita’s project will explore how shame and shaming in medicine are represented through comics from an intersectional perspective. Comics, being a media that combines text and image, offer important communicative tools that allow for in-depth discussions of topics that could be considered taboo or overly complicated, both for authors and audiences. Moreover, they are commonly used by marginalised groups to make their own personal or collective stories known and regain control over their narratives. More generally, she is interested in popular media analysis.

Our final PhD student in the cohort will also join us from September, and will be working with Dora Vargha on her Connecting Three Worlds project.



Judith Green news

Renewal Funds for the Wellcome Centre!

6 November 2020

The Wellcome Centre for Cultures and Environments of Health at the University of Exeter has been awarded an additional £1.43m to continue its pioneering engaged and transdisciplinary research.

Applying for a two-year extension in July this year, the Centre asked the Wellcome Trust to renew their support for the Centre’s unique research and impact vision. That support will allow the Centre to scale up its transformative health research programme and to ask new questions about the health impacts of social and environmental inequalities. The focus of the next three years will be research on health across the life course, on ageing and dying, on co-creating healthy cities, and on living with the social and cultural impacts of COVID-19.

These research programmes – as well as the development of an innovative Masters course in transformative health research and practice – will assist the Centre and the University to embed engagement and impact fully in their work locally, nationally and internationally, build training and career pathways in transdisciplinary research, and strengthen the Centre’s commitment to an inclusive and vibrant research culture.

Since February 2016, the Centre and its members have established a unique, transformative research and engagement programme, developing new partnerships with policy-makers and creative organisations, building an open and transparent research culture, and bringing in doctoral students, early career researchers, and senior staff. The Centre was founded by academics from across the medical humanities and environmental & social sciences.

The Centre is committed to developing engaged transdisciplinary research that sustains healthy environments and publics. Engaged research means breaking down the barriers between researchers, patient and activist groups, public sector partners, and health organisations in order to address key health challenges collectively. Current research at the Centre includes: the health impacts of loneliness and social isolation; how we use different forms of evidence in health policy; the impact of family relationships on children’s health; and community involvement in how we assess and manage research. The Centre also played a key role in co-ordinating the recent successful UNESCO City of Literature application, which made Exeter the only UK city to achieve UNESCO Creative City status in 2019.

The Centre Director, Professor Judith Green, said: “This award recognises the outstanding work of Centre members and our partners in creating the conditions for engaged and transdisciplinary work.   Addressing contemporary threats to health – whether from global warming, emerging diseases, or enduring social inequalities – demands that we draw deeply on diverse disciplinary, practitioner and experiential expertise.  The Centre’s work on some of the most urgent issues for wellbeing – decolonization, living with COVID, loneliness, shame, urban mental health – has showcased the value of collaborations across and beyond the humanities and social sciences. We are delighted to have been awarded an extension to scale up this work for transformative research on healthy cultures and environments.”

The Centre’s founding Director and Principal Investigator, Professor Mark Jackson, added: “It has been rewarding to witness the development of the richness and range of research carried out in the Wellcome Centre over the last four years. The effort of enabling research on this scale should not be underestimated; nor should the quality of the Centre’s outputs and outcomes. The extension of Wellcome funding – matched by support from the University – not only highlights the Centre’s many achievements, but also provides a platform for making more expansive contributions to addressing the health and environmental challenges that we all face.”



Judith Green news

New Appointments at the Centre

13 January 2020

Professor Judith Green, Dr Des Fitzgerald and Dr Martin Moore will be joining the Wellcome Centre for Cultures and Environments of Health in 2020, following a rigorous and robust recruitment campaign in the latter part of last year.

The Centre spent much of 2019 involved in preparing a recruitment campaign to attract staff with interdisciplinary and engaged experience and with a variety of expertise. The campaign attracted nearly two hundred applications across the levels of Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Associate Professor and Professor, in line with WCCEH’s focus on the humanities and social sciences. The applicant pool was extremely strong, and competition for the three permanent posts was fierce.

Professor Judith Green joins the Centre as Professor of Sociology from King’s College London, where she has been a professor of Sociology of Health since 2016. Her career has seen her work to bridge the gap between medical research and sociological research, and lately she has been focusing on mobility, transport systems & health; questions of how evidence travels from one setting to another; methodological development; and health professions. Her work most recently has focused on how telematics are used to mitigate public health disadvantages of heavy car usage.

Professor Green joins the Centre on March 1st 2020, and has kindly agreed to give the Centre’s annual Public Lecture at our External Advisory Board event in the middle of March. Keep an eye out for more details nearer the time!

Dr Des Fitzgerald, a sociologist of science and medicine, will also join us on 1st March 2020, as Associate Professor of Sociology, having been at Cardiff University since 2015. His work has focused on space, environment and mental health; he won the Philip Leverhulme Prize for sociology in 2017, and the research from this focuses on the use of psychological and neurobiological knowledge in architecture and city planning.. His most recent publication was titled “Mental health, migration and the megacity” and examined ‘results and perspectives from an in-progress international and interdisciplinary collaboration investigating the mental health of rural–urban migrant communities in contemporary megacities’.

Dr Martin Moore will join us in September 2020, ready for the new academic year! Martin will be taking up a permanent post as Lecturer in History, after six years as a Research Fellow here at Exeter. His previous body of work has examined historical constructions of physical, mental and social health, and the way approaches to time, waiting and disease management have influenced approaches to health and disease. His work with the Centre will focus on Commuting Britain, and the connections between travel, health and wellbeing in post-war Britain.

Professor Mark Jackson, the Wellcome Centre’s Director, commented: “I am delighted that we have three new colleagues joining us this year: Professor Judy Green; Associate Professor Des Fitzgerald; and Dr Martin Moore.  Their expertise and experience will substantially expand our cross-disciplinary interests and research capacity in environment and health in particular.”



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