PEOPLE – Academics

Jan Ewing

7 May 2020

I was a family law solicitor in private practice, including at partnership level in a career spanning 20 years. Having acted for countless clients whose relationship fell apart through neglect, I became interested in how to keep relationships vibrant and thriving. I undertook an MJur at the University of Durham (2005) examining legislation aimed, in part, at saving marriages. For my PhD at the University of Cambridge (2014) I interviewed couples separately but consecutively three times over the first four years of marriage to examine what helps marriages to thrive in the first few years after marriage.

I was a research associate on the Mapping Paths to Family Justice project which considered which parties and cases were better suited to which of three non- court family dispute resolution processes: solicitor negotiations, mediation and collaborative law. I was then a research fellow in the Law School, University of Exeter on the follow-up project, Creating Paths to Family Justice, working with family justice stakeholders to put into practice some of the findings from the Mapping project. A key finding was that family justice dispute resolution processes tend to be child focused but not child inclusive, leading to the marginalisation of children’s voices in the arrangements made for the care of children following parental separation. Concurrently, I was a research fellow on The Shackleton Relationships project. Here, I re-interviewed the 45 couples whom I had interviewed for my PhD, at year 10 of marriage. The research I will be undertaking in the Wellcome Centre brings together the findings from both projects. The findings from The Shackleton Relationship project will help to inform the work that colleagues from the Medical School and Graduate School of Education will be doing in schools around ‘transitioning into’ healthy relationships. The findings from the Mapping project will inform the work around making child inclusive mediation better understood and increasing practitioner confidence in the process, for those transitioning to life after parental separation.

Highlights of my research career to date
The book ‘Mapping Paths to Family Justice: Resolving Family Disputes in Neoliberal Times’ which I co-wrote with colleagues from the Law School and Psychology (and a colleague from the University of Kent) won the SLSA-Hart 2018 Book Prize.

The research I will be undertaking in the Centre
Transforming relationships and relationship transitions with and for the next generation. This project focusses on supporting healthy relationships and relationship transitions throughout the lifecourse. My work will look at how greater uptake of child-inclusive mediation might improve well-being and agency for young people as they transition to life following parental separation.

Something about me you can’t Google!
I competed internationally for the British Universities’ riding team when a student. A highlight was winning the ‘Dutch Nations Cup’.

PEOPLE – Academics

Des Fitzgerald

22 April 2020

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’.

PEOPLE – Academics

Judith Green

22 April 2020

Professor 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 most recent work has focused on resisting bodies in a health intervention: Unruly bodies

PEOPLE – Academics

Tamsin Newlove-Delgado

15 April 2020


I graduated as a doctor from Leicester Medical School in 2003, following which I trained in psychiatry and child psychiatry, gaining my Membership of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. Working with families living in challenging circumstances led me to develop a growing interest in how services work and meet (or do not meet) the needs of children and young people. I therefore moved onto the South West Public Health Training Scheme, and took time out of training to undertake an NIHR Doctoral Research Fellowship focussed on two aspects of service provision for children and young people with psychiatric disorders in the UK; mental health related service contact in school aged children, and transition from child to adult services in young people with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Following my PhD, I was appointed to an NIHR Academic Clinical Lecturer post, whilst I finished training as a public health consultant. In 2018, I obtained my Fellowship of the Faculty of Public Health, and in 2019, I was appointed as Senior Clinical Lecturer and Honorary Consultant in Public Health with the Medical School.

Influenced by my clinical experience in child and adolescent psychiatry prior to entering public health, my research has concentrated on public health aspects of the mental health of young people, with a particular interest in the transition from child to adult services, and in the application of epidemiological methods for service planning. My approach includes a strong emphasis on the active involvement of children, young people and families. I also have a strong interest in supporting junior clinical and public health academics and in encouraging students and trainees to consider clinical academic careers.

Highlights of my research career to date
Presenting the findings of our research (in particular, the CATCh-uS project on ADHD and transition) and contributing to discussions around improving policy and services for young people with ADHD at a national level.
Seeing the headlines when the results of the national child and adolescent mental health surveys were published, after hours spent assessing hundreds of cases to decide whether they met diagnostic criteria.

The research I will be undertaking in the Centre
Transforming relationships and relationship transitions with and for the next generation. This project focusses on supporting healthy relationships and relationship transitions throughout the lifecourse, and I am leading on the strand working on healthy relationship education in schools.

Something about me you can’t Google!
My original ambition as a teenager was to work in the wine business and it was a toss-up between French and Medicine at university…

PEOPLE – Academics

Lora Fleming

25 June 2019


I graduated from Harvard University with a BA in Hispanic Studies in 1978, followed by a MSc in the History of Science at Imperial College, London University in 1979.

I studied Occupational and Environmental Health in the context of a post graduate MD MPH at Harvard Medical School and Harvard Public Health School graduating in 1984 with a National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Fellowship; and after a Post Doc in Occupational and Environmental Health at Yale Medical School as a Dana Fellow, I obtained my PhD in Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology from Yale in 1997, while also an Assistant Professor at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

While at the University of Miami, with a Joint Appointment in both the Medical School and the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, I became the Co Director of the NSF-NIEHS funded Oceans and Human Health Centre, as well as running a NIOSH NIH funded Research Group in Healthy Worker Surveillance and Occupational inequalities and serving as Director and Medical Director of the Florida Cancer Data System (FCDS), Florida’s incident cancer registry.

I left the University of Miami as Emerita Professor in both the Medical and Marine Schools in 2011, and came to start the European Centre for Environment and Human Health with several colleagues (including Professor Michael Depledge and Ms Emma Bland) originally in the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry, later the University of Exeter Medical School. I am currently a Professor, Chair of Oceans and Epidemiology, and Director of the European Centre of Environment and Human Health (

I have received international recognition and funding for my research and promotion of the new Metadiscipline of Oceans and Human Health including the International Oceanographic Commission (IOC) Bruun Award Oceans and Human Health (OHH) (2015) and the Edouard Delcroix International OHH Award (2014). I have served on many grant review panels for NIH, the UK Research Councils and the EU FP7/Horizon 2020 Programme and I was a Member of Horizons 2020 Health, Demographic Change and Wellbeing Advisory Board (2014-2015) and currently a Member of the NERC Science Board (2016-present). I am a HEA/ASPIRE Principal Fellow (2014) and I was the CoChair of the University of Exeter Athena SWAN Working Group (Silver Award 2014).

Highlights of my career to date

The major scientific highlights have been working collaboratively and inter-disciplinarily and with multiple partners in environment and human health research and training, in particular in the area of Oceans and Human Health.

Particular highlights in occupational health have included some of the first research around occupational inequalities and the importance of worker and their family health and wellbeing; while in environment and human health, exploring exposures and health effects from harmful algal blooms and microbial pollution, establishing the importance of “big data” issues in environment and human health, and now investigating the potential benefits to human health and wellbeing of interactions with the natural environment, particularly “blue” environments.

I also hope to involve other researchers at all levels, within and outside of the University of Exeter and beyond (nationally and internationally), in interdisciplinary collaborations in the cultures and environments of human health.

The research work I will be undertaking within the centre

In addition to setting up the processes and “conditions for changes” for others to push the boundaries of “cultures and environments of health,” I hope to explore collaborations between researchers, communities and other stakeholders around how the health of humans is dependent upon the health of the environment within the context of climate and other environmental change; and how to involve communities and other stakeholders in the challenges and opportunities for the uses and abuses of big data.

Something about me you can’t Google!

My daughter, Dr Alejandra C Ortiz, is a coastal engineer and geologist, and my daughter-in-law, Ms Lynn M. Geiger, is a planetary geologist.

They and their generation are our legacy; we owe it to them to leave the earth not worse, but better off than when we came!


PEOPLE – Academics

Felicity Thomas

25 June 2019


I graduated from University College London with a BA (Hons) in Anthropology and Geography, and then spent several years working in the international NGO sector, focusing on educational provision and development in post-conflict states within sub-Saharan Africa. I returned to academia to undertake a PhD on the impacts of HIV and AIDS on rural livelihoods in Namibia.

Drawing on a cross-disciplinary background spanning anthropology, public health, education and geography, I lead a programme of research that examines how lived experiences of health inequalities can inform the development of effective clinical practice and applied health and social policy.

My work has focused around the mental health and wellbeing of low-income communities in the UK (see and in Central and Eastern Europe; early life trauma; migrant health; sexual health; and the promotion of young people’s health and wellbeing. Using narrative, ethnographic and participatory approaches, my work seeks to provide a forum for voicing the experiences and priorities of those most adversely affected by health inequalities. This work has attracted funding from ESRC, MRC, GCRF and Health Education England.

I am Co-Director (with Professor Mark Jackson) of the WHO Collaborating Centre on Culture and Health and work closely with the WHO Regional Office for Europe on the Cultural Contexts of Health programme. I have undertaken a number of consultancies including work for UNAIDS, WHO, Robert Woods Johnson Foundation, Ford Foundation, the Ministerio da Educacao in Brazil, and the Department of Health and Department of Education and Communities, NSW, Australia.


Recent research

(PI) Poverty, pathology and pills: mental health under austerity and welfare reform (DeStress project), 2016-2019, ESRC Research Grant

(PI) Developing training materials for GPs working to support the mental health of low-income patients, 2019-2020, Health Education England funded

(PI) Revaluing global care economies, Duke-Exeter Fund

(PI) Co-creating early help for families with complex needs, 2018-2019, ESRC funded

(PI) Supporting families living with mental illness in Minsk Region, Belarus, 2018-2019, GCRF funded

(PI) Early life trauma in Belarus and Ukraine, 2018-2019, MRC TrACES funded


Recent publications

Ford, J., Thomas, F. McCabe, R. and Byng, R. (in press) Use of the PHQ-9 in practice: a study of interactions between patients and generalist physicians, Qualitative Health Research

Thomas, F., Hansford, L., Wyatt, K., and the DeStress team (2020) An engaged approach to exploring poverty and mental health: reflections from researchers and community participants involved in the DeStress study, Health Expectations,

Thomas, F., Hansford, L., and Wyatt, K. (2020) The violence of narrative: embodying responsibility for poverty-related distress, Sociology of Health and Illness,

Thomas, F. (2020) Intercultural Competence and Diversity Sensitivity: Toolkit for Practitioners and Policy Makers, Copenhagen: WHO Europe

Marais, J., Kazakova, O., Krupchanka, D., Suvalo, D. and Thomas, F. (2020) Understanding and building resilience to early life trauma in Belarus and Ukraine, Copenhagen: WHO Europe

Thomas, F. and Fietje, N. (2019) Capturing the cultural narratives of well-being, in Acharya, K. and Plough, A. (eds) Creating a Culture of Well-being, Oxford: Oxford University Press, Ch 5

Thomas, F., Hansford, L., Ford, J., Wyatt, K., McCabe, R., Byng, R. (2019) How accessible and acceptable are current GP referral mechanisms for IAPT for low-income patients? Lay and primary care perspectives, Journal of Mental Health, 1-6,

Ford, J., Thomas, F., McCabe, R. and Byng, R. (2019) How do patients respond to GP recommendations for mental health treatment? British Journal of General Practice Open,

Hansford, L., Thomas, F. and Wyatt, K. (2019) The impact of the Work Capability Assessment on mental health: claimants’ lived experience and GP perspectives in low-income communities, Journal of Poverty and Social Justice, 27(3): 351-368

Thomas, F. and Hansford, L. (2019) Supporting mental health in low-income communities: implications for justice and equity, in Aggleton, P., Broom, A. and Moss, J. (eds) Practical Justice: Principles, Practice and Social Change, London: Routledge

Thomas, F., Hansford, L., Ford, J., Wyatt, K., McCabe, R. and Byng, R. (2018) Moral narratives and mental health: rethinking understandings of distress and healthcare support in contexts of austerity and welfare reform, Palgrave Communications, 4: 39

Thomas, F. (2018) Culture and Reform of Mental Health in Central and Eastern Europe, Copenhagen: WHO

PEOPLE – Academics

Dora Vargha

25 June 2019


I completed my PhD in Modern European History and Women and Gender history in 2013, at Rutgers University in the United States.

Before joining Exeter, I was a research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin and a postdoctoral fellow at The Reluctant Internationalists research group at Birkbeck, University of London.

I have published on vaccine development in Eastern Europe, the Cold War politics of polio, disability in communist Hungary, and epidemic narratives in current global health policies. My book, Polio Across the Iron Curtain has recently been published under Open Access by Cambridge University Press. My research on history of polio was awarded the Young Scholar Book Prize by the International Committee for the History of Technology in 2014, and the J. Worth Estes Prize by the American Association for the History of Medicine in 2016.

Since 2017, I have been co-editor of the journal Social History of Medicine and a member of the Centre for the Study of Internationalism at Birkbeck.

Research Interests

I am interested in questions of responsibility for health, the politics of global health and epidemic management, and epidemic temporalities. My research is informed by gender history, history of technology, history of childhood and disability history and is in conversation with medical anthropology, sociological approaches and political science.

My interest spans from the politics of epidemic management to public health systems and access to therapeutics. I have written on the global infrastructure of diphtheria antitoxin, the politics of vaccination in Eastern Europe, hospital care of disabled children in communist contexts and about shifting epidemic narratives in historical analysis.

I have worked on the Cold War politics of virology and epidemic management through polio epidemics in the 1950s. In Polio Across the Iron Curtain, I narrate the history of polio in Hungary at multiple registers. On an international level, I ask how Cold War divisions can be re-evaluated when viewed through the lens of a disease that disregarded borders and ideologies. On a national level, I look at how post-war societies and nascent political systems dealt with an epidemic that worked against their modernist projects. On an individual level, I raise questions about definitions of treatment, authority of care and investigates the boundary between professional and lay knowledge.

This work has brought me to think critically about epidemic temporalities. Currently I am collaborating with colleagues from Oxford and the University of Edinburgh on a project titled After the End of Disease, which aims to bring new analytical frameworks and an interdisciplinary approach to global, national and local health policies.

My new research project, Socialist Medicine: An Alternative Global Health History brings the socialist world into the history of global health for the first time. It identifies the particular health cultures produced by socialism (in all its variety) and explores the impact of socialist internationalism in co-producing global health in the 20th century. Until now, this story has primarily been told from an American perspective, through the lens of international organizations, and colonial and postcolonial relationships. By shifting the focus of analysis to the state socialist countries and their global relations, this project will re-visit well-known histories of international and global health, and throw light on previously invisible or unknown actors and processes. Furthermore, the project will critically examine key concepts such as socialism and solidarity in global health. Bringing a new perspective into global health history is crucial for understanding challenges to global public health, such as the changing role of international organizations or provision of primary healthcare.


PEOPLE – Academics

Laura Salisbury

25 June 2019


After studying for a BA in English and European Literature at Warwick University, I completed an MA in the Theory and Practice of Modern Fiction at Exeter University in 1996. Following this, I studied for a PhD at Birkbeck College, University of London. From 2003-7, I was a lecturer in Modern and Contemporary Literature at Birkbeck, and was then awarded an RCUK Fellowship in Science, Technology and Culture (2007-13). In 2013, I became Reader in Modern and Contemporary Literature.

During my time at Birkbeck I became increasingly interested in Medical Humanities and worked with my colleague Joanne Winning to set up a new MA in Medical Humanities, taught in association with the Kent, Sussex and Surrey NHS Deanery. In 2013, I was appointed as Senior Lecturer in Medicine and Literature at Exeter University and am now an Associate Professor.


PEOPLE – Academics

Karyn Morrissey

25 June 2019


I am a Senior Lecturer whose research focuses on understanding the impact of socio-economic and environmental inequalities on health outcomes, using data both big and small.

I’m an economist by background, interested in multi-disciplinary research, particularly the application of spatial and regional analysis to human health and the environment. I’m particularly interested in developing and applying geo-computational models, such as spatial microsimulation and spatial interaction models for health policy analysis. Increasingly frustrated by existing research in population health outcomes, I’m interested in moving away from cross-sectional models – which focus on just one point in time – to a life course analysis based on longitudinal and cohort datasets – which follow people over time.

Highlights of my career to date

Since completing my PhD in December 2008, I have become a truly interdisciplinary and international research leader in Big Data and data linkage techniques. My interdisciplinary background has been forged by time spent across the economic, sociological, political, geographical and health disciplines. More particularly: The Department of Economics at NUIG, where I conducted ground breaking research in Big Data analysis for population health research through my use of advanced data linkage techniques: the Department of Geography and Planning at University of Liverpool, where worked with the East Kent Hospital Trust to develop the first small area dataset of comorbidity for England and with the Medical School in the University of Malaysia to develop a data and statistical framework to examine the impact of climate change in Kuala Lumpar: And, the ECEHH in Exeter University Medical School, where I have worked with the WHO and University College London, among other national and international partners, to develop a coherent set of indicators to measure the impact of climate change on human health. This work resulted in the publication of the ‘The Lancet Countdown: tracking progress on health and climate change’ in the Lancet.

The research I will be undertaking in the Centre

My research interests focus on the use of data for exploring the world around us, particularly in the area of health and environmental inequality. However, I do not believe that our complex world can be simply represented in data and I am interested in working with people to understand the data they create and how data can be used to inform policy for the environment and human health.

Something about me you can’t Google!

My favourite book is Tender is the Night by F.S. Fitzgerald, but my favourite movie is Terminator 2 (go figure!)

PEOPLE – Academics

Robin Durie

25 June 2019


I wrote my PhD at Edinburgh University on the phenomenology of time and of our consciousness of time.

My first post was at Staffordshire University, where, in addition to teaching philosophy, I was also fortunate enough to set up interdisciplinary post-graduate programmes for artists and designers who wanted to conduct research in philosophy alongside their creative practice. Editing and translating a volume of Bergson’s work on Einstein’s special theory of relativity, which included the notorious debate in 1922 between the two great thinkers at the Société française de philosophie, led me to collaborate with a group of philosophers and theoretical physicists on fundamental problems of time and temporality. This work in turn led me complexity theory.

I moved to Exeter in 2002, where I was fortunate enough to co-found the Health Complexity Group at the Peninsula Medical School. In 2005, I took up a position in the Department of Politics at the University of Exeter, where I am currently a Senior Lecturer in Political Theory.

I teach in the area of the history of political thought, where, amongst other things, I lecture on the classical political thought of Plato, Aristotle and the Ancient Greeks; the contemporary political theory of communities; and post-stucturalist responses to Marx and Marxism. With the Health Complexity Group, I conduct transdisciplinary research into the enabling conditions for transformational change in the health and well-being of some of the most economically disadvantaged communities in the country.

Highlights of my career to date

Many of the highlights of my research career have arisen from transdisciplinary collaborations. Based on my foundational research into the ontology of complexity theory, I had the opportunity to collaborate on a wonderfully transdisciplinary research project on swarm robotics, the aim of which was to determine whether it might be possible to create a society of robots which had the potential to develop their own distinctive “robo-culture”.

I have been lucky enough to collaborate with fellow researchers, healthcare professionals and community partners in the remarkable Connecting Communities (C2) programme. Based on primary empirical research done by Katrina Wyatt, the first-hand professional experience of Hazel Stuteley, and my own research on complexity theory, I co-designed C2 with Hazel Stuteley back in 2004. Since then, I’ve had the privilege of working with many inspiring residents in communities across Cornwall and Devon, and subsequently throughout the rest of the UK, and have seen the astonishing transformations that many of these communities have been able to achieve in their health and well-being.

In 2012, I secured funding with Katrina Wyatt from the RCUK’s Catalysts for Public Engagement programme, the aim of which was to co-create a culture for engaged research within the University. Our experiences of leading the Exeter Catalyst, and collaborating on C2, have played a formative role in our participation in the WCCEH.

The research work I will be undertaking in the Centre

I’m fundamentally interested in the connections between the underlying dynamics of the three main processes which will inform the work of the Centre: those of our transdisciplinary research collaboration; of the public engagement with our research; and of the emergence of healthy publics.

I hope to be able to participate in developing the theoretical and philosophical aspects of the Centre’s work, as well as contributing to the development of the Centre’s public engagement activities and its culture of engaged research.

Something about me you can’t Google!

I was fortunate enough to be able to support Colin Steele in the recording of his “comeback” album with his great Quintet, Even in the Darkest Places. Colin played the very first versions of some of the tracks from the album at my 50th birthday party at The Bridge in Topsham – one of the pieces even received its title from a between-songs heckle!

PEOPLE – Academics

Luna Dolezal

25 June 2019


I am currently a Senior Lecturer in Medical Humanities and Philosophy.

My research is primarily in the areas of applied phenomenology, philosophy of embodiment, philosophy of medicine and medical humanities (esp. through literature and philosophy).

My recent monograph, The Body and Shame: Phenomenology, Feminism and the Socially Shaped Body (Lexington Books, 2015), considers philosophical conceptions of embodied subjectivity through the work of the phenomenological thinkers Husserl, Merleau-Ponty and Sartre, while engaging with feminist and medical scholarship on cosmetic surgery.

This book explores how shame plays a key role in the social shaping of the body and the formation of subjectivity, using shame as a conceptual means to reconcile the phenomenological and social constructivist accounts of embodied subjectivity.

Research Interests

My current book project, The Politics of Shame, explores the social and political dimensions of shame. I am also co-editor of Body/Self/Other: The Phenomenology of Social Encounters (co-edited with D. Petherbridge, SUNY Press, 2017) and New Feminist Perspectives on Embodiment (co-edited with C. Fischer, Palgrave Macmillan).

My research considers the cultural, social and affective determinants of health, with particular focus on conceptualizing shame and belonging in health research contexts. I am the PI on a Wellcome Trust-funded project, Shame and Medicine, which is a collaboration with Dr Matthew Gibson (Birmingham) and Dr Barry Lyons (Trinity College Dublin). Shame and Medicine is an engagement between medical practitioners, social scientists, philosophers and medical humanities scholars seeking to investigate the role of shame in the context of health, medicine and medical practice.

I am also co-I on the Wellcome Trust-funded project Imagining Technologies for Disability Futures, led by Professor Stuart Murray (Leeds).


PEOPLE – Academics

Manuela Barreto

25 June 2019


I graduated in Psychology at the University of Porto, Portugal, and obtained a PhD in Social Psychology at the Free University, Amsterdam, funded by a Marie Curie Fellowship. I then worked at Leiden University, the Centre for Social Research and Intervention (Lisbon), and came to the University of Exeter, in 2011, as a Professor of Social and Organizational Psychology.

At Exeter, I led one of the themes of Exeter’s interdisciplinary (HASS) research strategy in the social sciences and humanities, sat on the University’s Athena Swan Working Group, and am the current Head of the Psychology Department. Beyond Exeter, I have served on the Executive Committee of the European Association of Social Psychology (2011-2017) of which I was also President (2014-2017).

I have a good sense of how it is to work in different contexts and conditions, and a deep commitment to diversity and the support of those who live and work in conditions less privileged than my own.

Research I am involved in at the Centre

I am interested in the interplay between identity, social disadvantage, social relations, and wellbeing. In the centre, I have been involved in the Loneliness Beacon, working with historians and sociologists, in a project on social relationships during gender identity transition, and in 4 PhD projects that look at identity, social relationships, and social disadvantage in different ways, working with co-supervisors from Drama, English, and Law. I have also been involved in projects that look at health services, such as a project on what people see as the desired outcomes of gender identity transition, and another on compassionate care in child and adolescent mental health.

Methodologically, my expertise lies predominantly in quantitative methods (experiments, cross-sectional, and longitudinal surveys) and behavioural observations (to examine dynamics of actual social interactions), but I also use qualitative methods and am interest in any method that has the potential to provide new answers to my research questions.

Selected grants, publications and partnerships


  • “Fit to Belong: Design and implementation of teaching and learning materials to mitigate loneliness in youth” Funder: Erasmus+ KA2 (2019-1-TR01-KA201-07689). Co-I. Start date: 01-09-2019 to 31-08-2022 (36 months). Total: 334.119,00 Euro.
  • “What aspects of work culture within the Fire Service form barriers to progression of female staff in operational roles?” Funder: Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service. Role: PI. Start date: March 2019. Total: £8,669.
  • “The lonely campus.” Funder: The Provost’s Fund, University of Exeter. Co-PI: M Jackson; Co-Is: F Cooper and A Grand. Total: £30,000. Start date: January 2019. Role: Co-PI (bid hosted by the Wellcome Centre).
  • “Responding to weight stigma: Helpful and unhelpful coping strategies.” Funder: ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship to Angela Meadows. Start date: 1 October 2018 (duration 12 months), total £131,792.00 (FEC). Role: Mentor.
  • “Assessing the impact of meal provision by the Dartmoor Community Kitchen on the physical and psychological wellbeing of an elderly population—A pilot study”. Funder: ESRC Impact Accelerator Fund. PI: J Bowtell (SHS); Co-Is: M Barreto (Psychology), M O’Leary (SHS). Start date: (duration), total: £7,372.00. Role: Co-I.
  • “Social relationships during gender identity transition: An investigation of key factors and a test of an intervention.” PI: D Doyle; Co-PI: M Barreto; Co-Is: D Jackson (DPT) and T Morton (U Exeter). Funder: Devon Partnership NHS Trust. Start date: October 2018. Total: £42,571 (this is a match funded PhD studentship, the rest being funded by CLES). Role: Co-PI.
  • “Anatomy of Loneliness: BBC Radio 4 Survey on Loneliness”. Wellcome Trust Small Grant in Humanities and Social Sciences, PI: P Qualter (Univ Manchester), Co-Is: Manuela Barreto (Exeter Univ), Christina Victor (Brunel Univ), Claudia Hammond (BBC). Start date 1/10/2017 (duration 12 months), total £30,000, with £7,487.00 for Exeter. Role: Co-I.


  • Barreto, M., Victor, C., Hammond, C., Eccles, A., Richins, M., & Qualter, P. (in press). Loneliness around the world: Age, gender, and cultural differences in loneliness. Personality and Individual Differences.
  • Zhang, M., Barreto, M., & Doyle, D. (in press). Stigma reduces trust in others. Social Psychological and Personality Science. DOI: 10.1177/1948550619829057
  • Vasileiou, K., Barnett, J., Barreto, M., Vines, J., Atkinson, M., Long, K., Lawson, S., & Wilson, M. (2019). Coping with loneliness at university: A qualitative interview study with students in the UK. Mental Health & Prevention, 13, 21-30. DOI: 10.1016/j.mhp.2018.11.002
  • Hinchliffe, S., Jackson, M. A., Wyatt, K., Barlow, A. E., Barreto, M., Clare, L., Deplege, M. H. Durie, R., Fleming, L. E., Groom, N., Morrisey, K., Salisbury, L., & Thomas, F. (2018). Healthy publics: Enabling cultures and environments for health. Palgrave Communications, 4, 57. DOI: 10.1057/s41599-018-0113-9 |
  • Bakewell, L., Vasileiou, K., Long, K., Atkinson, M., Rise, H., Barreto, M., Barnett, J., Wilson, M., Lawson, S., & Vines, J. (2018). Everything we do, everything we press: Data-driven remote performance management in a mobile workplace. Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI’2018), Montreal, Canada (April 21-26, 2018)
  • Heath, S., Rabinovich, A., & Barreto, M. (2017). Putting identity into the community: Exploring the social dynamics of urban regeneration. European Journal of Social Psychology, 47, 855-866. IF: 1.973 (21/62 Q2 in Social Psychology). DOI: 10.1002/ejsp.2296
  • Vasileiou, K., Barnett, J., Barreto, M., Vines, J., Atkinson, M., Lawson, S., & Wilson, M. (2017). Experience of loneliness associated with being an informal caregiver: A qualitative investigation. Frontiers in Psychology (Open access). Article number 585, published April 2017. IF 2.323 (Q1 in Psychology/Multidisciplinary: 23/129). 1092 times 28-06-2017.
  • Long, K., Bakewell, L., McNaney, R., Vasileiou, K., Atkinson, M., Barreto, M., Barnett, J., Wilson, M., Lawson, S., & Vines, J. (2017). Connecting those that care. Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI), Denver, USA (May 6-11, 2017). Google scholar h5-index 83 (the highest IF in Human Computer Interaction; for comparison, the second highest raked journal in HCI has a h5-index of 49 and JPSP has an h5-index of 81).

Partnerships and media appearances:

PEOPLE – Academics

Anne Barlow

25 June 2019


I graduated from Sussex University with a BA (Hons) in Law with French and European Studies. I also studied at the University of Strasbourg, France and the College of Law, London, before qualifying and practising as a solicitor in London for 10 years, specialising in Family and Housing Law.

I began my academic career as a Law lecturer at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth where my research adopted a clear socio-legal focus to issues of family law and policy. In 2000, I conducted the first socio-legal research (funded by the Nuffield Foundation) to investigate the common law marriage myth, leading to a government-funded public information campaign to advise cohabiting couples about their legal situation. I joined the Law School at Exeter in 2004 and was appointed Professor of Family Law and Policy a year later. I have a particular interest in the regulation of adult relationships such as cohabitation and marriage and have led a number of further funded empirical research projects to inform law reform in this area, working with practitioner groups, the Law Commission and the Ministry of Justice. Much of my research has also been comparative, looking at both Europe and the common law world.

More recently, my research has focused on out of court family dispute resolution in the ESRC-funded study Mapping Paths to Family Justice and I am looking at the implications of the recent withdrawal of legal aid from almost all private family law matters for separating couples and for the family justice system as a whole, in the follow-up study Creating Paths to Family Justice.

I am also a member of the Working Group of the EU-funded project Empowering European Families based at the European Law Institute in Vienna, looking at ways to resolve the complex legal position of ‘international couples’ within the EU when relationships break down or one partner dies, to which Brexit adds a further complex dimension.

Highlights of my career to date

I have been privileged to lead a number of exciting research projects which have all been career highlights of different kinds. To prove to government using empirical methods that most people falsely believed that cohabitation gave the same legal rights as marriage, prompt a public information campaign and then evaluate the effect was an especially important achievement for me (Barlow et al, 2008).

To lead the comparative and interdisciplinary work of the Leverhulme International Network on New Families; New Governance with UK GW4 university colleagues and partners from Australia, USA and The Netherlands from 2011 – 2015 was particularly fascinating.

I was also pleased to be selected to serve as a member of the ESRC’s Grants Assessment Panel from 2010 – 2014 and as a member of the national Family Justice Council from 2011-2015. This led to my appointment to the government’s Family Mediation Task Force in 2014 which gave fascinating insight into the worlds of policy and justice in the family law sphere.

Probably the greatest highlight to date has been the recognition of my contribution to social science when I was appointed a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in 2013.

The research I will be undertaking in the Centre

My role will involve looking at transitions across the life course, including into and out of relationships. For me, actively promoting paths to better mental health and wellbeing is key.

Something about me you can’t Google!

I have been inside No. 10 Downing Street.

PEOPLE – Academics

Katrina Wyatt

25 June 2019


I joined the Medical School in Exeter in 2000 as Lecturer in Research Methods with the Research and Development Support Unit (RDSU), now Research Design Service. As part of the RDSU I became the lead for, a Department of Health funded research programme which sought to create a culture of meaningful service user, patient and carer involvement across the SW Peninsula.  This Programme was funded until 2014 and informed the development of the patient and public involvement group and ‘engagement by design’ ethos of the Peninsula Applied Research Collaboration.

I am currently Professor of Relational Health in the University of Exeter Medical School and lead the Relational Health Group.

My research

My research is concerned with understanding how the conditions for health and reducing health inequalities can be created. Understanding workplaces, schools and communities as complex systems and developing processes to support emergent, self-organising partnerships has led to the development of the Connecting Communities Programme, C2. C2 is a transformational engagement programme which create the conditions for health and wellbeing in very low income communities. A central tenet of how I undertake research is to involve parents, teachers, young people, residents and service users as partners in the design and delivery of the research.

My research interests are in the nature of causality in non-linear systems, developing new forms of evidence to support commissioning of self organising groups and in developing complex system approaches to health and health inequalities.

Key to this work are the processes underpinning the identification of the issues (or problems), which are specific to the neighbourhood/ workplace/community and developing partnerships to address these problems, which can create the conditions for health.

Key grants:

(PI) Understanding the sustainable processes and impact of engaging young people in a peer-led dance group, the TR14ers £48,750 NIHR Public Health 2018-2019

(PI) Supporting healthy teen lifestyles:  Development of a school-based healthy lifestyles programme to prevent obesity in 11-13 year olds £129,000 All Saints Education Trust. Fellowship funding 2017-2020

(CoI) Wellcome Trust Centre for Cultures and Environments of Health. £4.1 million. Wellcome Trust March 2016-2021

(CoI) 2016-2019 Poverty, pathology and pills: moral narratives and the medicalisation of distress £480,000 Economic and Social Research Council. 2016-2019

(PI) Cluster Randomised Controlled Trial of a novel obesity prevention programme, the Healthy Lifestyles Programme. £1.4 million NIHR Public Health 2012-2016

Key Publications:

  • Thomas, F, Hansford, L, Wyatt, K, et al. An engaged approach to exploring issues around poverty and mental health: A reflective evaluation of the research process from researchers and community partners involved in the DeStress study. Health Expect. 2020; 00: 1– 9.
  • Williams A J, Maguire K, Morrissey K, Taylor T, Wyatt K. Social cohesion, mental wellbeing and health-related quality of life among a cohort of social housing residents in Cornwall: a cross sectional study. BMC Public Health 2020. doi:
  • Thomas, F; Hansford L, Wyatt KW. The violence of narrative: embodying responsibility for poverty-related distress. Sociology of Health and Illness. 2020 in press
  • Hansford, Lorraine; Thomas, Felicity; Wyatt, Katrina. The impact of the Work Capability Assessment on mental health: claimants’ lived experiences and GP perspectives in low-income communities Journal of Poverty and Social Justice September 2019 
  • Thomas F, Hansford, L, Ford J, Wyatt K, McCabe R, Byng R. Moral narratives and mental health: rethinking understandings of distress and healthcare support in contexts of austerity and welfare reform Palgrave Communications 2018.
  • Hinchliffe S, Jackson MA, Wyatt K, Barlow AE, Barreto M , Clare L, Depledge MH, Durie R, Fleming LE, Groom N, Morrissey K, Salisbury L, Thomas F Healthy publics: enabling cultures and environments for health. Palgrave Commun. 2018 May 15;4:57.doi: 10.1057/s41599-018-0113-9
  • Lloyd J, Creanor S, Price L, Abraham C, Dean S, Green C, Hillsdon M, Pearson V,  Taylor R, Tomlinson R, Logan S, Hurst, A Ryan E, Streeter A, Wyatt KM. The effectiveness of a novel Healthy Lifestyles Programme (HeLP) to prevent obesity in primary school children: a school-based cluster randomised controlled trial. Lancet Child and Adolescent Health Volume 2, Issue 1, January 2018, Pages 35-45

Key collaborators:

C2 partnerships, Devon and Cornwall Police, Directors of Public Health; Housing Associations; Public Health England

PEOPLE – Academics

Steve Hinchliffe

25 June 2019


I studied Geography at Durham and undertook an MPhil and PhD at the University of Bristol. The PhD was concerned with public engagement in environmental issues and involved work in the UK and Denmark with a stint at the European Parliament.

After this I lectured at Cambridge, Keele and then the Open Universities. At Keele I was involved with the path-breaking Centre for Social Theory and Technology (CSTT) with John Law and many others. At the OU I worked within a vibrant Geography department and contributing to and chairing interdisciplinary teams on social science, urban and environmental courses.

I arrived at Exeter in 2009, having just published the monograph “Geographies of Nature” which drew on a number of research projects including making “Habitable Cities”. At Exeter I have run and participated numerous projects including the EU funded CREPE (Cooperative Research on Environmental Problems in Europe), ESRC funded projects on biosecurity followed by the transforming social science project contagion. The monograph “Pathological Lives” has recently been published.

I have been funded by the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) on antimicrobial resistance, and currently hold two MRC/ ESRC Tackling AMR projects. One of these is investigating ‘production without medicalisation’ within Bangladesh aquaculture (with colleagues at Worldfish and CEFAS), and the other concerned with the role of diagnostics in livestock health and medicinal efficiency (with Bristol University Veterinary School and Edinburgh University Innogen Centre). I was elected to the Academy of Social Sciences in 2014.

Research Interests

I am a geographer and social scientist, working at the interface of science, technology and society (STS) and environmental geography. My expertise spans social theory and risk, food politics, actor network theory and social ecologies of emerging disease. I use ethnography along with other social science methods (survey, Q method) to investigate the social and economic practices associated with human and animal health.

Recent books include the co-authored monograph Pathological Lives (Wiley Blackwell) and the edited volume Humans, Animals and Biopolitics (Routledge, with Kristin Asdal and Tone Druglitro).


I currently sit on on the following government committees:

  • UK Government’s DEFRA Science Advisory Committee’s Social Science Expert Group
  • DEFRA’s Scientific Advisory Committee on Exotic Diseases
  • Social Science Research Committee of the UK Food Standards Agency


PEOPLE – Academics

Mark Jackson

25 June 2019


I graduated initially in Immunology (BSc, 1982) and then in medicine (MB BS, 1985) from St. Thomas’ Hospital, University of London.

Following a brief period in clinical practice, I completed doctoral studies, funded by the British Academy, at the University of Leeds on the history of infanticide in eighteenth-century England.

Having taught undergraduate history and philosophy of science at Leeds, I moved to the Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine at Manchester, where I lectured on the history of science and medicine before being awarded a Wellcome Trust Fellowship for research on the history of ‘mental deficiency’.

In 1998, I relocated to the University of Exeter, where a Wellcome Trust University Award enabled me to pursue research into the global history of allergy. I have spent the rest of my career at Exeter, helping to establish the Centre for Medical History as an international centre of excellence, attracting major strategic institutional and personal grants to pursue research on the history of stress, notions of balance within modern medicine, health in midlife, and the cultural contexts of health, and leading the Exeter bid to establish the Wellcome Centre for Cultures and Environments of Health.

In addition to my role as Director of the Wellcome Centre, I am co-director (with Dr Felicity Thomas) of the WHO Collaborating Centre on Culture and Health, which contributes to the aims of WHO Europe to embed cultural approaches into its health policies. I have served as Chair of the Wellcome Trust History of Medicine and Research Resources funding committees, as Senior Academic Advisor (Medical Humanities) to the Wellcome Trust, and as a member of the History sub-panel for REF 2014. In addition, I chair the WHO Expert Advisory Group on Cultural Contexts of Health and am a member of the WHO European Advisory Group on Health Research.  I am currently Chair of the History sub-panel for REF 2021.

A Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, my major books include: The Chain of Immunology (1983); Newborn Child Murder (1996); The Borderland of Imbecility (2000); Allergy: The History of a Modern Malady (2006); Asthma: The Biography (2009); The Oxford Handbook of the History of Medicine (2011); The Age of Stress: Science and the Search for Stability (2012); Stress in Post-War Britain, 1945-85 (ed., 2015); The Routledge History of Disease (ed., 2016); and A Global History of Medicine (ed., 2017).  Broken Dreams: An Intimate History of the Midlife Crisis is due to be published by Reaktion in 2020.  In 2018, I was awarded the Wilkins-Bernal-Medawar Medal by the Royal Society for significant contributions to popularising medical history and the medical humanities.

Highlights of my career to date

The major highlights of my career involve contributing to the growth of the history of medicine and the medical humanities nationally and internationally and helping to identify the trans-disciplinary potential of rigorous historical research.

My commitment to these ventures extends beyond my own academic contributions to the social and cultural history of modern medicine and science. It has also involved supporting careers for doctoral students, post-doctoral fellows and early career researchers, as well as promoting career development opportunities in engaged research and public engagement.

Enabling careers in these ways has been facilitated by external funding from the Wellcome Trust, not only for the Wellcome Centre but also for significant collaborative programmes of research throughout my career. It has also been aided by significant investment from the University of Exeter in the form of an interdisciplinary Humanities and Social Sciences Strategy.

This support has made it possible to work collaboratively with creative partners across and beyond the University, a process that has been critical in establishing the Wellcome Centre.

The research I will be undertaking in the centre

In addition to supporting and facilitating our collective vision to create and sustain cultures and environments of health, my work aims to interrogate the historical and cultural determinants of ageing and the ways in which different narratives of midlife in particular employ different techniques and carry different psychological, emotional, and political meanings.

Through historical analysis of the conditions that made concepts such as the midlife crisis popular, I hope to explore how health experiences and practices are shaped not only by present social and cultural contexts, but also by those in the past.  A key challenge will be to demonstrate the ways in which historical studies of crises and transitions across the life course can help to inform future health policies.

Something about me you can’t Google!

I have been a fervent, and too often disenchanted, supporter of Queens Park Rangers football club since the early 1960s. But, contrary to my wife’s opinion, expressed on most Saturday afternoons during the football season, I do not love QPR more than I love her and our three children, without whom I would not survive.


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