Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research Interests

I am a Research Fellow in the Complex Systems, Urban Environment and Population Health Group at the Centre for Public Health. I hold a BSc (Hons) Human Nutrition from the University of Ulster, an IOC Dip Sports Nutrition from the International Olympic Committee and a PhD Public Health from Queen's University Belfast. I have conducted post-doctoral research at Newcastle University and at the Medical Research Council, University of Glasgow.


Research Focus

My research focuses on the interconnected themes of ageing, physical activity and the environment (built and social). In particular, determining the best approach to healthy active ageing. 

I am a Research Fellow on UKPRP GroundsWell Consortium which applies systems science to maximise the contribution of Urban Green and Blue Space to the primary prevention of, and reduction of inequalities in, non communicable diseases (NCD) in urban settings.

I am a co-investigator on the SPACE: Supportive environments for physical and social activity, healthy ageing and cognitive health project. The SPACE Project aims to build on the Northern Ireland Cohort for the Longitudinal Study of Ageing (NICOLA) and Healthy Urban Living and Ageing in Place (HULAP) Projects to investigate the impacts, and possible mechanistic pathways, of urban environments on healthy ageing and cognitive health. I co-lead a work package that will provide richer data for cognitive health and device-measured physical activity, and more granular urban environment data using GPS.

In addition, I have worked on the following research projects at Queen's University Belfast:

1) Developing system-oriented interventions to reduce car dependency for improved population health in Belfast. This project aims to co-develop sustainable and scalable systems-oriented interventions at the intersection of policy and environmental infrastructure and individual agency to reduce car dependency for improved population health in the Belfast City Region. 

2) Is 20 plenty for health? The evaluation of the 20mph speed limit interventions in Belfast and Edinburgh for public health.

3) Healthy Urban Living and Ageing in Place (HULAP) Project. Which aims to investigate the influence that the environment has on the physical activity levels, sedentary behaviour and health and well-being of older adults in the UK and Brazil (collaboration with researchers from Washington University, St Louis and Pontifical Catholic University of Parana).  

Previously I have also focused on the design and development of physical activity and nutrition interventions, the evaluation of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games 2014 and the impact of built environment interventions on physical activity and health.


I have experience delivering lectures and tutorials to both undergraduate and postgraduate students. I have delivered lectures on: Global Health; Health and the Environment; Public Health and Planning; Human Nutrition; Research Methods; and Behaviour Change Techniques.

I have delivered tutorials on: Research Methods; Diagnostic Studies; Global Health and Sustainability; Cost and Resources; Models of Health and Health Beliefs; Interventional studies; Illness Cognition; Gender and Ethnicity; People and Population; and Leadership. 

I am also involved in the supervision of undergraduate and Masters students, and advise on PhD student projects specifically in the areas of physical activity, the environment and ageing.


  • Fredrik and Catherine Eaton Fellowship (International Research Development Office, Queen’s University Belfast) to further my research at the Faculty of Kinesiology at the University of New Brunswick.
  • Royal Town Planning Institute Awards for Research Excellence, 2016. Early Career Researcher Award – Commended. Spatial scale, time and process in mega-events: the complexity of host community perspectives on neighbourhood change.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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