Dr Lewis Elliott
Lecturer in Environment and Public Health
Dr Lewis Elliott is a lecturer in environment and public health at the European Centre for Environment and Human Health, University of Exeter Medical School. After undertaking bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology, his PhD focused on how to change nature-based recreation behaviour, particularly for physically inactive populations. He then spent four years working on the Horizon 2020 BlueHealth project looking at the relationships between blue spaces in Europe and public health and wellbeing. His current research spans environmental and health psychology, and environmental epidemiology and is particularly concerned with residential access to, and recreational contact with, natural environments and their impacts on health and health inequalities. He maintains an active interest in cognitive and social psychological processes with regards to nature, biodiversity, and health, and also how nature is experienced by people with severe mental illness.
Professor Ben Wheeler
Professor Ben Wheeler is Associate Professor in Environment, Health and Inequalities at the European Centre for Environment and Human Health, and is Centre co-director. With wide-ranging research interests in environment-health interconnections, his PhD was in the Department of Social Medicine at the University of Bristol, on the relationship between socio-economic health and environmental inequalities. His first post-doctoral research position was at Victoria University of Wellington School of Earth Sciences, in a unit funded by the NZ Ministry of Health to carry out geographical public health research. Subsequent research positions have been at the University of Sheffield Department of Geography, and back at the Department of Social Medicine at Bristol. He has also worked in public health in the National Health Service, and with environmental consultancies.
Ben has been at the European Centre for Environment and Human Health since its beginnings in 2010. He applies geographical and epidemiological methods to research the beneficial and adverse impacts that the environment can have on human health and health inequalities.
Dr Cornelia Guell
Dr Cornelia Guell is a medical anthropologist whose research focuses on healthy living practices and policies and how these are shaped across the lifecycle, population groups, and socio-cultural, political and economic contexts.
After completing a first degree in sociology and social anthropology at the University of Heidelberg and graduate training in medical anthropology at Brunel University, Conny was awarded an ESRC PhD scholarship and a Wenner-Gren dissertation grant to explore Turkish immigrant experiences with diabetes care in Berlin, Germany (PhD in Social Anthropology, Edinburgh, 2009). She undertook postdoctoral research on physical activity in British Pakistani women at Durham University, and was the qualitative research lead on a mixed-method project to investigate decision-making and social contexts in commuting at the MRC Epidemiology Unit and the Centre for Diet and Activity Research (CEDAR) at the University of Cambridge. After three years of teaching and research (on diabetes care and chronic disease policy implementation) at the University of the West Indies in Barbados, Conny returned to CEDAR to conduct an ethnographic study on aspirations for active ageing; she also led on a knowledge exchange study in transport and health.
Now based at ECEHH, Conny continues to develop social theoretical and qualitative methodological approaches for exploring the social and physical environments that shape health behaviours. A particular interest lies in framing behaviour change within social practice theories, and in understanding multi-sectoral policy responses to chronic diseases in the UK, the Caribbean region and elsewhere.
Dr Sarah Bell
Senior Lecturer in Health Geography
Sarah is a Senior Lecturer in health geography at the University of Exeter, whose work is underpinned by a passion for qualitative methodological innovation, designing sensitive approaches that promote critical awareness of varied ways of embodying and interpreting everyday geographies. Much of Sarah’s research examines experiences of health, wellbeing, disability and social inclusion in and with diverse forms of ‘nature’ - from parks, gardens, woodlands, coast and countryside to the weather, seasons and climate change. More information about this work is available online: www.sensing-nature.com
Most recently, Sarah has been developing new collaborations to understand how climate change – and prominent societal responses to it – are shaping the everyday lives and adaptive capacities of people with varied experiences and histories of disability.
Dr Rebecca Lovell
Senior Lecturer in Biodiversity, Health and Policy
Dr Rebecca Lovell is a Senior Lecturer in Biodiversity, Health and Policy at the European Centre for Environment and Human Health, WHO Collaborating Centre on Natural Environments and Health at the University of Exeter Medical School. Becca focuses on evaluating, synthesising and translating evidence of the links between nature and health for policy and practice, and has undertaken related work with and for policy and service delivery bodies including WHO, CBD, PHE, Defra, MHCLG, Natural England and the Forestry Commission (see examples at www.beyondgreenspace.net). She is interested in the multiple roles of the natural environment in determining equitable population health; ‘what works’ in environmental health interventions, including nature based social prescribing, and the delivery of nature-based solutions; and how better understandings of the economic, social and health values of natural environments could inform cross-sectoral decision making and ways of working.
Mark Ferguson is a PhD student using birth cohorts to understand the impact of urban green space on child health and wellbeing.
His research will produce environmental data to assess contact with nature. He will link this with health outcomes amongst children growing up in two UK birth cohorts.
Mark’s particular interests are the environmental determinants of health, GIS, environmental equity, and measuring and conceptualising contact with nature.
His undergraduate degree was in environmental sciences, and his postgraduate degree was in sustainability. This interdisciplinary training focussed on the balance between improving human development while reducing our impacts on the natural environment.
Since graduating, Mark’s research has centred on measuring access to green infrastructure and assessing the equitable distribution of environmental benefits.
His is funded by a GW4 Biomedical Doctoral Training Partnership.
Dr Jonathan Reeves
Principal Research Officer (Health & Wellbeing) at Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust
Before WWT, Dr Jonathan Reeves worked as a molecular biologist studying the genomics of wild plant-virus ecology for The Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) in Oxford. This work culminated with a PhD in Environmental Genomics from the University of Birmingham. After seven years in research I switched to applied conservation. I joined WWT as a volunteer in 2012, initially working for three months with the Slimbridge reserve team before finding a position working in ecosystem health at WWT. My current focus is on the relationship between wetlands and human health and wellbeing, and how measured effects might be communicated for conservation gain.