Dr Lewis Elliot
Lecturer in Environment and Public Health
Dr Lewis Elliot 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.
Dr Ben Wheeler
Dr Ben Wheeler is a Senior Lecturer at the European Centre for Environment and Human Health, 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
Lecturer in Health Geography
Dr Sarah Bell is a Lecturer in Health Geography, whose research focuses on the intersections between human health, wellbeing and the interlinked physical, social and cultural environments encountered through the life course.
Sarah’s work is underpinned by a passion for qualitative methodological development, designing sensitive approaches that promote critical awareness of alternative ways of embodying, experiencing and interpreting diverse everyday geographies.
Dr Rebecca Lovell
Lecturer in Biodiversity, Health and Policy
Dr Rebecca Lovell’s research focuses on understanding the ways people can benefit from proximity to and contact with ‘natural’ environments.
She is specifically interested in the health and wellbeing benefits of higher quality and bio-diverse spaces and places.
Relationships between the environment and health are complicated, multi-factorial and highly contextual. Dr Lovell and colleagues are developing the use of complex research designs which use cross-disciplinary multi-method research approaches.
Dr Lovell is particularly interested in how we can integrate both traditional and novel qualitative and quantitative methods to unpick the specific impacts of natural environments to people’s health and wellbeing.
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.