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Personal profile

Research interests

Gillian’s research interests are centred on socioeconomic inequalities in health and wellbeing. She investigates how structural inequalities and features of human ecology affect behaviours which, subsequently, affect health and longevity. She uses evolutionary behavioural theory, and observational and experimental data to examine differences in temporal discounting, reproductive scheduling, social trust, health behaviour, and biomarkers of health and ageing. She is particularly interested in the effects of perceived uncontrollable mortality risks on health behaviour, and in understanding the effects of food insecurity.

Biography

Gillian is a psychology lecturer in the Department of Health and Life Sciences at Northumbria University, where she is a member of the Healthy Living Lab, the Psychobiology, Stress & Wellbeing Research Group, the North East England Hoarding Research Group, and the Perception Evolution & Behaviour Lab (PEBL). She’s an active member of the International Society for Evolutionary Medicine and Public Health, supporting the society through her work on their conference programme committees (2018 & 2021). She is a member of the Board of Trustees for Newton’s Apple, a science policy charity, and is part of the UKRI Early Career Researcher Forum.

Prior to entering academia, Gillian spent a number of years working in science communication and science policy. This included roles as Policy and Project Manager, and later Director, of Newton’s Apple, then as a Communications Manager at the Department of Health. She has also worked as a Visiting Scholar with Public Health Newcastle and continues to collaborate with colleagues at Newcastle City Council. 

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 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities

Education/Academic qualification

Education, PCAP, Postgraduate Certificate of Academic Practice, Northumbria University

20192021

Psychology, PhD, Behavioural Sciences, Newcastle University

20112014

Psychology (Biology), MSc, MSc Evolutionary Psychology, Brunel University London

20082010

Zoology, BSc (Hons), Zoology with Evolutionary Psychology

20022005

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