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Dr Nicola Shelton
Health and Social Surveys, EPH
1-19 Torrington Place
  • Reader in Population Health
  • Epidemiology & Public Health
  • Institute of Epidemiology & Health
  • Faculty of Pop Health Sciences

Dr Shelton is the Head of the Health and Social Surveys Research Group. Her research is on health geography, health surveillance and the outcomes that can be measured through large and complex health data sets. She has particular interests in alcohol consumption and physical activity and older people's health and wellbeing.

She is the director of CeLSIUS, the Centre for Longitudinal Study Information and User Support of the ONS Longitudinal Study. www.ucl.ac.uk/celsius

She is the Director of the new BSc in Population Health http://www.ucl.ac.uk/bsc-population-health
starting 2015

Research Themes
Research Summary
My research is on health geography, health surveillance and the outcomes that can be measured through large and complex health data sets. Currently I have two major areas of research: firstly in health behaviours and outcomes associated with alcohol consumption and physical activity, and secondly in older people’s health and wellbeing.

In the alcohol research area I have worked on alcohol geographies examining how regional variations in drinking practises in England are associated with differences in attitude to alcohol consumption and to drunkenness. I presented this work at the House of Commons in 2010 and fed into evidence in the Health Committee Government’s Alcohol Strategy in 2012-13. I have also published BMA funded research showing the association between alcohol calories and obesity. Other work includes underreporting of alcohol consumption and the potential for overestimation of the health benefits of moderate alcohol consumption in conjunction with PhD students. ESRC funded work on alcohol consumption in older people has been motivated by the Royal College of Physicians recommendations to reduce the maximum unit limits for older people and by the increase in numbers of older people who are drinking above current limits. http://www.ucl.ac.uk/arig/research/#life-transitions  Latest research working with a new PhD student is on national and regional acculturation and alcohol consumption.

In the area of physical activity I have looked at how a decline physical activity in older age is associated with retirement even after adjustment for health and obesity despite older working people citing a lack of time for exercise. Current collaborative work has been looking at how non screen sedentary behaviour is associated with low deprivation and TV watching is associated with higher deprivation. Other work has drawn together the relationship between physical activity and alcohol consumption and health and this work is now being further developed. Innovative research with a Crucible funded PhD student is looking at how developing physical active virtual field trips for school classrooms will reduce sedentary time in the classroom and may aid learning and recall. https://virtualtravellerstudy.wordpress.com/
Under the auspices of CeLSIUS I have been working on a beta test of the 2011 Census data linkage to the longitudinal study examining the geographical and employment factors which contribute to working beyond the age of 50 in 2011. This has formed part of the 2014-2017 RenEWL work programme in the ESRC Extended Working Lives Consortia of which I am a Co-Investigator. www.ucl.ac.uk/renewl

Additionally I was involved as Co-I on a methodological project involving CeLSIUS: to develop a synthetic longitudinal data which is producing software using open government license in conjunction with ONS. http://calls.ac.uk/guides-resources/synthetic-ls-data/ The latter project has delivered a desktop synthetic longitudinal data set that can be used as a teaching, training and test data set to address the necessary challenges of restrictive data access policies to Census longitudinal data.

Teaching Summary

Director of BSc in Population Health http://www.ucl.ac.uk/bsc-population-health

Module lead IEHC1001 Epidemiological Transition

Masters: Module leader and lecturer Social Epidemiology: Dimensions of Inequality

Postgraduate dissertation supervisor; postgraduate personal tutor

PhD Supervisor Principal supervisor for three PhD students and on the supervisory panel for an additional student.
OCT-2008 Senior Lecturer 80%FTE Epidemiology and public health UCL, United Kingdom
AUG-2005 – SEP-2008 Senior Research Fellow 60% Epidemiology and public health UCL, United Kingdom
NOV-2002 – JUL-2005 Research Fellow 60% Epidemiology and public health UCL, United Kingdom
JUN-2002 – SEP-2002 Research Fellow 40% Geography Leeds, United Kingdom
JUL-2000 – OCT-2002 Research Fellow 30% MIRU Leeds, United Kingdom
OCT-1998 – APR-2000 Research Fellow CPS LSHTM, United Kingdom
SEP-1996 – AUG-1998 Research Assistant Geography Liverpool, United Kingdom
OCT-1993 – SEP-1995 Research Assistant Geography Liverpool, United Kingdom
Academic Background
2000 PhD Doctor of Philosophy – Geography University of Liverpool
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