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Prof Nicola Shelton
Room 317 Third Floor
Health and Social Surveys, Epidemiology and Public Health
1-19 Torrington Place
Prof Nicola Shelton profile picture
  • Professor of Population Health
  • Epidemiology & Public Health
  • Institute of Epidemiology & Health
  • Faculty of Pop Health Sciences

Professor 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 occupational 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 was the Founding Director of the BSc in Population Health http://www.ucl.ac.uk/bsc-population-health 2013-2019

Research Groups
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 occupational and 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 has included 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. www.ucl.ac.uk/arig  

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. Collaborative work has looked 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. Innovative research with a Crucible funded PhD student looked at how developing physical active virtual field trips for school classrooms reduces sedentary time in the classroom and may aid learning and recall. https://virtualtravellerstudy.wordpress.com/

Under the auspices of CeLSIUS I have completed 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 was a Co-Investigator. www.ucl.ac.uk/renewl Most recently I am a Co-Investigator on the Older People’s Health As An Asset For Economic And Social Improvement Of All: A Place-based Approach funded by Health Foundation.

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.

My research on nineteenth century infant and childhood mortality has enabled me to offer research led teaching in historical epidemiology to the undergraduate MBBS and MSc and the BSc Population Health. In 2019 I was awarded as Co-Investigator funding for Addressing Health: Morbidity, Mortality and Occupational Health in the Victorian and Edwardian Post Office (Wellcome Trust).

Teaching Summary

Module lead and lecturer IEHC0025 Epidemiological Transition 

Lecturer IEHC0027 Social Determinants of Health 

Lecturer IEHC0028 Research Methods in Population Health

Lecturer MBBS Year 1 and Year 2 

Lecturer IEHC0052 Social Epidemiology: Dimensions of Inequality

Study Abroad Tutor BSc in Population Health

Affiliates Tutor BSc in Population Health

Senior Personal Tutor and Personal Tutor BSc in Population Health

Dissertation supervisor; postgraduate personal tutor

PhD Supervisor

01-OCT-2018 Professor of Population Health 80%FTE Epidemiology and Public Health UCL, United Kingdom
01-OCT-2015 – 30-SEP-2018 Reader in Population Health 80%FTE Epidemiology and Public Health UCL, United Kingdom
01-OCT-2008 – 30-SEP-2015 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   Doctor of Philosophy University of Liverpool
1998   City & Guilds City College
1992   Postgraduate Diploma University of Wales, Bangor
1991   BSc (Hons) Open University College London
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