Meet the Team
Nick is a specialist advisor to NOO, leading on physical activity and evaluation. He is a director of an independent public health consultancy, a research associate of the University of Oxford BHF Health Promotion Research Group, and an honorary senior research fellow at the University of Salford. He is a member of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence Programme Development Group on walking and cycling. He was one of the core team for the WHO Health Economic Assessment Tool (HEAT) for walking and cycling; a member of the Dept of Health’s Physical Activity Editorial Group; and a member of the World Cancer Research Fund policy panel. He has worked at both Departments of Health and Transport, and was formerly at the Health Education Authority, where he was head of the physical activity programme from 1994 – 2000. In 2011 Nick completed a PhD focusing on national policy approaches to promoting physical activity, and was made a member of the Faculty of Public Health.
Hywell Dinsdale is a freelance public health analyst. Hywell undertakes a wide range of analyses for NOO on a variety of datasets. He has particular expertise on the National Child Measurement Programme and has written several national reports exploring themes and trends in the dataset. Hywell has worked in education and health as an analyst for twelve years including roles for both the (then) Department for Education and Employment, and the Department of Health. As a Research Fellow at the University of East London he led studies evaluating health-related urban regeneration programmes and he spent three years working in a PCT for the West Sussex Public Health Observatory.
Louisa Ells is a Reader in Public Health and Obesity at Teesside University, and a Specialist Advisor to NOO. Louisa’s research interests focus on the use of innovative approaches to improving public health, with a specialist focus on obesity management. At NOO Louisa is responsible for researching and writing papers, contributing to ongoing projects including the evaluation programme of work, knowledge management, regional and national liaison. She also provides an ad hoc response service for phone and web enquiries, and writes the weekly knowledge update. Louisa has a degree in molecular and cellular biology and a PhD in clinical nutrition. She has worked in the field of obesity for the past decade on both policy and research. Louisa has a keen interest in the obesogenic environment, maternal and child obesity.
Mary is a senior public health researcher based in Oxford. She has been employed by Solutions for Public Health (SPH) for nine years and over this time she has undertaken a variety of projects including health needs assessments, service reviews and in-depth evidence based reviews, as well as longer programmes of work associated with major European research. Mary has a Masters in Applied Social Research and is experienced in qualitative and quantitative work. Her background prior to joining SPH was in the charitable sector and she is particularly interested in International public health and policy development. Mary is currently studying for an MPH (Global Health).
Maggie Graham is an administrator based in Oxford. She is the part-time Team Administrator and PA, a role she shares with Carol Hendry. Together they provide full-time support to the team. Maggie’s main tasks include liaising with partner agencies, co-ordinating meetings, venues and travel arrangements – always a challenge with conflicts in diaries and working patterns - and is the point of contact for all the team members.
Michael Heasman is a public health intelligence specialist based in Durham. He is the Development Co-ordinator for Public Health Intelligence North East. Michael is responsible for the development of NOO’s web presence. Michael strives to present NOO’s outputs in the best-possible way and is keen to respond to the demands of stakeholders. Michael trained as an industrial designer – working on wheels for the automotive industry – before moving in to public health. He worked for two years with the European Health Property Network helping to establish - and develop - the European Centre for Healthcare Assets and Architecture. He also produced reports on hospital acquired infections, PPI and PFI.
Carol Hendry is an administrator based in Oxford. She is the part-time Team Administrator and PA, a role she shares with Maggie Graham. Together they provide full-time support to the team. Carol’s main tasks include liaising with partner agencies, co-ordinating meetings, venues and travel arrangements – always a challenge with conflicts in diaries and working patterns - and is the point of contact for all the team members. Previously, Carol worked as PA to the Assistant Chief Executive (Strategy) at Oxfordshire County Council with similar responsibilities to her current position.
Shireen Mathrani is a public health programme manager based in Oxford. She is the Deputy Director of NOO, a role that she shares with Di Swanston. As Deputy Director she is responsible for the smooth running of the Observatory and its programmes of work, managing the team and ensuring that it achieves its objectives on time and to budget. Shireen is also involved in strategic work such as future planning, and networking with key stakeholders. Previously, she managed the national Health Profiles project at the South East Public Health Observatory and before that she was Assistant Director of Public Health at Bristol South and West PCT. Shireen has a background in health improvement, health promotion, project and people management and has worked in the NHS (nationally and locally), local government and the voluntary and academic sectors. Shireen has an MSc in Environmental Technology and is interested in all aspects of obesity and inequalities.
Caroline Ridler is a public health data analyst based in Oxford. She is a Senior Public Health Analyst within the Health Intelligence team at the South East Public Health Observatory and is the Obesity Lead. Within NOO, Caroline analyses data from the National Child Measurement Programme, producing national and regional reports and data integration tools. She provides analytical support to the team and responds to information and data requests. Caroline has an interest in geographical information systems, and in developing innovative data visualisation tools. Previously, Caroline worked in analytical roles for a Local Authority working on regeneration and economic development projects, and the Census, and at a PCT providing local analytical support.
Kath Roberts is a senior public health analyst for the East Midlands Public Health Observatory (EMPHO) where she specializes in public health nutrition and obesity. For NOO, Kath leads on the delivery of nutrition and diet related work and contributes to the programme of work on evaluation including the development of the Standard Evaluation Framework for weight management interventions. Kath has eleven years experience in a variety of research and analysis roles within the public sector, six of which have been at EMPHO. Kath has an MSc in nutrition, physical activity and public health and is currently studying for a PhD at the School of Health Related Research at the University of Sheffield.
Harry Rutter is NOO’s strategic and scientific advisor. He was the founder director of NOO from 2007-2011, and is now a Senior Clinical Research Fellow at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and an honorary senior clinical lecturer at the University of Oxford where he teaches on both climate change and childhood obesity. He was a member of the Department of Health Expert Panel on obesity, and sat on the management group of the Foresight Obesities project. He is a founder member of the steering committee of the European Health Enhancing Physical Activity network; helped lead a recent WHO project on economic evaluation of walking and cycling; and jointly led work packages on two EU funded projects on obesity and physical activity. In addition to his work on obesity he has a broad interest in the relationships between all aspects of transport, sustainability, built environment and health, in particular the health impacts of walking and cycling. He was previously the Head of Health Impact Assessment for the South East regional Public Health Group, and has wide experience of delivering and training on health impact assessment and sustainability appraisal.
Di Swanston is a public health programme manager based in Oxford. She is the Deputy Director of NOO, a role that she shares with Shireen Mathrani. As Deputy Director she is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the observatory. She employs her extensive experience of working with marginalized populations and communications expertise, to ensure the effective translation of data and evidence into useable information and effective practice. Di trained and worked as a public health physical activity specialist for many years before managing the national physical activity campaign at the Health Education Authority. She then established and managed other national public health campaigns including cancer prevention programmes at Cancer Research UK. Di has an MSc in health and exercise psychology. She joined the public health observatory network in 2005.