• 3099

Research activity per year

Personal profile


Ben's current research focuses on the interplay between healthy and sustainable diet choices. He uses statistical and agent-based modelling to untangle food choices and production. Currently, his work focuses on using industrial metabolism to describe how subsidies relate to food production in Scotland all the way from agricultural commodities to nutrients. At the other end of the scale, he is also modelling consumption data to understand what foods are bought in Scotland and what is replacing meat as people become more environmentally conscious about their diet.

Before joining The Rowett, Ben was a research fellow (contractor) at the Fogarty International Center (part of the NIH) in the US for 10 years, and was a consultant for other US institutes (Johns Hopkins, University of Virginia, Penn State). Ben was working on child growth and development in low- and middle-income settings, analysing longitudinal cohort data from an international consortium, MAL-ED. His recent research spans the aetiology and consequences of enteropathogen infection, biomarkers of environmental enteropathy, causes and recovery of growth deficits and patterns of cognitive development. Prior to this, he worked at SAC (now SRUC) modelling endemic livestock diseases. Ben trained as an ecologist and retains an interest in the factors that differentiate disease exposures and outcomes. Examining how research is turned into policy, with the Sabin Vaccine Institute, Ben has been looking at decision-support tools to better articulate the deliberative processes around vaccine introductions and use in low- and middle-income settings.

Research Profile

Research Interests:

My research interests focus on using empirical evidence to understand the drivers and outcomes of disease macroecology. Key interests include:

  • determinants of infectious disease distributions
  • impacts of infection, nutrition and nurturing care in child growth and development
  • enteric enteropathy
  • policy decision making and evidence to recommendation frameworks
  • behaviours and diet choice
  • evidence-informed policy and health
  • healthy and sustainable food consumption and production


Member WHO Total Systems Effectiveness (TSE) modeling working group (2018-2019)

North of Scotland (2) Research Ethics Committee (Expert member, 2017-2022)



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 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

Biological Sciences, PhD, The Determinants of the Distribution of Louping Ill Virus in Britain, University of Oxford


Biological Sciences, Bachelors Degree, Biological Sciences



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