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Personal profile

Research interests

I am Professor of Physical Activity & Public Health in Bristol Medical School. I joined the University of Bristol in 2005 from Baylor College of Medicine in Texas (USA) and was based in the School for Policy Studies (Centre for Exercise, Nutrition & Health Sciences), until August 2023 when I moved Bristol Medical School.

My research focusses on physical activity and public health. I have a particular focus on understanding why some children are more active than others and how we can help all children and young people to be more physically active. Across a range of different studies, I use a variety of methods including large surveys, in-depth interviews, systematic reviews and trials where we test if a new program can increase physical activity. 

In addition to my own projects (see below) I have several leaderships roles across NIHR investments in Bristol. I am co-theme lead of the Diet and Physical Activity theme in the Bristol Biomedical Research Center, co-theme lead of the Public Health and Prevention theme in the Applied Research Collaboraion (ARC) West, Deputy Director of Public Health Intervention Response Team (PHIRST) Insight, as well as core group member of Bristol's participation in the School for Public Health Research. Ialso supervise a number of brilliant PhD students and teach on the MSc in Public Health


Current projects

Principal Investigator, “PASSPORT - A novel Physical Activity School-Specific PORtfolio intervention evaluated via a stepped wedge design to increase children’s physical activity at a population level”, UKRI Frontier Award ”, 01/02/2023 to 31/01/2028. UKRI REF EP/X023508/1.

Principal Investigator, “Assessing the impact of COVID-19 on the physical activity of Year 6 children and their parents: Identifying scalable actions to mitigate adverse impacts & provide rapid evidence to policy makers”, 01/04/2021 to 31/05/2023, NIHR-PHR, REF NIHR 131847

Co-investigtaor, “Reducing population exposure to unhealthy commodity advertising: evaluation of the Bristol Advertising and Sponsorship Policy”, 01/11/22 to 30/04/25 (PI Frank de Vocht, REF: NIHR152114)

Co-applicant (Diet & Physical Activity theme lead with Richard Martin), “Bristol Biomedical Research Center”, 12/2022 to 11/2027 (PI Jonathan Sterne)

Co-Investigator, “NIHR School for Public Health Research (Bristol, 01/04/2022 to 31/03/2027 (PI Rona Campbell)

Co-Investigator, "Bristol and Cardiff Public Health Intervention Reseponse Team, NIHR Public Health Research Programme, 01/09/2020 – 31/08/2025, (PI Rona Campbell)

Co-Investigator, “The Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC): A multi-generation, longitudinal resource focusing on life course health and well-being. Longitudinal Population Study support (Wellcome Trust and Medical Research Council jointly), 1st August 2019-1st July 2024, (PI Nic Timpson, Bristol

Co-Investigator “ARC West”, 01/10/2019 – 30/09/2024,  (PI John Macloed, Bristol)

Co-Investigator, A multicentre cluster randomised controlled trial to evaluate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of an environmental nutrition and physical activity intervention in nurseries (Nutrition and Physical Activity Self Assessment for Child Care - NAP SACC UK), 01/07/2019 to 31/12/2024 (after COVID pause) -  (PI Dr Ruth Kipping – Bristol)

Co-Investigator, “The Walking in Schools (WISH) Trial”, Cross-border Healthcare Intervention Trials in Ireland Network (CHITIN), 01/04/2019 to 31/05/2022 (38 months), (PI Marie Murphy - Ulster 5% FTE).

Co-Investigator, “Feasibility Of An Intervention Co-Supporting Children and Fathers in Health Behaviour Change and Maintenance Following Father’s Participation in Football Fans in Training: FFITer families”, Chief Scientist Office,  01/08/2018 to 31/07/2020, (REF HIPS/18/16 (PI Kate Hunt – Stirling, 5% FTE).

Completed projects

Co-Investigator, Reducing population exposure to unhealthy commodity advertising: evaluation of the Bristol Advertising and Sponsorship Policy (preintervention Data collection, (PI Frank de Vocht, REF: NIHR135220),

Co-Investigator, “NIHR School for Public Health Research (Bristol)”, £2,250,000, 01/04/2017 to 31/03/2022 (PI Rona Campbell)lection), 01/11/2021 to 30/05/2022, NIHR-PHR, 


Principal Investigator, “A cluster randomised controlled trial of a Peer-Led Activity iNtervention for Adolescent girls (PLAN-A),  NIHR Public Health Research Programme, 01/07/2018 – 31/12/2020

B-PROACTIV – PaRental influences On physical ACTIVity and screen-viewing in young children, (Principal Investigator - Funded by the British Heart Foundation)

Action 330: A cluster randomised feasibility study evaluation of a teaching assistant led, extracurricular physical activity intervention for 8 to 10 year olds (NIHR - PHR Project:15/55/09 )

Plan-A: Development and feasibility cluster randomised control trial evaluation of a Peer-Led physical Activity iNtervention for Adolescent girls, NIHR Public Health Research Programme,  01/04/2015 to 31/07/2017, PI Simon Sebire.

NAP SACC UK: A feasibility cluster randomised controlled trial in child care settings to increase physical activity and healthy eating in 2-4 year olds, NIHR Public Health Research Programme, 01/11/2014  to 30/04/2017, PI Ruth Kipping

NIHR School of Public Health – Bristol”, National Institute for Health Research, 01/04/2012-30/03/2017, £2,250,000, PI Prof Rona Campbell

The use of accelorometry-based activity monitors and linked web portal to enhance long-term maintenance of physical activity in adults: A pilot trial in an exercise referral setting”, Health & Care Research Wales, £245,994, 01/10/2015 to 30/09/2017, PI Jemma Hawkins (Cardiff)

DECIPHer, Medical Research Council, 01/01/2014 to 31/12/2019, PI Rona Campbell 

Active-7: “Bristol Girls Dance Project: A cluster randomised controlled trial of an after-school dance programme to increase physical activity among 11-12 year old girls – Funders ref 11/3050/01”, NIHR Public Health Research Programme, 01/04/2013 – 01/08/2015. 

TEAMPLAY: Parents and children partnering for healthy lifestyle, (Principal Investigator - Funded by the British Heart Foundation)

Development of an after-school programme to increase physical activity and dance skills in 11-12 year old girls (Principal Investigator – Funded by the MRC – National Prevention Research Initiative). The Bristol Girls Dance Project.

Examination of parental and peer influences on the physical activity patterns of 10-11 year old children (Principal Investigator - Funded by the British Heart Foundation). The Bristol 3Ps Project.

Parental and home environment influences on youth physical activity and screen-viewing: Preventing childhood obesity (Principal Investigator). NIHR Career Development Fellowship.

ACTION330: Promoting children's physical activity via enhanced after-school leadership (Medical Research Council)

The PEACH Project - Examination of the environmental factors that influence children’s diet and physical activity patterns (Dr A Cooper PI - Funded by the National Prevention Research Initiative & the World Cancer Research Fund). .

Active for Life year 5, (PI Prof Debbie Lawlor, Funded by NIHR Public Health Research Programme

HEALTHY : A US middle school type 2 diabetes prevention program (Principal Investigator of sub-contract - Funded by NIH-NIDDK). The HEALTHY STUDY.

External positions

Fellow (by Distinction), Faculty of Public Health of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of the UK

1 Jun 2018 → …

Fellow, International Society of Behavioral Nutrition & Physical Activity

1 Jun 2017 → …

Editor in Chief, International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity

1 Jan 201531 Mar 2018

Structured keywords and research groupings

  • NIHR ARC West


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