Gillian is a psychology lecturer in the Department of Health and Life Sciences at Northumbria University, where she is a member of the Healthy Living Lab, the Psychobiology, Stress & Wellbeing Research Group, and the Perception Evolution & Behaviour Lab (PEBL). She’s an active member of the International Society for Evolutionary Medicine and Public Health, supporting the society through her work on their conference programme committees (2018 & 2021). She is a member of the Board of Trustees for Newton’s Apple, a science policy charity, and is part of the UKRI Early Career Researcher Forum.
Prior to entering academia, Gillian spent a number of years working in science communication and science policy. This included roles as Policy and Project Manager, and later Director, of Newton’s Apple, then as a Communications Manager at the Department of Health.
Gillian’s research interests are centred on socioeconomic inequalities in health and wellbeing. She investigates how structural inequalities affect behaviours which, subsequently, affect health and longevity. She uses evolutionary behavioural theory, and observational and experimental data to examine differences in temporal discounting, reproductive scheduling, social trust, health behaviour, and biomarkers of health and ageing. She is particularly interested in the effects of perceived extrinsic mortality risk on health behaviour, and the effects of food insecurity on metabolism and behaviour.