Professor Val Curtis BSc MSc PhD


About Val Curtis

Director of the Environmental Health Group and expert in hygiene, disgust and behaviour change


Director of the Environmental Health Group, a multidisciplinary group researching hygiene, sanitation and water (WASH). Trained in engineering, epidemiology and anthropology and studies human behaviour from an evolutionary perspective. 




Organiser of the Design of Disease Control Programmes in Developing Countries MSc Module. Teaches on the Tropical Environmental Health Study Module and gives an annual public health lecture at LSHTM. Contributes to Global Health Masters courses at Imperial College.


Researches hygiene, disgust and behaviour. Co-developed Behaviour Centred Design. which combines the latest in behavioural science with a process for designing and testing novel interventions. BCD has been used to promote handwashing, food hygiene, infant nutrition sanitation and exercise in Africa, Asia and in Europe. SuperAmma is a recent handwashing promotion programme in India. 

TED talk on how behaviour settings control what we do.

Author of "Don't Look, Don't Touch, the Science behind Revulsion" (OUP, 2014) about the evolution and function of disgust and its relationship to morality. She discusses why this matters in this Huffington post interview.

Co-Author of "Gaining Control: How Human Behaviour Evolved" also with OUP (2015)

Cofounder of the Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing with Soap,  partnership committee member of the Toilet Board Coalition and advisor on Behaviour Change to  public and private sector organisations.

Research areas

  • Behaviour change
  • Hygiene
  • Sanitation
  • Water


  • Anthropology
  • Epidemiology

Disease and Health Conditions

  • Diarrhoeal diseases

Other interests

  • Evolution
  • Human Behaviour
Back to top