Dr Helen Walls BSc MPH(Hons) PhD

Assistant Professor


I have an MSc(Hons) from the University of Auckland and a PhD in epidemiology from Monash University. After working at the Australian National University I started in 2012 an NHMRC Sidney Sax Public Health Fellowship with the School. Since this time I have also been affiliated with the Leverhulme Centre for Integrative Research on Agriculture and Health (LCIRAH).

I have also worked in public health in New Zealand regionally and with the Ministry of Health, and with the World Health Organization (Geneva) on trade policy, diets and non-communicable disease.

I am an Associate Editor of the journal BMC Obesity.




I am the Module Organiser of the MSc module 'Health Policy, Process and Power' (distance learning). I also lecture on the module 'Globalisation and Health' and supervise several distance learning student projects for the MSc Global Health Policy.


I am particularly interested in the structural drivers of public and global health. Much of this work relates to food systems and nutrition, particularly the role of trade and agricultural policy in shaping nutrition and health, and governance responses.
I currently lead a programme of work funded by the Drivers of Food Choice Competitive Grants Program (Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; UK Department for International Development) examining the impact of Malawi's agricultural input subsidy programme on food choice and dietary diversity. This is in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Malawi, the School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS), the UN Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the Overseas Development Institute (ODI).
I am also involved with work examining decision-making processes in vaccination policy, and on trade in health services and patient mobility.

Research areas

  • Climate change
  • Environmental Health
  • Food
  • Global Health
  • Health inequalities
  • Modelling
  • Public health
  • Trade


  • Epidemiology
  • Policy analysis

Disease and Health Conditions

  • Chronic disease
  • Malnutrition
  • Non-communicable diseases
  • Obesity
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