Dr Robert Aunger
in Evolutionary Public Health
I have a Master's degree in Urban Planning from the University of Southern California, and a PhD in biological anthropology from UCLA. I worked as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Chicago Committee on Human Development in culture and mental health and at King's College Cambridge in evolutionary psychology before coming to LSHTM in 2003.
I am module organiser for the Distance Learning unit on the Control of Infectious Diseases, and give lectures and supervise seminars for Health Promotion, Disease Control in Developing Countries, and Tropical and Environmental Health.
My primary project is the development of an innovative, general approach to behaviour change called Behaviour Centred Design, based in evolutionary biology, reinforcement learning theory and ecological psychology. This approach has been used to develop behaviour change programs in hygiene, sanitation, nutrition and HIV. I am particularly interested in habit formation and the routinization of everyday behaviours such as personal hygiene behaviours. I have also developed a sensor-network based method for long-term naturalistic monitoring of behaviour, as well as a variety of qualitative methods for use in formative research.