Ms Laura Brown
Research Degree Student
I am in the final stages of my PhD in Demography with Dr Rebecca Sear (ESRC funded) where I am using data from the Millennium Cohort and Born in Bradford studies to explore relationships between environmental quality and breastfeeding in the UK using the evolutionary framework of life history theory.
I am also working on a project looking at the determinants and impacts of age at menarche in low and middle income countries with Dr Tiziana Leone at LSE.
I completed the MSc in Reproductive & Sexual Health Research at the school, graduating in 2014 and went straight into my PhD. My first degree is in Biological Anthropology (University of Kent, 2009).
I have a passion for promoting reproductive and sexual health. I have previously volunteered with the Family Planning Association, Brook and La Leche League and have provided outreach services for THT. I currently provide HIV testing in community settings with Spectra.
During my studies I worked as a Behavioural Insights Advisor at Public Health England, where I was involved with the design, implementation and analysis of behavioural randomised controlled trials. The post came out of the ESRC Policy Internship scheme, which I highly recommend.
At the school I have provided group tuition in Basic Epidemiology (Epi) and Statistics for Epidemiology & Population Health (STEPH) for MSc students as part of the PASS scheme and faciliated STEPH practicals. I have also tutored MSc students on a one-to-one basis in Demographic Methods, STEPH, Epi and Foundations in Reproductive Health.
Outside of the school, I have taught seminars in Key Concepts in Global Health at King's College London and tutorials in Evolutionary Medicine & Public Health at Oxford.
I am a mentor for the School's Young Scientists Programme.
My PhD research contributes to the developing field of evolutionary public health by using life-history theory to explore socioeconomic differentials in breastfeeding in the UK with a particular focus on environmental quality.
My research at Public Health England focussed on using behavioural insights to increase HIV testing and reduce obesity.
The project I am working on at LSE looks at the impacts and determinants of age at menarche in low and middle income countries.
My PhD research found that in the UK environmental quality’s associations with breastfeeding outcomes were nuanced, with differences emerging by ethnicity as well as socioeconomic status. Given the double or triple jeopardy some groups of mothers can experience, I am interested in exploring ideas of environmental injustice and ways in which participant-led research can empower and enable mothers to better protect their health and wellbeing and that of their children.