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 exploring relationships between environmental quality and breastfeeding in the UK using the evolutionary framework of life history theory. I am also working part-time as a Research Assistant on a project on 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.
Up until recently I was working as a Behavioural Insights Advisor at Public Health England, where I was involved with the design, implementation and analysis of behavioural randomised controlled trials. My main projects related to HIV and public food environments. The post came out of the ESRC Policy Internship scheme, which I highly recommend.
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 for the last two years and faciliated some STEPH practicals this year.
I have also tutored MSc students on a one-to-one basis in Demographic Methods, STEPH, Epi and Foundations in Reproductive Health.
I am a mentor for the School's Young Scientists Programme.
I am also a Trinity Cert TESOL qualified Teacher of English as a foreign language and provide English language proofreading services for international students.
I am part of the school's Evolutionary Demography Group and am currently in the final stages of my PhD.
I am exploring socioeconomic differentials in breastfeeding behaviour and am particularly interested in associations with environmental quality. I am interested in comparing objective and subjective measures of both the physical and sociocultural environment as well as seeing how these aspects interact with SES to affect womens' infant feeding choices.
A secondary objective of my work is to explore whether breastfeeding clusters together with other demographic traits such as age at first birth and fertility.
My current research is funded by the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC) and my Masters was funded by the ESRC in conjunction with the Population Investigation Committee.