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Professor Val Curtis

BSc MSc PhD

Professor

Room
Room 402

LSHTM
Keppel Street
London
WC1E 7HT
United Kingdom

Tel.
00 44 20 7927 2628

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

Affiliations

Department of Disease Control
Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases

Centres

Centre for Evaluation
Maternal, Adolescent, Reproductive & Child Health (MARCH)

Teaching

I organise the Design of Disease Control Programmes in Developing Countries MSc Module, teach on the Tropical Environmental Health Study Module and give an annual public health lecture at LSHTM.

Research

I research hygiene, disgust and behaviour. I 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 handwashing promotion programme in India. 

You can visit my TED talk on how behaviour settings control what we do.

I am author of "Don't Look, Don't Touch, the Science behind Revulsion" (OUP, 2014), which is about the evolution and function of disgust and its relationship to morality. I discuss why this matters in this Huffington post interview.

I am co-author of "Gaining Control: How Human Behaviour Evolved" also with OUP (2015)

I cofounded the Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing with Soap, and I am partnership committee member of the Toilet Board Coalition. I advise the Indian and the Tanzanian Governments on their national sanitation campaigns and Unilever on sustainability.

Research Area
Hygiene
Sanitation
Water
Behaviour change
Discipline
Anthropology
Epidemiology
Disease and Health Conditions
Diarrhoeal diseases
Region
Least developed countries: UN classification
South Asia
Sub-Saharan Africa (developing only)

Selected Publications

Effect of a behaviour change intervention on the quality of peri-urban sanitation in Lusaka, Zambia: a randomised controlled trial
Tidwell JB; Chipungu J; Bosomprah S; Aunger R; Curtis V; Chilengi R
2019
The Lancet Planetary Health
Behaviour settings theory applied to domestic water use in Nigeria: A new conceptual tool for the study of routine behaviour
Curtis V; Dreibelbis R; Buxton H; Izang N; Adekunle D; Aunger R
2019
Social Science and Medicine
The structure and function of pathogen disgust.
Curtis V; de Barra M
2018
Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London Series B, Biological sciences
Implications of WASH Benefits trials for water and sanitation.
Cumming O; Curtis V
2018
The Lancet Global health
Trial of a Novel Intervention to Improve Multiple Food Hygiene Behaviors in Nepal.
Gautam OP; Schmidt WP; Cairncross S; Cavill S; Curtis V
2017
The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene
'Unfit for human consumption': a study of the contamination of formula milk fed to young children in East Java, Indonesia.
Gibson S; Sahanggamu D; Fatmaningrum D; Curtis V; White S
2017
Tropical medicine & international health
Can gossip change nutrition behaviour? Results of a mass media and community-based intervention trial in East Java, Indonesia.
White S; Schmidt W; Sahanggamu D; Fatmaningrum D; van Liere M; Curtis V
2016
Tropical medicine & international health
The Determinants of Reported Personal and Household Hygiene Behaviour: A Multi-Country Study.
Aunger R; Greenland K; Ploubidis G; Schmidt W; Oxford J; Curtis V
2016
PloS one
Effect of a behaviour-change intervention on handwashing with soap in India (SuperAmma): a cluster-randomised trial.
Biran A; Schmidt WP; Varadharajan KS; Rajaraman D; Kumar R; Greenland K; Gopalan B; Aunger R; Curtis V
2014
The Lancet Global health
Hygiene and health: systematic review of handwashing practices worldwide and update of health effects.
Freeman MC; Stocks ME; Cumming O; Jeandron A; Higgins JP; Wolf J; Prüss-Ustün A; Bonjour S; Hunter PR; Fewtrell L
2014
Tropical medicine & international health
The Evo-Eco approach to behaviour change
Aunger R; Curtis V
2013
Applied Evolutionary Anthropology
Why manners matter
Curtis V
2013
New scientist (1971)
Food hygiene practices of mothers and level of contamination in child's food in Nepal: A formative research
Gautam OP; Curtis V
2013
36th WEDC International Conference: Delivering Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Services in an Uncertain Environment
Disgust
Curtis V
2012
The Encyclopaedia of Human Behaviour
Why disgust matters.
Curtis V
2011
Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London Series B, Biological sciences
Disgust as an adaptive system for disease avoidance behaviour.
Curtis V; de Barra M; Aunger R
2011
Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London Series B, Biological sciences
Dirty hands: bacteria of faecal origin on commuters' hands.
Judah G; Donachie P; Cobb E; Schmidt W; Holland M; Curtis V
2009
Epidemiology and infection
Planned, motivated and habitual hygiene behaviour: an eleven country review.
Curtis VA; Danquah LO; Aunger RV
2009
Health education research
Experimental pretesting of hand-washing interventions in a natural setting.
Judah G; Aunger R; Schmidt WP; Michie S; Granger S; Curtis V
2009
American journal of public health
Determinants of handwashing practices in Kenya: the role of media exposure, poverty and infrastructure
Schmidt WP; Aunger R; Coombes Y; Maina PM; Matiko CN; Biran A; Curtis V
2009
Tropical medicine & international health
Kinds of behaviour
Aunger R; Curtis V
2008
Biology & philosophy
Masters of Marketing: Bringing Private Sector Skills to Public Health Partnerships.
Curtis VA; Garbrah-Aidoo N; Scott B
2007
American journal of public health
Dirt, disgust and disease: a natural history of hygiene
Curtis VA
2007
JOURNAL OF EPIDEMIOLOGY AND COMMUNITY HEALTH
Evidence that disgust evolved to protect from risk of disease.
Curtis V; Aunger R; Rabie T
2004
Proceedings Biological sciences / The Royal Society
Hygiene in the home: relating bugs and behaviour
Curtis V; Biran A; Deverell K; Hughes C; Bellamy K; Drasar B
2003
Social science & medicine (1982)
Dirt, disgust, and disease. Is hygiene in our genes?
Curtis V; Biran A
2001
Perspectives in biology and medicine
Evidence of behaviour change following a hygiene promotion programme in Burkina Faso
Curtis V; Kanki B; Cousens S; Diallo I; Kpozehouen A; Sangare M; Nikiema M
2001
Bulletin of the World Health Organization
Domestic hygiene and diarrhoea - pinpointing the problem.
Curtis V; Cairncross S; Yonli R
2000
Tropical medicine & international health : TM & IH
Potties, pits and pipes: explaining hygiene behaviour in Burkina Faso.
Curtis V; Kanki B; Mertens T; Traoré E; Diallo I; Tall F; Cousens S
1995
Social science & medicine (1982)
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