Dr Elaine Ferguson
Elaine joined LSHTM in 2008 from the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. Her PhD, which focused on the zinc status of young children in Malawi and Ghana, was completed at the University of Guelph, Canada. She has an interest in and committment to strengthening nutrition programmes and research capacity in low income countries to improve maternal and child health. She has extensive research networks in Asia and sub-saharan Africa and links with the World Health Organization and the Food and Nutrition Technical Assistance III Project (FANTA), FHI 360. She is on the technical advisory group of the International Dietary Data Expansion Project (INDDEX).
Elaine's research interests are in micronutrient nutrition, nutritional assessment methodology, mathematical applications in nutrition and nutrition programmes with a particular interest in food-based strategies to improve maternal and child nutrition and the intersection between agriculture and nutrition.
Her past research focused on the aetiology of micronutrient malnutrition and the use of food-based strategies to improve micronutrient status. She co-led studies exploring factors associated with low micronutrient status in India, Malawi, Ghana and New Zealand. in New Zealand, she co-led a randomised control trial investigating the efficacy of red meat versus a fortified milk for improving toddler micronutrient status.
Elaine was involved with the WHO and FANTA in the development of a tool - Optifood - to inform nutrition programme planning and policy decisions. Field trials were done in 10 countries in SE Asia, Latin America and Africa to inform strategic plans for agriculture-nutrition, food value chain and micronutrient intervention programmes. More recently she was involved in operations research to strengthen nutrition programmes in northern Nigeria, impact evaluations of nutrition programmes in Indonesia and inter-sectoral research with the Leverhulme Centre for Intergrative Research on Agriculture and Health to design nutrition sensitive interventions, for agricultural projects, in south Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Her current research projects focus on the development and validation of tools to measure women's activity levels, dietary diversity and the food environment in relation to nutrition.