Dr Elaine Ferguson
Elaine joined LSHTM in 2008 from the University of Otago, 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 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 FHI 360. She is on the technical advisory group of the International Dietary Data Expansion Project (INDDEX) and is a member of the Task Force in the Consortium of Nutrition modellers and the Optima Nutrition technical Advisory Group. She is co-chair of Athena SWAN in EPH.
Elaine's research interests are in nutritional assessment methodology, decision-making tool development and the intersection between nutrition and agriculture with a particular interest in food-based strategies to improve maternal and child nutrition.
Her past research focused on the aetiology of micronutrient malnutrition and strategies to improve micronutrient status. She co-led studies exploring factors associated with low micronutrient status in India, Malawi, Ghana and New Zealand, and investigated the efficacy of red meat versus a fortified milk for improving toddler micronutrient status.
She was involved 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 to design nutrition sensitive interventions in south Asia. Her current research projects focus on the development and validation of innovative tools to measure women's activity levels, dietary diversity and the food environment in Uganda, agronomic biofortification to improve zinc and selenium status in Malawi and Ethiopia, the delineation of the host-environment nexus on stunting in Indonesia, India and Senegal, the design of gender-sensitive agroforestry and food-based strategies to improve nutrition among indigenous populations in Peru and the influence of snack consumption on child nutrition in SE Asia.