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 improving maternal and child nutrition and health in low-and-middle income countries and a committment to capacity strengthening. She has extensive research networks in Asia and sub-saharan Africa and is currently involved with research projects in eight countries. 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. She is a member of Athena SWAN self-assessment team in EPH.
Elaine co-ordinates and teaches in the term 3 module - Nutrition Programming Planning.
Elaine's research interests are in 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 and Ghana. In New Zealand, she 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. In the recent past, 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 focuses on the development and validation of innovative tools to measure women's activity patterns, dietary diversity and the food environment in Uganda, and strengthen multi-stakeholder decision-making in nutrition-agriculture programmes in low-and-middle income countries, on 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 Cambodia and Senegal.