Evolution and Early Life Influences on Health
The research of Gillian Bentley and Tessa Pollard provides the basis for our expertise in the area of Early Life Influences on Health. They are currently working in this field with postdoctoral fellow Alejandra Nunez-de la Mora, and PhD students Mwenza Blell, Emily Henderson, Kesson Magid and Khershida Begum. Most of this work is based on a comparison of British South Asians who have grown up in the UK with those who have grown up in South Asia. Gillian Bentley pursues a comparative research programme examining the health of Bangladeshi migrants, involving early life influences upon reproductive function, and ovarian ageing (predictors of menopause). This programme takes a life-course approach involving cross-sectional studies of women and men in different age-groups.
Major public health issues in chronic disease aetiology are the focus for Tessa Pollard's studies of life course predictors for obesity, diseases of insulin resistance and cardiovascular disease. She is also interested in interactions between these conditions and gonadal hormone levels.
Branching out from the interest in early life influences on health is Jeremy Kendal's work. Jeremy develops and tests mathematical models of cultural evolution and gene-culture coevolution, including: the spread of efficacious and maladaptive self-medication treatments, cultural influences on the preference for the use of fertility control, and interactions between the evolution of traditions and the genetic basis for various diseases.