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Durham University

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Staff Profile

Dr Charlotte Russell, BA, PhD

Sleep Lab Manager & Impact Evidence Manager in the Department of Anthropology
Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Sleep Lab

Contact Dr Charlotte Russell

Charlotte's research interests focus on the practical and theoretical application of evolutionary medicine to issues relating to childbirth and childhood, with special focus on the consequences of parent-infant separation. She also works on the translation of research evidence for public consumption, its role in influencing public behaviour, and in effecting change in policy and practice. 


Charlotte received her PhD in Anthropology from the University of Durham in 2007, following a BA in Human Sciences in 2001. Her doctoral thesis focused on a craniometric analysis of British and Danish archaeological populations, while her undergraduate dissertation addressed issues relating to the use and knowledge of traditional (folk) and complementary medicines in a North Yorkshire village.

Charlotte joined the Durham University Parent-Infant Sleep Lab (now DISC - the Durham Infancy & Sleep Centre) in 2007 as NECOT (North-East Cot Trial) project manager. In 2011 Charlotte and Professor Helen Ball obtained ESRC follow-on funding to set up the Infant Sleep Information Source (ISIS) website, now known as Basis - the Baby Sleep Info Source. This website provides a means by which up-to-date, evidence-based information about infant sleep can be disseminated to parents and health-care professionals. We also have also developed an app to complement the website; educational materials; contribute widely to national and international policy development; and provide training sessions for HCPs and volunteers working with parents.

Charlotte currently holds a full-time research position in the Department of Anthropology, managing DISC; supervising student projects and lab staff; and pursuing her own research which complements the Centre's core themes of investigation.

Research Groups

Department of Anthropology

Research Projects

Department of Anthropology

Selected Publications

Chapter in book

  • Russell, CK., Volpe, LE. & Ball, HL. (2016). Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. In Evolutionary Thinking in Medicine: From Research to Policy and Practice. Alvergne, A. Jenkinson, C. & Faurie, C. Springer.
  • Ball, H.L. & Russell, C.K. (2012). Night-time nurturing: an evolutionary perspective on breastfeeding and sleep. In Evolution, Early Experience and Human Development: From Research to Practice and Policy. Narváez, D., Panksepp, J., Schore, A. & Gleason, T. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 241-261.

Journal Article

  • Ball, H., Howell, D., Bryant, A., Best, E., Russell, C. & Ward-Platt, M. (2016). Bed-sharing by breastfeeding mothers: who bed-shares, and what is the relationship with breastfeeding duration? Acta Paediatrica 105(6): 628-634.
  • Russell, Charlotte K., Whitmore, Mary, Burrows, Dawn & Ball, Helen L. (2015). Where might my baby sleep? Design and evaluation of a novel discussion tool for parent education. International Journal of Birth and Parenting Education 2(2): 11-15.
  • Ball, H.L. & Russell, C.K. (2014). SIDS & Infant Sleep Ecology. Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health 2014(1): 146.
  • Russell, C.K., Robinson, L. & Ball, H.L. (2013). Infant Sleep Development: Location, Feeding and Expectations in the Postnatal Period. The Open Sleep Journal 6(Suppl 1): M9, 68-76.
  • Russell, C.K., Howel, D., Ward-Platt, M.P. & Ball, H.L. (2012). Use of interactive telephone technology for longitudinal data collection in a large trial. Contemporary Clinical Trials 33: 364-368.
  • Ball, H.L., Ward-Platt, M.P. Howel, D. & Russell, C.K. (2011). Randomised trial of sidecar crib use on breastfeeding duration (NECOT). Archives of Disease in Childhood 96(7): 630-634.
  • Russell, C.K. & Anthoons, G. (2007). Wetenschappers op zoek naar migranten (deel 3) [Scientists in search of migrants (part 3)]. Kelten 33: 5-7.
  • Russell, C.K. (2005). The Anglo-Saxon Influence on Romano-Britain: Research past and present. Durham Anthropology Journal 13(1).

Doctoral Thesis

  • Russell, C.K. (2006). Whence Came the English? Exploring relationships between the Iron Age, Romano-British and Anglo-Saxon periods in Britain and Denmark: A craniometric biodistance analysis. Department of Anthropology. Durham University. PhD.

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