We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Public Policy and Health


Dr Duika Burges Watson

Lecturer in Evaluation and Policy Interventions in the Centre for Public Policy & Health
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 40656
Fax: +44 (0) 191 33 40361
Room number: F104, Wolfson Research Institute, Queen's Campus,Stockton on Tees, TS17 6BH

(email at


Dr Duika Burges Watson is Lecturer in the Evaluation of Policy Interventions within FUSE, the Centre for Translational Research in Public Health - a UKCRC Public Health Research Centre of Excellence. She is most interested in food – from source to senses – and how critical geographic and qualitative methodologies can help reveal different ways of thinking about how we eat. Current research focuses on multi-modal flavour perception, altered eating and the implications of new understandings in relation to health and well-being. Previous research has included work with survivors of head and neck cancer explored the potential of progressive cuisine to enhance quality of life; food growing and foraging for 'free'; visceral geographies, urban agriculture and ultra-processed foods, and developments in UK food policy. She leads masters modules on policy analysis (in particular discourse analytic approaches) and the dynamics of evidence in Global Public Policy and Health focusing on contemporary food policy. She is also the patient and public engagement lead for Fuse - the Centre for Translational Research in Public Health.


Duika is also founding member of the Station Masters Community Wildlife Garden and The Yoga Station. The Yoga Station is a not-for-profit community studio established to support the garden and other activities to improve the health and well-being of the people of North Tyneside.


With Johanna Wadsley she was recipient of the 2012 Neville Schulman Challenge Award with the Royal Geographical Society/Institute of British Geographers for the project Hugging the Coast - exploring liminal living and seaweed farming in the Sanghei archipelago.


Specialties: Alternative food networks, food and flavour research, food policy, knowledge exchange, wider engagement and patient and public involvement, critical geographies and qualitative methods in health research.

Current research projects

Current research includes work with survivors of head and neck cancer exploring progressive cuisine and cooking with hydrocolloids for textural modification, an evaluation of the UK Change4life fruit and vegetable convenience store initiative and an analysis of 'choice' in UK food policy.



Duika would welcome PhD students interested in any of her research interests listed above but also:

  • Self-care, functional food and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals
  • Public health and marine bio-actives
  • Decision making and patient and public engagement
  • Evaluation of diet and physical activity interventions
  • Any of the above topics in relation to Indonesia or Southeast Asia

Research Groups

Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing

Research Projects

Department of Geography

  • School for Public Health Research, £180,000

Selected Publications

Chapter in book

  • Brooks, Sally, Burges Watson, Duika L., Draper, Alizon, Goodman, Michael, Kvalvaag, Heidi & Wills, Wendy (2013). Chewing on choice. In Why we eat, how we eat: contemporary encounters between foods and bodies. Abbots, Emma-Jayne & Lavis, Anna Farnham: Ashgate. 149-168.
  • Brown, T. & Watson, D.L. (2009). Governing un/healthy populations. In A Companion to Health and Medical Geography. Brown, T., McLafferty, S. & Moon, G. Oxford: Blackwell. 477-479.

Journal Article

Newspaper/Magazine Article

Show all publications

Selected Grants

  • 2013: Resources for Living (R4L) Pilot: Exploring the Potential of Progressive Cuisine for Quality of Life Improvement for Head and Neck Cancer Survivors
  • 2012: Hugging the Coast: An exploration by sea kayak of liminal living in the Sangihe Archipelago, North Sulawesi, Indonesia
  • 2011: Development of a patient and public involvement strategy for head and neck cancer research
  • 2011: Playing with food: patient and public involvement in head and neck cancer research
  • 2010: Evaluation of the school sport partnership Dance Mat Scheme in Redcar and Cleveland (£9766.00 from Middlesbrough PCT)