• KY16 9TF

    United Kingdom

Accepting Postgraduate Research Students

PhD projects

Projects relating to human research in: eating behaviour and obesity; healthcare communication; wellbeing, health behaviours

Personal profile

Research overview

I am a behavioural scientist with research interests that include:

  • eating behaviour, obesity
  • healthcare communication
  • wellbeing and health behaviours

My research aligns directly with interest in health behaviour interventions and the interface of the healthcare practitioner and patient, and follows an interdisciplinary approach, straddling psychological, behavioural and physiological domains.  I conduct empirical research (lab, community-based, primary care) in human populations across the age span.  I look at factors that create so-called obesogenic environments as well as individual characteristics.  I combine my obesity expertise with interests in clinical communication, where I have developed a research program investigating healthcare communication within the context of patient overweight and obesity in primary care.  I am interested in how health behaviours (e.g. consumption behaviour, sleep) contribute to stress and wellbeing.

I utilise a mixed methods research methodology and have expertise in quantitative and qualitative techniques including behavioural observation, measurement of appetite and ingestive behaviour, anthropometry, coding of clinical communication behaviour using behavioural coding software, textual analysis, development of semi-structures interviews and surveys.

Academic/Professional Qualification

  • Ph.D., Faculty of Medicine, Centre for Human Nutrition, University of Sheffield
  • P.G.C.E. Biology (Secondary level teaching qualification), University of Cambridge
  • B.A. Hons, MA, Biological Anthropology, University of Cambridge 

Industrial relevance

Healthcare; education - changing behaviour, obesity prevention programmes

Teaching activity

I teach behavioural medicine, communication skills and research skills to medical undergraduates, and students on the ScotGEM programme. I developed and led on taught postgraduate modules, taught and supervised research on the MSc Health Psychology programme [2009-2022]. I supervise MSc and Phd students. 


My School Roles:

  • MD4002 strand lead for Population and Behavioural Science
  • Ethics Committee member; vice-convenor (population, people, education)
  • Personal Tutor (BSc Hons, ScotGEM)
  • Medical Assessment team member
  • PGR Committee member - Population and Behavioural Sciences rep
  • Equality Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Committee member

Profile Keywords

consumption behaviour, obesity, healthcare communication, wellbeing

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities

External positions

External Examiner for MSc/PgDip/PgCert Clinical Education, University of Edinburgh


External Supervisor for doctoral student Salome Kurucz, University of Brighton

Oct 2022Sept 2026


  • R Medicine (General)
  • health psychology
  • behavioural science
  • obesity
  • healthcare communication
  • primary practice
  • wellbeing
  • child and adolescent health
  • sleep
  • consumption behaviour
  • mixed methods


Dive into the research topics where Joanne Elizabeth Cecil is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
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