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Our Team 



Prof Helen L. Ball, BSc, MA, PhD  


Ms. Sophie Lovell-Kennedy, MAnth. (Medical Anthropology)

PhD Candidate, Sleep Lab Manager

Laura Murray

 DISC Coordinator, Research Assistant

Michele Freed, BA, MSc (Biological Anthropology)

PhD Candidate 

Ms. Lenka Medvecová Tinková Mgr. et Bc. (Medical Anthropology

PhD Candidate

Ms Ingrid Boedker, BA, MSc (Psychology)

PhD Candidate, Liverpool John Moores University

Ms Sarah Turner

PhD Candidate



Our Associates 

Honorary Associates are previous DISC members with whom we continue to collaborate on research projects, publications, and external engagement.



Dr Lyn Robinson, BSc, MScR, Ph.D 

Research Fellow, University of York 

Dr Kristin Tully 

Collaborative for Maternal and Infant Health, University of North Carolina 

Dr Lane Volpe 

Honorary Research Fellow, Durham Infancy and Sleep Centre 

Dr Alanna Rudzik  

Assistant Professor of Anthropology, SUNY Oneonta 

Dr Anna Cronin de Chavez 

Research Fellow, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Dr Charlotte Russell 


Dr Cecilia Tomori

Director of Global Public Health and Community Health, Johns Hopkins School of Nursing

Dr Catherine Taylor, BSc, MA, PhD  Honorary Research Fellow, Durham Infancy and Sleep Centre
Dr Alice-Amber Keegan Research Associate, Bristol University Medical School
Dr Andrea Silva, BA, MSc (Biological Anthropology)  PostDoc Position, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

Dr Allison Dixley, BA, LLB, MA (Biological Anthropology) 

Social Researcher, Department of Work and Pensions


Our Collaborators

Our collaborators are leading researchers at other institutions in the UK and around the world with whom we conduct research, pursue future research funding, write publications, and hold research workshops. Our collaborators also support our external engagement efforts by speaking at our biennial Durham Infancy and Sleep Centre Conferences. 


Dr Martin Ward-Platt  

The late Dr Martin Ward-Platt was a Consultant Neonatologist for Newcastle Neonatal Services, Royal Victoria Infirmary, and Reader in Neonatal & Paediatric Medicine, at the University of Newcastle, Clinical Director of the Regional Maternity Survey Office, and Senior Editor of the Archives of Disease in Childhood. 


Dr Pete Blair 

Dr Pete Blair is a medical statistician and SIDS epidemiologist in the School of Social and Community Medicine at the University of Bristol. Pete has worked with the Durham Infancy and Sleep Centre Team on and off for almost 20 years, collaborating on publications, funding applications, and outreach. 


Dr Pamela Douglas 

Dr Pam Douglas has been an Australian GP since 1987 and is Medical Director of the non-profit Possums Clinic in Brisbane, Queensland. She is also holds an Associate Adjunct Professorship with the Centre for Health Practice Innovation at Griffith University, and is a Senior Lecturer in the Discipline of General Practice at The University of Queensland.  

Pam has a special interest in the care of new families, mental health, and women's health. Her medical research focusses around the way in which health professionals approach the complex problem of unsettled infant behaviour, and offers integrated, evidence-informed clinical guidelines. 


Dr Cecilia Tomori, Johns Hopkins

Cecilia’s monograph ‘Night-time breastfeeding: an American cultural dilemma’ is an excellent example of ethnography applied to the tensions and stigma involved in bed-sharing. Cecilia was a member of the Department of Anthropology in Durham from 2017 to 2020 and she continues to collaborate with the DISC team. Cecilia is now Director of Global Public Health and Community Health at John Hopkins University, and author of the 2023 Lancet Breastfeeding Series.


Professor Megan Galbally 

Professor Megan Galbally is Foundation Chair in Perinatal Psychiatry, Murdoch University, Perth, Western Australia. Megan's research interests include early parenting practices (breastfeeding, sleep, parent-child relationship) and mental health and models of antenatal care for women with Borderline Personality Disorder, Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder. 


Dr Andrew Lewis  

Dr Andrew Lewis is a Clinical Psychologist and Professor and Director of Administrations at for the Institute of Health and Wellbeing at Federation University. He was previously   Associate Professor in Clinical Psychology at Murdoch University, Perth, Western Australia. He has a strong interest in the interface between biological systems and the psycho-social environment as early determinants of mental disorders. 


Professor Doug Teti  

Professor Doug Teti is Head of Human Development and Family Studies at Penn State University, USA. Doug is a developmental scientist interested in parenting and infant and early child socio-emotional development. 


Professor Hideya Kodama  

Professor Hideya Kodama is the Dean of Maternity and Child Nursing at Akita Graduate School in Akita, Japan. His research interests are in the physiology of infant sleep, including the development of the melatonin rhythm. 


Professor Hitomi Shinohara  

Professor Hitomi Shinohara is Professor of Maternity and Child Nursing at Akita Graduate School in Akita, Japan. Her research interests include actigraphy of infant sleep and cry/fuss behaviour. 


Dr Maartje Luijk  

Dr Maartje Luijk is Assistant Professor in the Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam. Her research interests are in the study of everyday parenting practices, like sleep routines, to chaotic family circumstances and marital discord that can precede problematic child outcomes. 


Dr Adetayo Kasim  

Dr Adetayo Kasim is an Associate Professor (Research) in Anthropology and the Wolfson Institute for Health and Well-being at Durham University. He specialises in health research statistics with a research interest in linear models, longitudinal data analysis and Bayesian modelling framework. 


Dr Victoria Thomas 

Dr Victoria Thomas is a Consultant Paediatrician at the Great North Children's Hospital, Newcastle-upon-Tyne with a strong interest in infant feeding and sleeping issues. 

In a new collaboration that commenced in 2016, she is working with the Durham Infancy and Sleep Centre Team on the Coping with infant sleep project, which aims to provide new parents with a better understanding of their infant's sleep biology, and practical strategies for coping with the sleep disruption of new parenthood. 


Dr Eduardo Moya 

Dr Eduardo Moya is a Consultant Paediatrician and Lead Paediatrician for Child Deaths at Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and an Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of Leeds. His special interests are in respiratory medicine including allergy and asthma. 

It was Eduardo's role in attending Sudden and Unexpected Infant Deaths in Bradford that led to his collaboration with Professor Helen Ball and the Durham Infancy and Sleep Centre Team at Durham. Eduardo proposed that as part of the Born in Bradford cohort study, the discrepancy in SIDS rates between South Asian and White British families in Bradford should be examined. As SIDS is closely related to infant care practices, We were invited to help devise a large scale survey of BiB families, followed up by a detailed interview study know collectively as BradICS (the Bradford Infant Care Study), for which we obtained funding from the Lullaby Trust. 

Moya EF  - Sudden Infant Death Syndrome 

Crane, D. & Ball, H.L. (2016). A qualitative study in parental perceptions and understanding of SIDS-reduction guidance in a UK bi-cultural urban community. BMC Pediatrics 16: 23. 

Ball, H.L., Moya, E. Fairley, L., Westman, J., Oddie, S. & Wright, J. (2012). Bed and sofa-sharing practices in a UK biethnic population. Pediatrics 129(3): e673-e681. 

Ball, H.L., Moya, E., Fairley, L., Westman, J., Oddie, S. & Wright, J. (2012). Infant care practices related to sudden infants death syndrome in South Asian and White British families in the UK. Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology 26(1): 3-12.