Dr Jemma Hawkins
Research Associate, Public Health Improvement Research Network, DECIPHer
My research interests lie in the fields of health psychology and public health. Within this, I am interested in the social determinants of health, well-being and health behaviours and evaluation of interventions to improve or modify these. I have a particular interest in physical activity that is conducted in outdoor natural environments (sometimes referred to as $acirc; green exercise$acirc; ). My most recent research has focused on older populations and the health and well-being benefits of engagement in gardening activity. In my research I primarily use a range of psychosocial and physiological measures of health and well-being, and employ both quantitative and qualitative research techniques and analysis.
I am a newly appointed research associate with the Public Health Improvement Research Network (PHIRN) and my role involves developing and evaluating complex interventions in public health. I also hold an honorary contract with Public Health Wales for the evaluation of the use of activity monitors with participants of the National Exercise Referral Scheme. Previously I have worked as a research officer on a 2 year funded NISCHR study which expanded on the findings of my doctoral research related to the health and well-being benefits of allotment and community gardening activity in later life. Alongside my research I took on teaching responsibilities for both undergraduate and postgraduate level courses in the areas of health psychology, health sociology and research methods and statistics. Prior to this I worked for the NHS as a mental health practitioner, delivering brief therapeutic interventions to patients diagnosed with mild to moderate mental health problems. During this post I also took a lead role for mental health promotion within the community. I have also held several voluntary posts, including work for a youth project in Penarth and an outreach project for children with learning disabilities.