Sustainable development in neglected communities
This cross-cutting theme will focus on direct application of approaches and methodologies championed in other themes within the Institute for Sustainability (e.g. health and well-being, water and infrastructure, food systems, nature-based solutions, governance and behavioural change, just transitions, communication) to make sustainable improvements in the lives of people living in harder-to-reach or neglected communities.
A key feature of the research projects falling under this theme umbrella will be the use of participatory approaches and community engagement in developing them. For example, to develop sustainable interdisciplinary interventions for neglected tropical diseases or to enhance conservation and sustainable practices.
This theme will involve researchers from across the University with expertise in participatory approaches, human and animal health, biology, mathematical modelling, participatory modelling, systems science, participatory systems design, language and linguistics, water, engineering, nutrition, health economics, social anthropology and digital transformation.
The Institute has enabled me to interact with researchers working in different fields at the University and discover shared research interests.Dr Martha Betson, Co-Lead
Dr Martha Betson
Senior Lecturer in Veterinary Parasitology and Head of Section
Martha graduated from University of Cambridge with a BA in Natural Sciences and went on to do a PhD in cell biology at University College London. She then undertook postdoctoral work at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School in Boston, USA, where she used the fruit fly as a model to gain insight into signalling pathways regulating cancer. While in Boston Martha developed an interest in public health and infectious diseases.
After studying for an MSc in Control of Infectious Diseases at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, she worked as a postdoctoral researcher with Professor Russell Stothard, first at the Natural History Museum and then at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. Here she played an integral role in the Schistosomiasis in Mothers and Infants project, investigating the epidemiology of a neglected parasitic disease in mothers and young children living in lakeshore communities in Uganda. Subsequently Martha took up a post as a research fellow in One Health at the Royal Veterinary College.
Martha joined the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Surrey in May 2015 and is currently Head of Section, Population Systems and Public Health.
Dr Joaquin Prada
Senior Lecturer in Epidemiology
My research focuses on the development of mathematical and statistical models to inform policy decision-making for the control and elimination of infectious diseases, with a particular interest in neglected tropical diseases (NTDs).
My work has supported global policy, for example during the development of the 2021-2030 NTD roadmap, and I am also part of several informal WHO-led working groups and the United Against Rabies forum working group 1 (a FAO-OIE-WHO initiative). My research group at Surrey combines mathematical modelling with economic evaluation and stakeholder elicitation techniques to develop sustainable portfolios of interventions against NTDs (in particular zoonotic NTDs such as Echinococcosis and Rabies).
I hold a visiting position at North Carolina State University. I previously held similar visiting positions at the University of Warwick and the University of Oxford.