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Group coordinators:

Victoria Newton

Dr Victoria Newton is a Senior Research Fellow in the School of Health, Wellbeing and Social Care at The Open University. Victoria’s research focuses on reproductive health – contraception, abortion, menstruation and fertility. Find out more about Victoria and her research

Rebecca Jones

Dr Rebecca Jones is a Senior Lecturer in Health with interests in later life, sexuality and especially sexuality in later life. She is passionate about designing learning resources for online contexts, and is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Find out more about Rebecca and her research


Maddie Blackburn

Dr Maddie Blackburn retired from full time employment in 2012. She originally trained as a nurse, midwife and as a health visitor in the 1970s. She is a qualified lawyer, senior health professional with extensive background in policy development, research, management, law and performance auditing. Find out more about Maddie and her research


Evelyn Callahan

Dr Evelyn Callahan is a research fellow in the Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies at The Open University. Their background is in trans healthcare and healthcare in resource limited settings.

Joseph De Lappe

Dr Joseph De Lappe is a visiting academic in the faculty of WELS since he completed his PhD at the Open University. Prior to this, he trained as a secondary school teacher in English and worked in a variety of state-maintained schools in London and Leicester. He is interested in the evolution of the Pride umbrella and the interrelationship between established LGBTQ+ identities and politics and emergent identities and politics such as asexual activism, on which he completed his thesis. Find out more about Joseph and his research

Sarah Earle

Dr Sarah Earle is Director of the Open University's Priority Research Area in Health & Wellbeing. She is a medical sociologist with an interest in reproduction, sex and health and is a member of the School's reproductive and sexual health research theme. Sarah is especially interested in the politics of infant feeding, contraception and fertility, and the reproductive and sexual rights of disabled people. Find out more about Sarah and her research

Lesley Hoggart

Professor Lesley Hoggart is Deputy Associate Dean for Research Excellence in the faculty of Wellbeing Education and Language Studies at The Open University. She specialises in qualitative research, and spent many years working in the qualitative research group at the Policy Studies Institute. Her research interests are focused on reproductive health, abortion policy and politics, teenage pregnancy and sexual health. Find out more about Lesley and her research

Naomi Holford

Dr Naomi Holford's broad research interests fall within sociology, in the area of gender, sexuality and class in childhood and youth, across different age ranges from the early years to teenagers. She works with queer and feminist perspectives to explore the making of gendered/sexual subjectivities and relationships, with a particular focus on relations of power, conflict and violence, in their broader institutional and social contexts. Find out more about Naomi and her research

Dr Helen Bowes-Catton

Dr Helen Bowes-Catton is a Lecturer in Social Research Methods based in the OU Graduate School. Her research is concerned with the relationship between subjectivities and space. She has written primarily on bisexual spaces and is also involved in projects about naturist spaces, and minoritised PGRs' experiences of the virtual and material spaces of HE. Helen is currently co-editing the Routledge International Handbook of Bisexuality.

Peter Keogh

Professor Peter Keogh is Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies at The Open University. Peter's background is in applied social research on HIV, intimacy and sexual risk. Find out more about Peter and his research

Helena King

Dr Helena King is a Lecturer in Mental Health the Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies at The Open University. Helena's interests are around biopsychosocial health and metamorphising vulnerabilities. She is leading a project with the charity ‘HiVitality’ which is enhancing and evaluating their programme of therapeutic retreats for HIV+ people experiencing stigma. Find out more about Helena and her research

Mathijs Lucassen

Dr Mathijs Lucassen joined the Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) at The Open University in August 2015, and became a WELS media fellow in June 2017. He originally trained as an occupational therapist, and has worked clinically in mental health services in both England and New Zealand. Find out more about Mathijs and his research

Sam Murphy

Dr Sam Murphy joined The Open University in June 2010 to work on K260, Death and dying which she now leads. Over the past year she co-chaired the redevelopment of K101, An introduction to health and social care and is leading its first presentation which started in October 2014. She is now co-leading the reconfiguration of K827: Leading healthcare improvements. Find out more about Sam and her research

Sally Ogut

Regional Academic Staff, Staff Tutor (The OU in Wales). Find out more about Sally and her research


Catherine Pestano

Dr Catherine Pestano is an OU Associate Lecturer, teaching across health, social work and youth work subject areas, as well as on management and creative leadership, at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Catherine is research active at the Open University with a research sandpit project open to all March- May 2021 on Menopause Transition – all areas. Other areas of interest in RSSH include menstruation-related mental health and LGBTQ* matters.

Find out more about Catherine and her research


Cristina Quinones

Christina Quinoes

Dr Cristina Quinoes joined the Open University Business School in February 2014 as a Lecturer in Organisation Studies. Prior to that, she worked as a Lecturer at Northampton Business School from 2011, after receiving her PhD from the University of Southampton. Cristina is a Chartered Psychologist from the British Psychology Society and CIPD graduate with background in both occupational psychology and Human Resource Management. Find out more about Cristina and her research

Philippa Waterhouse

Dr Philippa Waterhouse is a Lecturer in Health and Social Care at The Open University. Previously, she worked as a Teaching Fellow at The Centre for Research on Ageing, University of Southampton. She holds qualifications in Population Studies (Bsc: UoS) and Demography (Msc & PhD: UoS). Find out more about Philippa and her research

Tom Witney

Dr Tom Witney recently completed PhD research into the lived experiences of men in same-sex serodiscordant relationships. Find out more about Tom and his research

PhD Students

Aaron Mvula

Aaron’s research interests lie in children, young people and families, HIV and AIDS, adolescent and sexual reproductive health, gender involvement and fatherhood. He is also interested in qualitative methods and his current research centers on exploring the experiences of unmarried young fathers. Find out more about Aaron and his research

Ayomide Oluseye

Ayomide Oluseye is currently a PhD Researcher at the Open University, UK. She holds a B.Sc Degree in Psychology from the Redeemer's University Nigeria and an M.Sc Degree in Public Health from the Bournemouth University, UK. Find out more about Ayomide and her research

Katy Schnitzler

Katy Schnitzler is a PhD Student in the School of Health Wellbeing and Social Care at The Open University, and her research is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). Katy's research qualitatively explores women's lived experiences of miscarriage while navigating work. Specially, investigating how the physical and psychological effects of early pregnancy loss, colleague and management reactions and availability of support (or lack thereof) impacts upon the experience. Katy is also a consultant, utilising the findings from her PhD to train employers on how to better support affected employees. She also writes policies for workplaces.

Elizabeth Ascroft

Elizabeth Ascroft is a PhD Student in the School of Health Wellbeing and Social Care at The Open University and a scholar with the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Grand Union Doctoral Training Programme. Her research explores co-creation of comprehensive sexuality education resources with young people in the Caribbean and is in collaboration with the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF). Elizabeth’s background is rooted in young people’s sexual reproductive health and rights, including research, advocacy, and programme design. She values the role of activism in research and is motivated by decolonising, creative and participatory approaches to her work. Find out more about Elizabeth Ascroft.

Martha Nicholson

Martha Nicholson is a PhD Student in the School of Health Wellbeing and Social Care at The Open University. She is collaborating with the International Planned Parenthood Federation on her PhD project which focuses on sexual and reproductive health and rights in Northern Ireland. Martha has a background in Social Anthropology and Public Health. Find out more about Martha and her research.

Portrait image of Elise Denis-Ramirez

Elise Denis-Ramirez

Elise Denis-Ramirez is doing her PhD at the School of Health Wellbeing and Social Care at the Open University. Her PhD research explores the experiences and perceptions of sexual and reproductive health during adolescence. Through Critical Participatory Action Research, Elise is doing a creative feminist co-production study in Chile. Elise is collaborating with the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and their regional office in Latin America. Elise has a background in Public Health and Human Rights Law.