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Dr Gillian Pepper


Department: Psychology

Gillian is a psychology lecturer in the Department of Health and Life Sciences at Northumbria University, where she is a member of the Healthy Living Lab, the Psychobiology, Stress & Wellbeing Research Group, and the Perception Evolution & Behaviour Lab (PEBL). She’s an active member of the International Society for Evolutionary Medicine and Public Health, supporting the society through her work on their conference programme committees (2018 & 2021). She is a member of the Board of Trustees for Newton’s Apple, a science policy charity, and is part of the UKRI Early Career Researcher Forum.

Prior to entering academia, Gillian spent a number of years working in science communication and science policy. This included roles as Policy and Project Manager, and later Director, of Newton’s Apple, then as a Communications Manager at the Department of Health.

Gillian Pepper

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

Gillian’s research interests are centred on socioeconomic inequalities in health and wellbeing. She investigates how structural inequalities affect behaviours which, subsequently, affect health and longevity. She uses evolutionary behavioural theory, and observational and experimental data to examine differences in temporal discounting, reproductive scheduling, social trust, health behaviour, and biomarkers of health and ageing. She is particularly interested in the effects of perceived extrinsic mortality risk on health behaviour, and the effects of food insecurity on metabolism and behaviour.

Key Publications

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • COVID-19: the relationship between perceptions of risk and behaviours during lockdown, Brown, R., Coventry, L., Pepper, G. 13 May 2021, In: Journal of Public Health
  • Food insecurity and patterns of dietary intake in a sample of UK adults, Shinwell, J., Bateson, M., Nettle, D., Pepper, G. 23 Sep 2021, In: British Journal of Nutrition
  • Information seeking, personal experiences, and their association with COVID-19 risk perceptions: demographic and occupational inequalities, Brown, R., Coventry, L., Pepper, G. 3 Apr 2021, In: Journal of Risk Research
  • Cuing both positive and negative episodic foresight reduces delay discounting but does not affect risk taking, Bulley, A., Miloyan, B., Pepper, G., Gullo, M., Henry, J., Suddendorf, T. 23 Jan 2019, In: Quarterly journal of experimental psychology (2006)
  • Smoking does not accelerate leucocyte telomere attrition: a meta-analysis of 18 longitudinal cohorts, Bateson, M., Aviv, A., Bendix, L., Benetos, A., Ben-Shlomo, Y., Bojesen, S., Cooper, C., Cooper, R., Deary, I., Hägg, S., Harris, S., Kark, J., Kronenberg, F., Kuh, D., Labat, C., Martin-Ruiz, C., Meyer, C., Nordestgaard, B., Penninx, B., Pepper, G., Révész, D., Said, M., Starr, J., Syddall, H., Thomson, W., Van Der Harst, P., Whooley, M., von Zglinicki, T., Willeit, P., Zhan, Y., Nettle, D. 5 Jun 2019, In: Royal Society Open Science
  • Telomeres as integrative markers of exposure to stress and adversity: a systematic review and meta-analysis, Pepper, G., Bateson, M., Nettle, D. Aug 2018, In: Royal Society Open Science
  • The relationships between exercise and affective states: a naturalistic, longitudinal study of recreational runners, Bonham, T., Pepper, G., Nettle, D. 12 Jan 2018, In: PeerJ
  • Cross-country relationships between life expectancy, intertemporal choice and age at first birth, Bulley, A., Pepper, G. Sep 2017, In: Evolution and Human Behavior
  • Strengths, altered investment, risk management, and other elaborations on the behavioural constellation of deprivation, Pepper, G., Nettle, D. 29 Nov 2017, In: Behavioral and Brain Sciences
  • The behavioural constellation of deprivation: Causes and consequences, Pepper, G., Nettle, D. 11 Jan 2017, In: Behavioral and Brain Sciences

PGR Supervision

Richard Brown Investigating perceived uncontrollable mortality risk and socioeconomic differences in heath behaviours Start Date: 18/01/2021


Philosophy PhD January 16 2015

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