Michelle Morris

Michelle Morris


Michelle is an interdisciplinary researcher with a background spanning: health informatics, geography, nutritional epidemiology and health economics. Michelle is a University of Leeds University Academic Fellow in Health Data Analytics and a Turing Fellow.

Graduating with a Neuroscience degree in 2002, she began a career in health informatics, working in a graduate position at EMIS, one of the UK's leading healthcare clinical system providers, where she gained international project management experience. She returned to study for a MSc, equipping her in statistics and epidemiology training (2009) and completed an interdisciplinary PhD investigating 'Spatial analysis of dietary cost patterns and implications for health' (2013), followed by postdoctoral positions in both nutritional epidemiology and consumer data research.

Currently, she directs the multidisciplinary ESRC Strategic Network for Obesity and has developed a diverse teaching portfolio, including spatial analytics and visualisation for health. With this unique career history she is well placed to achieve her vision to cross discipline boundaries bringing together people, data and methods to improve health through informatics - specifically combining consumer analytics with health informatics and using 'big data' to benefit patient outcomes.


  • Nutrition and Lifestyle Analytics (NALA) team lead

Research interests

Michelle's primary research interests are in spatial and social variations in diet, lifestyle and health and how new and emerging forms of data can be best utilised to understand these. She leads a team focused on the use of new forms of 'big' and spatial data in health research, working closely with industry partners on food and activity data.


  • PhD Spatial analysis of dietary cost patterns and implications for health
  • MSc Nutrition Obesity and Health
  • BSc Neuroscience

Professional memberships

  • Society for Social Medicine
  • Association for Study of Obesity

Student education

I am module leader for YCHI5075M Spatial Analytics and Visualisation for Health. I additionally teach on YCHI5055M Health Data Analytics and Visualisation.

I deliver one day short courses for the Consumer Data Research Centre at the University of Leeds.

I provide guest lectures:

  • The role of new forms of data in obesity research. MSc Physical Activity and Health. Leeds Beckett University
  • Nutrition for Endurance Case Studies. MSc Sports Medicine. University of Nottingham

PhD student supervision

Emma Wilkins – Using spatial data to understand obesogenic retail food environments: evaluating measurement methodologies – Completed Jan 2019

Amanda Otley – Generating a Leeds specific open geodemographic classification

Rachel Oldroyd – Spatial analysis of food safety

Victoria Jenneson – Evaluating supermarket loyalty card transactions as a measure of diet

Francesca Pontin – Identifying the activity and habits of individuals in a large geospatial dataset

Charlotte Sturley – Spatial and social variations in colorectal cancer

John Stuart – Novel data and methods to detect driver drowsiness

Research groups and institutes

  • Leeds Institute of Medical Research at St James's
  • Pathology and Data Analytics

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>