Institute of Health & Society

Staff Profile

Dr Duika Burges Watson



Dr Duika Burges Watson is a health geographer whose core research interests concern food, perception and well-being from source to senses. First, her work considers how the flavour of food is experienced differently and how life-course transitions, illness or disease can result in 'altered eating difficulties'. Second, drawing on insights from chefs and sensory scientists interested in multi-modal flavour perception, she considers the implications and potential benefits of applying new insights from sensory science to health fields. Finally, she is interested in how the 'stuff of food' is being transformed by industrial food manufacturing practices and how policy makers respond (or do not).

Current research includes work with survivors of head and neck cancer exploring the potential of progressive cuisine to enhance quality of life; food growing and foraging for 'free'; visceral geographies, urban agriculture and ultra-processed foods, and current developments in UK food policy.

Duika is Lecturer in the Institute of Health and Society and within FUSE, the Centre for Translational Research in Public Health - a UKCRC Public Health Research Centre of Excellence.

Duika is a Director of the Station Masters' Community Wildlife Garden and Yoga Station: community initiatives that promote health and well-being through social innovation.

With Johanna Wadsley she was recipient of the 2012 Neville Schulman Challenge Award with the Royal Geographical Society/Institute of British Geographers for the project Hugging the Coast - exploring liminal living and seaweed farming in the Sanghei archipelago (because she is fascinated by seaweed).

Specialties: Alternative food networks, food and flavour research, food policy, knowledge exchange, wider engagement and patient and public involvement, critical geographies and qualitative methods in health research.