Meet the Team

The Active Buildings team are Professor Jane Wardle, Professor Alexi Marmot, Dr Abi Fisher, Dr Marcella Ucci, Dr Lee Smith, Dr Richard Spinney, Dr Mark Hamer, Dr Gareth Ambler, Alexia Sawyer and Marina Konstantatou.

We are based within UCL's Department of Epidemiology & Public Health, the Bartlett School of Graduate Studies and the Department of Statistical Science.

Professor Jane Wardle read Physiology and Psychology at Oxford, followed by an MPhil and a PhD in Clinical Psychology at the Institute of Psychiatry. After being a Lecturer and Senior Lecturer in Clinical Psychology at the Institute of Psychiatry, she became Professor in Clinical Psychology and Director of the Cancer Research UK Health Behaviour Research Unit. Professor Wardle's research covers two broad areas of health psychology: i) early detection of cancer and ii) obesity and food choice. Professor Wardle is a Principal Investigator on the Active Buildings study.
Alexi Marmot is Professor of Facility and Environment Management, Head of the Bartlett School of Graduate Studies and Vice-Dean Teaching and Learning for UCL's Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment. She is an internationally acknowledged expert in the design, management, and use of places for work and for learning. Educated in architecture and town planning, Alexi has spent her professional and academic career exploring how people use space, how buildings operate in practice, and how to create buildings that really work for the organisations that inhabit them. During her time at UCL, Alexi has continued to draw on her applied professional knowledge to inform teaching and research in facility management. Professor Marmot is a Principal Investigator on the Active Buildings study.
Dr Abi Fisher has a BSc in Exercise Physiology and PhD in Development Medicine from the Department of Medicine, University of Glasgow. Her research involves designing and testing exercise interventions for prevention and treatment of chronic disease (currently with a focus on cancer patients and survivors). She is also a senior researcher on the Gemini twin birth cohort, examining genetic and environmental influences on physical activity in childhood. Abi is one of the Active Buildings Research leads in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health.
Dr Marcella Ucci graduated in architecture from the University of Naples (Italy), and then obtained an MSc in ‘Environmental Design and Engineering’ and a PhD in indoor air quality and modelling - both from the Bartlett Graduate Studies, UCL. Since then, she has been researching the interactions and tensions between sustainable building design/operation and the needs of occupants in terms of comfort, health and wellbeing. Her expertise includes building monitoring and modelling, health impact of buildings (especially biological such as dust mites), application of epidemiological methods to built environment studies, and operational aspect of buildings - especially occupant behaviour. Marcella is one of the Active Buildings Research leads in the Bartlett School of Graduate Studies.
Dr Lee Smith studied a BSc in Applied Sport Science at Loughborough University and continued on there to complete an MSc in Physical Activity and Health. Where he carried out research investigating how micro level features of the physical environment influence physical activity behaviour. Lee then moved to the University of Cambridge to study a PhD in Epidemiology of Physical Activity and the Physical Environment. During his time at Cambridge his research focused on the influences on active travel in children and adolescents, in particular examining the influences of independent mobility and the physical environment. At UCL Lee is a post-doctoral researcher on Active Buildings.
Dr Richard Spinney holds an MSci in Physics with Theoretical Physics from The University of Nottingham and a PhD in Theoretical Physics from UCL during which time he worked on theories of entropy production in small stochastic systems driven out of equilibrium. Richard is a research associate on the Active Buildings project.
Dr Hamer is an accredited sport and exercise scientist. He is co-lead of the UCL-Physical Activity Research Group and is mainly interested in the effects of physical activity and sedentary behaviour on population health, especially in relation to heart disease, healthy ageing, and mental wellbeing. One key aspect of his work is in understanding factors that influence physical activity behaviour and how to effectively promote physical activity in the general population. He has authored over 180 scientific papers on physical activity, lifestyle factors and health, and is supported by the National Prevention Research Initiative, the British Heart Foundation, and a BUPA Foundation award. Dr Hamer is a co-applicant on the Active Buildings study.
Dr Gareth Ambler is a Senior Lecturer in Medical Statistics at the Department of Statistical Science, UCL and a member of the Biostatistics Group within the Research Support Centre. Gareth is the statistician for Active Buildings.
Alexia Sawyer first joined UCL as a postgraduate student on the MSc Health Psychology course, following an undergraduate degree in Psychology at the University of Edinburgh. During her MSc, she completed a dissertation that explored the links between sleep patterns and food preferences in children. Alexia has a keen interest in health-related policy and has previously worked as a research and policy intern in the voluntary sector. Alexia is a research assistant on Active Buildings, based in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health.
Marina Konstantatou holds a BSc/MSc in Applied Mathematical and Physical Sciences from the National Technical University of Athens, with specialization in Mathematical Analysis, Mathematics for Computer Science & Graph Theory. Later on she moved to London for her MSc in Emergent Technologies & Design at the Architectural Association focusing on macro-scale Self Assembly & Network Analysis. Currently she is a researcher at the Bartlett School of Graduate Studies, UCL working on the Active Buildings Project.