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Celebrating women in knowledge exchange

7 March 2023

4 minutes to read

Celebrating women in knowledge exchange

In honour of International Women’s Day 2023, we’re celebrating women who excel in the field of knowledge exchange at the University of Exeter.

We caught up Dr Diana Tingley, Professor Luna Dolezal and Dr Natalia Lawrence to hear more about their inspiring stories and learn about their experiences working with business.

Dr Diana Tingley

Photo of Diana

Dr Diana Tingley, Project Manager and Business Fellow, is working with industry partners to ensure that the UK Sustainable King Prawn Project generates a positive impact on health, the environment, and business practices.

The UK Sustainable King Prawn Project is a groundbreaking initiative exploring the potential for renewable energy technology to create a new, sustainable and eco-friendly king prawn farming sector – positioning the UK as a global frontrunner in this field.

The project aims to challenge traditional methods of warm water prawn production in open air ponds overseas. These methods can sometimes involve environmentally unstainable practices, introduce disease crises and , leave coastlines vulnerable to climate change and lead to biodiversity problems through the destruction of mangroves.

Project Manager and Business Fellow, Dr Diana Tingley, is working with experts from the University of Exeter, University of Reading and Rothamstead Research, to maximise the opportunities for delivering social, environmental and economic impact throughout the project.

To ensure this, the project has formed strong links with industry, including partnerships with Sainsbury’s, Lyons Seafoods, Ixora Energy Ltd and seafood farmers. In 2022, they received £2 million from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) as part of its Transforming UK Food Systems Strategic Priorities Fund (SPF) Programme.

Dr Diana Tingley said, “Partnership between academics, business and sector experts is essential for delivering real-world change. The UK Sustainable King Prawn Project has 11 industry partners, and there is a real buzz amongst the wider community about what our project can deliver.”

The project will assess the optimal conditions needed to grow the healthiest and most nutritious prawns indoors on UK farms and whether this can be done at a commercial scale. It will also explore the wider infrastructure needed to establish a major UK home-grown king prawn production sector while offering the seafood farming industry world-class scientific support.

“Working as both Project Manager and Business Fellow, I have a unique role in creating opportunities for the production of a new sustainable source of protein in the UK, using innovative technologies and maximising the circularity of waste products,” said Diana.

Professor Luna Dolezal

Photo of LunaLuna Dolezal, Associate Professor in Philosophy and Medical Humanities, is developing a shame competence programme to help inform Devon and Cornwall Police.

Professor Luna Dolezal is working in collaboration with Devon and Cornwall Police to improve their understandings of shame and its various effects on behaviour, violence and a range of other police-relevant issues.

Following her presentation of ‘Shame and Violence’, which was shared with networks across the UK, Luna is now working with Devon and Cornwall Police’s Mary Ross, and also in collaboration with Dr Haley Peckham, to develop an evidence-based ‘shame competence’ training package.

Thanks to Luna’s considerable expertise in this field, the package will enable police officers to take a trauma-informed, public-health approach when policing sensitive incidents and interventions. This draws upon key insights from Luna’s leading role in the Shame and Medicine project, in understanding people’s experiences of shame, stigma, and discrimination across a range of different health contexts.

Dr Natalia Lawrence

Photo of NataliaDr Natalia Lawrence, Co-Director of Research and Associate Professor in Translational Medicine for Psychology, created a healthy eating app – FoodT – which has taken her research into the hands of thousands of users around the world.

The Food Trainer app stems from research that Dr Natalia Lawrence and her team started in 2010. Driven to figure out how people could stick to a healthy diet without having to rely on willpower alone, they began to find that it’s possible to train people’s ‘stop’ responses to images of different foods.

As this research became more established, they realised that the tool they were using in their work could have a much wider application. Since then, they’ve been working with software developers to turn the “food-stop” training tool into an app for Android and iPhone.

The app helps users by retraining the brain’s automatic responses to less healthy foods, making it easier to resist temptation. Thanks to some good publicity they’ve had through Reuters and Channel 4, their app has now been downloaded by over 130,000 users around the world!

Dr Natalia Lawrence said, “More recently, we’ve been through the Entrepreneurial Researcher Programme (ERP) to identify sustainable funding sources. We’re now pressing ahead with a crowdfunding campaign and in-app donations that will, hopefully, help us to keep developing and running the app into the future!”

If you would like to get involved with International Women’s Day today, you can check out the events and activities happening around campus HERE.

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