My DPhil focuses on exploring whether side-effects from hormonal contraception arise from a mismatch between women’s natural levels of reproductive hormones and exogenous hormones in hormonal contraception. I will use an evolutionary public health approach to investigate factors affecting natural variation in progesterone levels across different socioecological contexts in Ethiopia and how they impact the burden of side-effects a woman experiences. I am generally interested in reproductive and sexual health and rights and whether contraceptive design adequately takes into account women’s opinions and physiologies.
I am originally from Wales and studied my undergraduate degree in Human Sciences at Oxford. I went on to work in the Anthropology department there as a research assistant studying discontinuation of hormonal contraception and then worked as a qualitative researcher for a reproductive health NGO in Oromia region, Ethiopia. Finally, I studied an MSc in Demography and Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and was part of the Evolutionary Demography lab group based there. Whist there, I wrote my thesis on misconceptions about side-effects of contraception amongst adolescent girls in Ethiopia.