Profile: Liz Twigg

Dr. Liz Twigg,Principal Lecturer in the Geography Department at the University of Portsmouth, UK. Liz’s teaching and research interests include health inequalities, the geographies of health-related behaviours, public health policy and the multilevel modelling of health-related data.

Liz Twigg was raised in North Wales and moved ‘down south’ to study as an undergraduate at Portsmouth in England. She first became interested in health geography at Portsmouth with Professor Kelvyn Jones during the early 1980s. Later, she undertook her PhD studies at Birkbeck College, University of London (with Professor David Rhind), focusing on GIS and health. For several years, Liz worked part-time in academia as well as undertaking freelance research work for local health authorities and health promotion units. In the late 1990s, Liz joined the Institute for the Geography of Health at Portsmouth as an Economic and Social Research Council-funded research fellow to develop pioneering work on multilevel synthetic estimation techniques for the generation of small area predictions of smoking and drinking behaviour (with Professors Kelvyn Jones and Graham Moon ). This area of work has since received additional funding from the Health Development Agency and the Health Education Board for Scotland to help inform public debate surrounding smoking policy. It has also widened to look at small area estimates of diseases and conditions such as diabetes, coronary heart disease and obesity. In parallel with this work, Liz has collaborated with Professor John Mohan to investigate the links between social capital and health, which has also received funding support from the HDA. Liz and John are currently being funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (as part of the Understanding Population Trends and Processes (UPTAP) Programme) to investigate aspects of neighbourhood satisfaction and quality of life using data from the British Crime Survey. Liz also works with Professor Scott Weich who is based at the University of Warwick Medical School to investigate place effects on common mental disorders (such as stress and anxiety) using longitudinal information from the British Household Panel Survey. Liz has published findings from all of this work in numerous journal articles, book chapters, and government agency reports. The full list may be accessed at her Departmental web site,* and Liz may be contacted at


Updated: January 2009