Miss Katherine Woolley MPH, BSc (Hons)

Katherine Woolley

Institute of Applied Health Research
PhD Student

Contact details

University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Katherine Woolley is a Global Challenges Doctoral Researcher, in the Institute of Applied Research, taking a mixed-methods approach to researching effective health interventions for household air pollution in urban Rwanda. She holds a Masters of Public Health (2018) and a BSc (Hons) in Environmental Geoscience (2017) both from Cardiff University

Katherine’s research interest revolve around how the environment in which we live affects our health and what effective interventions can be used to reduce the burden of NCDs on our society. She is particularly interested in working within the developing world where health impacts from environmental pollutants have an unequal effect across society and where healthcare is costly and difficult to access.

Katherine was drawn to undertaking a PhD in household air pollution due to the requirement for clean air as a basic human right, combined with the lack of attention given to household air pollution within the developing world. She recognises the need for interventions where there are limited resources or alternatives of cooking fuel available and where the prevalent economic situation requires an affordable solution to prevent NCDs due to indoor air pollution.


  • Masters of Public Health (MPH), Cardiff University, 2018
  • BSc (Hons) in Environmental Geoscience, Cardiff University 2017


From 2014 – 2017 Katherine studied for a BSc in Environmental Geoscience at Cardiff University, graduating with a First Class Honours degree in 2017. Katherine was also awarded The Robert Kidd Prize for best performance in Environmental Geoscience 2017 and the South Wales Geological Society Prize for academic excellence in 2015.

After completing her first degree, Katherine went on to compete a Masters of Public Health at Cardiff University, receiving the Master’s of Excellence Scholarship. She took optional models in Health Protection and Global Health. Her dissertation used data supplied by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), investigating the risk factors for severity and death from Hepatitis E outbreaks within refugee camps in South Sudan.

Between her Undergraduate and Masters degrees Katherine undertook a summer placement at Cardiff University, researching health and social effects of earthquake induced landslides in Sichuan province in China.


Small group facilitator on MBChB (years1 and 2)

Postgraduate supervision

Doctoral research

PhD title
'Informing effective interventions to reduce health harms of indoor air pollution in urban Rwanda' Expected year of completion: March 2022
Professor G. Neil Thomas and Dr Suzanne Bartington


Current research

Katherine’s PhD aims to inform effective interventions to reduce the health harms of household air pollution in urban Rwanda, taking a mixed-methods approach. As part of the thesis Katherine has undertaken quantitative and qualitative primary data collection in a resource poor cross-cultural setting and undertaken a secondary data analysis of the demographic and health survey dataset.  

Past research

Katherine has undertaken research into risk factors for severity and death from hepatitis E in a resource poor setting, which could help inform effective management of cases to reduce morbidity and mortality with an outbreak.

The first introduction to research for Katherine was when she undertook a placement at Cardiff University, using survey data collected in the Sichuan Province in China which had been affected by earthquake induced landslides. In addition, she studied how these effects led to disaster preparedness.



  • Woolley KE, Dickinson-Craig E, Bartington SE, Oludotun T, Kirenga B, Mariga ST, Kabera T, Coombe A, Pope FD, Singh A, Avis WR, Day R, Warburton D, Manaseki-Holland S, Moore D and Thomas GN. (2021) Effectiveness of interventions to reduce household air pollution from solid biomass fuels and improve maternal and child health outcomes in Low and Middle Income Countries: a systematic review protocol. BMC Systematic reviews. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13643-021-01590-z
  • Woolley K, Bagambe T, Singh, A, Avis, WR, Kabera T, Weldetinsae A, Mariga S, Kirenga B, Pope F, Thomas GN, Bartington SE. (2020) Investigating the association between wood and charcoal domestic cooking, respiratory symptoms and acute respiratory infections among children aged under 5 years in Uganda: A cross-sectional analysis of the 2015/16 Demographic and Health Survey International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17113974
  • Woolley K, Bartington SE, Pope FD, Price MJ, Thomas GN, Kabera T. (2020) Biomass cooking carbon monoxide levels in commercial canteens in Kigali, Rwanda. Archives Of Environmental and occupational Health https://10.1080/19338244.2020.1761279