Miss Katherine Woolley BSc (Hons)

Miss Katherine Woolley

Institute of Applied Health Research
PhD Student

Contact details

University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Katherine Woolley is a Postgraduate Researcher, with the Global Challenges Scholarship, in the Institute of Applied Research, researching effective health interventions for indoor air pollution in urban Rwanda. She has a BSc (Hons) in Environmental Geoscience from Cardiff University (2017). In addition, she recently completed a Masters of Public Health, also from Cardiff University (2019).

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

Katherine was drawn to undertaking a PhD in indoor air pollution due to the requirement for clean air as a basic human right, combined with the lack of attention given to indoor 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.


  • BSc (Hons) in Environmental Geoscience, Cardiff University 2017
  • Master of Public Health (MPH), Cardiff University, 2019


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.

Doctoral research

PhD title
'Informing Effective Health Interventions for Indoor Air Pollution in Urban Rwanda' Supervisors: Professor Neil Thomas and Dr Suzanne Bartington Expected year of completion: 2021


Current research

Katherine’s PhD aims to inform effective health interventions for indoor air pollution in urban Rwanda. Interventions need to be holistic and integrated to gain effective and sustainable interventions, which are also culturally sensitive.

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 research placement at Cardiff University, using survey data collected in the Sichuan Province in China which had been affected by earthquake induced landslides. In addition, to how these effects led to disaster preparedness.

Other activities

Katherine is involved with the Anthony Nolan Trust, raising awareness of Bone Marrow Transplants and registering potential donors onto the Bone Marrow register