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Personal profile

Student Projects Available

  • Determinants of care-seeking behaviour by mothers with undernourished children in developing country settings
  • Trends in the prevalence of vitamin K supplementation in newborn infants
  • Pre-conception weight loss - when is the right time to conceieve?
  • Evaluation of a school-based garden intervention program
  • Vegetable-centered meal planning to moderate chronic disease risk
  • Food sovereignty - strengthening local food systems
  • Plant-based dietary interventions to reduce diabetes risk
  • Associations between flavonoid consumption and health outcomes


Shawn Somerset is Professor of Public Health and Professor of Nutrition and Dietetics in the Faculty of Health at the University of Canberra. He has worked in government, industry, community and university sectors on food and nutrition-related projects in Australia, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. His general field of interest relates to environmental aspects of food choice, the various controls, barriers and facilitators involved, and how the expanding world population will ensure food security into the future. Answers to these issues span a range of research contexts, from community-based school and urban garden initiatives, through to population-based studies on determinants of food consumption – issues that are central across the world, in countries both rich and poor. 


Research interests

  • International Development and Health
  • Nutrition in marginalised communities
  • Clinical Nutrition/Dietetics (Cystic Fibrosis and Coronary Heart Disease)
  • Chronic disease prevention (Heart Disease, Metabolic Syndrome) throughout the Lifespan (Cradle to Cradle)
  • Community-based health promotion
  • Environmentally sustainable living
  • Food and nutrition policy analysis and development
  • The future of food


Education/Academic qualification

PhD, University of Queensland

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Research Output

Folate supplementation to prevent birth abnormalities: evaluating a community-based participatory action plan for refugees and migrant workers on the Thailand-Myanmar border

Stevens, A., Gilder, M. E., Moo, P., Hashmi, A., Toe, S. E. T., Doh, B. B., Nosten, S., Chotivanich, K., Somerset, S. & McGready, R., 1 Aug 2018, In : Public Health. 161, p. 83-89 7 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

  • Towards best practice in acute stroke care in Ghana: A survey of hospital services

    Baatiema, L., Otim, M., Mnatzaganian, G., Aikins, A. D. G., Coombes, J. & Somerset, S., 2017, In : BMC Health Services Research. 17, 1, p. 1-11 11 p., 108.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    Open Access
  • Using a household food inventory to assess the availability of traditional vegetables among resettled African refugees

    Gichunge, C., Somerset, S. & Harris, N., 18 Jan 2016, In : International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 13, 1, p. 1-12 12 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    Open Access
  • Food system sustainability and vulnerability: Food acquisition during the military occupation of Kuwait

    Alajmi, F. & Somerset, S. M., 30 Jul 2015, In : Public Health Nutrition. 18, 16, p. 3060-3066 7 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

  • Depression scores predict adherence in a dietary weight loss intervention trial

    Somerset, S. M., Graham, L. & Markwell, K., 1 Oct 2011, In : Clinical Nutrition. 30, 5, p. 593-598 6 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review