Session 7 Speakers


Professor Arpana Verma (Chair)

Clinical Professor of Public health and Epidemiology, The University of Manchester

Dr Arpana Verma is Head of the Division of Population Health, Health Services Research and Primary Care. She is Director of Manchester Urban Collaboration on Health (MUCH) a WHO Collaborating Centre and honorary Consultant in Public Health at PHE. MUCH is based within the School of Health Sciences in the Faculty of Biology, Medical and Human Sciences. MUCH performs high quality research, teaching and training, in the field of public health and has established links to local, national and international public health organisations (www.manchester.ac.uk/much). MUCH was recently designated the World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre for Health Indicators including working as part of the European Health Information Initiative and the Global Report on Urban Health.

Dr Verma is currently the Programme Director for the Masters in Public Health and MRes in Public Health/Primary Care online/blended distance learning course, which offers an innovative approach to learning, meeting the training needs for health professionals interested in a career in public health or those seeking new skills in this area.


Professor Les Firbank

Chair in Sustainable Agriculture, University of Leeds

Les Firbank is an ecologist at the University of Leeds researching into interactions between farming and the environment, where he focuses on the meaning and measurement of agricultural sustainability. He is increasingly promoting urban food systems at Leeds, through the Leeds Food Partnership which leads the development of the Leeds Food Strategy. He was N8 AgriFood Theme 1 lead 2015-2017, and is Speciality Editor for Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems on Sustainable Intensification and Ecosystem Services.


Lucy Antal

Project Manager Sustainable Food, The Food Domain

Lucy Antal is a sustainable food adviser for The Food Domain, a network partnership enabling new relationships to develop between academics, NGOs, communities, businesses and the public sector. She is the NW project manager for Feedback Global’s Regional Food Economy. Lucy is a research associate at the University of Liverpool, and a member of the International Commission on the Anthropology of Food and Nutrition. She is an external examiner for food and nutrition students at Liverpool John Moores University, and is involved with several N8 research projects.


Emma Strachan

Advanced Health Improvement Specialist (Food and Nutrition), Leeds City Council

Emma is a Health Improvement Specialist working on Food and Nutrition in Leeds. Emma’s role involves contributing and advising on the development and implementation of local food work,
ensuring the implementation of Public Health policies, strategies and work programmes. Emma is responsible for the Local Authority’s commissioning of adult cooking skills programmes and
contribution to Leeds Food Approach. Currently Emma is working with the Leeds Food Partnership to develop a city wide strategic approach to food building on the Sustainable Food Cities achievement in June 2019 and supporting the Council to implement Food Active’s Healthy Weight Declaration. Emma has work on a range of food projects at both a strategic and operational level including Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food, the 5 a day programme and led the implementation of many food related campaigns.