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Florence is a postdoctoral researcher and Fellow of the Higher Education Academy with expertise in the psychology of eating behaviour, the food environment, and public health. Florence joined SSEHS as a Doctoral Prize Fellow in May 2023.

Florence completed her PhD at the University of Liverpool, alongside which she was a Demonstrator in the School of Psychology, teaching on undergraduate research methods and statistics modules. Following this, she worked as a Research Fellow in Sensory and Ingestive Behaviour at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR, Singapore), and then joined the Obesity group at the Research Department of Behavioural Science and Health at UCL (London) as a Research Fellow in the Obesity Policy Research Unit (OPRU). Within this role, she also completed a Policy Secondment at the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) as a UCL-OHID Researcher in Residence.

Florence is a mixed methods researcher with extensive experience in the study of eating behaviour, appetite, and public health. Her overarching goal is to improve health and wellbeing through evidence-based knowledge of behavioural determinants and consequences of human lifestyles. 

Using her expertise in the psychology of eating behaviour, the food environment, and public health, Florence aims to further understand how individuals interact with their food and social environment to create impactful interventions that facilitate the health and wellbeing of individuals of all ages. Utilising mixed methods approaches enables her to elucidate and appreciate how individuals are impacted by their environment and their unique interactions with and within it, maintaining both scientific rigour and individual voices.

Florence has a keen interest in effective dissemination and improving communication of research to all audiences. She is passionate about effective partnerships with public stakeholders as research peers underpinning the whole of her research process.

As a Doctoral Prize Fellow in SSEHS, Florence will explore how we can better communicate with children about eating and body weight, and support those concerned about weight.

Research & Impact

Florence is highly motivated to collaborate internationally and engage with multiple institutes and stakeholders to cultivate teams that can deliver effective research. She maintains collaborations with multidisciplinary institutions to develop innovative research utilising a wide range of expertise and experiences. Specifically, she collaborates with A*STAR (Singapore) as a coinvestigator on a project investigating how children and families approach alternative protein sources, and is part of a team exploring impacts of the built environment on health, wellbeing, and eating behaviour.

Florence also co-led the Consumer Dimension of Future Foods Symposium in 2022 with peers from Massey University (New Zealand), bringing together experts from across sensory perception, plant-based and alternative proteins, and consumer behaviour for a two-day symposium.

Cultivating peer networks

Florence created the UCL Behavioural Science and Health Fellowship Group in 2022, which aims to create a supportive peer-led environment for individuals applying for fellowships, or interested in applying for fellowships, to learn from and support each other. The group holds regular writing retreats and sharing sessions, with invited guest speakers presenting on various aspects of the fellowship application process. She intends to develop and expand this group within Loughborough University to facilitate continued peer support and provide opportunities for cross-institute collaborations.

Florence also co-founded the British Feeding and Drinking Group (BFDG) Early-Career Researcher Network in 2020 and has organised and co-hosted the BFDG Early-Career Researcher pre-conference event since 2020. She has presented at various national and international conferences, to local steering and policy groups, and delivered invited talks to international universities and research groups.

Featured publications

  • Sheen, F., Brown, J., Conway, R., Llewellyn, C., & Steptoe, A. (in prep). Potential implications of mandatory calorie labelling on alcoholic beverages: attitudes, knowledge, and intentions to change behaviour.
  • Sheen, F., Lim, A.J-Y., & Forde, C.G. (in prep). Diversity among flexitarian consumers; stratifying meat reducers by their underlying motivations to move to a plant-based diet.
  • Sheen, F., Tan, V., Lim, A. J., Haldar, S., Sengupta, S., Allen, D., ... & Forde, C. G. (2022). The COVOSMIA-19 trial: Preliminary application of the Singapore smell and taste test to objectively measure smell and taste function with COVID-19. Food Quality and Preference, 97, 104482. DOI: 10.1016/j.foodqual.2021.104482
  • Marty, L., Evans, R., Sheen, F., Humphreys, G., Jones, A., Boyland, E., & Robinson, E. (2021). The energy and nutritional content of snacks sold at supermarkets and coffee shops in the UK. Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics. DOI: 10.1111/jhn.12880
  • Burton, S., Puddephatt, J.-A., Baines, L., Sheen, F., Warren, J. G., & Jones, A. (2021). Limited Evidence of Associations Between Executive Functioning and Alcohol Involvement In UK Adolescents. Alcohol and Alcoholism. DOI: 10.1093/alcalc/agab020
  • Sheen, F., Tan, V., Haldar, S., Sengupta, S., Allen, D., Somani, J., Chen, H.Y., Tambyah, P., & Forde, C.G. (2020). Evaluating the Onset, Severity, and Recovery of Changes to Smell and Taste Associated With COVID-19 Infection in a Singaporean Population (the COVOSMIA-19 Trial): Protocol for a Prospective Case-Control Study. JMIR Research Protocols, 9(12), e24797. DOI: 10.2196%2F24797
  • Sheen, F., Hardman, C. A., & Robinson, E. (2020). Food waste concerns, eating behaviour and body weight. Appetite, 104692. DOI: 10.1016/j.appet.2020.104692
  • Muc, M., Jones, A., Roberts, C., Sheen, F., Haynes, A., & Robinson, E. (2019). A bit or a lot on the side? Observational study of the energy content of starters, sides, and desserts in major UK restaurant chains. BMJ Open, 9(10), e029679. DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2019-029679
  • Sheen, F., Hardman, C. A., & Robinson, E. (2018). Plate-clearing tendencies and portion size are independently associated with main meal food intake in women: A laboratory study. Appetite, 127, 223-229. DOI: 10.1016/j.appet.2018.04.020
  • Robinson, E., Sheen, F., Harrold, J., Boyland, E., Halford, J. C., & Masic, U. (2016). Dishware size and snack food intake in a between-subjects laboratory experiment. Public Health Nutrition, 19(4), 633-637. DOI: 10.1017/s1368980015001408