Oonagh graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Sport and Exercise Sciences from the University of Limerick, Ireland, in 2007. She was awarded her PhD in Nutrition and Physiology from the same university in 2012. Shortly after completion of her PhD, Oonagh was appointed as a Post-doctoral Research Fellow at the University of Reading’s Hugh Sinclair Unit of Human Nutrition (2012-2016). She has been a UKVRN Registered Nutritionist (Nutrition Science) with the Association for Nutrition since 2014.

Oonagh joined the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences as a Vice Chancellor’s Research Fellow in October 2016 and was appointed to her current position as Senior Lecturer in Nutritional Sciences in February 2021. She is a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Reading. Her research focuses primarily on dietary strategies for promotion of cardiometabolic health across the lifecourse, with emphasis on vascular function, lipid metabolism, and inflammation.

Oonagh was appointed to the role of The Nutrition Society’s Nutrition in the Treatment, Management and Prevention of Disease Theme Lead in May 2022. She currently sits on the Editorial Board for the American Society for Nutrition’s Journal of Nutrition.

Oonagh is building a research portfolio which focuses primarily on dietary strategies for promotion of cardiometabolic health across the lifecourse, with emphasis on vascular function, lipid metabolism, and inflammation. She has conducted well-controlled human dietary intervention studies (from acute, single meal investigations to longer-term dietary manipulation) in apparently healthy and ‘at risk’ populations. She has expertise in ultrasound assessment of vascular function (flow-mediated dilatation and carotid intima media thickness) and sampling abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue via the Bergström needle biopsy approach.

Her research programme aims to provide scientific evidence relevant to public policy for cardiovascular disease prevention and the food industry.

Oonagh also uses her human nutrition expertise to contribute to strategies which consider the double burden of malnutrition (presence of undernutrition and/or micronutrient deficiencies alongside overweight/obesity) in low- and middle-income countries.

Selected External Funding

  • Principal Investigator: Society for the Study of Human Biology Research Grant (2020-2021).
  • Named Researcher: Medical Research Council UK-Peru: Relationship between Food, Nutrition & Health (2019-2022). MR/S024921/1. PI: Dr Emily Rousham.
  • Co-Investigator:  Medical Research Council ‘Confidence in Global Nutrition and Health Research’ Pump Priming Award (2018-2018). MR/R0196557/1. PI: Prof Paula Griffiths.
  • Principal Investigator: Society for Endocrinology Early Career Grant (2018-2019) https://www.endocrinology.org/.
  • Principal Investigator: British Nutrition Foundation Drummond Pump-Priming Award (2018-2019).

Professional Activities

  • June 2023 – Present   Associate Member of the Food Standard Agency’s Advisory Committee on Animal Feedingstuffs
  • May 2022 – Present    Theme Lead for The Nutrition Society’s 'Nutrition in the Treatment, Management and Prevention of Disease' Theme (Deputy Theme Lead: May 2021 – May 2022)
  • Sept 2021 – Present    Editorial Board Member for the American Society for Nutrition’s Journal of Nutrition
  • 2020 – Present    Early Career UKRI International Development Peer Review College Member
  • 2019 – Present    Food Standards Agency Register of Specialists Member
  • 2018 – 2021    Endocrine Ambassador for The Society for Endocrinology
  • 2017 – Present    Grant reviewer: British Heart Foundation; Medical Research Council; Newton Fund Institutional Links (Biological and Medical Sciences panel)
  • 2017 – 2021    Portfolio Registration Assessor: Association for Nutrition

Professional Memberships

  • 2014 – Present    NCD Risk Factor Collaboration
  • 2014 – Present    European Nutrition Leadership Platform Alumni Member
  • 2014 – Present    American Society for Nutrition
  • 2014 – Present    Association for Nutrition: Registered Nutritionist (Nutrition Science)
  • 2007 – Present    The Nutrition Society

Ad hoc Journal Reviewer (selected)

  • American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
  • Clinical Epidemiology
  • European Journal of Nutrition
  • Hypertension
  • Journal of the American Heart Association
  • Journal of Nutrition
  • Nutrition Reviews
  • Scientific Reports

Featured publications

Recent journal articles (selected)

Book chapter

  • Markey, O and Kliem, K (2020) Does modifying dairy fat composition by changing the diet of the dairy cow provide health benefits?. In Givens, DI (ed) Milk and Dairy Foods: Their Functionality in Human Health and Disease, Elsevier, pp.51-86.