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Dr Penelope Nestel BSc, PG Dip, MSc, PhD

Principal Teaching Fellow, Programme Director MSc Public Health Nutrition

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Dr Penelope Nestel joined the Faculty of Medicine in 2006 and is a Principal Teaching Fellow. Since being at Southampton she has led the development of the MSc in Public Health with its four pathways (Global Health, Intelligence, Management, Nutrition) and is the Programme Leader for the MSc in Public Health and the Public Health Nutrition pathway.

Before coming to Southampton she worked in international nutrition for over 25 years and was involved in research, managing large research portfolios as well as programme implementation related to dietary diversity, micronutrient supplementation, food fortification and biofortification. She has worked for Tulane University, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University and the International Food Policy Research Institute.

After completing her undergraduate degree in nutrition at the University of London, she went on to study Tropical Agricultural Development, specializing in Agricultural Economics at Reading University. She completed her PhD in London working with the International Livestock Centre for Africa on nutrition in the Maasai tribe in Kenya.

She is a Registered Public Health Nutritionist on the UK Voluntary Register for Nutritionists and is a Fellow of the Association for Nutrition.


BSc, Human Nutrition, University of London (1978)
PG Diploma, Agricultural Economics, University of Reading (1979)
MSc, Tropical Agricultural Development (Agricultural Economics), University of Reading (1981)
PhD, Human Nutrition, University of London (1985)

Dr Nestel is a regular reviewer for various nutrition journals and research councils/funding agencies.

Research interests

Dr Nestel’s research focuses on operational issues to improve the nutritional wellbeing of vulnerable groups, particularly in developing countries.  Through this she had developed resource materials for Malawi’s pre-service training for Nurses and Midwives, Health Surveillance Assistants and Clinical Officers as well as for different cadres of nurses in Ghana. Her UK-research explores risky behaviour, specifically drinking and gambling.


Human Development and Health

Affiliate Department(s)

Human Development and Physiology

Postgraduate student supervision

  • PhD: 2012, Turyashemererwa, Florence
  • PhD: 2018, Bispo, Stephanie
  • PhD: Shaw, Anneliese (current)
  • MSc Public Health/Public Health (Nutrition): 33 completed, 3 current
  • MSc Allergy: 1 completed

Faculty of Medicine

  • Programme Leader MSc Public Health and MSc Public Health (Nutrition)
  • Member of Faculty Education Committee; Postgraduate Taught Programmes Committee; MSc Public Health Programme Group (Chair); Student Progress Committee
  • Research in Academic Practice (RAP) Discipline Representative
  • Exam Board
  • Internal examiner, PhD

University of Southampton

  • Appeals and complaints


  • External examiner at St Mary’s University, Twickenham
  • Accreditation Committee, Association for Nutrition
  • Chair, Trial Steering Committee for Addressing Hidden Hunger with Agronomy – Malawi for London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
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Book Chapter

Dr Penelope Nestel is the Module Leader for three modules: Assessment of Nutritional Status, Food Systems, and Development and Implementation of Policy & Strategies modules. She also supervises dissertation projects. Penny and the public health teaching team designed the MSc Public Health course so that it maps against the public health standards of the Faculty of Public Health and the UK Public Health Register. Additionally, the MSc Public Health (Nutrition) is informed by the public health nutrition proficiencies of the Association for Nutrition. Mapping the programme against these standards was fundamental to supporting you to prepare to apply to join a professional register, either as public health specialists, advanced practitioners or as associate registered (public health) nutritionists, or to demonstrate advancing or continuing professional development.

Dr Nestel is fervent about supporting colleagues and students to achieve excellence through her rounded approach to learning and teaching. She actively works with students to share her experience and give them the knowledge and confidence to develop their own learning, teaching and leadership skills. Students are encouraged to develop skills to teach their peers using innovative teaching methods so as to have a transformational effect on their approach to learning and communicating with lay and professional audiences.

Dr Penelope Nestel
Room Number SGH/LE111
Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton
Mailpoint 113, Southampton General Hospital
Tremona Road,
Southampton SO166YD
Tel: 023 8120 8923

Room Number: SGH/LE11/MP113

Telephone:(023) 8120 8923
Facsimile:(023) 8120 5102

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