Our Speakers 2023

Dr Alison Kirk

Dr Alison Kirk graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1998 with a BSc in Physiology and Sports Science and again in 2003 with a PhD. Her PhD focused on supporting physical activity behaviour change in adults with Type 2 diabetes an area which she has continued to work on over the past 20 year. She worked for 5 years at the University of Dundee before moving to the University of Strathclyde in 2009 and is now a Reader in Physical activity and Health within the School of Psychological sciences and Health. Her research continues to explore methods of supporting active lifestyles for diabetes prevention and management. She has particular interest in the effective use of technology to support behaviour change and in the implementation and evaluation of interventions. She loves being outside and active and is a keen runner, having completed over 100 park runs, several half marathons and trail events and raised over £5000 for Diabetes UK and the Brain Tumour Charity.


Nanette Mutrie

Nanette Mutrie retired as Chair of Physical Activity for Health at the University of Edinburgh in January 2022. Nanette had been directing the Physical Activity for Health Research Centre [PAHRC] since 2012.  She will continue to be associated with PAHRC as Professor Emerita and has enjoyed delivering some lectures and attending seminars in the past year.  Nanette has over 300 peer reviewed publications and the 4th edition of the text book she co-authors ‘The Psychology of Physical Activity for Health” was published by Routledge in 2021. A particular interest for Nanette is how to communicate about physical activity to the public. She is chair of the Active Scotland Development Group for Sport and Physical Activity and so has a keen interest in policy. Recently Nanette has joined the board of Paths for All and strongly believes that ‘walking is the best buy’. Nanette received an MBE from the Queen in 2015 for services in Physical Activity for Health in Scotland.  Her own activity involves dog walking, walking the golf course, playing pickleball and commuting by bike whenever possible.


Flora Jackson

Flora is currently the Health Improvement Manager for Physical Activity at Public Health Scotland and has worked nationally on this agenda for the past 18 years. Flora has led a number of national physical activity programmes including the development of the ‘Physical Activity and Health Alliance (PAHA)’, the ‘NHS National Physical Activity Pathway,’ the ‘Physical Activity Referral Standards for Scotland’ and more recently ‘A systems-based approach to physical activity in Scotland’ and was involved in the 5 year review of ‘Let’s Make Scotland More Active.’ Flora was a member of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 sub-panel 24 (Sport and Exercise Sciences, Leisure and Tourism) and is an Honorary Fellow at the University of Edinburgh, Physical Activity for Health Research Centre (PAHRC).


Professor John J Reilly

Professor John J Reilly is Professor of Physical Activity & Public Health, University of Strathclyde. His research group focuses on the causes, consequences, and public health surveillance of both low childhood physical activity, and childhood obesity, globally Google Scholar Profile .He chaired the committees which developed the UK Health Departments Physical Activity Guidelines for the Under 5s in 2010 and 2019. He has been involved in many WHO Guidelines and Strategies including Ending Childhood Obesity (2016) and the Guidelines on Physical Activity, Sedentary Behaviour, and Sleep in the Under 5s (2019). He is currently a member of the Expert Committee on Obesity for the World Cancer Research Fund Global Cancer Update Programme, and founder member of the Sunrise International Surveillance Study for Physical Activity, Screen Time, and Sleep in the Early Years-.His knowledge exchange work includes co-leadership of the Active Healthy Kids Scotland Report Card  ,Board Membership of the Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance and co-leadership of the FitBack Scotland childhood fitness monitoring project https://www.scottishinsight.ac.uk/Programmes/OpenCall202122/FitBackScotland.aspx


Kevin Lafferty

Kevin Lafferty is the Chief Executive Officer of Paths for All, Scotland’s national walking charity. We champion walking in Scotland: everyone, everyday, everywhere.

Kevin has had a successful 25-year career within the public sector having led a number of teams including NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s physical activity team. He was responsible for developing and implementing Glasgow’s physical activity strategy ‘Let’s Make Glasgow More Active’ and leading Forestry Commission Scotland’s ‘Woods for Health’ strategy and action plan to improve people’s health and well-being through outdoor recreation.

His vision is for Scotland to be a walking nation where everyone has the opportunity to be active everyday.


Professor Anna Campbell MBE

Anna Campbell is Professor in Clinical Exercise Science at Edinburgh Napier University.  For the past 22 years she has worked in the field of exercise oncology and has been instrumental in the implementation of evidence-based exercise programmes for people affected by cancer across UK.

She has published over 60 peer reviewed research papers and three educational book chapters on the subject of cancer and exercise.

As key advisor to Macmillan Cancer Care, she worked on the development of the UK wide community based MoveMore programmes.

Professor Campbell is Director of CanRehab (www.canrehab.co.uk) : an international provider of training on exercise-based cancer rehabilitation for health professionals and fitness specialists.  She is also chair of the charity CanRehab Trust www.canrehabtrust.org which matches people affected by cancer with cancer exercise qualified instructors and provides remote and face to face exercise programmes.

Anna is part of a small international working group of exercise experts “Moving Through Cancer” responsible for updating the evidence-based exercise prescription guidelines for the provision of clinical and community-based exercise programmes for cancer patients and survivors. Finally, Professor Campbell is part of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Cancer Rehabilitation 2030 working group.


Mary Allison

Mary Allison has been a lifelong advocate for world-leading policy and research in public health, physical activity and sport.  As the first national coordinator for physical activity in Scotland her influence laid a strong foundation for the development of many new physical activity programmes and investment.  Mary has a PhD in physical activity research from The University of Edinburgh.