Dr Fran Pontin

Dr Fran Pontin


I am a Senior Research Data Scientist in the Consumer Data Research Centre (CDRC) and module leader in the School of Geography. I am a member of the Institute for Spatial Data Science (ISDS) and sits in Leeds Institute for Data Analytics (LIDA). My research interests focus on characterising and reducing spatial health inequalities utilising secondary ‘smart’ data analysis and the development of open data products to improve the use of data in informing policy decisions.

Research interests

My research interests include spatial health inequalities, food insecurity and the environmental and socio-demographic determinants of physical activity, dietary and wider health behaviours. My research focuses on developing methodologies to utilise secondary ‘smart’ data analysis in spatial health research. My research also includes close collaboration with policy makers and stakeholders to develop open data products. Making data insights accessible to non-technical audiences to aid data driven policy decision making. 

Recent research activites include:

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://environment.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD, Quantitative Human Geography, University of Leeds, 2022
  • MSc. Data Analytics & Society, School of Geography, University of Leeds, 2019
  • BSc. Food Science & Nutrition, University of Leeds, 2017

Professional memberships

  • Fellow of the Higher Educations Academy (FHEA), University of Leeds, 2021
  • The Alan Turing Institute: Novel data linkages for health and wellbeing Special Interest Group
  • International Society of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity
  • Women in Data

Student education

My teaching focuses on the development of applied programming (Python) and (spatial) data science skills to analyse large social science and secondary datasets I lead education programmes across undergraduate, postgraduate and professional development courses. I also closely work with the  LIDA Data Scientist Development Programme and have a keen interest in upskilling and increasing the diversity of the data science workforce.

Research groups and institutes

  • Institute for Spatial Data Science
<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>