Mary Hickson

Academic profile

Professor Mary Hickson

Professor in Dietetics
School of Health Professions (Faculty of Health)

The Global Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. Mary's work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

Goal 02: SDG 2 - Zero HungerGoal 03: SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-beingGoal 04: SDG 4 - Quality Education

About Mary

My role is to lead the development and implementation of research within the Dietetic Team, and support research within the School and Faculty, by coordinating and undertaking research activity, encouraging collaborative working, securing research funding and building the Faculty’s reputation internationally. 

I am also a Co-Director of the SW Clinical Schools and the Torbay and South Devon Clinical School. This is an initiative to partner with our colleagues in health and social care organisations in Devon , Cornwall and Somerset. I work to lead the Clinical Schools to ensure a consistent and coordinated approach and to build on local successful initiatives, and work closely with the leadership at Torbay and South Devon NHS Trust to increase research capacity and capability. More information can be found here http://https//

Supervised Research Degrees

PhD students supervised: 

Hannah Gardiner - Exploring the impact of community food researcher model for food system transformation. Start Jan 2022

Lisa Du Toit - The relationship between the oral microbiome and cardiovascular health. Start Oct 2021

Jill Venables - Meeting nutritive obligations for nutritionally vulnerable patients within a hospital settingStart Jan 2019 

Alex Pinto - Factors affecting metabolism and metabolic control in phenylketonuria. Start Oct 2017

Jennifer Carroll - A mixed methods study to establish core outcomes for refactory childhood epilpsy treated with ketogenic diet therapyStart Apr 2018

Craig Culter - The effect of diet and physical activity on the oral nutrate/nitrite pathway and its impact on vascular control.  Start Oct 2017

Julia Eisenblaetter - Dietary counselling of children with food allergy. Start Oct 2016

Louise Mole - Improving nutritional care for people living at home with Dementia. Awarded 2021

Anna Julian – Improving nutritional care at the interface between acute and community healthcare. Awarded 2019

Ann Ashworth – Effects of dietary nitrate from vegetables on blood pressure in healthy humans: Awarded 2019

Nurhafzan Anis Ismail – The role of glycaemic index in preventing obesity. Awarded 2014

Liesl Wandrag – An investigation into inflammatory and nutritional markers during critical illness to identify an indicator of anabolism and to explore a method of attenuating muscle mass loss.Awarded 2013

Margaret Coffey – An examination of the clinical utility of fiber-optic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing as an evaluation tool in laryngectomy and an investigation of the effect of different voice prostheses on swallow, voice function and quality of life after laryngectomy. Awarded 2013

Norlida Mat Daud – The effects of propionate on appetite and gut hormones. Awarded 2013

Charlotte Moss – Comparison of gut hormones in healthy older and young adults. Awarded 2013

Lina Johansson – Broadening Options for Long-term Dialysis in the Elderly. Awarded 2012

Elena Philippou – Dietary carbohydrate manipulation and its effect on coronary heart disease risk factors and body weight maintenance. Awarded 2008


My teaching activities are to support the undergraduate dietetic degree program, particularly the project development module, project supervision, as well as delivering lectures in the field of nutrition, dietetics and ageing.

I also support the Masters programs within the School through supervision of project work and teaching research skills and knowledge.

I have a lead role in the Systematic Reviewing module (MCR706) and also teach on the Frailty Module (ADV758/608).