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portrait of Dr Rebecca Wells

Dr Rebecca Wells

IFSTAL Teaching Fellow

School of Arts and Social Sciences, Department of Sociology

Contact Information


Visit Rebecca Wells

D110, Rhind Building

Postal Address

City, University of London
Northampton Square
United Kingdom



Rebecca is a Teaching Fellow on the IFSTAL (Innovative Food Systems Teaching and Learning IFSTAL) project at City's Centre for Food Policy. She shares this post with Dr Annabel de Frece and both are based in the Centre for Food Policy. IFSTAL is a postgraduate, multi-disciplinary, inter-university project which aims to promote food systems thinking in order to address the global food crisis. A former BBC radio producer and a food journalist for more than 10 years Rebecca's PhD in Food Policy looked at the interaction between food policy and the UK media. Her thesis took as a case study UK Department of Health recommendations on red and processed meat consumption and cancer. Her research interests include food policy, food in the media, food poverty, food banks and food security.


  1. PhD, City, University of London, United Kingdom, Aug 2011 – Jan 2018
  2. BA (Hons), University of York, United Kingdom

Postgraduate training

  1. Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice, City, University of London, London, United Kingdom, 2014 – 2018


  1. Fellow, Higher Education Academy, 2018 – present
  2. Visiting Lecturer, Department of Journalism, MA in Science Journalism, City, University of London, 2012 – 2016
  3. Visiting Lecturer, Centre for Food Policy, MSc in Food Policy, City, University of London, 2012 – present
  4. Radio Producer, BBC, 1999 – 2011


  1. Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA), Higher Education Academy, 2018 – present


Chapters (2)

  1. Wells, R. and Caraher, M. (2017). From Food Advertising to Digital Engagements: Future Challenges for Public Health. In LeBesco, K. and Naccarato, P. (Eds.), The Bloomsbury Handbook of Food and Popular Culture (pp. 245–259). London: Bloomsbury Academic. ISBN 978-1-4742-9624-3.
  2. Wells, and Caraher, M. (2016). Britain's Hidden Hungry? The Portrayal of Food Bank Users in the U.K. National Press. In Servaes, J. and Oyedemi, T. (Eds.), The Praxis of Social Inequality in Media A Global Perspective Lexington Books. ISBN 978-1-4985-2347-9.

Internet publication

  1. Ajates Gonzalez, and Wells, R. (2016). Tackling Food Topics. BSA Network Magazine, March, p.35.

Journal articles (3)

  1. Wells, R. (2017). Mediating the spaces of diet and health: A critical analysis of reporting on nutrition and colorectal cancer in the UK. Geoforum. doi:10.1016/j.geoforum.2016.05.001.
  2. Reed, K., Collier, R., White, R., Wells, R., Ingram, J., Borelli, R. … Sykes, R. (2017). Training Future Actors in the Food System: A new collaborative cross-institutional, interdisciplinary training programme for students. Exchanges: the Warwick Research Journal, 4(2), pp. 201–218.
  3. Wells, R. and Caraher, M. (2014). UK print media coverage of the food bank phenomenon: From food welfare to food charity? British Food Journal, 116(9), pp. 1426–1445. doi:10.1108/BFJ-03-2014-0123.


MDL_IFSTAL_2015-16 IFSTAL (Teaching Fellow)

IFSTAL (Innovative Food Systems Teaching and Learning) is offered by the Centre for Food Policy to all postgraduate students in any discipline who are interested in food, and food systems thinking. IFSTAL is run by a network of UK institutions (Oxford University, City University London, Reading University, Warwick University and the London-based Leverhulme Centre for Integrated Research on Agriculture and Health) and aims to promote trans-disciplinary and inter-university learning about food. This is a voluntary programme which will help to support postgraduate students in their learning and offer networking opportunities and employability skills. To find out more go to Moodle and search for IFSTAL or visit the website

FPM003 Food, Culture & Society (Visiting Lecturer)

This module aims to enable students to recognise the cultural, social group and individual contexts of food policy and use models and theories to explain the changing patterns of food consumption and choice. In addition, it is expected that students will use this knowledge to evaluate how such perspectives can be used to influence and inform food policy.

JOM839 Science Journalism in Society (VL)

This module introduces students studying for an MA in Science Journalism to the study of science journalism in society. This module aims to enable students to recognise the science journalist's role in democracies, the institutional contexts surrounding science news production, the relationship between scientists and the media and different understandings of science journalism values and norms in different global contexts.

Other Activities

Events/conferences (10)

  1. 8th World Conference on Learning, Teaching and Educational Leadership (WCLTA 2017). (Conference) Lisbon, Portugal (2017).
    Paper: Working with the Workplace – the IFSTAL experience of using real-life food systems challenges in Problem-Based Learning to enhance graduate student employability
    Author: Wells, R.
  2. BSA Risk and Society Study Group Event: Risk in the Media. (Workshop) London (2017).
    Paper: ‘Playing Bacon Roulette’: Media Reporting of Government Recommendations on Red and Processed Meat Consumption.
    Author: Wells, R.
  3. Learning at City. (Conference) City, University of London (2017).
    Paper: Innovative Food Systems Teaching and Learning: Overcoming disciplinary and teaching silos to fix the food system.
    Author: Ajates, R.
    Co-authors: Wells, R.
  4. Enough’s enough: Data gathering for PhD research. City University London (2014).
    Description: Sociology PhD Anonymous session
  5. Boffins, Beef and the Big C – how the UK media report research into red and processed meat consumption. Centre for Food Policy, City University London (2013).
    Description: PhD seminar
  6. Reporting Food Risk: What is the role of the journalist? Brussels (2013).
    Description: FoodRisC/European Food Safety Authority Conference
  7. Evidence based policy? The development of recommendations on red and processed meat consumption by the UK Government's Department of Health. University of York (2013).
    Description: Nutritional Guidelines and Standards: Past and Present perspectives
  8. Size Matters: Exploring content analysis methodology in a case study looking at media coverage of a BMJ paper. De Montfort University, Lecicester (2012).
    Description: Research Methods in Media Discourse
  9. Read all about it? Media coverage of research in the BMJ on dietary fibre and colorectal cancer risk. NCRI Conference, Liverpool (2012).
    Description: Poster Presentation
  10. Emerging research on food, nutrition and cancer prevention - how it is reported by the UK news media. Kings College London (2012).

Online articles (6)

  1. The elephant in the room at Paris climate talks: why food production must change. (2015). The Conversation Available at:
  2. Journalists feast on ‘food bank’ stories - some get indigestion. (2013). BBC College of Journalism Blog
  3. Hi-tech burger provides perfect media diet. (2013). BBC College of Journalism Blog
  4. Food bank users in the UK media – the hidden hungry or the fat, feckless poor? (2015). TiFSiP The Institute of Food Safety Integrity and Protection: Analysis
  5. Ecofeminism, Food and Social Justice Seminar Series: Sowing the seeds for a new era of research and activism? (2016). Food Research Collaboration News
  6. How can we train people in Food Systems Thinking? The IFSTAL experience. (2017). Blog: Dispatches from the Centre for Food Policy co-authored with Dr Annabel de Frece