Team

Our team has a wealth of knowledge and experience of producing impactful research on gambling and its social impacts. Our interdisciplinary and policy-relevant work is linked by a shared common interest on the impact of gambling on vulnerable group and the impact of commercial gambling’s expansion on cultural and political contexts. Read more about each member of our team below.

Prof Gerda Reith

Gerda is a Professor of Social Sciences at the University of Glasgow with a longstanding specialism in gambling and problem gambling; its causes, consequences and cultural meanings. She has written extensively on the empirical and theoretical issues around these topics, and her book, The Age of Chance: Gambling in Western Culture, won the Philip Abrams Prize for the best book in sociology for 2000. Gerda actively engages with gambling policy makers globally and has conducted extensive research across gambling and consumption-related topics. Gerda is a commissioner on the Lancet Public Health Commission on Gambling and the Howard League Commission on Crime and Problem Gambling. Her latest book is Addictive Consumption: Capitalism, Modernity and Excess.

Dr Heather Wardle

Heather is a Lord Kelvin Adam Smith Reader in Sociology at the University of Glasgow. She is a specialist in gambling research, policy and practice and is currently leading the Lancet Public Health Commission on Gambling. Heather’s research focuses on understanding the impact of gambling on people’s lives and devising solutions. Her first book, Games without Frontiers?, looks at the intersection between gaming and gambling and how this has developed. Heather has nearly twenty years of experience designing, implementing and analysing some of Britain’s largest studies of health and wellbeing, including the Health Survey for England and the British Gambling Prevalence Survey. She serves on the WHO panel on gambling and between 2015 and 2020 was deputy chair of the Advisory Board for Safer Gambling, providing independent advice on gambling policy to the national regulator and to government.

Dr Fiona Dobbie

Fiona is a Senior Research Fellow in Sociology at the University of Glasgow and at the Usher Institute, University of Edinburgh. Fiona is a researcher of inequalities with a focus on gambling and tobacco research. She also has expertise in the design and evaluation of complex health behaviour change and prevention interventions, with a particular interest in social network interventions. Fiona is currently leading an MRC PHIND grant to develop a school based, social network intervention to prevent gambling harm in adolescents called, PRoGRAM-A (Preventing Gambling Harm in Adolescents).

Dr Chris Bunn

Chris is a Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Glasgow and a Senior Researcher at the Malawian Epidemiology and Intervention Research Unit. His work focuses on both gambling and long-term health conditions. He is particularly interested in the intersection between sports sponsorship and gambling harm, how widespread and evolving digital technologies have enabled a new global gambling landscape to emerge and approaches to reducing gambling-related harms. Chris has a special interest in the origins and development of commercial forms of gambling in Malawi and the broad social consequences they have had for Malawians. Chris is a commissioner on the Lancet Public Health Commission on Gambling.

Dr Craig Donnachie

Craig is a Research Associate based in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Glasgow and a member of the Institute of Health and Wellbeing’s Social Scientists in Health group. Craig has a background in Health Psychology and obtained his PhD in Social and Public Health Science. He is interested in the development and evaluation of public health interventions and specifically how professional sports organisations can influence health and behaviour change. He is the Study Coordinator on the Football Fans and Betting (FFAB) Project which is a feasibility study and randomised pilot trial of a group-based intervention delivered through professional football clubs to reduce gambling involvement among male gamblers.

Dr Daria Ukhova

Daria is a Research Associate in Sociology at the University of Glasgow. She has a long-standing research interest in social determinants of health (especially, gender and class), as well as in health policies and their equity implications. Prior to joining the University of Glasgow, Daria worked for more than ten years on health inequalities research and policy projects for international developments agencies, including Oxfam and WHO. Daria’s work brought her to multiple countries – from Guatemala to Tajikistan. At the Lancet Public Health Commission on Gambling, Daria leads policy analysis focusing on how countries across the world are integrating public health approach into their responses to gambling-related harms.

Dr Viktorija Kesaite

Viktorija is a Research Associate at the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Glasgow. Her research focuses on theoretical frameworks for analysing the relationship between total consumption and problem or excessive consumption in gambling.Viktorija completed her PhD thesis in 2021 at the University of Exeter. During her PhD, she explored the causal analysis of the effect of weight status on education and wage outcomes.

Blair is a PhD candidate, researcher, and teacher at the University of Glasgow. He has years of experience conducting interdisciplinary research and working in the third sector. Broadly, Blair is interested in researching the relationship between citizens and the state, lived experience, and inequalities

At present, Blair is leading on the Lancet Public Health Commission on Gambling’s Lived Experience workstream. He is also researching the rise of gambling sponsorship in Esports.