Julia practiced for 30 years as a dentist and orthodontist in East Lancashire before studying an MSc and PhD part time at Bradford. She retired from Dentistry in 2013, taking up a post as lecturer at Bradford, and is currently working part-time on research projects in the Stable Isotope Laboratory.
Known as the Bradford Tooth Fairy, she continues to look for ways of investigating the mother-infant diet and physiology in the tissues of modern and ancient children.
She has 3 children and a growing number of grandchildren and spends her spare time travelling and keeping fit by running, cycling and walking.
Breastfeeding and weaning: Nutritional stress: Famine: DoHAD.
She has been developing methods to improve the temporal resolution for the study of diet and physiology in the past by measuring the carbon and nitrogen isotopes in collagen from bone and tooth dentine, hair keratin. As a result, she has been examining evidence for breastfeeding and weaning in past populations, and the health and physiology of mothers and infants. She has been working with colleagues at Durham (Dr Janet Montgomery and Dr Geoff Nowell) and Aberdeen (Kevin Mackenzie) Universities to establish the pathways of mineralization in human enamel using micro-CT and micro-milling. Breastfeeding and weaning This topic has evolved from her PhD and collaborations with Don Walker at MoLA and now includes studies of post-Medieval, Anglo-Saxon (with Dr Jo Buckberry in Bradford and Dr Elizabeth Craig-Atkins from the University of Sheffield) and modern children in collaboration with Dr Peter Day (University of Leeds) and Dr Fadil Elamin (Sudan Dental Institute). Nutritional Stress Following publication of papers with Dr Jonny Geber (Otago University) using data from individuals who died during the Great Irish Famine (1845-1852) Julia has identified potential markers for nutritional stress within the tissues formed during the stress. She is collaborating with Dr Barra O’Donnabain and Dr Geber on the project “Trevelyan’s Corn” working with further Irish sites from that period and later. She is also working with Dr Francisca Alves-Cardoso (Lisbon) on material from a Hospital site, and with Dr Rebecca Redfern (MOL) and Dr Sharon DeWitte who are researching mortality risk. She has an on-going collaboration with Dr Colin Smith (LaTrobe University, Melbourne) using the stable isotope ratio measurement of single amino acids. The Tooth-Fairy Project Using modern extracted and exfoliated milk teeth, Julia is investigating the dietary markers which are laid down in teeth before and just after birth. This will allow her to interpret these values in terms of maternal stress during pregnancy and in an infant in the first 1000 days of life. Julia is grateful to the Rank Nutrition Prize for funding for this project, to Ethical Tissue (Bradford), The Born in Bradford project, and the support of Dr Peter Day, Dr George Ellison and Professor Mark Gilthorpe (all at University of Leeds).