Professor Helen Ball trained in Human Biology and Biological Anthropology, obtaining her PhD; at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 1992. She established the Parent-Infant Sleep Lab at Durham University in 2000, was promoted to Professor in 2007 and served as Head of the Anthropology Department 2013-2016. Access Professor Ball's full bio.
Her research examines the sleep ecology of infants and their parents including attitudes and practices regarding infant sleep, behavioural and physiological interactions of infants and their parents during sleep, infant sleep development, and the discordance between cultural and biological sleep needs. She conducts research in hospitals, her sleep lab, and the community and contributes to national and international policy and practice guidelines on infant care.
In 2013 she received an ESRC award for Celebrating Impact, in 2016 she was appointed as Chair of the Scientific Committee for the Lullaby Trust, and in 2018 Durham University received the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Further and Higher Education for Helen’s research and outreach work. She is a Board Member of ISPID (the International Society for the Study and Prevention of Infant Deaths), an Assessment Board member for Unicef UK Baby Friendly Initiative, and she directs the Durham Infancy & Sleep Centre (DISC) and Baby Sleep Information Source (Basis).