Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineSchool of Public Health

Lecturer in Environmental Social Science and Health







Building E - Sir Michael UrenWhite City Campus





Dr Diana Varaden is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Environmental Research Group with multidisciplinary skills in the fields of air pollution and social science. She is interested in interdisciplinary work bridging natural science, social and health disciplines and in identifying the benefits of involving lay individuals in the research process.

Diana has knowledge and experience using qualitative research methodologies such as participatory research surveys, interviews and ethnography, which she used throughout her PhD research. Over the last six years, she has worked with a range of community groups (including primary schools) across London helping them to design, implement and interpret their own air quality monitoring projects. She also has experience working with portable air quality monitoring instruments and in developing effective and long-term methods for communicating air pollution as a health risk to the general public.

Her research interests include the theory and practice of engaging publics in health and environmental research, particularly in areas such as risk perception and communication, participatory research, public engagement in science and the development of public engagement evaluation methods. 

Diana also has over four years of experience with ethical and data governance processes and guidelines gathered through her position as a Research Ethics Sub-Committee (RESC) reviewer at King’s College London.

Diana currently holds an ESRC postdoctoral fellowship entitled Communicating air pollution as a health risk - Towards a participatory approach.


Invited Keynote Speaker - Exposure to air pollution: How we understand the air that you breathe – using personal measurements. Grand Round (Great Ormond Street Hospital). London (UK) May 2021.

Invited Keynote Speaker - Beyond Covid-19: Air Quality. Online seminar for Lambeth Green Party. London (UK) May 2020.

Invited Keynote Speaker  - Air pollution and its causes: Environmental Sustainability & Resources Learning Series. Big Local Event,  London (UK) February 2020.

Invited Keynote Speaker - Air pollution in cities: Eco-Visionaries, Royal Academy. London (UK) February 2020.


Public and Community Involvement, Engagement & Participation Coordinator - NIHR HPRU Environmental Exposures and Health


West London Healthy Home and Environment Study (WellHome) - Ongoing

My house, my rules: Co-designing residential air pollution research  2020 -2021

The Breathe London Wearables Study- Engaging primary school children to monitor air pollution in London. 2019 - 2020

Assessing the impact of the Mayor's schools air quality audit recommendations in reducing pupils' exposure to poor air quality feasibility and base line data collection 2018 - 2019

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Lim S, Bassey E, Bos B, et al., 2022, Comparing human exposure to fine particulate matter in low and high-income countries: A systematic review of studies measuring personal PM2.5 exposure, Science of the Total Environment, Vol:833, ISSN:0048-9697

Varaden D, Leidland E, Lim S, et al., 2021, "I am an air quality scientist"- Using citizen science to characterise school children's exposure to air pollution., Environ Res, Vol:201

Varaden D, Barratt B, Heather K, et al., 2021, Engaging primary students with the issue of air pollution through citizen science: lessons to be learnt, Journal of Emergent Science

Varaden D, McKevitt C, Barratt B, 2018, Making the invisible visible: Engaging school children in monitoring air pollution in London, Research for All, Vol:2, Pages:267-288


Varaden D, Einar L, Barratt B, 2019, The Breathe London Wearables Study Engaging primary school children to monitor air pollution in London, London, Greater London Authority

Thesis Dissertations

Varaden D, 2019, Developing and testing methods to engage communities in air quality issues: an air pollution case study in London

More Publications