Knowledge for a sustainable world

BSc, MSc, PhD

Dr Paula Dominguez-Salas joined NRI in July 2020. She has a background in veterinary sciences and in food technology (University of Zaragoza), and has an MSc in Agricultural Sciences (University of Zaragoza) and a MSc and a PhD in Global Public Health Nutrition (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, LSHTM).

Paula started research at LSHTM in 2009 and worked until 2013 at the LSHTM Medical Research Council International Nutrition Group. She left LSHTM to work at a joint Royal Veterinary College (RVC)/ International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) position until early 2017. She re-joined LSHTM in 2017 as an Assistant Professor in Nutrition-sensitive agriculture, also as a joint position LSHTM-ILRI. Before working in in academia, she has worked in international organisations, such as Medecins du Monde or European federations.

Paula´s research has taken place in low- and middle-income countries (West and East Africa and South America), and has focused in maternal and child nutrition. She initially studied the effect of seasonality in maternal nutrition security in Sub-Saharan Africa and different outcomes, including epigenetic profiles of their offspring and aflatoxin exposure in The Gambia. She later merged her two main interests together and moved to the interface between agriculture, specifically livestock production and animal-source foods, and human nutrition, particularly focusing in livestock value chains, food safety and gender aspects. She is involved in several projects in Kenya and Tanzania related to Social Behaviour Change Communication (SBCC) strategy design, and to women empowerment among pastoralists. She is also involved in work on urban livestock value chains in Kenya, including a randomised controlled trial to assess the impact of a dairy market intervention in Nairobi, on nutrition. She also participates in the UKRI GCRF Action against stunting Hub, to address the intractable global challenge of child stunting Applying a holistic, Whole Child Approach, and working with communities across India, Indonesia and Senegal.

Beyond working on a regular basis with multidisciplinar teams at LSHTM, ILRI, RVC and LCIRAH, she collaborates with researchers of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Emory University, Sokoine University of Agriculture in Tanzania, University of Nairobi in Kenya and with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Paula is an interdisciplinary researcher who has a food systems (production/safety/quality) hat, and a maternal and child nutrition hat, with a focus in the Global South.

Her interest is to overcome some of the challenges of the very complex problem of the provision of healthy diets to the most vulnerable populations, and understand which food-based strategies can be more efficient, within a One Health approach.

She wants to develop, adapt, test and promote science-based practices, tools and packages that are sustainable and scalable, which can then persuade decision-makers into action, including policies and investments for better nutrition. Examples of research areas are:

  • Dietary substitution effects of specific food-based strategies
  • How can value chains be adapted to prevent double burden of malnutrition
  • How can combinations of interventions enhance impact in nutrition
  • Trade-offs between food safety and nutrition and joint optimisation
  • Role of traditional and new food technology methods to increase access of the poor to healthy diets
  • How can food waste reduction systems contribute to better nutrition
  • Methods to capture diet and food environments and indicators that can assist in understanding these dynamics
  • Lessons from private business for value chain development and nutrition/health messaging
  • DFID/BMGF Drivers of food choice grant: Drivers of demand for animal-source foods in low-income informal settlements in Nairobi, Kenya 2019.
  • KRI GCRF Action against stunting Hub, 2018
  • Three separate proposals to DFID/BMGF “Agriculture-Nutrition Impact studies” grant that finally merged into one large dairy proposal: A large project funding RCT on improvement of food safety standards of informal sector milk, in Kenya and India; and two formative research in nutrition education to improve ASF consumption and one on the implications of bans in informal trading of milk, in Kenya and Tanzania) 2016
  • DFID/BMGF Drivers of food choice grant: ‘Understanding the drivers of diet change and food choice among Tanzanian pastoralists to inform policy and practice’ 2016

Lydia O’Meara: The role of food environments in enabling healthy, sustainable diets for rural women and young children: insights from Uganda

Scientific papers:

  • Brouwe, I.D., van Liere, M.J., de Brauw, A., Dominguez-Salas, P. et al. (2021). Reverse thinking: taking a healthy diet perspective towards food systems transformations. Food Security (in press).
  • Ngutu, M., Bukachi, S.A., Muthiru, A.W., Lepine, A., Kadiyala, S., Dominguez-Salas, P. (2021) Food Safety and Animal Source Foods in Low-income Urban Settlements in Nairobi: A Qualitative Exploration of Consumers’ Perceptions. BMC Nutrition, July
  • Alarcon, P., Dominguez-Salas, P. et al. (2021) The importance of a food systems approach to low and middle income countries and emerging economies: a review of theories and its relevance for disease control and malnutrition. Frontiers in sustainable Food systems April
  • Muunda, E., Mtimet, N., Schenider, F., Francis, W., Dominguez-Salas, P. et al. (2021) Can Kenyan dairy policy change affect milk allocation to infants? A Best-Worst Scaling approach. Food Policy, February
  • Watts, N., (…) Dominguez-Salas, P. et al. (2021) The 2020 report of The Lancet Countdown on health and climate change responding to converging crises. The Lancet, review Vol 397, issue 10269, January.
  • Alonso, S., Dominguez-Salas, P., Grace, D. (2019) The role of livestock products for nutrition in the first 1,000 days of life. Animal Frontiers, Volume 9, Issue 4.
  • Galiè, A., Webb-Girard, A., Baltenweck, I., Dominguez-Salas, P et al. (2019) Women empowerment, food security and forage in pastoral communities of Tanzania. Global Food Sec, special issue
  • Dominguez-Salas, P. et al. (2019) Leveraging human nutrition through livestock interventions: perceptions, knowledge, barriers and opportunities in the Sahel. Food Security
  • Watts, N., (…) Dominguez-Salas, P. et al. (2018) The 2018 Report of the Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change. Lancet, 392.
  • Enahoro, D., Lannerstad, M., Pfeifer, C., Dominguez-Salas, P. (2018) Contributions of livestock-derived foods to nutrient supply under changing demand in low- and middle-income countries. Global Food Security, Vol 19
  • Galiè, A., Teufel, N., Korir, L., Webb, A., Baltenweck, I., Dominguez-Salas, P. et al. (2018) ‘The women’s empowerment in livestock index’. Social Indicators Research.
  • Watts, N., (…) Dominguez-Salas, P. et al. (2017) T. The Lancet Countdown: Tracking Progress on Health and Climate Change – 2017 Report. Lancet.
  • Häsler, B., Dominguez-Salas, P. et al. (2017) Where food safety meets nutrition outcomes in livestock and fish value chains: a conceptual approach. Food Sec Aug.
  • Alarcon, P., Murungi, M.K., Muinde, P., Akoko, J., Fèvre, E.M., Dominguez-Salas, P. et al. (2016) Mapping of the beef, sheep and goat-source food systems in Nairobi: a framework for policy and identification of structural vulnerabilities. Agricultural Systems 152: 1–17.
  • Cornelsen, L., Alarcón, P., Häsler, B., Djesika, D.A., Ferguson, E., Fevre, E.M., Grace, D., Dominguez-Salas, P.//Rushton, J. (2016) Cross-sectional study of price and other drivers of demand for animal source foods in peri-urban Nairobi, Kenya. BMC Nutrition, 2:70.
  • Watts, N., (…) Dominguez-Salas, P. et al. (2016) The Lancet Countdown: tracking progress on health and climate change., Lancet
  • Dominguez-Salas, P. et al. (2016) Nutritional characterisation of low-income households in deprived areas of Nairobi: socioeconomic, livestock and gender considerations and predictors of malnutrition from a cross-sectional survey. BMC Nutrition, 2:47
  • Kühnen, P., Handke, D., Hennig, B.J., Fulford, A.J., Waterland, R.A., Dominguez-Salas, P. et al. (2016) Interindividual variation in DNA methylation at a POMC metastable epiallele is associated with obesity. Cell Metab, S1550(16)
  • Picchioni, F., Aleksandrowicz, A., Bruce, M.M., Cuevas, S., Dominguez-Salas, P. et al. (2015) Agri-health research: what have we learned and where to next? Food Security December
  • Dominguez-Salas, P. et al. (2014) Maternal Nutrition at Conception Modulates DNA Methylation of Human Metastable Epialleles. Nat Comms., 29;5:3746
  • Dominguez-Salas, P. et al. (2013) DNA methylation potential: dietary intake and blood concentrations of one-carbon metabolites and cofactors in rural African women. Am J Clin Nutr, 97:1217-1227.
  • Dominguez-Salas, P. (2012) et al. Maternal nutritional status, one-carbon metabolism and offspring DNA methylation: A review of current evidence in humans. Proc Nutr Soc, Feb; 71(1):154-65

Other publications:

  • Gordon, I.J., Alonso, A., Crump, L., Dominguez-Salas, P. and de Garine-Wichatitisky, M. (2020) Chapter 26 on Food Security and Nutrition. One Health: The Theory and Practice of Integrated Health Approaches. CABI Book
  • Dominguez-Salas, P., Kauffman, D. (2020) Harnessing the potential of livestock to improve nutrition of vulnerable populations. Technical guidance for program planning. FAO, Rome.
  • Tarawali, S., Aronson, D., Baltenweck, I., Dominguez-Salas, P., et al. 2019.White Paper Meat: the future series. Options for the livestock sector in developing and emerging economies to 2030 and beyond. World Economic Forum. January
  • Dominguez-Salas, P., Galiè, A., Omore, A., Omosa, E. and Ouma, E. (2019) Contribution of milk production to food and nutrition security. In: Ferranti, P., Berry, E.M. and Anderson, J.R. (eds), Encyclopedia of Food Security and Sustainability, Volume 3. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Elsevier. pp. 278–291
  • Dominguez-Salas, P., Omore, A., Omosa, E. and Ouma, E. (2019) Agrifood systems in low- and middle-income countries: Status and opportunities for smallholder dairy in LMIC. In: Ferranti, P., Berry, E.M. and Anderson, J.R. (eds), Encyclopedia of Food Security and Sustainability, Volume 3. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Elsevier. pp. 326–339.
  • Grace , D. , Dominguez-Salas, P. et al. (2018) The influence of livestock-derived foods (LDF) on nutrition during the first 1000 days. Chatham House report.
  • Grace, D., (…), Dominguez-Salas, P. et al. (2018) Working paper on Food Safety Metrics relevant to Low and Middle Income Countries. Agriculture for Nutrition and Health Academy (; ).
  • Member of Scientific Committee of Agriculture, Nutrition and Health Academy Week (2016-2020)
  • Member of Agriculture, Nutrition and Health Academy (2016-current)
  • Technical Evaluation Panel on Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems (2021)
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