Our passionate, highly experienced academic team provide an exceptional student learning experience, and ongoing course support.
DipION, fBANT, fHEA
Heather Rosa became Dean of the Institute for Optimum Nutrition in October 2014. She is passionate about standards of education in nutritional therapy. With her she brings 15 years of experience as a Course Leader and Principal Lecturer in higher education. At the University of Westminster she led the first degree in Nutritional Therapy. Key additional roles included research supervision, working to embed academic integrity, leading learning and teaching, and quality enhancement. Heather is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Heather has a thirty year association with ION as it is where she trained as a nutritional therapist. At that time the ION diploma was revolutionary… the first course of its kind in a Complementary Medicine approach to nutrition. Now this approach is quite familiar to the public, in newspapers, magazines and on television.
Heather was involved in the setting of National Occupational Standards, the Nutritional Therapy Core Curriculum and its review. For services to nutritional therapy education and standards she was awarded Fellowship of the professional body BANT. Heather is also an external examiner, accreditation officer, and education advisor to the professional body and other education organisations.
BA Hons, DipION, mBANT, CNHC, Registered NT
Paula has been working as part of the academic team at ION since 2005. Initially employed as a lecturer, tutor and clinical supervisor, she became Head of Diploma Courses in 2013. Paula is passionate about educating nutritional therapists and providing first class education.
An ION trained Nutritional Therapist with over ten year's clinical experience. Paula has a special interest in digestive health and autoimmunity and runs workshops and corporate sessions in addition to working one to one.
Paula has previously worked as a BANT accredited clinical supervisor and is also an assessor for the Nutritional Therapy Education Commission ensuring that educational standards are upheld within the Nutritional Therapy sector.
BA Hons (Social Science with Science); PGCE; PGDip Psychol; MSc Health Psychology; CNHC, CThA, RSM, MBPsS
Natascha is Head of the Nutritional Therapy Science Access Course and the NTDC Year 1 Leader. As a Senior Lecturer, Natascha teaches Human Biology and Health Psychology. She also delivers short courses on Behavior Change and has been in clinical practice, as a Naturopath, since 1995. Natascha’s passion to practice CAM was driven by personal experience of managing her own health, and working with acute/chronic illness.
Natascha met her first mentor, Swami Mataji Narayani (Guru and Homeopath) at Sohum Sanctuary in South Africa, aged ten. During the years which followed, she received training, both traditionally and non-traditionally, in the Eastern and Western Healing Arts. Natascha gained a Degree in Social and Biological Sciences and undertook training in Therapeutic Massage, Reflexology, Aromatherapy, Counselling and Herbalism. She set up her CAM practice and worked in the community, doing teaching and outreach work in women’s empowerment, sexual health awareness and health promotion. During this time, Natascha actively worked with various institutions (educational and clinical) in South Africa, to broaden the understanding and recognition of CAM, and to train practitioners for professional registration with the South African Allied Health Professions Council.
Natascha relocated to the UK during 2001 and first worked in the medical field (Kings College London, St. Peters NHS Foundation Trust, and East Surrey Hospital) and then education (lecturing, leadership and management in FE and HE). She set up her CAM practice at the Hale Clinic in London. With the birth of her son, she relocated her practice to her home and also visits patients in their homes.
She is currently completing Doctoral training at the University of West England to become a registered Health Psychologist. She is a researcher with an interest in psychobiological medicine, behaviour change, obesity management, child health and Alzheimer’s care. She supervises CAM practitioners and students and has a thriving professional life. She brings her knowledge and experience to ION and shares her passion with her learners.
DipION, mBaNT, CNHC, Registered NT
Nicola graduated from ION in 2005 and has been part of the academic team since 2007. She has covered a variety of roles including year leader, module leader, lecturer and clinic tutor. Nicola has worked as the Institute’s principle nutritional therapist in clinic since 2010. As Head of Clinic Nicola is responsible for our Optimum Nutrition Clinic, including the clinics taken by final year students as part of their clinical practice training. She works closely with students in clinic and our team of clinic tutors.
Nicola has special interests in hormone health including female hormones, stress and thyroid disorders and diabetes. She also works frequently with clients who have digestive disorders and immune dysfunction, or those with unexplained illness that they are struggling to get to the bottom of. Nicola is interested in the role emotions play in food choices and has completed additional development work in the area of emotional and binge eating.
BSc Hons, PGCert HE, MSc, MSc
The consistent theme across Sally’s varied career in business psychology, mental health and as a Senior University Lecturer is facilitating adults to learn and grow. Sally joined ION in 2017 to take on the role of Academic Support Tutor. This draws on her academic and research experience, both as a student at Masters level in three London Universities, and as a Senior Lecturer. The Academic Support Tutor role also draws on her counselling and coaching experience and qualifications. Sally is keen to ensure students maximise their learning, combining academic and research rigour with discovering a joy for learning. Sally has recently completed a Post Graduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education.
BA Hons, FdSc, DipION, mBANT, CNHCreg, Registered NT
Registered Nutritional Therapist Emma Rees is a qualified Nutritional Therapist with just under 10 years clinical experience.
Emma graduated from ION with distinction and a Foundation Science degree in Nutritional Therapy. Combining this with her teaching qualification, she currently leads the Clinical Practice One and Clinical Practice Two modules. She specialises in clinical skills and reflective practice. Emma is also the Year Two Course Leader.
Emma provides consultations in the North Essex/Suffolk area for clients with a wide range of health conditions, and gives talks in her local area. Emma serves as a Profession Specific Board Member of the CNHC. She is currently studying at Master’s level, with focus on research and reflective practice.
MSc Nut.Med BSc Hons, DipBCNH, mBANT, CNHC
Virginia graduated from BCNH in 2008 and went on to complete an MSc in Nutritional Medicine in 2018. Since 2008, she has been working in the community, lecturing and running a private nutrition practice.
Lecturing work includes teaching on MSc, BSc and diploma courses in nutrition and in health.
She manages the social enterprise, Nutmeg Outreach, which has delivered NHS and local authority funded community health projects. In this role she has developed and delivered award winning obesity intervention and prevention projects..
She also runs a private nutrition practice where areas of interest include child health, obesity and autoimmune disease.
BSc Hons, FdSc, DipION, mBANT, CNHC, Registered NT
Shirley is a Registered Nutritional Therapist and graduated from ION in 2011 with distinction. She joined ION as a lecturer and module leader in September 2013 and currently leads the Practice Management and the Drug Nutrient Interactions/Pharmacology/Supplements modules. She is also personal tutor to a number of students and supervises students in the Teaching Clinic. Prior to changing career direction Shirley worked for several years in a primary school and has also previously worked at senior management level in Local Government.
Shirley practises privately in South Essex where she supports clients with a variety of health issues but her areas of interest are digestive health and women’s health. Shirley also lectures on food and nutrition at a college in Norwich and enjoys giving local talks to women’s groups including the Women’s Institute.
BSc(CAN), ND(Aus.), PGCEHE, mCNHC, fHEA
Shoela is a highly experienced lecturer and clinician. Her approach blends her academic and professional training; Bachelor of Science (Canada) and Diploma of Advanced Naturopathy (Australia). She is registered practitioner with over 20 years’ experience in the domain of Natural Medicine.
In addition to helping clients achieve their health goals, educating and training future practitioners is part of her profile. She has diverse experience of working with adult learners and empowering them with the skills for lifelong learning.
Shoela lectures for a number of educational providers in the area of Nutritional Therapy at undergraduate and Post graduate levels. She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
At ION Shoela applies her expertise to the Biology Module of the Nutritional Therapy Science Access Course to aid learners to develop the skills for Nutritional Therapy Diploma Course.
MPH (Nutrition), BHSc (NutMed), fRSPH
Heidi has worked in the health industry as a clinical nutritionist for over seven years, having studied (Masters in Public Health Nutrition; Bachelor of Health Science in Nutritional Medicine – Australia) and practiced in Australia, India and the United Kingdom. Heidi has lectured at Universities in Australia and the UK in Nutrition and Public Health & Social Care.
With a corporate background in travel, sports & event management, together with postgraduate study in Public Health, Heidi has developed a strong understanding of human behaviour, our health environment and their unique effects on our health outcomes. Heidi’s special interests are public health policy change, focussing on overweight and obesity and chronic disease (Type 2 Diabetes) mitigation through individualised nutrition, metabolic and functional testing.
Her experience in the education, corporate and health sectors in Australia, the UK and India has shaped her holistic view of health and the critical role holistic health practitioners play in the future of more integrative, empathetic and effective healing outcomes for our community. It is for this reason that Heidi’s fundamental passion is playing a role in educating the ‘next generation’ of Nutrition experts.
BA Hons, FdSc, DipION, mBANT, CNHC, Registered NT
Ruth started her health care career as an RGN and has many years’ experience as a nursing sister within the NHS, which has given her a broad experience and understanding of health and disease and the clinical encounter. In 1996 Ruth gained a post registration Bsc in Nursing studies.
Ruth trained as a Nutritional Therapist at ION in 2009 and has been part of the academic team since 2011. Ruth is currently the year 3 course leader and module leader for clinical analysis and functional and biochemical imbalances.
Ruth is passionate about the role of nutrition in health and is in clinical practice in Hampshire, she also works as part of a multi-disciplinary team in Winchester Ruth has a special interest in digestive imbalances.
Since 2014 Ruth has additionally been working as a BANT clinical supervisor and offers clinical supervision in Hampshire and Surrey.
BSc Hons, DipCNM, mBANT CNHCreg
Katie is a Registered Nutrition Practitioner leading the first year (level 4) modules in Nutrition Sciences 1 & 2. She is also an orientation tutor for first year students. Katie will soon be starting an MSc in Nutrition.
Previously Katie ran workshops on food fermentation with an introduction to gut bacteria and digestive health at a London nutrition college. She has worked in PR and Communications for inSpiral, original UK manufacturer of organic air-dried kale crisps, raw chocolate avocado mousse and raw nut & seed crackers. She also helped them to launch their London plant-based café back in 2007. She has worked for the NHS: Blood and Transport in the clinical role of a Blood Donor Carer.
Katie originally studied human geography and international development, then working with refugees and young vulnerably housed young people as a Healthy Living Advisor. Placements overseas in China and then also Australia and the Peruvian Amazon in the early 2000s opened her eyes to what a fully integrated system of orthodox and traditional medicines could look like and she began to re-evaluate her childhood diagnosis of asthma and how to start working with her body.