Our team

Find out more about the Reimagine Ageing Interdisciplinary Research Network team:

Network leads

Sarah Astill, Faculty of Biological Sciences

Having undertaken research in and with the Leeds older person’s community it became obvious that we needed radical, ambitious approaches to understanding the ageing process, and help older people realise their own vision of what it meant to age well. Sarah believes this can only be achieved by bringing together researchers who approach and understand ageing from different perspectives.

Sarah’s research focuses on optimising functional independence by understanding the mechanistic changes we observe in movement patterns as we age. Her work also involves co-creating tailored opportunities to support being active and independent throughout the life and health span. 

Read Sarah Astill’s academic profile
Email Sarah Astill at s.l.astill@leeds.ac.uk

Anne Forster, Faculty of Medicine and Health

Anne Forster is an applied health researcher working in the Academic Unit of Ageing and Stroke Research, which is based at Bradford Institute for Health Research and part of the Leeds Institute of Health Sciences, University of Leeds.

A physiotherapist, she has a long-standing interest in elderly care and stroke and has undertaken a number of Cochrane Reviews, qualitative studies and innovative randomised trials examining the effects of complex interventions in these patient groups. She has also developed and led evaluation of a range of interventions in care home settings. Anne has led four NIHR Programme grants, sits on a number of grant funding bodies, has led PPI activities and is an NIHR Senior Investigator.

Read Anne Forster’s academic profile
Email Anne Forster at A.Forster@leeds.ac.uk

Maria Kapsali, Faculty of Arts Humanities, and Cultures

Maria started working with older adults in March 2021 on a pilot project that explored the use of wearable technology for sound and movement interaction as a tool for expression and movement for people living with arthritis. This project was followed by an ESRC Healthy Ageing Catalyst Award, which explored the use of the same technology for encouraging movement in older adults. This work continues through ongoing partnerships with The Performance Ensemble, Age UK Leeds, as well as a set of regional care homes.

Maria’s aspiration is that the Reimagine Ageing Network can mobilise some of the ways of thinking and researching that are prevalent in the arts and practice research towards not only re-configuring diverse experiences and realities of ageing but also towards identifying new ways in which research on, with and for ageing can become interdisciplinary, participatory and creative.

Read Maria Kapsali’s academic profile
Email Maria Kapsali at M.Kapsali@leeds.ac.uk 

Communications and engagement

Marian Lunah Sommer, Project Officer

As Project Officer, Marian is responsible for managing communications and engagement as well as planning activities related to the Network and its events.

Marian has extensive experience within communication and marketing across a wide range of media platforms from academia, corporate environments and not-for-profit organisations. Some of her previous roles extend from magazine editor and copywriter to business coach in her own company.

Most recently, she worked at The University of Queensland in Australia, promoting the university’s sustainable energy education programmes, both nationally and internationally.

Find Marian Sommer on LinkedIn
Email Marian Sommer at m.l.sommer@leeds.ac.uk