Daniel Sellen

Daniel Sellen

Daniel Sellen, Ph.D. (University of California Davis, 1995)
Distinguished Professor, St. George Campus

(416) 978-8112
Office: AP 350, AP 360 (Lab)

Research Keywords: Human nutrition, global health, behavioral ecology, evolutionary anthropology, infant and young child feeding practices

Research Region: sub-Saharan Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, Lesotho), Guatemala, Mexico, Bangladesh

Research Bio

Professor Sellen’s core interest is understanding how the evolved feeding and care needs of human infants and young children can be met in today’s rapidly changing world. His theoretical work has explored the relevance of concepts and theories in human ecology, evolutionary biology and medical anthropology to global public health efforts to optimize young child feeding and care practices. He currently leads or contributed to several global health research partnerships that apply implementation science techniques to develop and test community-level innovations to protect, support and strengthen nutrition and care of infants, children and vulnerable caregivers, primarily in low income countries. Recently funded projects focus on gender oriented and pro-poor innovation, design, implementation and evaluation of programs aimed at healthy infant and young child feeding, smallholder value chain addition for nutrition security, and mHealth capacitation of maternal, neonatal and child health extension. He has also initiated studies of food insecurity and child nutrition among refugees in Britain, America and Canada.


2015  McIsaac Kathryn E., D. W. Sellen, Wendy Lou & Kue Young. Prevalence and Characteristics Associated with Breastfeeding Initiation Among Canadian Inuit from the 2007–2008 Nunavut Inuit Child Health Survey. Maternal and Child Health Journal. DOI 10.1007/s10995-015-1712-3.

2015  Moffat, Tina, D.W. Sellen, W. Warren, L. Anderson, S. Chadwick, E. Parra. Comparison of Infant Vitamin D Supplement Use Among Canadian-Born, Immigrant, and Refugee Mothers. Journal of Transcultural Nursing 26(3) 261–269 DOI:

2014  McIsaac, Kathryn E; Wendy Lou, P; D. W. Sellen, T. Kue Young, Exclusive Breastfeeding among Canadian Inuit: Results from the Nunavut Inuit Child Health Survey. Journal of Human Lactation, 30 (2): 229-241.

2013  Rudzik, Alanna E. F. and D. W. Sellen. Cultural Considerations in Feeding Children . In: Pediatric Nutrition, 7th Edition. American Academy of Pediatrics, Editors: RE Kleinman and FR Greer. Chapter 10, 219-240.

2013  Hackett, Kristy; Mukta, Umme; Jalal, Chowdhury; and D.W. Sellen, Knowledge, attitudes and perceptions on infant and young child nutrition and feeding among adolescent girls and young mothers in rural Bangladesh. Maternal & Child Nutrition.  PubMed ID 23061427.

2012  Patil, C., Maripuu, T., Hadley, C. and D. W. Sellen. Identifying Gaps in Health Research among Refugees Resettled in Canada. International Migration, 50 (3): 1–22.

2013  Garcia, J., A. Hromi-Fiedler, R.Mazur, G. Marquis, D.W. Sellen, A. Lartey and R. Perez-Escamilla. Persistent Household Food Insecurity, HIV, and Maternal Stress in Peri-Urban Ghana. BMC Public Health. PubMed ID: 23497026.

2012  Lartey , Anna Grace S. Marquis, Robert Mazur, Rafael Perez-Escamilla, Lucy Brakohiapa, William Ampofo, D. W. Sellen and Seth Adu-Afarwuah. Maternal HIV is associated with reduced growth in the first year of life among infants in the Eastern region of Ghana: the Research to Improve Infant Nutrition and Growth (RIING) Project. Maternal & Child Nutrition, PubMed ID 22905700.

2010  Otoo, G. E., A. A. Lartey, G. S. Marquis, D.W. Sellen, D.J. Chapman, and R. Pérez-Escamilla. HIV negative status is associated with very early onset of lactation among Ghanaian women. Journal of Human Lactation, 26 (2):107-117.

2010  Webb-Girard, A. L, Cherobon, A., Mbugua, S., Kamau-Mbuthia, E., and D.W. Sellen. Food insecurity is associated with attitudes towards exclusive breastfeeding among women in urban Kenya. Maternal and Child Nutrition, 8 (2):199-214.

2010  Karanja, N., F. Yeudall, S. Mbugua, M. Njenga, G. Prain, D.C. Cole, A.L. Webb, D.W. Sellen, C. Gore, and J.M. Levy, Strengthening capacity for sustainable livelihoods and food security through urban agriculture among HIV and AIDS affected households in Nakuru, Kenya. International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability 8(1&2): 40-53.

2010  Levy, J. M., A. L. Webb, and D.W. Sellen, “On our own, we can’t manage”: experiences with infant feeding recommendations among Malawian mothers living with HIV. International Breastfeeding Journal, 5 (1) 15: 1-8.

2010  Di Girolamo, A. M., Ramirez-Zea, M., Wang, M., Flores-Ayala, Rafael, Martorell, R., Neufeld, L.M., Ramakrishnan, U., Sellen, D.W., Black, M. M., and A. D. Stein, Randomized trial of the effect of zinc supplementation on the mental health of school-age children in Guatemala. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 92 (5):1241-50.

2010  Webb A.L., Ramakrishnan U., Stein A.D., Sellen D.W., Merchant M., and R. Martorell. Greater years of maternal schooling and higher scores on academic achievement tests are independently associated with improved management of child diarrhea by rural Guatemalan mothers.  Maternal and Child Health Journal, 14 (5):799-806.