About Viv

Dr Vivien Rolfe BSc PhD

Up to date list of papers and conference presentations –> http://vivrolfe.com/books-and-publications/

Viv Rolfe

Dr Viv Rolfe combines her work as an open educator with her role as Head of herbal Research for Pukka Herbs. Her subject interests include intestinal physiology and herbal medicine, and research method expertise includes qualitative and quantitative approaches, plus systematic review. She has worked in medical research, higher education and the food industry.

As a researcher, Viv has won several awards for her work. Her PhD from the University of Sheffield focused on gut health and diarrhoeal disease, and this followed a research fellowship at the Institute of Child Health in London looking at fish oils for inflammatory bowel disease in children. She won the Glaxo Wellcome Young Investigator Award from the UK Physiological Society and AP Mowat Young Investigator Award from the British Society of Gastroenterology at this time.

Colon Surface with BODIPY

This is the surface of the colon (large intestine) stained with BODIPY phalloidin to highlight the cytoskeleton. In this photograph we are looking down onto the openings of four crypts of Lieberkuhn, which are  glands in the colon that absorb water.

After London, she worked as researcher for Mars Inc, Pedigree Petfoods Division. Her team’s research explored novel functional ingredients and their beneficial effects on pet health, including dietary fibre, phytochemical and functional foods. At this time her life began to be taken over by springer spaniels. Below is Spike.



Transition to open educator

She is Director of three open educational resource (OER) projects sharing science resources with global communities. Having worked in higher education she achieved a number of the most senior professional awards – a UK National Teaching Fellowship (2012) and Principal Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (2015). She was also recognised in the Jisc Social Media Influencers Top 50 list in 2015. In recognition of her digital approaches to learning and teaching, she was awarded the title  Learning Technologist of the Year as awarded by the Association of Learning Technology jointly with James Clay (2009).

She passionate about the concept of opening the doors to education and research. Education needs to be made more equitable and accessible, and there is a transparency crisis in research. She directs three OER (open educational resource) projects that share content under Creative Commons open licenses, are well visited globally. Other national work includes:

And back into science!

In 2018 she joined Pukka Herbs LTD as Head of Herbal Research to investigate the health benefits of herbs based on Ayurvedic traditions. Some of her interests are around the herbal medicine evidence-base, and she will be applying her knowledge of systematic review writing and meta-research approaches to Pukka’s enquiries.

6 thoughts on “About Viv

  1. Dear Vivian,

    I am writing to request that you update your Cochrane review on probiotics for maintenance of remission in Crohn’s disease. Are you able to update this review?

    This review was originally published in Issue 4, 2006 and Cochrane policy stipulates that review should be updated every two years. Ideally we should get an update done as soon as reasonably possible as the review has not been updated in seven years. We can provide assistance with the literature search if that would be helpful. We can run the searches for you and send you the results.

    The update could be as simple as running a new search that doesn’t identify any new studies. However, if the search does identify new studies these would need to be added to the review and the results, discussion and conclusions would need to be revised as appropriate.

    At this stage it would be most helpful if we could agree upon a future date when the updated searches will be run and then we can then negotiate when the draft updated review will be due at the editorial office.

    I look forward to your response. Many thanks.

    Kind regards,


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