Alanna Collen

Alanna Collen

Gut Investigator


Alanna Collen is a science writer, author of the successful ‘10% HUMAN: How your body’s microbes hold the key to health and happiness’, published in 2015 and available in 18 languages.

She has both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology from Imperial College London and holds a Ph.D. in Evolutionary Biology from UCL and the Zoological Society of London. During her scientific career, she has written for the Sunday Times Magazine and the Guardian and has appeared on numerous radio and television programmes, including BBC Radio 4’s Tribes of Science and Saturday Live, and BBC One’s adventure-wildlife show Lost Land of the Volcano. Alanna is a well-traveled zoologist, an expert in bat echolocation, and an accidental collector of tropical diseases.

She’s currently working on her second book ‘FATOLOGY: Why fat is not all about food’ and will be sharing for the first time its insights on stage.


Talk Synopsis: Are Microbes Making You Fat?

Atkins, SlimFast, low-fat, high-protein, 5:2, and plain old cabbage soup – how many of these diets have you tried? And are you now slim? Despite over seven decades of popular diets, nutritional science, and exercise videos, six out of ten of us are still overweight. What’s more, obesity is spreading like an infectious disease, catching us younger and making us fatter.

But what if it’s not all about food and exercise? What if being fat can be transferred from one person to another via their gut microbes? Alanna Collen unravels the incredible role that the body’s microbes play in controlling appetite and regulating body weight.

back to top