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Gemini twin research study

An internationally renowned study comprised of 2400 families with twins born in the Uk


Gemini is a large population-based study of 2402 families with twins born in England and Wales between March and December 2007. Gemini families have been followed for over a decade, providing information about the twins’ growth, eating behaviours, appetite and the environment at home. 


Gemini aims to advance understanding of the genetic and environmental influences on obesity risk; to identify potentially modifiable determinants of excessive weight gain in adolescents; and to contribute to a longer-term programme of integrated genetic environmental research in preventive health behaviours.


Gemini has been supported by funding from Cancer Research UK, 2007-2012 (C1418/A7974); MQ:Transforming Mental Health, 2018-2023 (MQF17/4); Economic and Social Research Council, 2020-2021 (ES/V005006/1), Brain and Behavior Research Foundation 2022-2023.


Gemini is one of the richest early growth datasets in the world, and the largest dietary dataset for toddlers in the UK. Gemini has led to important discoveries about how our genes and our environment influence children’s appetites and growth. 


The Gemini study was established by Professor Jane Wardle in 2007. Current members of the Gemini team are

Dr Clare Llewellyn, Dr Alison Fildes, Dr Andrea Smith, Dr Alice Kininmonth, Dr Zeynep Nas, Dr Moritz Herle, Lisa Heggie, Kristiane Tommerup, Gaby Heuchan & Dr Abigail Fisher.


Dr Clare Llewellyn,

I helped Professor Jane Wardle set Gemini up in 2007 and I currently lead the study. It has been an immense privilege to have been involved in Gemini since the beginning, and to see the major scientific advances that have been achieved with the help of the Gemini families


Dr Alison fildes, deputy director

I joined Gemini in 2009, when the twins were approaching their 2nd birthdays. I have enjoyed being part of such an important study. The information provided by the Gemini families continually delivers fascinating insights into how the environment and our genes influence our health and behaviours.


Dr Alice Kininmonth, Research fellow &
Data manager

I joined Gemini in 2017 for a PhD focussing on how the home environment and our genes interact to influence children's appetite and weight. I currently work as a research fellow examining parental feeding practices and children's appetite and eating behaviours. Thank you to all the Gemini families for making this possible. 


Dr Andrea smith, Research Fellow

I joined Gemini in 2014 to start my PhD on the genetic and environmental influences on health, behaviour and weight. I have taken these insights forward and, combined with my passion for public health, aim to translate this work into recommendations for health policy.


Dr Zeynep nas, 
postdoctoral fellow

I am pleased to join the Gemini study as a postdoctoral research fellow in 2021. My background is in behavioural genetics with a focus on twin model fitting, and I’m really excited to join the team to investigate appetite and eating behaviours. Special thanks to all the Gemini families for making this research happen!

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Dr Moritz Herle, 
Research Fellow

I joined Gemini in 2014 for a PhD focussing on the genetic and environmental influences on emotional eating in childhood. Since then, I have worked on projects linking eating behaviours and eating disorders and I have a strong interest in statistical methods. Gemini is an incredible resource for scientists and I am thankful for the amazing families that keep this important research going.  

Meet the team
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Lisa Heggie, 
PhD Student 

I joined Gemini as a PhD student in early 2020, and I am hugely excited to be involved. My research seeks to understand the environmental and genetic factors influencing sweetener intake during early life, and the related impact on weight gain and food preference. Click here to find out more about my research.


Kristiane Tommerup, 
PhD Student

I joined Gemini in September 2020 to begin my PhD. My research seeks to unpack the genetic, social, and behavioural contributors to healthy growth in the early years of childhood. Having been involved with Gemini through my Masters, I am excited to continue working with the team and grateful to the Gemini families. Click here to find out more about my research.


Gaby heuchan, 
phd student

I joined Gemini as a PhD student in 2022. My research focusses on ultra-processed food intake and how it is associated with appetite, weight, social, genetic and environmental factors. I will also examine the role of policy in influencing purchasing and consumption of ultra-processed food. Ultra-processed food is a new area of research and I'm very excited to be able to use Gemini data to conduct research on this topic!


Dr Abi Fisher, 
Associate professor

I’m a senior researcher on the Gemini twin birth cohort, examining genetic & environmental influences on physical activity in childhood. I have supervised Gemini PhD students researching the home environment, health behaviours, sleep & eating behaviours.


Over the past decade, Gemini has published a large number of important research papers.


get in


Tel. 020 7679 1263

Twitter: @GeminiResearch

Youtube: Geminiresearch

Facebook: Gemini - Health and Development in Twins 



A member of the Gemini team will respond as soon as we can.







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