Personal profile


Leon Davies is a Professor of Optometry & Physiological Optics and President of The College of Optometrists. With a 1st Class BSc in Optometry and a PhD in Physiological Optics, Professor Davies is a registered optometrist with the General Optical Council (GOC), a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers, a Fellow of the College of Optometrists (FCOptom), a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry (FAAO) and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA). He is a past Clinical Editor of Optometry Today, and past Editor-in-Chief of the peer review journal Optometry in Practice (2018 to 2022). In 2022, he was appointed an Honorary Professor at the University of Bradford. In terms of quality assurance and assessment, he has served as an external examiner for taught undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes in Bradford, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Plymouth and Singapore. Leadership roles at Aston include Director of Research of the Optometry and Vision Science Research Group (2010-2017) and Head of the School of Optometry (2016-2021 & 2024). He has served as a member of Council (2015 to date) and Board Trustee of the College of Optometrists (2016 to date), Chair of their Research Committee (2016-2020), Vice President (2020-2022) and in June 2022, was elected President.

Leon has over 65 peer reviewed publications and has been awarded over £3M of funding for his research from UKRI, the EU, charities and a number of multinational organisations. His research is focused on presbyopia and the restoration of ocular accommodation to the ageing eye. He has successfully supervised 17 PhDs/ professional doctorates, 13 PDRAs and has acted as an external examiner for PhD and professional doctorate theses in Australia, Hong Kong, Spain and the UK. He is a recipient of the College of Optometrists Research Fellowship Award (2008), and was awarded the inaugural Neil Charman Medal for research excellence in optometry, optics and vision science (2010).

Research Interests

  • Presbyopia
  • Ocular accommodation
  • Myopia
  • Ocular biometry
  • Ophthalmic instrumentation
  • Intraocular lens (IOL) technology

Teaching Activity

  • Thematic Leader: Delivery of Care (MOptom)
  • Module leader: Ageing Eye Management (DOptom/ DOphSc; OP4AEM)
  • Module Leader: Prof Cert Medical Retina (PGT)
  • Pre-clinical session leader: Posterior Eye and General Ophthalmology (Year 1, MOptom)
  • Lecturer: Assessment and Management theme (Year 1, MOptom)
  • Lecturer: Further Investigative Techniques (BSc Optometry; OP2FIT)
  • Supervisor: Elective Studies (BSc Optometry; OP3ES1)


  • 2017 to date: Professor of Optometry & Physiological Optics, Aston University
  • 2018 to 2022: Editor-in-Chief, Optometry in Practice
  • 2016-2021 & 2024: Head of School, School of Optometry, Aston University
  • 2013-2017: Reader in Optometry & Physiological Optics, Aston University
  • 2009-2013: Senior Lecturer in Optometry, Aston University
  • 2007-2008: Clinical Editor, Optometry Today
  • 2005-2009: Lecturer in Optometry, Aston University 

Visiting Appointments

  • 2022 to date: Honorary Professor, University of Bradford
  • 2016-2018: Honorary Clinical Research Fellow, Birmingham Children’s Hospital
  • 2014-2018: Honorary Fellow in Ageing Eye Research, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, China
  • 2007-2010: Honorary Visiting Research Fellow, University of  Bradford
  • 2006-2007: Honorary Clinical Research Fellow, Birmingham Heartlands Hospital NHS Trust


  • 2022: Prof Cert Med Ret, The College of Optometrists
  • 2015: SFHEA, Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy
  • 2012: FCOptom, Fellowship of the College of Optometrists
  • 2008: FHEA, Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy
  • 2008: PGCertHE, Aston University
  • 2005: FAAO, Fellowship of the American Academy of Optometry
  • 2004: PhD in Physiological Optics, Aston University
  • 2001: MCOptom, Membership of the College of Optometrists
  • 2001: General Optical Council registration (01-18776)
  • 2000: BSc (Hons) Optometry with First Class Honours, Aston University

PhD Supervision

TBC, PhD, 2024 to date, SWell Teachers: Improving workplace wellbeing of school teachers (associate supervisor with R. Shaw and L. Shapiro)

Rachael Finch, DOptom, 2023 to date (associate supervisor with S. Biswas)

Ayah Ibrahim Ahmad Al-Rababah, PhD, 2020 to date, Investigation of the Impact of Ageing & Cataracts on Visual Motion Perception Across the Visual Field (associate supervisor with S. Strong)

Geraldine McBride, DOphSc, 2016-2021, The effect of age on binocular functions as measured by stereoacuity, fusion, ocular movements, and ocular alignment

Nicola Sabokbar, DOptom, 2016-2019, The validity and reliability of intraocular pressure measurement using rebound tonometry in children with ocular and systemic disease

Francesco Menduni, PhD, 2016-2019, Development of an in-vitro animal model to evaluate novel pharmaceutical approaches to DED management (associate supervisor with J. Wolffsohn)

Maria Vidal Rohr, PhD, 2016-2019, Environmental risk factors for dry eye disease (associate supervisor with J. Wolffsohn)

Ian Beasley, PhD, 2015-2021, The Effect of Peripheral Defocus on Axial Growth and Modulation of Refractive Error in Hyperopes (associate supervisor with N. Logan)

Chee Horng (Alex) Ong, DOptom, 2015-2018, Efficacy of multifocal soft contact lens on asthenopic orthophoric and esophoric myopes with lag of accommodation

Parminder Randawa, PhD, 2013-2016, Pharmacological and physiological manipulation of ocular accommodation

Dirk Booysen, DOptom, 2013-2016, Tonometry and biomechanics of the cornea in contact lens wear (associate supervisor with A. Sheppard)

Naomi Saigal, PhD, 2013-2016, The role of altered ciliary muscle morphology in refractive error and accommodative function (associate supervisor with A. Sheppard)

Deborah Laughton, PhD, 2012-2014, Optical and structural ocular changes during incipient presbyopia

Ben Coldrick, PhD, 2010-2013, Modelling the human accommodation system using finite element analysis (associate supervisor with G. Swadener)

Gurpreet (Preeti) Bhogal, PhD, 2009-2012, Requirement for and optimisation of premium intraocular lenses (associate supervisor with J. Wolffsohn)

Ian Beasley, DOptom, 2009-2012, Susceptibility to pattern glare and the effect of spectral filters on rate of reading and visual search in stroke patients

Sarah Smith, PhD, 2008-2012, Delivering optometric care in the UK (associate supervisor with S. Naroo & J. Wolffsohn)

Alison Alderson, PhD, 2007-2011, Structural and functional aspects of myopia in young adults (external supervisor with E. Mallen, University of Bradford)

Phillip Buckhurst, PhD, 2007-2011, Evaluation of modern intraocular lenses (associate supervisor with S. Naroo & J. Wolffsohn)

Amy Sheppard, PhD, 2007-2010, In vivo analysis of ocular morphological changes during phakic accommodation

George (Tony) Gibson, PhD, 2005-2008, Theoretical and empirical evaluation of phakic and pseudophakic accomodation

Contact Details

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

External positions

External Examiner (BSc/ MOptom Optometry), University of Bradford

2023 → …

President, The College of Optometrists

2022 → …

External Examiner (Diploma Optometry), Singapore Polytechnic


Vice President, The College of Optometrists


External Examiner (BSc Optometry), Cardiff University


Editor-in-Chief, Optometry in Practice


External Examiner (BSc Optometry), University of the West of England


External Examiner (MSc Investigative Ophthalmology and Vision Science), Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, United Kingdom


Honorary Clinical Research Fellow, Birmingham Children's Hospital


External Examiner (BSc Optometry), Plymouth University, Plymouth University


Board Trustee, The College of Optomerists

2016 → …

Research Committee Chair, The College of Optometrists


Member of Council, The College of Optometrists

2015 → …

Editorial Board Member, BioMed Research International


Honorary Fellow in Ageing Eye Research, Hong Kong Polytechnic University


Clinical Editor, Optometry Today



  • RE Ophthalmology
  • presbyopia
  • accommodation
  • physiological optics
  • intraocular lenses


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