Following an MSc in Human Osteology and Palaeopathology and the Department of Archaeological Sciences at Bradford University, Isla completed a PhD in History on medieval and Tudor hygiene at the University of East Anglia in 2007 under the supervision of Prof. Carole Rawcliffe. Isla joined the Norfolk Record Society council in 2012 and the society published her co-edited volume, with Ellie Phillips, Health and Hygiene in Early-Modern Norwich (Norfolk Record Society), in 2013. Isla works at the Department of Physiology, Developmemt and Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge. Her monograph Health and the City. Disease, Environment and Government in Norwich, 1200-1575 was published in 2015 by Boydell & Brewer.