GW4 Crucible Alumni

GW4 Crucible 2017

Dr Angela Attwood, University of Bristol


Angela completed a BSc in Psychology and a PhD in Psychopharmacology at the University of Birmingham. After completing her PhD she took a research position in the School of Experimental Psychology at the University of Bristol, where she co-founded the Tobacco and Alcohol Research Group (TARG). She continues to work in this group as a Research Fellow and Lecturer. TARG works within the wider MRC-funded Integrative Epidemiology Unit, which investigates causal associations between health behaviours and health outcomes across the life course. Angela is a laboratory based scientist and her key areas include drug use (particularly alcohol and tobacco) and mental health (particularly anxiety). Her work explores the mechanisms underlying the relationships between health behaviours and health outcomes in order to inform intervention. Her recent areas of research include; using laboratory models of acute anxiety (7.5% carbon dioxide inhalation) to investigate emotional processing in anxiety, testing the effects of alcohol on risk behaviour and social cognition and exploring the potential of alcohol product labelling in health communication. Angela is a strong advocate of open science. She has been involved in large collaborative initiatives to investigate the reproducibility of published research and has written commentaries on her own open science practices.

Dr Victoria Bates, University of Bristol

Victoria is a Lecturer in Modern History at the University of Bristol. She completed her BA in History at the University of Nottingham, where she specialised in the histories of childhood and sexuality. After two years of teaching English as a Foreign Language in Bournemouth, Ireland and Japan, she returned to postgraduate study at the University of Exeter. She kept her research interest in age and sexuality, but moved further into the field of medical history during these years. The research conducted during her PhD resulted recently in her first monograph: Sexual Forensics in Victorian and Edwardian Britain (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016). Throughout her PhD and since, Victoria has also been interested in the ‘medical humanities’ more broadly including collaborating with medical educators, artists and interdisciplinary scholars. In Exeter she co-organised a seminar series and art exhibition, for example, which led to the co-edited collection Medicine, Health and the Arts: Approaches to the Medical Humanities (Routledge, 2014). This interest has formed the basis of her more recent research, which focuses on how the idea of ‘humanistic’ medicine developed in the 20th century – including in medical education, practice and design. She has worked with Southmead hospital in Bristol on walking tours and hospital ‘soundscapes’. She is also interested in how the arts operate as a communications tool in health, both historically and in the present day – she has worked extensively with cinemas, for example, in organising film screenings and discussions around health and other historical issues. Overall, she is keen to work in interdisciplinary and public-facing work around medicine, health and the arts.

Dr Matteo Bonotti, Cardiff University

After obtaining a Laurea in philosophy at the Sapienza University of Rome, Matteo went on to complete an MSc in International and European Politics and a PhD in Politics at the University of Edinburgh. He is now working as a Lecturer in Political Theory at the School of Law and Politics at Cardiff University, having previously taught at Queen’s University Belfast, the University of Edinburgh, the University of Stirling, and the University of the West of Scotland. Matteo’s research is concerned with ethical pluralism and cultural diversity in contemporary societies, and the question of how the state should respond to it. At present, he is focusing on the normative issues that arise when states have to design health-promoting food policies in a way that is respectful of the diverse understandings of health and the different eating practices that characterize contemporary multicultural societies. Matteo is very keen to engage in interdisciplinary research, to participate in collaborative projects, and to explore ways in which political theory can have an impact on the real world.

Dr Melanie Chalder, University of Bristol

Melanie is currently a Research Fellow in the School of Social and Community Medicine at the University of Bristol. Specialising in mixed methods approaches, she designs and manages studies which seek to explore some of the most topical challenges in healthcare such as mental well-being, respiratory disease, behaviour change and emergency hospital admission. She has also been awarded Medical Research Council (MRC) funding to develop a cross-sector research partnership focusing on the clinical, social, community and commercial aspects of positive ageing.

Melanie holds a PhD in psychiatry from the University of Bristol, an MSc in research methods from the University of Surrey and a degree in law from the University of Leicester.

Dr Jo Cranwell, University of Bath

Jo obtained her BSc in Psychology at Nottingham Trent University before completing a multidisciplinary PhD in Psychology and Human-Computer-Interaction at the University of Nottingham.   Her PhD focused on testing if self-control could be strengthened using smartphone technology, using ecological momentary assessment/intervention methods.

She then worked as postdoctoral research fellow at the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies (UKCTAS, University of Nottingham, Epidemiology & Public Health) leading research on adolescent exposure to smoking and alcohol in the media. Her recent research has focused on the behavioural effects of adolescent exposure to tobacco and alcohol in computer games and UK population exposure to similar content in YouTube music videos. Jo now works as Assistant Professor in Public Health at the University of Bath whilst continuing her research with UKCTAS. She is keen to develop her work to include junk food.

Dr Rebecca Dimond, Cardiff University

Rebecca is a medical sociologist at Cardiff University School of Social Sciences. Her research interests include patient experiences and the social implications of genetic technologies. She is currently funded by an ESRC Future Research Leaders award to explore the development of a novel reproductive technology known as mitochondrial donation. The techniques are controversial (involving the creation of “three parent babies”) and have just been legalised in the UK following extensive safety reviews and public consultations. Rebecca is a qualitative researcher, and her project involves interviewing patients, clinicians and stakeholders, and observing public meetings. Rebecca co-organises the Medicine, Science and Culture research group at Cardiff and is a volunteer proof reader for the journal Sociology of Health and Illness.

Dr Jo Edgar, University of Bristol

Jo obtained a BSc in Zoology (University of Wales, Swansea) and an MSc in Applied Animal Behaviour and Animal Welfare (University of Edinburgh) before going on to complete a PhD (University of Bristol) in which she studied maternal behaviour in domestic chickens. After working as a postdoc for 2.5 years, Jo began a BBSRC-funded Future Leader Fellowship to apply the study of fundamental maternal behaviour to develop tools that can be used to improve animal welfare. In domestic chickens, maternal care has strong and beneficial effects on chick behavioural development, but despite this, farmed domestic chickens are hatched and reared artificially. Jo is working to identify effective features of natural maternal care which can be artificially simulated in a commercial environment, working towards improved welfare and production for farmed laying hens. Additionally, Jo retains a broad interest in the study of emotion, cognition and social behaviour in domestic animals.

Dr Des Fitzgerald, Cardiff University


Des is a sociologist of science, interested in the social implications of the neurobiological and psychiatric sciences. He gained a BA at University College Cork in Ireland, and completed his graduate training at Cambridge University and the London School of Economics. He has been a lecturer in sociology at Cardiff University since September 2015. His research is focused on sites of intersection between ‘the social’ and ‘the biological’ (especially the neurobiological) – a topic he has explored substantively (he has a book forthcoming with the University of Washington Press, on the social and emotional world of autism neuroscience) and theoretically (he has co-authored a critical volume on interdisciplinarity across the social sciences and neurosciences). He is currently co-writing a book about urban neuroscience for Princeton University Press, and remains broadly interested in connections between the social and life sciences – where he is interested in exploring dangers as well as opportunities.

Dr Eilis Hannon, University of Exeter


Eilis graduated with a degree in Mathematics in 2010 and went on to complete a PhD in the department of Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics at Cardiff University. As a student of both the School of Medicine and the School of Computer Science, she developed a knowledge of genetics (particularly that of psychiatric disorders), and bioinformatics skills when investigating spatial and temporal expression patterns of genes associated with schizophrenia. After completing her PhD, she joined the University of Exeter at the end of 2013 as a Bioinformatician and works across projects and phenotypes.

Dr Agatha Herman, Cardiff University


Agatha completed her PhD in Human Geography at the University of Exeter in 2010 and, following a series of short post-doctoral positions, held lectureships at Plymouth University and the University of Reading. In 2016 she moved to her current position as a lecturer in human geography at Cardiff University. She is also a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellow (2014-17) with this research focusing on the capability of Fairtrade to promote resilient and capacity-building development within and beyond its producer communities. This involves extended overseas fieldwork to investigate the multi-scalar power relations and social practices involved in Fairtrade’s operations. More broadly she is interested in food ethics and politics, social resilience, experiences of transition and change, governance, practices and power.

Dr Francoise Koumanov, University of Bath


Francoise obtained her MSc in Biochemistry and Microbiology at the University of Sofia (Bulgaria). She then went on to complete a PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biology at the University of Grenoble 1 (France). After several postdoctoral positions she is now a Research Fellow in the Department for Health at the University of Bath. Her current research investigates the cellular mechanisms linking insulin resistance, obesity and chronic inflammation, ultimately leading to development of type 2 diabetes. She was recently awarded a New Investigator research grant from the MRC to investigate further this topic. Francoise is particularly interested in developing multidisciplinary projects related to the understanding and prevention of obesity and type 2 diabetes, two chronic conditions which are major burdens to the healthcare systems worldwide.

Dr Glenda Lassi, University of Bristol


Glenda obtained her Masters in Clinical Psychology and Psychobiology at the University of Padova, Italy and went on to complete a PhD between the University of Siena, Italy and MIT, USA. She then became a psychotherapist in the UK and lectured Cognitive Psychology for the Open University. She held her first postdoctoral position in the Neurobehavioural Genetics Group at the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia in Genova, focusing on sleep and cognition in murine models. She is now a Research Fellow at the School of Experimental Psychology, University of Bristol, and a postdoctoral scientist at the Clinical Discovery Unit, Early Clinical Development, AstraZeneca, in Cambridge. Her current focus is on smoking behaviour in humans; she is validating a genetic target to develop therapeutic strategies and she is planning experiments to explore causality in the relationship between a personality trait, locus of control, and tobacco consumption.

Dr Hantao Liu, Cardiff University

Hantao Liu received his PhD from the Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands, in 2011. He is currently an Assistant Professor with the School of Computer Science and Informatics, Cardiff University. His research interests include visual media quality assessment, visual attention modelling and applications, visual scene understanding, and medical image perception. He is currently serving for the IEEE MMTC, as the Chair of the Interest Group on Quality of Experience for Multimedia Communications, and he is an Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Human-Machine Systems.

Dr Despina Moschou, University of Bath

Despina Moschou has an M. Eng. in Electrical and Computer Engineering and a PhD in Microelectronic Technology. Since 2010, her main research focus has been to apply her microfabrication and microelectronic device expertise in the development of disposable Lab-On-a-Chip systems for bioanalytical applications (molecular and immunoassay-based Point-of-Care diagnostic devices). For the past 6 years she has been pursuing the Lab-on-Printed Circuit Board approach, in an effort to realize disposable, mass-manufacturable Lab-on-Chip microsystems. Her interests also include inkjet printing technologies, adding further functionality to biomedical diagnostic systems. Despina Moschou accepted the 50th Anniversary Prize Fellowship in Bioelectronics in September 2016, within the Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering at the University of Bath.

Dr Therese MurphyUniversity of Exeter


Therese graduated with an Honours Degree in Genetics from Trinity College Dublin in 2005 and subsequently completed a Health Research Board PhD scholarship in Molecular Medicine in 2009. In 2010, Therese was awarded a Craig Dobbins Newman Postdoctoral Fellowship in Mental Health Research by University College Dublin based on her scientific proposal to examine how epigenetic mechanisms may contribute to suicide risk. In May 2013, Therese joined the Complex Disease Epigenetics Group in the University of Exeter as a Research Fellow investigating epigenetic changes in depression and other complex diseases. In September 2015, Therese was appointed Lecturer in the Complex Disease Epigenetics Group. She has successfully obtained a number of internationally competitive fellowships/grants and most recently was awarded a prestigious 2014 NARSAD Young Investigator Award ($65,000) by the Brain and Behaviour Research Foundation (USA).

Dr Fabio ParmeggianiUniversity of Bristol

Fabio obtained his degree in Biotechnology at the University of Bologna, Italy, and his PhD in Biochemistry at the University of Zurich, Switzerland. After a postdoctoral position in Seattle, USA, working on protein modelling and design, he is now a research fellow and group leader at the University of Bristol, within the Research Center for Synthetic Biology (BrisSynBio). His research focuses on custom design of proteins to study interactions of cells with their environment and how these interactions affect the decision making process of cells and ultimately their development and fate. At the same time Fabio develops new biological tools with low production and storage costs for broad applications in material science, diagnostics and therapeutics.

Dr Hannah Pitt, Cardiff University


Hannah is a social scientist based at Cardiff University’s Sustainable Places Research Institute, a centre of inter-disciplinary research. Current work investigates community use of blue-greenspaces, its benefits and what prevents people accessing them. She completed her PhD and Masters at Cardiff’s School of Geography. She has several years’ experience as a policy and campaigns specialist for environmental NGOs, and continues to work closely with third sector organisations. She is committed to research involving communities which can directly benefit them, with a focus on use of shared public spaces and their role in the wellbeing of individuals and communities.

Dr Richard Pulsford, University of Exeter


Richard obtained a BSc in Sport and Exercise Sciences (2005) and a Masters in Exercise Physiology (2006) from Loughborough University before spending two years as a Research Associate at the UCL Institute of Child Health, working on a strand of the Millennium Cohort Study examining physical activity patterns in UK children. After a brief spell in the private sector as a physiologist with Nuffield hospitals, Richard moved to the University of Exeter to undertake a PhD examining associations of sedentary behaviour and health, after which he was appointed Lecturer in Physical Activity and Health. Richard’s ongoing research interests focus on physical activity behaviours, their social and environmental determinants, their associations with health outcomes and issues surrounding their effective measurement. He is particularly interested in factors that determine the patterns in which physical activity is accumulated, and how this may influence health.

Dr Karen Reed, Cardiff University


Karen graduated with a BSc in Applied Biology from the University of Bath in 1996 and then went on to complete her PhD within the laboratory of Prof Wolf Reik at the Babraham Institute, Cambridge, graduating from Cambridge University in 2000.  Karen is now a senior postdoctoral research associate at the European Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute, Cardiff University. Here Karen’s research utilises a number of clinically relevant, transgenic mouse models of cancer (principally intestinal and liver cancer) with the aim of clarifying or establishing some of the critical molecular events that contribute to the initiation, establishment and progression of cancer. As a passionate STEM ambassador, Karen has developed and delivered numerous outreach activities to communicate the principles and findings of her research.

Dr Lauren Rodgers, University of Exeter

Lauren has an MSci in Mathematics and Statistics from the University of St Andrews and a PhD in Medical Statistics from Newcastle University. Following her PhD she spent three years working in the Forensic Science Service developing models for the evaluation and analysis of crime scene DNA evidence. She returned to academia and is now a Research Fellow in Medical Statistics in the University of Exeter Medical School. Lauren has worked on a variety of projects related to quality of life and health research and is currently working on an MRC funded project modelling stratification in diabetes therapy using routine clinical data. This work will develop innovative methods to analyse big data from a clinical source and has potential for application in new areas and data sets. Lauren has an interest in statistical literacy and effective communication skills.

Dr Peter Rouse, University of Bath

Peter obtained a BSc in Psychology at the University of York before specialising in exercise psychology with an MSc at Loughborough University and PhD at the University of Birmingham. Subsequently, Peter was a research fellow for a MRC funded multidisciplinary randomised control trial comparing two exercise interventions for rheumatoid arthritis patients. Recently he was awarded a Prize Fellowship at the University of Bath to pursue his research. Specifically, his research investigates theory grounded psychosocial and motivational processes that underpin the initiation and maintenance of physical activity. Frameworks such as Self-determination Theory are used to inform the development of multi-disciplinary interventions that support the preventive, treatment and wellbeing benefits of regular physical activity in clinical populations. User centred interventions aim to enhance patient outcomes, increase quality of care, encourage self-management and improve cost-effectiveness.

Dr Victoria Salmon, University of Exeter


Victoria (Tori) obtained a BSc at the University of Bristol, before undertaking an MSc in Physiotherapy at King’s College, London. She worked as a clinical physiotherapist for eight years specialising in musculoskeletal rehabilitation. Before completing her PhD, Tori worked at the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy supporting physiotherapists in clinical practice and promoting the role of physiotherapists and allied health professionals. Her research focusses on development and implementation of interventions to facilitate participation and support maintenance of health enhancing behaviours. She is particularly interested in physical activity and therapeutic exercise to support self-management and improve healthy living for people with long term health conditions. Tori is now working as a research fellow at the University of Exeter Medical School. Tori is keen to explore innovative ideas beyond traditional health settings to tackle issues related to healthy living.

Dr Diana LS Ferreira, University of Bristol

Diana is an Analytical Chemist with a PhD in Chemometrics. She ventured into Epidemiological research led by a strong interest in population health. In Metabolomics she found a fulfilling way of combining her skills from the three previous fields to address key research questions in relation to women’s reproductive and cardiometabolic health. Her work took her to Imperial College of London and she is now a Senior Research Associate at the University of Bristol in Metabolomics and Epidemiology. She has lived in three different countries, six different cities and is now based in Bristol, UK.

Dr Lucy Selman, University of Bristol

Lucy originally studied Philosophy (BA, University of Nottingham; MPhil, Birkbeck College, University of London), specialising in epistemology and philosophy of science. She then moved into social science research in end of life care, completing her PhD in Palliative Care at King’s College London in 2011. Lucy left London in December 2015 and now works as a Research Fellow at the University of Bristol, specialising in the integration of qualitative methods in trials. Her research focuses on staff-patient communication (particularly around end of life issues), the education and support of staff in this area, psychosocial and spiritual aspects of care, and patient empowerment. Lucy is keen to make a positive difference to patients, families and staff by influencing a diverse audience and conducting collaborative interdisciplinary research, especially with those working within the humanities and education.

Dr Sarah Sullivan, University of Bristol


Sarah obtained her BSc in Psychology from the University of Manchester and went on to complete an MSc in Health Psychology from Plymouth University some years later. Sarah joined the Centre for Academic Mental Health at the School of Social and Community Medicine in 2002 and completed her PhD in Psychiatric Epidemiology in 2012. Sarah has spent the majority of her research career investigating risk factors and outcomes of psychotic disorders. She specialises in complex statistical models in large datasets and in causal inference from observational data. She is particularly interested in the association between childhood social and language development and later mental health outcomes. She is also a co-Director of a Psychosis Health Integration team, which is a multi-disciplinary team of academics, clinicians, commissioners, patients and carers whose overall aim is to improve services for people with psychosis in Bristol.

Dr ­­­­­­­­­­­Caroline Taylor, University of Bristol

Caroline obtained her BSc in Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of Surrey and went on to gain a PhD in trace element metabolism from Robert Gordon University whilst based at the Rowett Research Institute in Aberdeen. She then held postdoctoral research posts at the University of York and the University of Sheffield. After spending several years working in medical publishing, Caroline was awarded a Daphne Jackson Fellowship at the University of Bristol and now holds a Wellcome Trust Career Re-entry Fellowship. Her current research themes are focused on enabling children to have the very best start in life. These include: (1) exposures in pregnancy (environmental and nutritional) and child development – particularly lead, cadmium and mercury; (2) diet in early childhood – diets of picky eaters and effects on health outcomes, and diets of children in the Isle of Man.

Dr Esther van der Werf, University of Bristol

Esther is a lecturer in Epidemiology of Primary Care Infectious Diseases, and joined the School of Social and Community Medicine and the Centre of Academic Primary Care (CAPC) in January 2015. She obtained her PhD from Erasmus University Rotterdam in the Netherlands (2006), and subsequently worked as an epidemiologist at University of Medical Centre Utrecht and University of Applied Sciences Leiden, before coming to Bristol. Her work to date relates to primary care, urology, quality of life, health promotion and alternative treatment to antibiotics. Her current research has a strong focus on 1) improving the use of antibiotics to reduce antimicrobial resistance and antibiotic consumption whilst maintaining symptom control in common primary care infection, and 2) the effect of antibiotics on the human microbiome and strategies to keep our good bugs happy and healthy.

Dr Angharad Watson, Cardiff University


Angharad completed her undergraduate Masters at Oxford University, where a project on stem cell migration led her to a PhD at the University of Manchester, examining the role of complex sugars in stem cell transplants for the treatment of inherited metabolic diseases. After completing her PhD, she worked with a small biotech company in Newcastle to develop a novel sugar-binding technology. After this, she refocused her research to the homing and migration of T cells in the immune system, with a particular emphasis on modifying the homing ability of transplanted T cells in tumour immunotherapy. She has been carrying out this research at Cardiff University since 2011. Alongside her research, she has taken an active role in public engagement, including developing a new interschool quiz for 14-15 year olds that has been taking place annually across Wales since 2013.

Dr Oliver Williams, University of Bath


After completing undergraduate and Master’s degrees at Loughborough University, Oli joined Leicester University’s Department of Sociology in 2010. He graduated in July 2015 at which point he was already working at the University of Abertay Dundee as a Lecturer in Physical Activity and Public Health. He has since been successful in securing a NIHR CLAHRC West Dan Hill Fellowship in Health Equity and is now based at the University of Bath.

His research focuses on health inequalities. He engages with the disparity in opportunity and possibility presented to people throughout British society. He is particularly interested in the experiences of those living in deprived areas and is critical of the current conceptualisation of a ‘healthy lifestyle’ and its promotion as a set of individual choices. He is committed to using research for social change which promotes equitable outcomes.

Dr Yu-Hsuan Tsai, Cardiff University

Yu-Hsuan obtained his BSc at National Taiwan University, MSc at ETH Zurich and Dr. rer. nat. at Freie Universität Berlin/Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces. He went on to perform postdoctoral research at MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology before becoming a Lecturer in Cardiff University’s School of Chemistry in 2015. His most current research focuses on development of chemical biology tools to investigate cellular function of proteins. Yu-Hsuan is also keen to communicate and explore different approaches to disseminate scientific research to general public

Dr Rhian Atkin (South West 2014)


Rhian is Senior Lecturer in Portuguese and Programme Director for Portuguese at Cardiff University School of Modern Languages. She holds a BA (Hons), MA and PhD from the University of Leeds. Her research covers a wide range of fields, including food studies, migration, ethnography, literature, cultural studies, gender, modernism and World War One.

For more information see Rhian’s Cardiff University page

Dr Amy Baldwin (Welsh 2016)


Amy obtained her B.Sc. degree in Biological Sciences (Biochemistry) from the University of Leicester and subsequently a Ph.D. in Plant Molecular Genetics. Amy specialises in generating and utilising large collections of variants. Currently based in Cardiff School of Biosciences, Amy is generating a large collection of Dictyostelium variants as a community resource. The social amoeba, Dictyostelium, is an amenable and economical model especially for studying process involved in human health and disease. Amy also organises the popular engagement series, Cardiff sciSCREEN. Cardiff sciSCREEN is a cross-disciplinary programme that used local academic expertise to discuss themes and issues raised by contemporary cinema in an entertaining and informative way.

Dr Anne Daykin (South West 2014)


Anne qualified as a Physiotherapist from the Cardiff School of Physiotherapy in 1990 and specialised in neuromusculoskeletal and pain management. She gained her Masters in Manipulative Therapy at the University of South Australia in 1996 and went on to complete a PhD at the University of East Anglia in 2002. Subsequently, Anne has been a Clinical Research Fellow at the University of Warwick and a Research Associate at the University of Dundee. Presently Anne is a Research Associate at the University of Bristol working on qualitative studies exploring trail oversight committees and loss to follow-up within RCTs. Anne still practises clinically and is passionate about enabling health care professionals and patients to maximise their management of chronic neuromusculoskeletal conditions.

Dr Timothy Easun (Welsh 2016)


Dr Timothy Easun is a Royal Society University Research Fellow recently appointed in the School of Chemistry at Cardiff University. His research is on the control of nanoscale flow of molecules within porous materials using photochemistry both as probe and actuator to make nanofluidic devices. Dr Easun was awarded his MSci from Nottingham University, his PhD in Supramolecular Photochemistry from Sheffield University, moved to a post-doc back at Nottingham before taking on a Senior Research Officer role. In 2015 he was both appointed as an independent Cardiff University Research Fellow and awarded the Royal Society University Research Fellowship. He has a particular interest in how molecules move in confined spaces and how we can use light to study and control this motion.

Dr Ella Gale (South West 2013)


Ella Gale obtained her MSci degree (Chemistry) and her PhD (simulating molecular electronics) from Imperial College London. She then did a 3.5 year post-doc at the University of the West of England on memristors and unconventional computing. She then worked at Khalifa University of Science, Technology and Research in Abu Dhabi on reducing the energy cost of spin-transfer-torque magnetic tunnel junctions. Then she worked for just over a year at the Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technology at University of Bath in a role that was half project management, half research into reducing solvent use in cellulose processing. She is currently in the School of Experimental Psychology at the University of Bristol, working on neural networks. Her research is highly multidisciplinary, ranging across biology, chemistry and computer science, using the tools of mathematics and simulation, mostly. Her interests are in novel technologies, especially those related to brain-like computing, and improving novel technologies.

Dr Aimee Grant (Welsh 2015)


Aimee obtained her undergraduate degree in criminology and social policy from Cardiff University’s School of Social Sciences. She went on to obtain funding from the Economic and Social Research Council to undertake an MSc in social science research methods and a PhD in social policy. Since obtaining her doctorate, Aimee has undertaken research on a broad range of topics related to health, and has worked for a tobacco control charity and the NHS in a research capacity. She is currently working as a research associate in the Cardiff Clinical Trials Unit at Cardiff University. Her research interests include advancing qualitative methods (including the use of social media), smoking cessation, infant feeding, and the development and evaluation of complex public health interventions. Overall, Aimee’s work aims to reduce health inequalities.

Dr Kate Hendry (South West 2014)


Kate was awarded her MA MSci degree in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge in 2004. She then completed her DPhil at Oxford University in biogeochemistry, during which she spent three summer seasons working at the British Antarctic Survey Research Station on the West Antarctic Peninsula. After eighteen months of postdoctoral work at Oxford, she was awarded a postdoctoral scholarship at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, US, where she stayed for over two years. After two years at Cardiff University as a research lecturer, she is now a Royal Society University Research Fellow (URF) and proleptic lecturer at Bristol University. Her most current research is focusing on the chemistry of silicon in seawater, and silica biomineralisation by organisms such as diatoms and sponges. Kate is looking forward to meeting with those working in social sciences and the humanities, and those who might be able to help her develop potential wider applications of her research.

Dr Tristan Kershaw (South West 2014)


Tristan obtained his MPhys in Physics at Exeter University and went on to complete a PhD in Physics also at Exeter. For the last five years he has worked as a research fellow in climate change adaptation, located within the Centre for Energy and the Environment at Exeter. In March 2014 Tristan took up the position of Lecturer in Low Carbon Design within the department of Architecture and Civil Engineering at the University of Bath. His current research is looking at how we can optimise the design of buildings to be efficient over their whole lifecycle and adapt urban areas to be resilient to the effects of climate change. Tristan is keen to explore how best to communicate the findings of this research and investigate the barriers that will prevent its implementation within society.

Dr Andrew Kythreotis (Welsh 2015)


Andrew joined the School of Planning & Geography at Cardiff University in June 2012 under the Serious Brain Power initiative after one year as an ARC Research Fellow at the Global Change Institute and School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management at the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. Before his Antipodean adventure he was a post-doctoral research assistant at the Centre for Adaptive Science and Logistics Institute, University of Hull. He received his PhD in July 2010 from the University of Hull. He is currently associate editor for the journal Regional Studies, Regional Science and sits on the adaptation sub-group of the Climate Change Commission for Wales, where he is assisting Welsh Government in the formulation of their sectoral adaptation plans. Andrew loves the challenge of working with peers from different disciplines; he is currently working with academics from the humanities, social and physical sciences on a number of projects. More generally, Andrew’s research interests span geography, environmental science and cognate disciplines and his main focal interests examine how power is configured and negotiated across territorial space and scale through climate change and environmental governance interventions and processes. He is a firm believer that academics should be heard by all parts of society, not just students in lectures.

Dr Yukun Lai (Welsh 2015)


Yukun obtained his Bachelor’s and PhD degrees from Department of Computer Science and Technology, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China in 2003 and 2008 respectively. He has been a lecturer in School of Computer Science and Informatics, Cardiff University since 2009, where he is a member of the Visual Computing group. His main research interests include computer graphics, geometric processing, image processing and computer vision. He has published over 30 papers in world-class journals. He is an associate editor of The Visual Computer, conference co-chair of SGP 2014 and has been programme committee members of several major international conferences. He has worked on a variety of topics in visual computing, including interdisciplinary projects where visual computing techniques are used to solve problems in other subjects.

Dr Alan Parker (Welsh 2015)


Alan completed his PhD from the University of Birmingham in 2003, and worked as a postdoc at King’s College London (2003-5) then at the University of Glasgow (2005-2013) as a postdoc, then Royal Society of Edinburgh Personal Fellow and latterly as a BHF funded Senior Scientist. In 2013 he relocated to Cardiff as a Lecturer where he is establishing a research group focussed on developing biological therapies for translational oncology applications. He was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2014. In addition to leading his academic team, Alan is an EXEC committee member of the British Society for Gene and Cell Therapy, which serves several important roles, from communicating the science of gene and cell therapy to the public through engagement days, to lobbying politicians to influence laws surrounding science and medicine (e.g. in the recent mitochondrial donation bills).

Dr Paul Shepherd (National 2008)


Paul Shepherd is Lecturer in Digital Architectonics. His research involves the development of new computer-based methods and tools for both architects and engineers to help with the creation, optimisation and realisation of complex geometry buildings. On completion of his PhD, Paul joined the Special Structures group of Buro Happold. He began by re-writing their in-house fabric structure analysis software and then using his program on structural engineering projects, particularly those involving fabric, or with complex geometry. He developed a special interest in the use of Parametric Modelling in the design process and went on to set up a specialist software and analysis group within the company, which used programming and mathematical modelling techniques to help develop solutions to complex engineering design problems. Some of the landmark projects Paul has worked on include the Stuttgart21 Rail Station, the Japan Pavilion for the Hanover2000 Expo and more recently the Emirates Stadium at Arsenal and the new Aviva Stadium at Lansdowne Road in Dublin. Paul joined the University of Bath as a Research Fellow in 2007 and is now Lecturer in Digital Architectonics. He is also a passionate science communicator and has a long track record in outreach work promoting Maths and Engineering to the public, and especially to high-school students.

Dr Richard Stanton (Welsh 2012)


Richard obtained a degree in Microbiology from the University of Wales College of Cardiff, before completing a PhD. in virology at the University of Wales College of Medicine. Following 6 years of post-doctoral research, he is now a lecturer in the School of Medicine at Cardiff University. He teaches bacteriology, parasitology and virology to undergraduate medical students and carries out research into Adenovirus vectors and the herpes virus human cytomegalovirus (HCMV). His major research interests are studying the genetics of HCMV strain variation, understanding how HCMV virion proteins relate to tropism and vaccination strategies, and understanding how HCMV avoids detection by the human immune system. Richard is involved in several widening access and public outreach schemes in the School of Medicine. He is keen to communicate science to the broader public and to have new opportunities for collaboration. Richard has now been promoted to Senior Lecturer in the School of Medicine at Cardiff University.

Professor Richard Trask (South West 2013)


Richard Trask is a Professor in Advanced Materials at the University of Bath and an Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Early Career Fellow (2014-2019). He obtained his BEng in Materials Science (Bath) and MSc in Advanced Materials (Surrey) before completing his PhD (Southampton) on damage tolerant repairs for lifeboats (sponsored by Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI)). He now has an active research group directed towards the development of 3D and 4D “Morphogenesis Manufacturing” where the material is programmed to grow and transform during 3D printing to produce the next generation of advanced metamaterials. Richard’s research is inspired by biological systems for the development of adaptive, morphing, self-healing and remodelling functionalities within the engineering world. He is a keen advocate for the dissemination of science and engineering knowledge to all walks of life; whether discussing ‘spaghetti and marshmallow bridges’ to Year 7 school children, or explaining the latest thinking on ‘nature inspired innovation’ to the wider public, as part of ‘Pint of Science’ festival.

Dr Yingli Wang (Welsh 2011)


Yingli is a lecturer in Logistics and Operations Management at Cardiff Business School. She obtained her first degree in Food Engineering from China in 1995 and an MBA with Distinction in 2003 from the UK. Her PhD research investigated the potential relational, process and technological configurations between organisations when using Electronic Logistics Marketplaces (ELMs) for transport provision. Yingli’s recent research interests focus on the use of ICT for logistics and supply chain management. Prior to her academic career, i.e. from 1995 to 2002, she undertook in a variety of managerial roles in Nestlé China, in production, logistics and HR functions.

Dr Yvonne Wren (South West 2014)


Yvonne obtained her BSc in Speech Pathology at the University of Manchester and went on to complete a MEd and PhD at the University of Bristol. After working as a speech and language therapist in hospitals and schools in Liverpool and Bristol for ten years, Yvonne began a research career at the Speech and Language Therapy Research Unit at Frenchay Hospital. Her current role as a senior researcher at the unit is complemented by honorary research fellowships with both UWE and the University of Bristol. Her main research interests are in the field of children’s speech development and disorder and she currently holds a research fellowship from the NIHR to look at early speech development in children born with a cleft palate within a national cohort study. She is also involved in research projects in Australia and the US.