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Meet the Team

There are currently eleven UCL researchers in our Postgraduate Student Engagement team, whose profiles are listed below. For previous team members, see our Researchers in Museum Alumni page.

Team Co-ordinator

Lisa PlotkinLisa Plotkin

UCL Department of History

I am a fourth year PhD student in the Department of History, specializing in the nineteenth century social history of women and medicine throughout the British Empire. My current research focuses more specifically on the experiences of women in various curative sites in Britain and India from 1860 until the beginning of the twentieth century. In the context of my research, curative sites are defined as places or locations that both the medical community and popular opinion deemed to be salubrious or health inducing, and includes hospitals, sanitoriums, asylums, and hydropathic hotels. I examine how women as patients were able to influence the prevailing medical discourse about gender and race, as well as the ways in which female subjectivity was spatially constituted at that time.

Engagement Team

Tzu-i Liao

Tzu-i Liao

UCL Department of Greek and Latin

I am a PhD student in the Department of Greek and Latin at UCL, interested in how different ways of speaking result in different ways of meaning and thus reflect different purposes of writing/speaking. My research focuses on ancient Greek and Roman texts, and in particular, classical Greek oratory and historiography. My current project investigates how the writing/speaking conventions of classical Athenian political speeches are realized linguistically – in other words, how the genre is produced and defined by the uses of structural and grammatical constructions.

Felicity Winkley

UCL Institute of Archaeology

Based at UCL Institute of Archaeology, I am currently researching the attitudes of metal detector users in England. I am interested in what proportion of users feel attached to the landscape in which they detect, and how this attachment may impact on their feelings towards finds discovered there. I suggest that metal detectorists use landscape, as well as the objects they find, to reconstruct a buried past. I first became interested in heritage management during my BA in Archaeology at the University of Bristol, but my desire to maintain an archaeological – rather than a museological – focus led me to complete my Masters in Artefact Studies at UCL in 2009. Following this, I completed training as a Finds Liason Officer with the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) whilst undertaking an internship funded by the Headley Trust, during which I was struck by the idea for my current research project.

KevinKevin Guyan

UCL Department of History

I am writing my PhD thesis on the effects of housing design on men’s lives in the decades following the Second World War.  I explore the belief among planners that reconfiguring men’s everyday use and experience of the home would bring about new patterns of daily life and create masculine identities more appropriate for an envisaged New Britain.  I then position this ‘spirit of postwar planning’ as part of an overarching desire among experts to construct a new social order from the instability following the Second World War, and examine how these ideas were conveyed through model housing, exhibitions and education organisations.

I have worked for UCL’s Department of Geography on projects researching the historical geographies of black people in London prior to 1948 and led walking tours on the historic Bloomsbury area.  I have also ran a series of public events that explored people’s experiences of ‘going dancing’ in the 1940s and 1950s and taught school students secondary level history.

Follow me on Twitter @the_deluxe

 

Stacy Hackner_ThumbnailStacy Hackner

UCL Institute of Archaeology

I am a third year PhD student at the Institute of Archaeology, focusing on bioarchaeology and biomechanics and using the collections of the British Museum. I am looking at the change in the shape of bones, particularly the tibia, over the course of Nubian prehistory. The tibia has been shown to be particularly receptive to changes in activity beginning at puberty; by comparing these bones to modern studies of athletes and biomechanical models, I hope to understand the shift in food procurement from hunting and gathering to agriculture. My previous research showed that from 2500 BCE to roughly 200 CE, the legs of females went from being fairly robust to incredibly petite and gracile, indicating a change in their activity or social role. I am investigating all aspects of bone growth and loss to see what these Nubians were doing, from astronauts on space missions to Swedish slalom skiers to menopause in hunter-gatherer societies – I find there’s hardly any fact that isn’t relevant to my study!

I participate in a number of extracurricular activities. In addition to UCL Museums, I’m also a research volunteer at the British Museum’s Department of Ancient Egypt & Sudan. I’ve long been a historical and theatrical costumer in the US, and recently I was able to work at London Fashion Week. I’m an avid knitter, designer, and crafter.  I enjoy medical history and pathology museums, having visited my first set of preserved conjoined twins at age seven. I have previously written about the role of beer and brewing in Andean societies and have participated in excavations in Peru, the US, Greece, Israel, and Sudan.

Read my blog: http://orientalistwhore.wordpress.com

Or follow me on twitter @stacytg

Sarah SavageSarah Savage

UCL Department of History

I am a third year PhD student in the Department of History studying history of medicine, specializing in epidemics and infectious disease in the early twentieth century. My current research focuses on how physicians, neurologists, and infectious disease specialists between 1917-1930 identified, categorized, and treated the neurological movement disorder Encephalitis Lethargica. Towards the end World War I, physicians in Europe and North America noted a new form of encephalitis that they believed was connected to the 1918-19 Spanish Influenza pandemic and infectious disease. I examine how discourse between medical professionals during this post-war period surrounding the medical mystery Encephalitis Lethargica, shaped the formation of the epidemic as physicians diagnosed patients with very diverse symptoms under the same neurological illness. My previous research over the past three years with Spanish Influenza will assist with the connection between the two epidemics. Although contemporary neurologists have concluded that Encephalitis Lethargica is not an infectious disease, for post-WWI medical professionals the threat of ‘viral insanity’ was real and looming.

Follow me on my research Twitter @viralinsanity

Niall SreenanNiall Sreenan

UCL Centre for Intercultural Studies

I am a second year PhD Student in the Centre for Intercultural Studies, which is based in the School of European Languages, Culture and Society. My research seeks to explore and describe the complex and often fraught relationships between science and literature, specifically focusing on Darwinian biological theory and literary narratives, starting from 1859 after the publication of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species. My approach to this research employs a variety of literary theoretical methods to tease out the profound ontological and aesthetic implications of Darwin’s thought on non-scientific culture, taking both scientific and literary texts as the materials of my research. On a wider level, this project attempts to investigate the epistemological anxieties that arise when the sciences and the humanities collide, and proposes to re-assert the importance of the humanities as a creative and philosophical enterprise.

Alongside my academic research, I am a member of the SELCS Staff-Student Consultative Committee for research students. In a previous life I have toured and played as a musician, having done my undergraduate degree in Music and English. I sometimes work as a steward in the British Museum, allowing me to indulge my love of material culture and art. Aside from music, I have an abiding enthusiasm for cycling bikes.

 

Misha EwenMisha Ewan

UCL Department of History

I am a second year PhD student in the Department of History. My research focuses on the ways that the English colonisation of Virginia in 1607 influenced political life and culture in England, and prompted individuals to think about their society – often termed the ‘commonwealth’ – in different ways. From the transportation of orphans to the colony, disputes about the tobacco trade, pamphlets, plays and church collections to build schools in the colony, I’m interested in exploring how individuals from all areas of society were brought into dialogue with the colonial project.

As well as my work in the UCL Museums, I work with the Widening Participation team at UCL to deliver interdisciplinary History and English Literature lectures to incoming school groups (years 6-13). These are interactive sessions, which involve debate, group work and object handling. Since joining UCL I have also taken part in several events with the UCL Public Engagement department, including ‘Bright Club’, ‘The Thing Is’ at the Natural History Museum and ‘Living Library’ at the Grant Museum.

Twitter: @mishaewen

 

Lara GonzálezLara González

UCL Institute of Archaeology

I am a second year PhD student at the Institute of Archaeology. My project traces the origins of bread cultures in the Near East and Europe focusing on Neolithic Çatalhöyük (Turkey). The Neolithic East Mound at Çatalhöyük is a UNESCO 9,000 year-old tell site located in central Turkey on the Konya Plain. As part of the Çatalhöyük research project, the overall aims of my PhD are to provide substantial new knowledge about unstudied amorphous plant remains, such as lumps of ‘cooked’ cereal preparations previously identified as bread or porridge, shifts in cooking practices with the advent of ceramics as cooking pots and the use of wild plant species, with special attention to species of wild mustard like Descurainia sophia, as an oily seed and a possible food condiment at Neolithic Çatalhöyük.

 

Citlali Helenes GonzálezCitlali Helenes González

UCL Institute of Child Health and Department of Mechanical Engineering

I am a first year PhD student based in the Institute of Child Health and the department of Mechanical Engineering. I study human neural differentiation and development and try to differentiate human neural stem cells into neurons and other brain cells. In order to study cells in vitro, it is desirable to mimic the environment of the brain. This is why the aim of my project is to produce a 3D model using human neural stem cells and biopolymers by spraying them using a technique called Bio-electro spray in order to obtain scaffolds with cells embedded in them. The cells will then be pushed to differentiation and this way I will try to reproduce a neural tissue. The ultimate goal would be to recreate the neural tube, which is the structure formed in the foetus from where the central nervous system develops.

 

Ann LiljasAnn Liljas

UCL Institute of Epidemiology & Health

I look at the burden and determinants of sensory impairment in older adults. Part of the study I investigate the impact of sensory impairment on adverse outcomes, disability and mortality. I will also examine the role of inflammation in sensory impairment. My research is based on two large established on-going national cohorts at UCL: The British Regional Heart Study (BRHS) and the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA).