Meet the Team

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

Team Coordinators

Kevin Guyan

UCL Department of History

I am in the final year of a PhD in History at University College London.  My research explores the relationship between masculinities, planning knowledge and domestic space in Britain in the middle decades of the twentieth century.  As the borders of expert knowledge expanded, planners conceptualised the home in ways that made it easier for men to perform family-orientated domestic identities.  Planners disseminated these ideal domestic identities at major exhibitions such as Britain Can Make It (1946) and the Festival of Britain (1951).  However, among the lucky few who moved into new houses, many families found that everyday domestic life failed to match planners’ expectations.  My research therefore examines gender’s role in planning knowledge and postwar reconstruction, as well as the dialogue and dissonance between planners (architects), observers (social investigators) and inhabitants over how to use and experience the home.  I have previously worked at UCL as a Research Assistant, taught school students secondary level history, led walking tours on the historic Bloomsbury area and ran a series of public events that explored people’s experiences of ‘going dancing’ in the 1940s and 1950s.

Follow me on Twitter @kevin_guyan

Read Kevin’s blog posts.

Stacy Hackner

UCL Institute of Archaeology

I am a fourth 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 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 a research volunteer at the British Museum’s Department of Ancient Egypt & Sudan and the coordinator of a private collection in North London. 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. I am also a long-distance running enthusiast (spurred by my research) and knitter.

Follow me on Twitter: @stacytg

Read Stacy’s blog posts.

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.

Read Tzu-i’s blog posts.

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 Twitter: @viralinsanity

Read Sarah’s blog posts.

Niall Sreenan

 Niall Sreenan

UCL Centre for Multidisciplinary and Intercultural Inquiry

I am a final year Comparative Literature PhD student. My research explores  the complex and often fraught relationships between science and literature, specifically focusing on Darwinian biological theory and literary narratives, beginning from the mid-to-late 19th Century in the wake of the publication of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species. My approach to this research employs a variety of literary theoretical methods, but is primarily concerned with the way in which the complex materialist philosophy of Gilles Deleuze can provide us with a reparative reading of Darwin’s writings and can allow us illuminate the way in which literary texts that address Darwinism contain transformative – and sometimes radical – visions of evolutionary biological thought. Works by Thomas Hardy, Émile Zola, Samuel Butler, Aldous Huxley, and Michel Houellebecq make up the literary corpus of my research. Central to my thought is the notion that literary art is valuable not merely as a means by which we can demonstrate certain precepts of certain philosophical edifices, but as a repository of creative possibility that can transform our understanding of theoretical discourses.

I am a founding member of the Society for Comparative Critical Inquiry at UCL and an editor of the society’s postgraduate Journal Tropos. Additionally, I work as a postgraduate representative for the British Comparative Literature Association.

Twitter: @LatentLaziness

Read Niall’s blog posts.


Misha EwenMisha Ewen

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

Read Misha’s blog posts.

Lara González

Lara 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.

Read Lara’s blog posts.

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.

Read Citlali’s blog posts.