Archived Complete Visits

The Institute of Advanced Studies welcomed the following IAS Distinguished Visiting Fellows (DVFs) to Birmingham in 2015. The IAS DVF programme welcomes  outstanding academics from global leading institutions around the world for research collaborations and the enrichment of campus life.


Gernot Stroth, University of Halle

strothProfessor Gernot Stroth, University of Halle (15 February - 29 March 2015)

Professor Gernot Stroth is an internationally leading algebraist who is acclaimed for his incisive contributions to the finite simple group classification, and will be hosted by Professor Chris Parker.

The mathematics behind the classification of the finite simple groups represents one of the major achievements of mathematicians over the last sixty years. Current advances focus on understanding the local structure of groups and how that structure influences global properties. Stroth's most recent work with Meierfrankenfeld (Michigan, USA) and Stellmacher (Kiel, Germany) is a monumental contribution to our understanding of the subject. In addition to research successes, Stroth has also contributed to the mathematical community, from 1996 to 2001 he served on the executive committee of the Deutsche Mathematiker-Vereinigung (the major professional society for German mathematicians) and from 2000 to 2001 he served as its president. He is currently a member of numerous national committees and is president of Mathematical Competitions for high school pupils. Stroth has been an editor of the Journal of Algebra since 1985 and is an editor of the book series "Mathematik Kompakt".

Debbie Hemming, Met Office Hadley Centre

DebbieHemmingDr Debbie Hemming, Met Office Hadley Centre (15 February - 31 May 2015)

Dr Hemming is Scientific Manager for the Vegetation-Climate Interactions group within the Met Office Hadley Centre, and will be hosted by Professor Rob MacKenzie. Her group is focussed on improving the understanding and modelling of vegetation in the climate/earth system.

Deborah’s background integrates ecosystem research and climate/earth-system modeling, with the focus of improving understanding of ecosystem functioning and the potential impacts of environmental changes on ecosystem services. She completed a PhD on ‘Stable isotopes in tree rings: Biosensors of environmental change’ at the University of Cambridge Plant Sciences department, followed by post-doctoral research on vegetation-climate interactions in arid systems at University of Arizona, USA, and Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel.

Since joining the Met Office Hadley Centre in 2004 her work has focussed on large-scale Earth System Modelling and its application to climate risk management, contributing to and leading on a wide range of national and international projects. During this time she spent 8 months working at the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and Climate Change Committee Secretariat providing climate science advice during the passing of the UK Climate Change Bill. She also led the World Meteorological Organisation’s Task Team on Climate Risk Management between 2011 and 2014.

Currently, she is on the Steering Group for the UK Biodiversity Impacts of Climate Change Observation Network (BICCO-net), and is a Review Editor for the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) report that is currently in preparation on ‘Modelling impacts of drivers on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning’. She has over 50 peer-reviewed publications, including contributing author to the 4th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and led on many non peer-reviewed reports for customer projects.

Katia Rubio, University of São Paulo

rubioProfessor Katia Rubio, University of São Paulo (16 February - 15 April 2015)

Professor Rubio is Associate Professor at the School of Sports and Physical Education at the University of São Paulo, and will be hosted by Dr Jonathan Grix.. Graduating in Journalism at Cásper Líbero College (1983), she then went on to graduate in Psychology at Catholic Pontific University of São Paulo (1995). She obtained a Masters in Physical Education at University of São Paulo (1998) and a Ph.D. in Education at University of São Paulo (2001).

Katia was also president of Brazilian Sport Psychology Association (2003-2007) and editor of Brazilian Journal of Sport Psychology (2004 – 2012). She is member of the Brazilian Olympic Academy and she lectured at the International Olympic Academy (Olympia – Greece) in 2012 and 2013.

A leading expert on the Olympic Games and Olympians in particular, Professor Rubio has the largest collection of in-depth life histories of Olympians (Brazilians) globally. Seeking to combine insights from history, sport psychology and politics in her work, she will make significant contributions to the latest IAS theme ‘Sport Politics’ during her visit to Birmingham.

Caroline Essers, Radboud University Nijmegen

CEssersDr Caroline Essers, Radboud University Nijmegen (17-23 May and 8-12 June 2015)

Dr Essers is an Assistant Professor Strategic Human Resource Management at the Radboud University Nijmegen, Faculty of Management and an Associate Professor Entrepreneurship at VU University Amsterdam. She will be hosted by Professor Monder Ram OBE. Caroline’s research focuses at the social dynamics of entrepreneurship, such as the identity constructions of female migrant entrepreneurs and their networking.

She uses diverse perspectives in her research on entrepreneurship, such as postcolonial feminist theory and social constructivist approaches like the narrative/life-story approach.

Her work has been published in the Organization Studies, Organization, Human Relations, Gender, Work and Organization, British Journal of Management, Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, and International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research. She is an Associate Editor for Gender, Work and Organization, and is organizing the stream on Critical Entrepreneurship Studies (CES) on the Critical Management Studies (CMS) conference for the fourth time this year.

Michael Apple, University of Wisconsin

mike_apple_0-picProfessor Michael Apple, University of Wisconsin (31 May - 30 June 2015)

Professor Apple will be hosted by Professor David GillbornCentre for Research in Race & Education.

Michael W. Apple is widely recognised as one of the world’s leading critical educators. His reputation is built on an exceptional body of scholarship that extends from the 1970s to the present day. Professor Apple’s standing is equally strong in numerous parts of the world, including North America, Europe, South America (especially Brazil and Argentina), South Africa and Asia (particularly China). His truly global impact can be gauged by the many translations of his books and by the constant international demand for his services as a speaker and collaborative progressive educator.

As John Bascom Professor he holds one of the most prestigious university-wide chairs at the University of Wisconsin, Madison: In addition to more than 300 journal articles, Professor Apple has authored and edited more than 40 books, many of them translated into additional languages. These include many landmark publications, for example:

  • Ideology and Curriculum (1979, rev. 1990 & 2004: international editions include Brazil, Spain, Korea, Japan, and Greece).
  • Education and Power (1982, rev 1985 & 1995. Includes Chinese, Portuguese, Taiwanese, Spanish, Thai, Korean, Greek and Brazilian editions).
  • Teachers and Texts (1986: Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish editions).
  • Official Knowledge (1993 & 2000: Brazilian, Spanish, Japanese, Korean, and Chinese editions).
  • Democratic Schools (1995 & 2007 with James Beane: Taiwanese, Spanish, Japanese, Brazilian, and two Indian editions - in Hindi and English).
  • Cultural Politics and Education (1996: Spanish, Japanese, Italian, Brazilian, Ukrainian and Chinese editions).
  • Educating the ‘Right’ Way (2001 & 2006: Greek, Spanish, Brazilian, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, and Portuguese editions).
  • The Subaltern Speak (2006 with Kristen Buras: Chinese and Brazilian editions).

Becky Loo, University of Hong Kong

looProfessor Becky Loo, University of Hong Kong (1 - 30 June 2015)

Professor Becky Loo, University of Hong Kong will be hosted by Professors John R. BrysonDavid DickinsonJoanne Duberley, Chris RogersMiles Tight, and Dr Phil Jones

Professor Loo is one of the foremost Asian scholars working in the area of infrastructure, transportation and urban transformation. She is Director of the Institute of Transport Studies, Professor of Geography and Associate Dean of the Graduate School at The University of Hong Kong. Her current research interests focus on sustainable transport, e-technologies and society and she has been working on understanding infrastructure in high density cities.

We are delighted that Becky, who has an established track record of leading and participating in cross-disciplinary research, joins us at a time when we have fruitful and timely collaborations between the Colleges of Social Sciences (Business School), Engineering and Physical Sciences (Civil Engineering) and Life and Environmental Sciences (Geography).

Katja Goebs, University of Toronto

goebsProfessor Katja Goebs, University of Toronto (2 June - 10 July 2015)

Professor Katja Goebs is an Associate Professor of Egyptology in the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilisations at the University of Toronto and will be hosted by Dr Martin Bommas. Whilst here Professor Goebs will be working closely with the Birmingham Memory Group.

Katja’s research focuses primarily on the history of Egyptian religion and the institution of the kingship with a special interest in "myths" of the kingship and the shared iconography of gods and kings, etc. Prof Goebs is one of the leading scholars in this field of research and her recent publications, for instance “Crowns in early Egyptian Funerary Literature: Royalty, Rebirth, Destruction” have pushed the borders of the discipline. Systematic religious studies in Egyptology are well-established but research on the relation between the king and myth including rituals is more recent, which will benefit from an interdisciplinary and broad methodological approach.

Geoff Eley, University of Michigan

EleyGeoff-picProfessor Geoff Eley, University of Michigan (21 June - 5 July 2015)

Geoff Eley is the Karl Pohrt Distinguished University Professor of Contemporary History, as well as being a faculty member of the German Department, at the University of Michigan. Professor Eley has been nominated by Professor Matthew Hiltonfrom the Department of History and Modern British Studies.

Geoff Eley is an internationally renowned scholar with broad research interests including German and British history, global history, the European Left, nations and nationalism, citizenship, social theory, and the relationship of history to theory and the social sciences.

Hugh Craig, University of Newcastle, Austrailia

Hugh-CraigProfessor Hugh Craig, University of Newcastle, Australia (6 July - 2 August 2015)

Renaissance literature expert Professor Hugh Craig is a man of letters. But the computational stylist is equally a man of numbers.

Craig is the Director of the Centre for Linguistic and Literary Computingat the University of Newcastle, Australia, and will be hosted by Dr Gillian Wright.. He has been an advocate of computer-assisted analysis of language in literature since the controversial field began to emerge in the 1980s.

He has devoted decades of research to proving that statistics can help us analyse and appreciate literary texts.

Craig's work is based largely on frequency data and has led to several breakthrough findings in regard to Shakespearean works. Using his computational techniques he found that Shakespeare was the likely author of a number of scenes from the play ‘The Spanish Tragedy’ that had previously been attributed to the playwright Ben Jonson. The results are presented in his 2009 co-edited book Shakespeare, Computers and the Mystery of Authorship.

Craig's research builds on the work of the centre's founder, Emeritus Professor John Burrows, who was the first to establish that simple function words such as "he", "and", "but" and "if" were rich in stylistic information when analysed using computational techniques.

In a novel cross-disciplinary exercise, Craig employed the expertise of Professor Pablo Moscato, who heads the University's bioinformatics program, to assist in the analysis of texts. The pair undertook a joint project comparing the structure of language in Shakespeare's plays and poems, which returned interesting evidence of a vast disparity in style between the two literary disciplines.

Craig has also linked with University speech pathology researchers to study how computational linguistics can be applied in the health sphere.

David Ellsworth, University of Western Sydney

EllsworthProfessor David Ellsworth, University of Western Sydney (30 April - 13 September 2015)

The newly-formed Birmingham Institute of Forest Research (BIFoR) is forging close links with other world-leading institutes of forest research, including the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment (HIE). Close links between BIFoR and HIE are especially important because these two institutes will run the only examples of forest-scale Free-Air Carbon Dioxide Enrichment (FACE) experiments for the next decade. He will be hosted by Professor Rob MacKenzie.

Professor David Ellsworth leads the HIE forest-FACE experiment and is a leading environmental biologist with a world-wide reputation.

Priorities for this first visit are:

  1. Input into the design of the BIFoR FACE experiment
  2. Development of a complementary research agenda between HIE and BIFoR
  3. Joint BIFoR-HIE involvement in European proposals

On top of these priorities, David will contribute to public engagement through public seminars and while at BIFoR, will David with our key academic and non-academic stakeholders, to help build the perception of the two forest-FACE facilities as a single, globally leading, experimental facility.

Professor Ellsworth’s full profile can be found on his webpage.

Martha Fineman, Emory University

FinemanProfessor Martha Fineman, Emory University (19 August - 19 September 2015)

Martha Fineman is the Robert W. Woodruff Professor of Law at Emory University and will be hosted by Professors Sean Coyle and Marie Fox from Birmingham Law School.

Martha Fineman is an internationally renowned scholar of the highest standing, whose work addresses complex and boundary-transcending themes of human vulnerability and resilience. During the visit there are plans to organise a major interdisciplinary workshop on the broad theme of ‘Vulnerability and Justice’ and a more focused event on ‘Vulnerability and Embodiment’. Together these events will examine the many-stranded nature of human vulnerability, as it is manifested in diverse areas of human experience (medicine, education, employment, social life etc.). Vulnerability is at once universal and yet highly particular and ever-changing in the way that it is experienced. The task of managing vulnerabilities, and of building resilience across society is no less complex. The workshop and seminar would address the connections between the concepts of vulnerability and justice, and how embodiment is implicated in this relationship. They would examine how the articulation and exploration of vulnerability can inform scholarship both within and across a range of subject areas throughout UoB. Professor Fineman's visit would facilitate discussions with scholars from both across and outside Birmingham, paying particular attention to the question of how resilience-fostering mechanisms and institutions can be developed in distinct areas of life. In this respect, her visit would inform and build upon the IAS theme of Saving Humans and the College of Arts and Law research theme of Justice and Conflict.

Links are being developed across the University including Medicine (notably public health scholars in MESH), and (through the Centre for Professional Legal Education and Research and other initiatives, such as the UoB Policy Commission on Healthy Aging) to explore wider engagement with the local community. Professor Fineman’s visit will serve to position Birmingham at the cutting edge of this emerging and vibrant research field, to build national and international links and to facilitate a major Research Council funding bid to take this scholarship forward.