Meet the team - Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences

Our Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences team is drawn from across the University's wide-ranging disciplinary expertise. Our academics are developing innovative solutions to big issues across the arts and sciences.

Professor Diana Spencer

Dr Diana Spencer

Dean, Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences
Professor of Classics

Diana’s research explores the nature of individual and collective identity in ancient Rome during the late Republic and 1st century CE. This puts her in regular conversation with intellectual and political luminaries: Cicero, Caesar, Horace, Vergil and Varro.

Dr Lloyd Jenkins

Dr Lloyd Jenkins, Deputy Dean, Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences - University of Birmingham

Deputy Dean, Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences
Senior Lecturer in Historical and Cultural Geography

Dr Jenkins is a Historical Geographer, with an interest in landscape change and people’s relationship with the past.

Dr Ilija Rašović


Director of Natural Sciences
Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences Academic Lead: Subjects in Engineering and Physical Sciences
Lecturer in Engineering and Physical Sciences

Ilija’s research interests lie at the interface of materials science, chemistry and medicine, harnessing supramolecular chemistry, particularly with carbon nanomaterials, for use in medical applications. He also focuses on practical science communication, aiding students, staff and research groups throughout the university.

Dr Simon Scott

Photograph of Dr Simon Scott

Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences
Associate Professor in Philosophy
Admissions Tutor

Simon’s research is in ancient and continental philosophy, and in interdisciplinary studies. He bridges these interests to explore the philosophy of interdisciplinarity, and in practising interdisciplinarity. He is currently researching into shame and masculinity.

Dr Betsy Porritt

Betsy Porritt






Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences
Teaching Fellow in Interdisciplinary Humanities

Betsy is a poet and literary scholar, with a special interest in post-war American poetry. She recently completed her PhD at the University of Kent on the inter-disciplinary practice of painter, writer, sound artist, and archive diver Susan Howe. Betsy’s own poetry practice uses visual and sound elements to think about the poem as site of potential resistance and reimagination.


Dr Evelyn Svingen

 Portrait of Evelyn Svingen





Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences
Assistant Professor in Criminology
Academic Lead in Social Sciences

Evelyn is a criminologist with an interest in biosocial explanations of crime. She currently explores the field of evolutionary criminology and the etiology of crime, combining methods from social science, neuroscience, and behavioural economics. Her role draws together Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences (LANS) and the College of Social Sciences (CoSS), where she teaches modules on criminological theory.

Dr Abigail Bellamy-Carter

Abigail Bellamy-Carter

Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences
Lecturer in Interdisciplinary Sciences

Abigail contributes to the delivery of the core LANS modules and is a personal tutor. Her background is in surface science, investigating self-assembly and chemical reactions of molecules when confined to surfaces such as high ordered pyrolytic graphite and Ag(111).


Dr Jennifer Marshall

Image of Jennifer Marshall

Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences Academic Lead: Subjects in Medical and Dental Sciences
Lecturer in Biomedical Sciences

Jennifer’s research interests are fibroblasts in inflammatory diseases. She is also an imaging using a variety of imaging and analysis methods to obtain insight into patient disease stage and outcome. Jennifer is an enthusiastic and engaged member of the teaching community within the Medical School as a lecturer, personal tutor and developer of new teaching material. Her previous post-doctoral work and PhD studies concentrated on B cell responses; how they respond to different antigens in vitro and in vivo. This encompassed vaccine design, aging and B cell differentiation.


Dr Steffen Prauser

Steffen Prauser






Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences Lecturer in Interdisciplinary Humanities and Conflict Studies

Steffen's research and teaching interests are in the areas of War Studies, Social and Political History of Contemporary Western Europe in general, and on France and Italy under German occupation during the Second World War in particular. For LANS he also runs the Summer School on Conflict Studies in France and teaches “French Reading” classes.  


Dr Zoe Bulaitis

Zoe Bulaitis






Assistant Professor, Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences

Zoe is a humanities educator with specific expertise in public humanities, economic humanities, contemporary and nineteenth-century literature, critical theory, and creative industries research. As a result of these interests, she is an advocate for the value of the arts and humanities in many parts of public life.


Neil Nelson 

Neil Nelson 230 x 230 Director of Operations

Neil provides professional managerial support to the Dean and works with business partners responsible for planning, quality, marketing, HR, external relations and the international office. He also liaises with our academic colleagues across the colleges.

 Ruth Johnson 

Ruth Johnson 230 x 230






Education Support Manager

Ruth supports the management and development of educational provisions working closely with senior academics and Professional Services colleagues. 

Ruth is responsible for the management and optimisation of administration for all learning, teaching and quality administrative processes. She also manages the Education Support administrators.


 Nicole Darby

Nicole Darby 230 x 230






Wellbeing Officer

Nicole (she/her) is experienced in working with mental health, particularly providing welfare and study related advice to students.

Nicole is currently completing an MSc in Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy, and works as a counsellor in training as part of her studies.


 Mary Ann Clarke

Mary Ann Clarke 230 x 230






Senior Education Support Administrator

Mary Ann provides students with an initial point of contact for programme matters, including assessment, feedback and module registration, communicating on your behalf to other Schools. She also assists in the management of events, such as Open Days and Offer-holder Visit Days.


 Sharmaine Afferion 

Sharmaine Afferion 230 x 230






Senior Education Support Administrator

Sharmaine supports students with module choices and registration, communicating on your behalf to other Schools. She also provides support to our Academics in terms of exam boards, assessments and marking.  Sharmaine also assists in the management of events, such as conferences and graduation.

 Jodie Eagles 

Jodie Eagles 230 x 230






Student Experience and Wellbeing Officer

Jodie has worked across various departments in the University for many years, and has long been interested in student wellbeing and experience. You might see her as a Wellbeing Officer, where she offers practical and emotional support to students. The other part of her role focuses on student experience and projects, so she will be looking after our Student Reps and the Staff-Student Forum.