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
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
Admissions Tutor
Lecturer (Philosophy)

Simon's research has focused ancient and continental philosophy, particularly the trajectory of Plato, Nietzsche and Deleuze. He is currently working on 'Deleuze's strategy for overcoming ressentiment in his reading of Nietzsche', and 'Shame and erotic love in Plato's Symposium and Phaedrus'.

Dr Mircea Scrob

Mircea Scrob

Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences
Lecturer (Interdisciplinary Humanities)

Mircea's research and teaching interests are in the areas of Food Studies, Mixed Research Methods, Economic History of Modern Eastern Europe, and History of Nutritional Science in the 20th Century.

Dr Julia Myatt

Julia Myatt

Academic Lead: Subjects in Life and Environmental Science
Senior Lecturer in Behavioural Ecology and Morphology 

Julia's research interests have focused on the morphology-behaviour-habitat interface in non-human Great Apes and the collective behaviour of group-living animals. 

Dr Abigail Bellamy-Carter

Abigail Bellamy-Carter

Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences
Lecturer (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 (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 Julian Pänke


Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences Academic Lead: Subjects in Social Sciences
Lecturer in European Politics

Julian Pänke is particularly interested in the international relations of Europe. His research explores EU foreign policy, the impact of history on foreign policy making and currently how tensions between nation- and empire building shape a state’s external behaviour. Thus, more broadly the relation between culture and power. From a regional perspective, Julian has focused on Central and Eastern Europe as well as the EU’s relations with Arab states.

Julian is also the DAAD-Fachlektor at the University. The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) is a registered association and its members are German institutions of higher education and student bodies. The DAAD supports the internationalisation of German universities, promotes German studies and the German language abroad, advises decision makers on matters of cultural, education and development policy and supports the international exchange of students and scholars through funding.

Dr Steffen Prauser

Steffen Prauser

Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences
Lecturer (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 Betsy Porritt

Betsy Porritt

Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences
Teaching Fellow (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 Will Tattersdill

Photograph of Will Tattersdill

Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences Academic Lead: Subjects in Arts and Law
Senior Lecturer in Popular Literature

Will is interested in the relationship between literature and science, especially as it is figured in popular culture from the nineteenth century to the present. His current work is on the social history of dinosaurs over this period.


Graham Davies

Graham Davies

Programme Manager

Graham provides administrative support for student assessment, feedback, registration and progression, acting as a link between LANS and other departments.

Neil Nelson

Neil Nelson

Operations Manager

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.

Nicole Darby

Nicole Darby

Wellbeing Officer (Covering Maternity Leave)

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.

Ruth Johnson 

Ruth Johnson

Wellbeing Officer

Ruth provides pastoral and study-related advice for the welfare and support of our students.

Mary Ann Clarke

Mary Ann Clarke

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

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.