Special Research Link With Lancaster University

Special Uni Research Link

Our Sixth Formers are about to benefit from a special new project to forge research links with Lancaster University.

Our students doing an Extended Project Qualification can now use the expertise of over 15 academics in fields ranging from agriculture and algebra, to ecosystems and Elizabethan literature.

The link-up 

To post a question to a researcher, just click here.



Mr Robert (Bobby) Holdbrook

As a biologist my research focuses on evolutionary processes with my main area of interest is host-parasite interactions.

My current project involves investigating the interactions between nutrition and immunity.

Most of the work I undertake involves the use of insects as a study system, however it is interesting to extrapolate results to other species, including humans.

Mr Richard Boyle

My current area of research investigates the use of alternative irrigation strategies for the production of bedding plants. This research aims to reduce the volume of water used, and to increase the ornamental value of the plants.

Miss Holly Butler

My research is focused on the area of food security and crop production, specifically looking at how essential plant nutrients such as calcium, affect the quality and yield of valuable food products. Although this work is predominantly focused on plant research, there are also aspects of cell biology and analytical chemistry due to the spectroscopy techniques that I use. My undergraduate degree was biological sciences with biomedicine, so would be comfortable helping any students with human biology related studies.

Dr Laura Hobbs

While the effects of hot volcanic deposits on glaciers have been extensively studied, there have been relatively few investigations into the role of cold supraglacial volcanic deposits. During my PhD I researched this topic by looking at the global significance of cold supraglacial volcanic deposits, collecting field measurements, undertaking lab experiments and working out the potential hazardous consequences of interactions between glaciers and cold volcanic deposits.

Mrs Melanie Hartley

I would describe myself as an ecosystem ecologist. I am primarily interested in the cycling of nutrients within an ecosystem, including fluxes of carbon from and to the atmosphere. My postgraduate research has focussed on forest carbon cycling, particularly how large herbivores may influence forest carbon cycling and whether they affect the flux of carbon to the atmosphere.

Miss Idira Obasse

I am a PhD student in Biomedical and Life Sciences at Lancaster University. I am carrying out research on type-2-diabetes. I am currently developing peptide inhibitors of amylin aggregation in type 2 diabetes, which could serve as a potential drug for the disease.

Ms Rachel White

I am a third year PhD student and my thesis is entitled 'Occult Poetics and the Production of Elizabethan Englishness, 1575-1603'. My thesis considers the ways in which the occult tradition (what we might term magic) was an important factor in the late sixteenth century when emphasis was placed on producing vernacular literature. I argue that aspects of the occult tradition became imbued within writing and textual practice, and explore this in chapters on writers such as Philip Sidney, George Chapman, and Fulke Greville in which I consider occult themes such as alchemy and astrology. I also take into account the presence of occult practitioners such as John Dee and Giordano Bruno and how their interactions with these writers impacted upon the burgeoning vernacular literature.

Ms Hannah Griffiths

I study how changes in the diversity of animal communities as a result of human activities influence the functioning of ecosystems. To do this I investigate how dung beetles influence the dispersal of seeds in the Brazilian Amazon. Dung beetles bury dung for feeding and nesting purposes and if there are any seeds in the dung (because the animals were eating fruit) then these are often buried too. This has important implications for the future composition of tropical forests because burial of seeds by beetles can affect the likelihood that seeds germinate and survive to maturity.

Miss Beth Penrose

My current project investigates intra-species (inter-varietal) variation in mineral accumulation by forage grasses. The project focuses on selecting varieties with low radiocaesium and radiostrontium uptake to reduce concentrations of these radionuclides in cow milk in contaminated areas. My research interests include plant nutrition, ionomics and environmental plant physiology.

Ms Shaimaa El Naggar

In my Ph.D. research, I explore the interaction between language, new media and popular culture. Key areas in my research include identities' construction, the rise of the celebrity culture and language online.

Mr Matthew Farmer

I am an International Relations PhD student currently working on ‘Western’ approaches to supporting the progress of LGBT rights in the ‘global South.’ The current focus of my research centres on analysing the function of solidarity in the work of UK organisations that seek to support LGBT rights in sub-Saharan Africa.

Miss Atinuke Lawal

Impact of contaminants on soil biota

Mr Joseph Fennell

I am an insect biologist who looks at how we can use ultraviolet light to improve pest control in crop production. My major research interests are animal behaviour and plant biology.

Mrs Heather Johnson

I am a PhD student in the mathematics department. The main focus of my research is algebraic geometry and Lie algebras over positive characteristic.

Miss Claire Louisa Kelly

Evidence shows that individuals generally have difficulty carrying out two self-control tasks in close succession, completing the first well but showing a diminished performance on the second. It has been suggested that this impairment is due to a depletion of energy resources with that energy substrate being glucose. Using a more objective measure of self-control, my research aims to investigate this area further and also examine whether other factors such as low motivation rather than low blood glucose drives self-control depletion and thus whether glucose administration and/or increasing levels of motivation can attenuate these effects.

Miss Harriet Newnes

My research interests are predominantly in eighteenth and nineteenth-century literature and science. I am also interested in critical animal studies and how this field relates to disciplines such as history, philosophy, ethics, psychology, science and anthropology. My thesis examines depictions and representations of animal faces in a variety of different genres, including scientific, philosophical and fictional literature from the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Beginning with Johann Kaspar Lavater’s writing on physiognomy in the late eighteenth century and continuing to Charles Darwin’s study of pathognomy in The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals (1872) my thesis explores the impact that different methods of reading faces (from reading morality to recognising emotional expression) has on constructions of humanity and animality.

Miss Elena Nichele

My research explores how branding shapes identity and culture and vice versa. Indeed, I am investigating how businesses communicate and convey the “nationality” of their goods/services. I focus mainly on how businesses employ the “nationality” of their goods/services, especially on how Italian food businesses present themselves in the UK market, both linguistically and semiotically.

Miss Elizabeth Nichols

My current area of research is in Film Studies and is to do with what the cinematic experience is and how it can be defined.

Last modified: Tuesday, 14 April 2015, 5:32 PM