QES Sixth Formers Forge Research Links with Lancaster University

Sixth Formers Forge Research Links with Lancaster University

Our Sixth Formers are about to benefit from a special project to forge academic research links with post-graduates at  Lancaster University.

Our students doing an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) will be able to use the expertise of over a dozen academics in fields ranging from ecosystems to health economics and history to contemporary cinema.

The University post-grads will be available via a special online forum to answer questions and offer advice, such as on research methods and sources.

EPQ is an increasingly popular option for Sixth Formers because it allows students to dig deeper into a topic of their choice  and develop the independent learning skills that are invaluable at university or in employment. For more details of EPQ, click here.

QES is delighted that so many academics at Lancaster have kindly agreed to help our students. Here are details of this Uni team...




Ms Sarah Ann Robin

My areas of interest are early-modern social history of England and the Americas, with a particular focus on the seventeenth-century.

Other areas of interest include the history of emotions, life-cycle and ritual, spaces, family, relationships and gender.

My source material includes material culture, diaries, correspondence, court papers and literature.

Dr Alfonso Lag-Brotons

The thematic fields in which I am interested are soil protection, waste management and bio-energy production, being these aspects oriented towards the achievement of sustainable agro-systems.

My previous research focused on the effect of sewage sludge compost applications on Mediterranean agro-systems in marginal lands, with the aim of protecting soil while increasing energy crops growth. Currently, I am participating in a NERC RRfW project funded research to develop sustainable fertilisers from bio-energy waste streams (anaerobic digestate and ash).

This project represents an outstanding opportunity to continue with my research line on soil-plant system as affected by organic amendments, especially concerning nutritional interactions.

Dr Prashant Singh

The expansion of the global population is placing ever increasing demands on plants as sources of food, feed and fuel. In nature, an appropriate response to diverse environmental challenges is key for plant survival and reproduction.

One new form of phenotypic plasticity that plant may use for this purpose that has recently emerged is transgenerational priming of plant defence responses. One major objective of my current research is to understand and characterise transgenerational immune priming in plants that presents an opportunity for exploitation in sustainable agriculture.

I am also interested to find out the role of seed jasmonates in regulation of dormancy and defence priming in Arabidopsis.

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.

Dr Rachel Marshall

I’m an ecologist interested in how processes in soils and in plants influence one another.

Understanding these interactions is key to understanding how our global systems will respond to changes in climate, land use and how we can use our plant and soil resources more sustainably.

My current research looks at recycling waste material to arable land to provide nutritional benefits for crop production alongside additional benefits for ecosystem health. I have always been interested in forests, mountains, space and bikes.

Dr Kate Buckeridge

Kate is an ecosystem ecologist who investigates how climate change, seasonality and disturbance alter plant and microbial communities and biogeochemical processes. 

She manipulates ecosystems in the field and soils in the lab to mimic global change and to understand ecosystem response.

Mr Matthew Farmer

I am an International Relations PhD student in the Politics, Philosophy & Religion department at Lancaster University.

My research seeks to analyse the role of UK-based non-governmental organisations in transnational LGBTI activism. This involves me researching the ways in which such organisations interact with activists, organisations and government institutions internationally around the area of LGBTI rights.

My research methods include analysing publications and policy documents, interviewing key members of my target organisations, as well as evaluating social media engagements. My broader research interests include the impact of colonial history on contemporary international relations, the politics of nationalism and identity, and the politics of sexuality and gender.

Dr Katharina Janke

I am a “Lecturer in Health Economics Modelling” but I am not sure why they had to add the “modelling” to my job title.

I do research in the area of Health Economics, which means I investigate economic aspects of health and healthcare. My PhD thesis looks at the impact of air pollution on health. It examines if avoidance behaviour in response to air pollution forecasts affects estimates of the relationship between air pollutants and health outcomes. I have discussed this paper in a blog post: http://cabot-institute.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/do-people-respond-to-air-pollution.html.

My current research looks at economic aspects of healthcare. In one project, we investigate how the pay of Chief Executives of NHS Hospital Trusts is related to their performance. In another project we examine if the allocation of funds to GP practices is fair or if instead the “Inverse Care Law” postulated in the 1970s by Julian Tudor Hart applies.

Ms Liz Houghton

I am using a variety of qualitative methods - interviews, focus groups, participation observations - to research why students choose to go to university: how they choose a particular subject to study, how they decide which university will be best for them, and how these might be affected by their family background. I am looking at what their hopes and concerns about university are, and how they think going to university will help them in the future. 

Mr Mark Ashby

I am interested in how the number of plant species within the uncropped areas on UK farms affects the delivery of ecosystem services (the benefits that people receive from the natural environment) and the amount of invertebrate wildlife present.

Given the rising demand to produce more food and the growing threat of global environmental instability, the services I am interested in are those that benefit food production and help to reduce the causes and consequences of climate change.

These include crop pollination and the control of crop pests by insects, the storage of carbon and absorption of rainwater within the soil, and the recycling of plant nutrients by invertebrates and soil microorganisms. 

Mr John Crawford

I am a forest ecologist researching the interactions between plants and soil. I mainly focus on how carbon is used and stored in forest ecosystems.

Dr Rob Mills

I'm a soil biogeochemist, which means I'm interested in how the organisms that live in soil cycle the energy and nutrients that sustain ecosystems.

I want to understand how these processes change over large temporal scales, and how patterns in topography (mountains mainly) can influence the processes that occur in soils. I work in mountain systems mainly, but also in forests, peatlands and high-grasslands.

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

I am currently doing research into the cinematic experience and distracted spectatorship.

Using The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 as an example I am tracking how all the elements we come into contact with before seeing a film, promotional material etc, have an effect on our overall cinematic experience.

Last modified: Monday, 4 January 2016, 3:54 PM