Student Representatives

Meet your NWSSDTP Student Representatives

Matt Hanley, Development and Humanitarianism in an Unequal World, Lancaster University (2019 Cohort)

Based in the Lancaster Environment Centre at the university, Matt is researching environmental peacebuilding, the idea that sharing ecological resources can act as an access point to cooperation and peace negotiations in a conflict arena. His research area is the historic and ongoing conflict in east Africa between Uganda, DR Congo and Rwanda, and he is using political ecology to address the research gap between inter-state cooperation over resources and subsequent regional political cooperation.


Matina Shafti, Psychology, University of Manchester (2019 Cohort)

“Hey everyone! I’m a 2nd year PhD student on the psychology pathway, based at the University of Manchester. My research is investigating how personality and emotional functioning might lead to both self-harm and violence in forensic mental health service users. I’m excited to be your Student Rep and I’m looking forward to hopefully e-meeting you all soon! Follow me on Twitter @MatinaPsy in the meantime if you’d like to connect 😊”


Ruby Rutter, Economic and Social History, University of Manchester (2018 Cohort)

Hi, I’m Ruby – I’m a third year PhD student looking at elite women’s lived experiences in the eighteenth-century country house, focussing on the idea of comfort and the interplay between space, place and emotion in an historical context. I examine the emotional motivations behind the materiality of the country house, and how these affected elite women’s engagement with consumerism.


Laura Briody, Criminology, Social Policy and Social Work, Keele University (2018 Cohort)

I am a 3rd year CASE PhD student in Criminology at Keele University. My project, ‘Operationalising “Vulnerability”’ investigates how police officers are informed about, identify and respond to individuals categorised as ‘vulnerable’. I am a member of the BSC Vulnerability Response Network.

Contact: and @BriodyLaura. 

Sophie Merrix, Economic & Social History, Lancaster University (2020 Cohort)

“Hi, I’m a history PhD student at Lancaster University. My PhD project analyses the lives of Black Africans in Stuart England; a period that witnessed the emergence and growth of Britain’s trans-Atlantic slave trade alongside shifting racial ideologies. The research I undertake will produce a database of the African English (1603-1714) while also writing black individuals into the history of Early Modern English society. My project will offer original insights into the ways in which Empire altered the place, status, and careers of Africans in England. I hope to unpack and decentre whiteness by exploring and showcasing this particular epoch of Black history. Britain’s multi-ethnic past remains hidden for the majority, behind victor histories and more mainstream subjects from this period. My PhD looks to rectify this.”


Jingwen Zhang, Social Statistics, University of Manchester (2020 Cohort)

I am a first-year PhD student in Social Statistics at the University of Manchester. Having a background in demography and social medicine, I am mainly interested in social determinants of health, ageing, low fertility, and life course theory with a focus on quantitative methods. My PhD project is on the impact of later life work-family interface on the health of older people in China. I hope to meet people from different cultures during my time at the North West DTP.


Adele Moore, Social Studies of Science, Technology and Medicine, University of Liverpool (2020 Cohort)

My research seeks to explore the constitution of women’s contemporary contraceptive knowledges and their practices of contraceptive experimentation. It will review and interrogate the procedures and practices through which the contraceptive knowledges of young women in England are constituted. Additionally, I will be investigating the ways in which contraception is accessed and practised during the pandemic of COVID-19.


Yigit Oezcelik, Economics, University of Liverpool (2018 Cohort)


My main area of research is Behavioural and Experimental economics. I am interested in unethical behaviour on markets under uncertainty and the role new technologies such as feedback systems or automated decision support systems play.

Contact: ; @YigitOezcelik

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