Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

I supervise PhD projects, with experience as a first and third supervisor. I welcome enquiries from students wishing to be supervised in PhD projects broadly within the area of creative methods for participatory research.

Personal profile


I'm Associate Professor in Arts and Sustainability at the University of Portsmouth. and Deputy Director of the Revolution Plastics Institute at the University of Portsmouth.

A biological scientist by training and having previously worked in the arts, the primary purpose of my research is to address global problems such as air quality, lung health and plastic pollution using transdisciplinary and participatory methodologies. 

I have worked on numerous international projects using arts-based methods, such as music, digital storytelling, puppetry and visual arts, to engage communities and find solutions to global issues in line with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

I play a central role in developing global partnerships for the Revolution Plastics Institute, including with NGOs, civil society, community organisations, governments, industry and academia. 


I joined the University of Portsmouth in 2016 as a Research Fellow in Enterprise and Innovation. I was promoted to Senior Research Fellow in 2017 and became Deputy Director of Revolution Plastics in 2021.

In a previous life I was a founder member of KLF Communications, an independent record label set up to distribute music produced by The KLF. In 1992 The KLF sold more singles worldwide than any other band. We ran our own PR campaigns and were renowned for producing rather extravagant videos and TV performances. My role involved doing anything and everything, including mailing out white labels to influential DJs, art directing video shoots, choreographing non-dancers, providing vocals and jumping up and down on Top of the Pops.

I took a career break for a few years to raise my three children and then went back to school to study for a BSc. in Biological Sciences at the University of Brighton. This led on to a PhD investigating molecular pathways in cancer cells and a few years undertaking post-doctoral research in the field of biomedical sciences. These are listed in Pure profile under 'Projects' tab.

My post-doctoral projects included art-science crossover and public dissemination activities. This synthesis of different disciplines, knowledge and experience developed my innovative approach to research.

I'm currently a Researcher’s Network Champion at the University of Portsmouth and was a member of the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) Research Delivery group for two years


Research Interests

My core interests are action research and creative, participatory methods to address global health and sustainability issues such as plastic waste and air pollution. 

Key to tackling global issues, in my opinion, is to build teams and deliver projects that involve a wide range of stakeholders. To this end, I am interested in exploring how we can use community and participatory arts-based methodologies to ensure all voices are heard. Creative methodologies help to explore and document lived experience, disrupt silos, overcome language barriers, break down hierarchies, and reveal unexpected findings.

This was demonstrated in the Action Against Covid Transmission (ACT) project in Nairobi, Kenya. We supported public health messaging on how to reduce the transmission of Covid-19 through a range of culturally appropriate media including songs, puppet shows, memes, murals, and a comic. We gained a greater understanding of the lived experiences of slum dwellers in the pandemic. 

Creative methodologies were also very successful in the sensitisation programme for the TUPUMUE project, which explored the links between lung health and air pollution in Kenya. Puppetry was used to explain the research process to the community. This built trust and led to 900 families being willing to participate in scientific research.

Funding sources include GCRF, MRC, AHRC, NERC, Wellcome Trust, Interreg 2 Seas.



Media Availability

I am happy to take calls and emails from the media on my research, and am aware of the need to respond to journalists in a timely manner.

Interested journalists can contact the University's Media and Communications team for support and advice on all media engagement, including out of hours.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

Education/Academic qualification

Ph.D., Hypoxia as a Target for Drug Combination Therapy of Liver Cancer , University of Brighton

Jan 2007Nov 2011

Award Date: 30 Nov 2011

BSc (Hons), Biological Sciences (1st Class) , University of Brighton

Sept 2003Jun 2006

Award Date: 30 Jun 2006

External positions

Early Career Ambassador, University of Brighton


Research Fellow, University of Brighton


Creative Director, KLF Communications


Field Manager, Cooper Research and Marketing



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