Centre for Public and Policy Engagement

Public Voice Scholars Scheme

A close up of a microphone with a busy conference room in the background.

The University has launched its new and prestigious Public Voice Scholars scheme with the appointment of fifteen new Public Voice Scholars. This is the first such scheme in the UK

The aim of the new Public Voice Scholars (PVS) scheme is to provide thought and practice leadership on public and policy engagement and research impact. The scheme will elevate the value of public engagement within the university, and the Public Voice Scholars will become important expressions of national and international leadership in public and policy engagement. The scholars will speak and act on behalf of their research expertise, the wider disciplinary context, and the university itself. They will also be a crucial route for the voice of communities to shape university research.

Public Voice Scholars

Our Public Voice Scholars come from disciplines across the university and have experience in co-produced research, engagement and knowledge exchange that leads to improvements in the lives of the public.

Dr Liam Jarvis

Dr Liam Jarvis

Liam is a practitioner, writer and theatre director whose research explores the postdigital, intermediality, interactivity, virtual embodiment and immersion in contemporary performance practices. As a maker with over 20 years of experience, his work has ranged from stage shows to installations, often involving science-art interdisciplinary collaborations. Liam received the Times Higher Education’s ‘Most Innovative Teacher of the Year’ Award in 2021 for his research-led teaching, which rapidly modelled new practice-based forms of hybrid teaching delivery mid-pandemic. He has co-created and led CPD courses for drama teachers and masterclasses for secondary school students as part of the National Theatre’s Discover programme.

Dr Liam Jarvis, Senior Lecturer, Department of Literature Film and Theatre Studies (LiFTS)

Dr Anna Sturrock

anna sturrockAnna is an aquatic ecologist using natural tags to track fish movements, diet and health. Her work identifies the critical habitats supporting wild capture fisheries and the factors influencing survival and resilience. This research helps to inform targeted management and conservation measures to protect critical ecosystem services during this time of unprecedented global change. Anna is very active in public engagement, contributing to the “Ocean Travellers” project, showcased at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition in 2022, as well as other public events including British Science week.

Dr Anna Sturrock, Lecturer, School of Life Sciences

Dr Koldo Casla

Dr Koldo Casla

Koldo is the Director of the Human Rights Centre Clinic and lead for the “Human Rights Local” project. His main area of research is economic and social rights in the UK and internationally. Human Rights Local brings human rights closer to the ground, adapting international standards and principles to the local context. Human Rights Local is forming strong connections with a number of local community groups based in Colchester, Jaywick and Clacton. Koldo has worked with several NGOs and public authorities, including Amnesty International, Just Fair and the Human Rights Commissioner of the Basque Country (Spain).

Dr Koldo Casla, Lecturer, Essex Law School

Dr Alix Green

Alix GreenAlix came to academia after a career in policy, strategy and government affairs, which shaped her research interests in political culture and policy making, and the roles and responsibilities of historians in public life. She has since focused on co-produced projects with business archivists to help mobilise historical records for the present-day organisation, collaborating with the John Lewis Partnership, Unilever and Marks & Spencer archives, among others. The connections between archives, record-keeping and power animate her research, teaching and knowledge exchange work.

Dr Alix Green, Reader, Department of History

Dr Matt Lodder

Matt LodderMatt has recently published “Painted People: Humanity in 21 Tattoos” with mass-market publisher HarperCollins, which tracks the story of tattooing over more than 5,000 years. His research applying art-historical methods to the history of Western tattooing has underpinned a major exhibition “British Tattoo Art Revealed” that toured nationwide from 2017 to 2020.

He has also been the presenter of the television series “Art of Museums”, which was aired across Europe and beyond in late 2018 – early 2019, as well as contributing articles to the Guardian, History Today and other mainstream press and media outlets.


Dr Matt Lodder, Director of the Interdisciplinary Studies Centre and Senior Lecturer (R), School of Philosophy and Art History

Dr Holly Maples

Holly Maples

Holly’s work as a practice-researcher has led her to the field of immersive performance and mixed reality productions and research into arts workers, precarity, and radical inclusion in the creative industries. Her recent research grants are supporting a dual focus on the decolonisation of the Heritage sector and Covid-19s impact on independent arts workers in the creative industries. Both these projects involve close liaison and collaboration with practitioners in the heritage and cultural industries, as well as diverse audiences in the UK and internationally.

Dr Holly Maples, Senior Lecturer, East 15 Acting School

Professor Anuj Kapilashrami

Dr Anuj Kapilashrami

Anuj is an Interdisciplinary social scientist trained in Sociology and Public Health, researching in the field of Health Policy and Systems. Her particular interests lie in the social and structural determination of health and the implications for rights and equity of global health policy and governance. Her passion for social justice underpins her public engagement and informs a longstanding association with the People’s Health Movement in India and the UK. She serves on the Board of Health Poverty Action, and as Chair of Medact (UK) and as Gender and Rights advisor for the Department of Reproductive Health and Research at the WHO. As the founding Chair of the Migration Health South Asia network (a network of 250 scholars and practitioners in migration health across 12 countries) she leads policy research and advocacy for integration of migration health and migration aware policies.

Professor Anuj Kapilashrami, Professor, School of Health and Social Care

Dr Ruth Lowry

Dr Ruth lowry

Ruth is a Practitioner Psychologist researching how physical activity can promote the health and wellbeing of specific populations, e.g., the elderly, sedentary employees and children with emotional and behavioural difficulties. She has led the evaluation of national and international projects including the use of Community Men’s Sheds (Step by Step) in Europe and a new model of Sexual Health Services for older adults (Sexual Health in the over Forty Fives). Her collaborative research currently addresses the use of rock drumming instruction for health and the promotion of physical activity for people living with dementia.

Dr Ruth Lowry, Reader, School of Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences

Dr David Clark

David ClarkDavid is a Postdoctoral Fellow, specialising in quantitative and microbial ecology, macroecology, bioinformatics, modeling and statistics. Research that he has conducted on comparing flower phenology records submitted by members of the public to historic records suggests that shifts in phenology over time are likely due to climate change. This underpins his Bioblitz campaign (1st April – 30th September 2022), working with the Essex Wildlife Trust and using citizen science by encouraging them to contribute observations of flowering plants observed in the county, much of which is considered semi-arid. A second campaign is planned for 2023, with a view to running the project over 10 years to build a globally unique dataset.

Dr David Clark Postdoctoral Research Fellow (Institute for Analytics and Data Science)School of Life Sciences

Dr Joseph Bailey

Dr Joseph BaileyJoe’s research focuses on mathematical biology & ecology, particularly considering how random walk theory can be applied to individual and group movement. He used mathematical modelling to understand how ‘personalities’ in fish affect their movement and is using his expertise to describe how interactions between individuals affects their ability to successfully navigate and move as a group. His interest in mathematical education has contributed to his involvement with the “Ocean Travellers” project, showcased at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition in 2022, as well as other public events including Science Museum Lates, New Scientist Live and Pint of Science. As Outreach Lead for Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Science, he organizes and presents at engagement events offered by the department for local schools. He previously worked at education focused organisations, including the Advanced Maths Support Program (AMSP) and the Royal Institution of Great Britain (Ri), and continues to work with them at various engagement and enrichment events.

Dr Joseph Bailey, Lecturer,  School of Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Science,

Professor Gina Yannitell Reinhardt

Dr Gina ReinhardtGina’s research examines how decision making under uncertainty affects wealth distribution in society. Her research in this field has focused on the political economy of foreign aid, economic and social aid development, as well as the policy implications of disasters. She has been developing collaborative approaches between scholars and policy practitioners around the world to apply the rigorous approach of randomised control tests to the policy imperative of disaster-related work. Her most recent work highlights the importance of structuring diversity and inclusion in political science as a profession. Gina also plays the drums and harp and speaks Portuguese and Japanese.

Professor Gina Yannitell Reinhardt, ProfessorDepartment of Government

Dr Katerina Hadjimatheou

Dr Katerina HadjimatheouKat works at the intersection of ethics and criminology, examining the developments in technologies and data for policing, criminal justice and security. Her particular areas of expertise include domestic abuse, surveillance and human trafficking. She is Chair of the British Society of Criminology’s Policing Network, as well as a member of various policing and ethics committees. In 2021 she led the academic sub-group of a Home Office Task and Finish working group on revised guidance for the Domestic Abuse Disclosure Scheme. Kat is also a volunteer for Age UK, running a reminiscence group and offering advice and support for end-of-life planning.

Dr Katerina Hadjimatheou Senior Lecturer, Department of Sociology

Dr Amanda Cole

Dr Amanda ColeAmanda is a sociolinguist who researches language variation and change, language attitudes and ideologies and how language is used and spoken about in society. She specialises in accents spoken in South East England, including research showing that Essex accents have been heavily influenced by Cockney, and that there is accent bias in South East England which disadvantages people who are working class, from an ethnic minority background and/or from Essex or London. Building on her research, her work challenging and raising awareness of accent bias has included many public engagement activities such as providing training and public lectures on accent bias, the creation of linguistic art celebrating Essex dialects, and working with English and Media Centre to use her research to support English Language A Level teachers and students.

Dr Amanda Cole, Lecturer, Department of Language and Linguistics

Dr Jordan Osserman

Dr Jordan Osserman, Course Lead for BA Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies.Jordan’s research draws on feminist, queer and critical theory; the Lacanian tradition of psychoanalysis and the politics of the Left. He is a practitioner in psychoanalytic psychotherapy. His postdoctoral work on the Wellcome Trust funded project “Waiting Times” examined the role of time in the care of young people struggling with questions around gender. This is an ongoing ethnographic study of the UK’s only publicly funded health service for young people considering gender transition.

Dr Jordan Osserman, Lecturer, Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies

Dr Erik Jacobi

Erik JacobiErik has a research background in marketing strategy, brand activism, consumer resistance, and consumer neuroscience. He is a member of the Management & Marketing Group at Essex Business School, Director of the University’s Neuromarketing Lab, and co-founder of the University’s interdisciplinary and interdepartmental Consumer Neuroscience Group. He frequently collaborates with colleagues from Essex Business School, the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, the Department of Psychology, and the University’s Research Enterprise Office to help especially startups and SMEs develop essential marketing competencies, effective brand identities and innovative marketing strategies.

Dr Erik Jacobi, Lecturer, Essex Business School (Management and Marketing)