Meet our research fellows
Dr Honor Bixby, IPHW Research Fellow
Profile: Honor is a Research Fellow in Epidemiology and Population Health based within the Institute of Public Health and Wellbeing at the University of Essex. Prior to joining the IPHW, she completed degrees in Biomedical Sciences (BSc), Public Health (MPH) and Global Health and Epidemiology (PhD) at Imperial College London and held a Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship at McGill University. Her research empirically quantifies temporal trends and spatial patterns in population health outcomes with a view to develop our knowledge of health disparities, at global and local scales. She has a particular interest in the role cities play in shaping population health dynamics in the context of global urbanisation.
Her PhD, as part of the NCD Risk Factor Collaboration, estimated trends in body-mass index (BMI) for urban and rural populations worldwide and highlighted the key contribution of rising BMIs among rural populations to the global obesity pandemic. More recently, her postdoctoral work examined inequalities in health generated by the uneven distribution of social, economic and environmental factors within cities, with a focus on child mortality in Accra, Ghana and cardiovascular diseases in Beijing, China. This was enabled through collaborations as part of the Pathways to Equitable Healthy Cities Consortium.
Honor says, “I am excited to continue my academic career at IPHW with the training opportunities and support offered through the fellowship. IPHW is the newest of the University’s three Institutes which jointly house expertise in health, social and economic research, as well as data science. My research draws from across these disciplines, which are in turn united under the objective to reduce inequalities within our society. The Institute and the wider University therefore provide an ideal environment to take my research forward. In addition, I will be appointed as permanent Lecturer within the Department of Health and Social Care on completion of the fellowship, and the capacity to envision a longer-term academic future within the university as I build my research program was no doubt a major draw to this unique position.”
Dr Tasos Papastylianou, IPHW Research Fellow
Profile: Tasos is a Research Fellow in Health Informatics at the Institute of Public Health and Wellbeing, at the University of Essex. His academic research focuses on clinical and public health applications of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. In particular, he’s interested in: data analysis and information fusion from biological signals (e.g. Brain Computer Interfaces, wearables, hospital-derived, etc) and digitised health data; medical image analysis, explainability, and appropriate validation; AI or tech-oriented public health interventions, and the use and benefits of free and open-source software in medicine.
Before this, Tasos worked as a Senior Research Officer on Brain Computer Interfaces (BCI) in the context of the BARI project, investigating optimal co-operation in hybrid teams of Human and AI agents; prior to this he worked as a Senior Research Officer in Machine Learning and Biomedical Signal analysis, analysing wearable and smartphone-related data in the context of mental health management and prediction, as part of the EU Nevermind Project. He obtained his DPhil in Healthcare Innovation at the University of Oxford in 2017. Tasos is also a qualified physician with NHS experience… and a concert pianist (Young Musician of the Year 1999 - Cyprus)!
Tasos says, “I was very excited to be offered the role of postdoctoral research fellow at the Institute of Public Health and Wellbeing. Although this is offered at the post-doctoral level, it is a supported role allowing me to pursue my own research goals in a focused and supportive environment, and more importantly it comes with a route to permanency. This effectively makes it an equivalent route as that of a probationary lecturer, but with the added guarantees of protected research time, personalised support, and a focused, dedicated team with a relevant and cohesive research agenda. I am proud and excited to be one of the IPHW's first research fellows, and hope to maintain my good relationships and collaborations with the team in the years to come.”
Dr Lina Barakat, IADS Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Dr Barakat’s primary research is directed towards addressing the challenges related to selecting and composing self-interested interaction partners in large-scale, dynamic, heterogeneous, and unreliable service-oriented settings.
In particular, her research has focused on designing self-optimising and self-healing service composition algorithms under high degrees of dynamism and uncertainty, and under various correlations among the interacting parties. Her research has also involved predicting the performance of service providers in such settings. This includes applying machine learning with drift handling mechanisms to provide personalised and relevant predictions of service characteristics, and enriching trust and reputation assessment models with provenance knowledge. Most recently, she is investigating the incorporation of wellbeing and societal awareness into service composition engines, and nudging individuals towards socially beneficial service options.
Lina received her PhD Degree in Computer Science from King’s College London in 2013. Prior to joining the University of Essex, she held teaching and research positions at King’s College London, where she worked on a number of research projects. In particular, she was involved in JASPR (Justified Assessment of Service Provider Reputation), which aimed to improve reputation assessments of service providers in service-oriented settings. Before JASPR, she worked on DIET4Elders, funded by the EU Ambient Assisted Living programme, which aimed to help elderly people live independently at home with particular focus on nutrition for healthy living.
Lina says, “This post was an ideal step to assist with the development of my independent research, within a supportive environment providing key competencies in areas related to my research. Being a member of IADS also provides unique opportunities for dissemination and impact generation via IADS’s extensive links with the public and private sectors and the wider non-academic community. Given the nature of this post, it is a postdoctoral role in name only, and transfers into a permanent lectureship at CSEE within a three-year probationary period, with the added benefit of reduced teaching and admin duties and more time for conducting individual and independent research. ”
Dr Amanda Cole, IADS Alumni
Dr Amanda Cole is a Lecturer in the Department of Language and Linguistics at the University of Essex. Her research interests include language variation and change, and language attitudes and ideologies. She recently worked as Post-doctoral Research Fellow at the Institute for Analytics and Data Science (IADS) where she researched the different ways of speaking in south-east England and how they are evaluated.
Dr Cole completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Southampton, a masters at University College London and a PhD at the University of Essex.
Amanda says, “I took the followship as the opportunity to work with both the Institute for Analytics and Data Science and the Department of Language and Linguistics. I am interested in applying computational and data analysis methods to the field of sociolinguistics so the fellowship was the perfect role for me.