Valerie J. Karplus

Valerie J. Karplus is the Class of 1943 Career Development Professor and an Assistant Professor of Global Economics and Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management. Her research focuses on resource and environmental management in firms operating in diverse national and industry contexts, with an emphasis on emerging markets and the role of policy. Karplus is an expert on China’s energy system, including technology trends, energy system governance, and the sustainability impact of business decisions. She holds a BS in biochemistry and political science from Yale University and a PhD in engineering systems from MIT.



Vanessa McBride

Astronomer, International Astronomical Union's Office of Astronomy for Development

Dr McBride is an astronomer at the International Astronomical Union's Office of Astronomy for Development. She works towards bridging the gap between the community of professional astronomers and the development world with a view to helping astronomers apply their skills to problems related to socioeconomic development. She is also an honorary research associate at the University of Cape Town where she works on observations of massive stars in binaries.



Vanessa Tyson

Assistant Professor of Politics, Scripps College

Tyson’s first book manuscript Twists of Fate: Multiracial Coalitions and Minority Representation in the U.S. House (under contract with Oxford University Press) explores structural inequality in the United States and how members of Congress have formed multiracial coalitions as a strategy to provide for their diverse constituencies. Having worked on political campaigns since she was 12 years old, she carefully considers how political dynamics affect policy formulation and consequent outcomes. Tyson also spent years working as an advocate for sexual violence awareness and prevention.



Vardhman Rakyan

Professor of Epigenetics, Queen Mary University of London

For my PhD (1999-2002) I investigated epigenetic inheritance under the supervision of Prof. Emma Whitelaw, University of Sydney, Australia. From 2003-2007, I was a CJ Martin Postdoctoral Fellow at the Sanger Institute, Cambridge, UK; where, under the guidance of Dr Stephan Beck, I developed functional genomics tools for genome-wide DNA methylation analyses.



Vasilios Theoharakis

Vasilis is the Director of MBA Programmes at Sheffield University Management School and member of the Investment Committee of the PJ Tech Venture Capital fund. He has spent several years in Silicon Valley holding executive positions and has cofounded successful high tech companies.



Ventsislav Valev

Reader in Physics, University of Bath

I am a Research Fellow of the Royal Society and a Reader. Prior to that, I was a Research Fellow in the Cavendish Laboratory, at the University of Cambridge, where I was associated with Homerton College.

My research focuses on the interaction between powerful laser light and nanostructured materials. Powerful lasers constitute highly sensitive probes for material properties at the nanoscale, especially through nonlinear optical effect, such as Second Harmonic Generation (SHG). I seeks to apply SHG to chiral plasmonic nano/meta-materials in order to achieve enhanced chiroptical effects. The latter could enable the manufacturing of healthier and safer pharmaceuticals.

Research interests:

Chirality, Plasmonics, Second Harmonic Generation, Metamaterials, Nanophotonics



Victor J. Lance

Founder and president of Lance Surety Bond Associates, Inc.

Victor began his career serving as an officer in the United States Marine Corps. He served as a logistics officer during a combat tour to Afghanistan, and during a subsequent tour to Iraq was the officer in charge of an Iraqi Police Transition Team. Later, he was assigned to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, serving as Assistant Professor of Naval Science and Marine Officer Instructor. During this time, he taught a series of undergraduate military history courses covering the evolution of warfare in past and present conflicts.

Victor graduated from Villanova University with a degree in Business Administration and holds a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business.



Victoria Canning

My research broadly includes impacts of and responses to sexual violence, conflict related abuse and torture. I am particularly interested in the effects of these on women seeking asylum, specifically in relation to accessing support in key dispersal areas.

I am currently researching the impacts and harms of the British asylum system on women seeking asylum in Merseyside, including the harms of immigration detention and wider forms of structural violence. Findings from this, and my previous research, will be published in my first monograph in 2016.

European Group for the Study of Deviance and Social Control (Board Member)
Sociology of Rights Group British Sociological Association (Law, Crime and Rights conference convener)
Prisons, Punishment and Detention Working Group (Co-ordinator)
Merseyside Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre (Board Member)
Research interests

Recent publications
Books and Book Chapters
Canning, V. (forthcoming – expected 2016) Asylum, Gender and State Power: Harm and Structural Violence in the British Asylum System Oxon: Routledge.

Canning, V (ed.) (2014) Sites of Confinement: Prisons, Punishment and Detention, European Group for the Study of Deviance and Social Control Publishing.

Canning, V. (2011) Who’s human? Developing sociological understandings of the rights of women raped in conflict, in Hynes, P., Lamb, M., Short, D. and Waites, M. (eds.) Sociology and Human Rights London: Routledge.

Journal Articles
Canning, V. (2015) Unsilencing Sexual Torture: Responses to Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Denmark, British Journal of Criminology, Online First:

Canning, V. (2014a) International Conflict, Sexual Violence and Asylum Policy: Merseyside as a Case Study, Critical Social Policy, February 2014, Vol. 34, Issue 1: 23-45.

Canning, V. (2014b) Women, Asylum and the Harms of Detention Criminal Justice Matters December 2014, Vol. 98.

Canning, V. (2011) Women Seeking Sanctuary: Questioning State Responses to Violence against Women in the Asylum System, Criminal Justice Matters September 2011, Vol. 85.

Canning, V. (2010) Who’s human? Developing sociological understandings of the rights of women raped in conflict, International Journal of Human Rights Vol. 14, nos 6-7, 847-862.

Wider Publications

Canning, V. (2014a) Violence in Britain: Behind the Wire at Immigration Removal Centres, The Conversation, available at last accessed 26/08/2014.

Canning, V. (2014b) Interview: Amnesty International Finds Global Torture ‘Flourishing’ available at May 2014.

Canning, V. (2013) Illusions of Freedom: The Paradox of Border Confinement, Oxford University Border Criminologies available last accessed 17/02/2014.

Canning, V. (2011a) Policy or Practice? Exploring Support for Conflict Rape Survivors Seeking Asylum in Merseyside, Asylum Aid: Women’s Asylum News June 2011.

Canning, V. (2011b) Transcending Conflict: Exploring Sexual Violence Support for Women Seeking Asylum in Merseyside, PhD Thesis (awarded March 2012).
Conference Participation: Selected



Victoria Honeyman

Lecturer in British Politics, University of Leeds

Since completing my PhD here at the University of Leeds in 2005, I have taught on a wide range of modules. My primary specialism is British Politics, with a particular specialism in British foreign policy. I have written extensively on the foreign policy objectives of both the Conservative and Labour Parties. I am also the BISA Foreign Policy Working Group Convenor. My PhD was a critical biography of the Labour MP Richard Crossman and was published in 2007.

I am module leader for the third year module British Foreign Policy and the first year British Politics module. I also teach on the second year modules Approaches to Political Science and British Central Government. I have previously run the third year Britain and the EU module and the Political Corruption module. In addition to working in POLIS I have also taught in the School of History and worked at the University of Salford for several years running their second year Labour Party History module.

Much of my current research is focused on British Foreign Policy. I have recently published an article entitled ‘Liberal Interventionism to Liberal Conservatism; the short road in foreign policy from Blair to Cameron’ in British Politics journal. I also organised a conference entitled ‘Britain and the Wider World’, held at the University of Leeds in July 2015, focusing on the importance of personal relationship in bi-lateral foreign policy. The papers from this conference will become a journal special edition.

I am also working on an article on Conservative foreign policy under Hague, Iain Duncan Smith and Michael Howard and am planning to begin writing in the near future on Britain’s development aid programme.



Vidyasagar Potdar

Senior Research Fellow, School of Information Systems, Curtin University

I have a mix of academic and industry project experience.

In the first five years of my employment at Curtin University I was involved in a lot of Industry Funded Projects, where I had to understand the industry problems and propose a solution.

I was involved in researching in diverse areas based upon the industry partners needs and develop solutions with my team of PhD students.

This has resulted in me gaining a lot of experience in a lot of different areas, which is quite unique to me as a researcher since most other researchers are focussed on a very limited research areas.

Further all my research so far has been of practical nature, with real world applications.

My expertise is in the following areas:
1. Information Security, Anti-Spam, Cyber Security, Steganography, Digital Watermarking
2. Wireless Sensor Networks, Smart Grids, Cyber Physical Systems, Internet of Things
3. Low Cost Housing/Construction, Decision Support Systems for Construction Material Selection
4. Consumer Engagement, Data Quality, Social Media, User Contribution Measurement
5. Big Data, Data Analytics
6. Business Sustainability, Aviation Emissions



Ville Friman

I am an evolutionary biologist interested in eco-evolutionary dynamics of species interactions in multi-trophic communities. I conduct my research by the way of experimental evolution in laboratory microcosms with various microbes including bacteria, bacteriophages and protists. I am specifically interested in understanding the interplay between environment and ecology in determining the evolution of species interactions and how rapid adaptation might affect the composition, stability and ecosystem functioning of complex microbial communities.

Studying adaptation in real time

Experimental evolution is study of evolution in real time. The method involves culturing replicate populations of study species, such as microbes, in defined laboratory environments for hundreds or thousands of generations. The experimenter will control the environmental conditions but does not directly impose the selection. Instead, selection results from the “struggle for existence” between individuals within each population, and thus, selection is natural.

I use various species of bacteria, protists and phages as my study species. These microorganisms have inherently large population sizes and short generation times that favour rapid evolution. Species can be further cryopreserved in suspended animation, which allows direct comparisons between evolved, ancestral and control populations. Many microorganisms have relatively simple and well-understood genomes, which allow both genetic manipulation and identification of the genetic targets for selection.

Current projects

Eco-evolutionary dynamics of predator-prey and host-parasite interactions in complex communities
Microbial community responses to environmental change
Cascading effects of antibiotics in multi-trophic microbial communities
Trophic interactions and the maintenance of within-species cooperation
Phage therapy in clinical and agricultural contexts



Viviane Gravey

Senior Research Associate in EU Environmental Politics, University of East Anglia

I studied sustainable development and European Union politics throughout my undergraduate and postgraduate studies in France, Denmark and the UK (2005-2010). After two years at a leading French environmental think tank (IDDRI) I went back to academia to study for a PhD in EU environmental politics at the University of East Anglia (2012-2016). I am now a Senior Research fellow at UEA working on environment and the EU referendum.



Viviane Seyranian

Assistant Professor of Psychology, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Dr. Viviane Seyranian is a social psychologist who researches how communication and narrative content can be framed to optimize influence and behavioral change, particularly in the environmental and health realm. Her award winning research on her theory called Social Identity Framing (Seyranian, 2013, 2014) provides support for the idea that implicating social identity in communication helps to garner support for social change.

In addition to her research in social influence, Dr. Seyranian also develops and tests a wide variety of interventions seeking to empower minority populations. Her research utilizes diverse methodologies ranging from lab and field experiments to qualitative methods such as manual and computerized content analysis.

Dr. Seyranian earned her Ph.D. and M.A. in social psychology from Claremont Graduate University and her B.A. cum laude in psychology and government from Claremont McKenna College. She completed her postdoctoral training at the University of Southern California.



Volodymyr Bilotkach

Volodymyr received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Arizona. He has taught at the University of California, Irvine, and held short-term appointments in South Korea, Germany, and France. Volodymyr's research covers various issues in economics of the aviation sector. He has published over 30 papers in scholarly journals. He co-edits Journal of Air Transport Management, and has advised The Netherlands Competition Authority and the European Commission.



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