Senior Studentship Holders 2016/17


William Fawcett

My research centres on the search for yet-undiscovered fundamental particles that are predicted to exist by a theoretical framework known as Supersymmetry. These supersymmetric particles can solve some of the deepest mysteries of the Universe and simultaneously help answer one of the most basic questions, “what are we made of?”. I search for these particles using data collected by the ATLAS detector at CERN's Large Hadron Collider.

Nicholas Matheou 

I am currently a DPhil candidate in Oriental Studies with the thesis title 'Aristakes of Lastivert’s History in Context: New Rome and Caucasia in the Era of the Seljuq Invasions'. Previously I read Ancient and Medieval History at the University of Edinburgh, and thereafter completed an MPhil in Late Antique and Byzantine Studies at Oxford. My interests range widely across East Roman and Caucasian literature and social history, including both Armenian and Georgian traditions. My particular research focus is the interplay between historical identities and their socio-political, cultural and economic contexts. To this end I am co-convener of The Oxford Research Centre for the Humanities' research network on the long history of identity, ethnicity and nationhood.

Katharina Herold 

I trained and worked as a theatre director in Munich, Germany, before embarking on a BA degree in English and Comparative Literature at Goldsmiths College, University of London. After completing an MSt in English (1830-1914), I am now studying for a DPhil in English Literature. My research interests focus on interdisciplinary projects involving the European Fin de siècle, Aestheticism, Drama and Performance Theory, Orientalism, and Comparative Literature. My DPhil thesis (supervisors Dr Stefano Evangelista and Prof Ritchie Robertson) investigates the ways in which the East shaped English and German Decadent writing between 1880-1920. It looks at Decadent literature’s interaction with and portrayal of the East (focussing on images derived from the Middle East) reinforcing and condemning at once the fin de siècle’s anti-colonial activism and heavily orientalised ideologies. Can Decadent Orientalism be considered a purely aesthetic project or do socio-political undercurrents prevail? How do national histories influence and radicalise aesthetic notions of inclusivity and exclusivity? What characterises the relationship between English and German Decadent Orientalism? In answering these questions I hope to demonstrate the extreme mobility of Decadent texts epitomised in the ‘trans-gressive’ nature of Middle Eastern tropes that found their way and evolved in two European literatures.

Katerina Johnson 

As a biologist, I am fascinated by the trillions of bacteria that inhabit our bodies (equal in number to our own human cells!) and in particular the ways in which they may interact with our brain to influence behaviour.  Bidirectional communication between our gut microbiota (community of microorganisms living in the gut) and central nervous system may be mediated via neural, endocrine or immune mechanisms.  My DPhil explores this exciting frontier in neuroscience, termed the microbiome-gut-brain axis, and in particular its potential to provide novel insights into individual variation in social behaviour and personality.  I am enrolled on the Interdisciplinary Bioscience Doctoral Training Partnership and am using a combination of human studies, animal models and bioinformatics to address my research questions.  My work spans the fields of microbiology, metagenomics, molecular genetics, neuroscience, behavioural ecology and evolutionary biology.

Gregory Hynes 

My DPhil explores the significance of the empire in Britain's official First World War propaganda. In particular it explores the significance of the self-governing Dominions to Britain's understanding of the empire, and compares this to imperial identities in New Zealand's wartime propaganda, to interrogate the workings of the empire during the war. My research is supervised by Professor Adrian Gregory.