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PGR Research Culture & Community Seminar Programme: Speaker Biographies

Improving the Postgraduate Research Experience at the University of Hull

Speaker Biographies

Seminar Speakers

Muwaffaq Ayaad, PhD Candidate in Accountancy and Finance, Hull Business School

I am a Ph.D. Candidate in Accountancy and Finance, Hull Business School, and my research area is behavioral finance. I graduated with a BSc in "Economics" from Yarmouk University, Jordan, in 2010 with the highest average in my class (88.7%), which put me in the top 1% among graduates from the Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences in that year. Then, I enrolled in the MSc "Accounting and Finance" program at the same university and obtained the degree in 2014 with a GPA of 90%.

From 2015 to 2018, I worked as an accounting and finance lecturer at Yarmouk University. Before that, I worked as an economic researcher at the Foreign Trade Policy Directorate at the Ministry of Industry and Trade. During my work at the Ministry of Industry and Trade from 2011 to 2014, I obtained two diplomas, the first one is "Engineering Management Diploma" from the University of Jordan in Amman, Jordan, in 2012. The second one is '' Advanced Trade Policy Diploma'' from the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, in 2013. In addition, in 2014, I participated in a regional coordinator Internship Programme in Geneva, Switzerland. Moreover, I attended numerous national and international seminars and workshops addressing subjects relating to international trade.


Chris Hayes, PhD Candidate in International Business, Hull Business School, Faculty of Business Law and Politics. 

Under the supervision of Professor Chris Bovis, for his PhD Chris has researched the effects de-globalisation and financial technology are having on the financial services industry in the UK, US and EU. His background is in asset management and analysis with a focus on the underlying IT systems. He holds degrees in computer science and economics. His career began as an accounting systems software analyst for the US Air Force. Since then he’s been employed as an investment banking trader in the US and in the UK, an analyst and operations manager for a top 100 wealth manager in the US and as a management and financial accountant in the UK. His most recent position was in accounting software systems problem resolution. The most important thing he’s learned during his research is to first find out what you don’t know and then discover the answer.


Dr Alicia Kidd,  Postdoctoral Researcher at the Wilberforce Institute

Alicia completed her PhD at the Wilberforce Institute of the University of Hull in December 2018 where she studied the relationship between conflict and modern slavery. She is now a postdoctoral researcher at the Wilberforce Institute, looking at modern slavery in terms of legal enforcement, practitioner responses and child criminal exploitation. Alicia has a particular interest in bridging the gap between academia and practice, using research to help make positive change on the ground and she chairs the Humber Modern Slavery Partnership. She has a contract with Oxford University Press for a book entitled ‘Conflict and Modern Slavery’ and has published three journal articles and two book chapters on issues ranging from child soldiers to the relationship between contemporary and historic slavery.


Dr Heather Hatton, viva passed on  22nd January 2021 with no corrections, Department of History, Faculty of Arts Cultures and Education, @heatherkhatton

Click here to view Heather's biography on the Treatied Spaces website 


Chloe Wilson, PhD Candidate, Human Trafficking, The Law School | Criminology Department I Wilberforce Institute

My interests in law, crime and modern slavery stem from practical and academic experiences over the last 10 years. I developed a keen interest through researching human trafficking for my 3rd year dissertation at the University of Hull, as well as working as a Special Constable.  My current research is positioned between law and criminology, making my work and interests interdisciplinary. In 2015 I was awarded a Wilberforce Institute PhD Scholarship; Human Trafficking and Restorative Justice. I submitted my Thesis in October 2020 and have recently, successfully, completed the Viva Voce. My PhD considers Human Trafficking: Practice, Policy and Protection – exploring experiences of victims in the UK, from a practitioner perspective. My PhD journey summed up in three words would be: testing, enlightening and empowering. I also have experience in teaching, at present I am working as a Research and Lecturing Assistant within the Department of Criminology at the University.


Dr Alexander Binns, Lecturer in Music, Faculty of Arts Cultures and Education

Director of Postgraduate Studies in Music/ Programme Director, MMus/ Convenor Newland Lecture Series in Music.  Alexander Binns's main research interests deal with music in film, the use of music in Japanese culture, musical modernism, opera and, more generally, music as an interdisciplinary phenomenon and its relationship with space and geography, in particular the city. He has published within these areas and has received external research funding from a range of bodies including the Anglo-Daiwa Foundation, the Sasakawa Foundation and the AHRC.


James Rushworth, PhD Researcher/Candidate in Music in the Faculty of Arts Cultures and Education 

My research covers a range of topics and concepts, focusing generally upon transitional qualities embedded within technology and globalism and their effects upon the creative practices of Music. As a composer/producer, I create works between Electronica, Ambient and Jazz Music, most of which reflect aesthetic and inter-cultural interactions. As of 2020 this includes the release of Intake, a two-track EP embedding the traditional Chinese Music culture of Jiangnan Sizhu within Electronic Music.

As part of the Chinese Whispers Research cluster, my PhD research reflects on this practice, aligning personal creative processes with an analysis of located music culture that combines approaches undertaken within Ethnomusicology and Popular Music studies. As such, my research creates a dynamic analysis centred upon the concepts of digitisation, anachronism, decolonisation and the formation of music culture, embodied within the globalisation of contemporary East Asian culture and its imprints onto creativity more broadly.


James Bettney, Smith + Nephew

James has got a range of experience in the industry setting particularly around logistics and has worked in the UK and Canada. James did an undergraduate degree in Biomedical Science (Hons) at the University of Hull between 2016 and 2019. He did his final year independent research project with Sean Frost looking at the effect of metals on erythrocyte function and associated diseases. He graduated in the Summer of 2019 and then joined S&N where he now is a Trainee Clinical Study Manager.


Loria-Mae Heywood, PhD Candidate, School of Law, Faculty of Business, Law and Politics/ Wilberforce Institute

Loria-Mae Heywood is a scholar from the Commonwealth Caribbean whose  diversified interests and expertise have included a focus on child protection, social protection and child trafficking. From working with (and on behalf of) children from vulnerable communities in her home country Guyana, to doing work in Geneva in support of conflict-affected countries, to working as a Consultant for the United Nations in areas ranging from child protection to skills training and development, she has always sought to do work aimed at improving the lives and well-being of people. For the past four years, she has engaged in socio-legal PhD research focused on child trafficking and which was done with the intent of supporting the protection of children in Vietnam, Albania and Nigeria against child trafficking. Some of her recent written outputs could be seen as follows:

  • Op-ed: Child Trafficking - Profiting from Vulnerability: (*to be featured in a forthcoming Global Policy e-book on modern slavery)
  • Heywood, L. (2020) Before Saying “I Do”: Legal and Policy Considerations for Facilitating Clarity on Human Trafficking and the Protection of Children in Albania. Violence and Victims, 35 (3), 285-306.
  • Covid-19 and the Online Sexual Exploitation of Children:


Cathy Kilburn, 2nd Year PhD Researcher in the School of Education, in the Faculty of Arts Cultures and Education

I am a 2nd year PGR in the School of Education.  I have previously worked within early childhood education in a variety of roles from childminder to deputy manager within a large day nursery. I completed my BA(Hons) Primary Education with QTS at the University of Winchester and an MA Early Childhood Education with the University of Sheffield.


Dr Mike McCahill, Senior Lecturer in Criminology, in the Department of Criminology and Sociology, in the Faculty of Arts Cultures and Education


Dr Nicola O’Leary, Lecturer in Criminology, in the Department of Criminology and Sociology, in the Faculty of Arts Cultures and Education


Professor Andy Jonas

Andy is Professor of Human Geography at the University of Hull. He has BA in Geography from Durham University (UK) and MA and PhD in Geography from The Ohio State University (USA). Andy is currently supervising several PhD researchers at Hull and overseas universities with funding from the White Rose DTP and Cresting, an EU Marie Curie research training network. His own research examines the geopolitics of city-regionalism and urban sustainability. His latest book, Handbook on Changing Geographies of the State: New Spaces of Geopolitics, was recently published by Edward Elgar and features state-of-the art international research on states and geopolitics. You can visit Andy's University of Hull profile page here Professor Andy Jonas - full academic profile


Dr Barbara Guinn

Dr Barbara Guinn studied her BSc (Hons) Genetics at University of Wales Aberystwyth and her PhD on p53 mutations in the development of leukaemia at University of Wales College of Medicine Cardiff. Barbara worked as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Immunology at the University of Toronto and took her first Principal Investigator role in the Department of Haematological Medicine at King’s College London. She has since worked at the University of Southampton and University of Bedfordshire, the latter as Deputy Director of the Research Graduate School and a Provost. Since coming to the University of Hull, Barbara has been Subject Group Head of Biomedical Sciences, actively involved in OutReach activities, curriculum development and recently received her SFHEA.

For further details on Dr Guinn's recent publications, research outputs, academic achievements, professional and sector recognition, teaching profile and current and past PhD supervisions, please visit her University of Hull profile page here Dr Barbara Guinn - full academic profile


Steve Pace

Steve Pace has worked at the University as a Specialist Course Director since 2000 and manages the Institute for Chemistry in Industry's suite of Health, Safety and Environmental Management courses. Before joining Hull University he was a health and safety adviser at Lincoln University from 1990 to 2000 with a specialism in fire safety management.

He has been a member of the Institution for Occupational Safety and Health since 1996 and became a Chartered Member in 2007. He was also accepted as a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2017.

In addition he has worked with NEBOSH as an examiner on the Fire Safety Certificate, Health and Safety Diploma and the General Certificate for more than 10 years.