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The MPLS Division strives to create an inclusive culture where different perspectives and experiences are encouraged, and each person is respected and treated fairly, so that individuals of all backgrounds can fully contribute their talents to our scientific community.

We recognise that there are incredibly talented individuals across the Division who are passionate about equality, diversity and inclusion (ED&I) and are dedicated to making positive change within our institution. To garner this energy and support this work, in 2020-21, 2021-22 and 2022-23 we have recruited a team of ED&I Fellows to help inform and implement our 2020-2023 ED&I action plan.

More information about the ED&I Fellows Call for Applications 2021-22 (now closed)

We are delighted to announce the 2022-2023 cohort of MPLS Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I) Fellows who will help advance ED&I work within the Division.

This is the third year of running the ED&I Fellowship scheme with representation from across our departments. These Fellows will work with the central MPLS ED&I Team, ED&I Steering Group and departmental leads to champion ED&I for the Division. Find out more about them below (listed alphabetically).

If you’re interested in getting involved with our work, please contact diversity@mpls.ox.ac.uk

 

Photo of Emily ArcherEmily Archer

Department of Physics

DPhil Student

Pronouns: she/her

I am a 3rd year DPhil student in Atomic and Laser Physics, where I work on novel particle accelerators. Through involvement with the COMPOS program to tutor state school students, I was reminded of the extreme difficulties that students can face when applying to university. I would love to learn more about how these hurdles might be overcome to improve diversity and inclusion here at Oxford. As someone who joined during the pandemic, I'm acutely aware of the effect that isolation in a university environment can have on mental health and well-being. I would love to improve this for future generations of students and staff at all levels.

 

Photo of Elena CastellaniMaria Elena Castellani

Chemistry Research Laboratory

Postdoctoral Researcher

Pronouns: she/they

Hey everyone, my name is Elena and I am an Italian postdoctoral researcher in Experimental Physical Chemistry, specifically mass spectrometry, time-resolved imaging and reaction dynamics. As an immigrant from Southern Europe and a woman working in STEM, I can empathize with other underrepresented categories in the MPLS environment. I am elated to be serving as an ED&I representative and intend on doing my best in making the MPLS and, particularly, the Chemistry community, a safe space where LGBTQ+, POC, neurodivergent and disabled people can finally thrive, as science can only gain from becoming truly democratic.

 

Photo of Laura CunninghamLaura Cunningham

Department of Chemistry

Postdoctoral Researcher

Pronouns: she/her

I am a postdoctoral researcher in organic synthesis where I work on catalytic approaches to making new compounds and processes that can be used in pharmaceutical research. I have been keenly interested in promoting ED&I issues since my involvement in the Athena Swan application of the chemistry department during my PhD at University College Dublin. As the president of Oxford Women in Chemistry and now as an ED&I fellow at MPLS Oxford, I am excited to help the MPLS team enact real, tangible change that will be felt in the day to day lives of everyone in the division, with a particular aim to ensure that those from underrepresented communities feel embraced and supported by their departments.

 

Photo of Gunshi GuptaGunshi Gupta

Department of Computer Science

DPhil Student

Pronouns: she/her

I’m Gunshi, a first year D.Phil student in CS/Machine Learning from New Delhi, India. As an incoming ED&I fellow I’m excited to share experiences with the cohort, identify common goals and contribute on two fronts: Making STEM a place where BIPOC students and individuals with neuro-divergences can thrive. I hope to apply my experience being a gender and racial minority in different Robotics/CS labs to help inform policy-making for fostering inclusivity in these spaces, especially in a way that doesn’t try to always overlook people’s cultural backgrounds but instead celebrates and appreciates it.

 

Photo of Leanne JonesLeanne Jones

Department of Materials

Postdoctoral Researcher

Pronouns: she/her

I am currently a postdoctoral researcher in the Materials Department and as a first-generation university student and a woman in STEM, I have developed a strong sense of commitment into improving the culture within STEM subjects from personal experiences as well as those of my peers. During my PhD I pioneered events on mental health and Women in Materials Science which I hope to carry on at Oxford. As well as this I hope to learn about the inequalities faced by my fellow colleagues that I do not face personally and being the best ally that I can be.

I am based in the Rex Richards building and am more than happy if anyone wants to come by for a chat about any ED&I issues!

 

Photo of Munib MesinovicMunib Mesinovic

Department of Engineering Science

DPhil Student

Pronouns: he/him

Hello! I’m Munib, a 1st year DPhil student at Jesus College in Engineering with the CDT in Health Data Science generously supported by the Rhodes Trust. My work is focused on building interpretable AI systems for predicting heart attack and looks at both diagnoses and treatment effects. I originally come from Bosnia and have been involved with advocacy in the disability community for years. As part of the ED&I Fellowship team, I hope to provide constructive ideas and support for implementing a thorough action plan in the division. I am quite excited to work on the active dismemberment of barriers and systems of injustice preventing equitable access to education, research, and career progression across the board, but especially for people with disabilities.

 

Photo of Evan NedyalkovEvan Nedyalkov

Mathematical Institute

Event Manager

Pronouns: he/him

I am the Event Manager at the Mathematical Institute, and I have been with the Department for 5 years. I have been on the Departmental EDIC and been involved with a few EDI events and initiatives. I am also a part of the University's LGBT Role Model programme. In my role at Maths, I also work with the External Relations Manager to showcase our mathematicians' work via social media. I hope to continue this work by running EDI events that bring together academic and support staff, and working on a project highlighting diversity in our Department and Division. 

 

Photo of Wulan PuspariniWulan Pusparini

Department of Biology

DPhil Student

Pronouns: she/her

Hello, my name is Wulan and I am a fourth-year DPhil student in the Biology Department. My research focuses on an interdisciplinary approach to species conservation in Indonesia, where I combine ecological and social perspectives. As an ED&I fellow, I will attempt to represent the voices of global south female scientists and parents in higher education discourse. Decolonizing science and nature conservation are the zeitgeist, and I want to make sure that scientists like me, who come from areas where exploration and exploitation occur, have a seat at the table in order to foster a collaborative relationship based on trust and fairness.

 

Photo of Cheng QianCheng Qian

Department of Physics

PhD Student

Pronouns: She/her

I'm Cheng, a PhD student in the Physics department. I study geophysical instabilities and their roles in climate physics. I would like to experiment on how an individual can participate, contribute, and learn through ED&I activities. I believe sharing knowledge can spark ideas and curiosities and thus open the doors for more people with diverse backgrounds to benefit from lifelong educations with improving wellbeing. It is a learning process for me to be a MPLS ED&I Fellow and I am looking forward to meeting more people to talk and act for a shared ED&I value. 

 

Photo of Mariagrazia ZottoliMariagrazia Zottoli

Department of Statistics

Statistical Consultant

Pronouns: she/her

Hi! My name is Mariagrazia and I work as a Statistical Consultant for the Department of Statistics. I currently take care of the group of PostDocs and Early Career Researchers in Stats. I am grateful for this role and I look forward to a great year of positive changes!  

To paraphrase the Buddhist mentor, Daisaku Ikeda, I strongly believe that people who have the great fortune to have their voices heard, should take responsibility, and make strenuous efforts to allow everyone to be part of the dialogue.  

As an ED&I fellow, I would like to take an active role in ensuring that nobody is left behind.

Please see below the profiles of the 2021-22 year cohort of MPLS Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I) Fellows who have helped advance ED&I work within the Division.

This is the second year of running the ED&I Fellowship scheme with representation from across our departments. These Fellows have worked with the central MPLS ED&I Team, ED&I Steering Group and departmental leads to champion ED&I for the Division. Find out more about them below (listed alphabetically).

If you’re interested in getting involved with our work, please contact diversity@mpls.ox.ac.uk

 

Kara AllumKara Allum

Mathematical Institute

DPhil Student

Pronouns: they/them

I am currently a DPhil student within the Wolfson Centre for Mathematical Biology. Alongside research, I collaborate with many organisations that strive for greater equality within education and believe that MPLS (and the University as a whole) should take a more community driven and proactive approach with how they create and run outreach programs. As an ED&I Fellow, I intend to build projects that share stories and history beyond the cisgender white men of Oxford, and hope to move the focus of discussions beyond just diversity and inclusion, and towards equity and justice in order to enact real change.

 

Kristina CorreaKristina Correa

Department of Statistics

MSc Student

Pronouns: they (preferred)/she

Hi y’all! My name is Kristina Montserrat Correa. I’m a Master’s by Research student in Statistics. I’m Mexican-American, and I grew up in rural Texas. As a low-income/first-generation student of color, I’ve often found it incredibly difficult to navigate predominantly wealthy and white academic spaces. These personal experiences of struggle drive me to work with the communities I’m a part of to make them more accessible and inclusive for other marginalized people. I’m very excited to be serving as an ED&I Fellow to help push forward changes that make MPLS a space where queer, disabled, and Black and Brown folks can flourish.

 

Elizabeth CrowleyElizabeth Crowley

Department of Earth Sciences

Departmental Librarian

Pronouns: she/her

I am the librarian for the Department of Earth Sciences. Many experiences in life have given me the belief that – with the right support, with acceptance and understanding of difference – every contribution is of value, and every life can be full and fulfilled.

As an EDI fellow with lived experience of a fluctuating and invisible disability, I would like to raise awareness of this, and ensure accessibility – in all its forms – is at the heart of every new technology the University adopts. I look forward to listening, learning, and working towards an inclusive and equitable university.

 

Phoebe GriffithPhoebe Griffith

Department of Biology

DPhil Student

Pronouns: she/her/they/them

I’m Phoebe, a 5th year PhD student in the Biology Department.  My research is on the conservation of crocodylians, especially the gharial in Nepal.  Efforts to improve diversity and access must be followed up with efforts to ensure that people of all identities can thrive at Oxford.  As an ED&I Fellow I want to help with the necessary rethinking and reorganising of support systems for research students, in order to make support better for people from historically excluded groups.  Active decolonisation of research and education is a necessary part of all science, and I want to push for this to be a key component of the framework of research and teaching design in the Biology Department.

 

Ginger JansenGinger Jansen

Mathematical Institute

HR Administrator

Pronouns: she/her

I’m Ginger and I recently completed an MSc in Human Resources to follow a new career path. Having recently started at the Mathematical Institute, I’m so grateful to have been selected for this role and I cannot wait to get started. I really care about fostering inclusive work environments that enable people from all backgrounds to thrive and feel safe to be themselves. As an ED&I Fellow and Mental Health champion, I hope to bring about positive change as an advocate for mental health awareness, and I look forward to learning from my peers on other areas of ED&I to help me grow as a HR professional. Having completed my MSc thesis on how organisations can best improve psychological safety for BAME professionals through inclusive leadership practices, I look forward to furthering my findings as an ED&I Fellow.

 

Tika Malla

Tika Malla

Department of Chemistry

DPhil Student

Pronouns: she/her

Currently studying for my final year of DPhil in Interdisciplinary Bioscience at Schofield group, I am an outspoken, friendly and driven individual. I have loved participating in conversations and implementing plans to encourage, support and facilitate a fair and equal environment. I hope we can foster a thriving environment where everybody feels safe and comfortable and are always treated equally and with respect. I hope we are all equipped with linguistic tools and means to recognise, address and initiate a conversation to move towards identifying and resolving such matters. It’s like a suspicious package in the tube. “If you see it, say it and sorting is a process so let’s all work together towards it.” I am also mental health first aid trained and have acquired peer support training so I am very happy to actively listen to ideas, concerns and improved ways to implement them so we can enjoy and establish a positive milieu for us and for others to come. 

 

Alex RamadanDr Alex Ramadan

Department of Physics

Postdoctoral Researcher

Pronouns: she/her

I am a postdoctoral researcher in Condensed Matter Physics where I work on novel semiconductors for the next generation of solar cells. I have worked as the researcher representative for MPLS on the Race Equality Task Force and within Oxford Physics I co-founded and co-organise the group “Challenges and Changes in Physics”. I’ve experienced and seen the impact that working in spaces which aren’t diverse, inclusive, or welcoming has on people’s mental health and wellbeing. As an MPLS ED&I Fellow,

I want to help build a culture at Oxford where everyone is embraced and celebrated for who they are.

 

Namrata RameshNamrata Ramesh

Department of Materials

MSc Student

Pronouns: she/her

I am an MSc(Res) student and a Rhodes Scholar in the Materials Science Department. I am very passionate about improving diversity in STEM, and believe that the best interventions are those that are made in response to a nuanced understanding of the lived experiences of those from marginalized communities in STEM. I hope to bring such an approach to my role as an ED&I Fellow, and suggest interventions based on my work telling the stories of women/folx in STEM via my organization, The STEMinist Chronicles. I also believe that my experience in being a part of a similar committee at UC Berkeley will allow me to suggest solutions that can be practically implemented.

 

Lauren RuddLauren Rudd

Department of Zoology

DPhil Student

Pronouns: she/her

I am a 4th year DPhil student in the Department of Zoology, and my research focuses on understanding the social dynamics at play within the landscape of lion conservation. Outside of my research, I am actively involved in several ED&I projects through my college and department, and I am one of the co-founders of the BIPOC STEM Network. As an ED&I Fellow, I hope to be able to use my intersectional perspective as a mixed-race, LGBTQ+ person to continue working towards creating a safer, more inclusive environment for everyone within the University.

 

Tim RudnerTim G. J. Rudner

Department of Computer Science

DPhil Student

Pronouns: he/him

Tim G. J. Rudner is a DPhil student in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Oxford, where he conducts research on probabilistic machine learning. His research interests span variational inference, Bayesian deep learning, reinforcement learning, and AI safety. As an Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Fellow, he hopes to make STEM subjects at Oxford more accessible to first-generation university students and students from low-income backgrounds. Tim is also an AI Fellow at Georgetown University's Center for Security and Emerging Technology and a Rhodes Scholar. His website is https://timrudner.com.

 

Olivia SimpsonOlivia Simpson

MPLS Doctoral Training Centre

DPhil Student

Pronouns: she/her

Olivia is in the 2nd Year of her Computational Biology DPhil working on a robot that can automatically make samples of chemicals to test for their potential as new medicines. Olivia previously studied Biomedical Engineering where she first got involved in ED&I in academia as a member her department’s Diversity Inclusion and Wellbeing committee. Olivia is the Linacre College Common Room Welfare and Equality officer 2021 and she has worked both proactively, and as an advocate on behalf of members, to ensure the college is a welcoming, accessible, and inclusive institution.  Olivia is passionate about ED&I across the STEM fields (and academia more broadly) and she looks forward to working on ED&I across the Division alongside the other MPLS ED&I Fellows.

 

Sierra SparksSierra Sparks

Department of Engineering Science

DPhil Student

Pronouns: she/her

Sierra is a DPhil student in biomedical engineering in the Engineering Science Department and is a student at Keble College. She has been involved in several ED&I advocacy and outreach initiatives that aim to promote the recruitment and retention of equity-deserving groups in STEM. She is passionate about increasing the number of gender minorities and other underrepresented demographics in STEM, which she believes is something that inherently strengthens these professions and research – having diversity in academic spaces allows for new perspectives and ideas to fuel innovative research. Sierra is excited for the opportunity to work as an ED&I Fellow to create more inclusive and accessible spaces and to show that the MPLS Division has a place for everyone.

See below the profiles of our inaugural cohort of MPLS Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I) Fellows who have been selected to help advance ED&I work within the Division.

We were overwhelmed by the positive response from applicants across our departments, and reviewed many outstanding submissions. While we initially envisioned selecting four Fellows, given the high number of strong applications, all of our departments have agreed to help fund this scheme to enable us to select 10 Fellows (one representative from each department). 

We look forward to working closely with these Fellows this year! Find out more about them below (listed alphabetically). If you’re interested in getting involved with our work, please contact diversity@mpls.ox.ac.uk

 

Abdul AbdulrahimAbdul Abdulrahim

Department of Computer Science

DPhil Student

Pronouns: he/his 

Abdul is a DPhil student in the Computer Science Department working on the application of AI to Law. His principal areas of interest include computational law, digital rights and algorithmic due process. He has a background in Philosophy and Mathematics. Prior to his doctorate studies, Abdul trained as a lawyer with experience in privacy and IP law, working on corporate transactions and the GDPR implementation. He also has advisory experience leading the UK Parliament inquiry into the human rights risks arising from advancements in technology and World Bank projects on improving the effectiveness of DFID aid disbursements.” 

 

Gwen AntellGwen Antell

Departments of Earth Sciences and Zoology

DPhil Student

Pronouns: she/her 

Gwen is a 4th-year DPhil student in Earth Sciences and St John’s College whose research investigates species’ responses to environmental change in past periods of Earth history. Gwen’s work to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion aims both to inspire scientific innovation and to pursue social justice. This advocacy draws on values of intersectional feminism, queer collective organising, and the disability activist principle that there should be ‘nothing about us without us.’

 

Maria ChristodoulouDr Maria Christodoulou

Department of Statistics

Postdoctoral Researcher in Biostatistics

Pronouns: she/her 

I am a Postdoctoral Researcher in Biostatistics in the Department of Statistics. As an ECR representative in one of the smallest departments in the Division, I had to be a Jill-of-all-trades to support my fellow postdocs, and through this I learned extensively about their primary concerns and the reasons many chose to leave the academic environment. My primary motivations for wanting to serve as an ED&I Fellow are to actively effect change that will reduce the dropout of talented diverse researchers, and to ensure that the unique needs of researchers in smaller departments are adequately represented.

 

Shazeaa IshmaelShazeaa Ishmael

Department of Materials

DPhil student

Pronouns: she/her 

Hello! My name is Shazeaa, I am currently a DPhil Student in Materials Science. I am so grateful to have been offered this new role and ecstatic to get started! I have been involved with ED&I initiatives at the college, department, and divisional level, using my experience of being a women of colour in STEM. I hope to continue to work on making Oxford a more progressive space in the hopes people feel like they belong here. Oxford is the people who are here, and we deserve to all feel included.

 

Ndidi IwumeneNdidi Iwumene

Department of Chemistry

DPhil Student

Pronouns: she/her 

Hi! I’m Ndi, a final year organic chemistry DPhil student from South London. Being a working-class British-Nigerian, Oxford is a far cry from the environment I grew up in. So naturally, adapting to the university’s competitive setting was more difficult. As an ED&I fellow I hope to bring more awareness to issues faced by students from underrepresented demographics. I believe this is crucial for fostering an inclusive environment where students from all backgrounds can thrive. 

 

Aym MaidmentAym Maidment

Departments of Zoology and Plant Sciences

Communications, Alumni Relations, and Outreach Assistant

Pronouns: they/them 

Aym Maidment works in the Communications teams across the Departments of Zoology and Plants Sciences. They have an intersectional perspective as a queer disabled person, and are particularly keen to advocate for a more equal system for neurodiverse students and staff members, and for a more compassionate harassment procedure. They believe that ‘accessibility is choice’, rather than providing binary solutions to intersectional problems, and are consistently working to provide as many access options to the academics and students they support as possible.

 

Geoffrey MboyaGeoffrey Mboya

Mathematical Institute

DPhil Student

Pronouns: he/his 

Geoffrey is a DPhil candidate in algebraic geometry at St Peters' College and the Mathematics. He is the immediate former DPhil student representative in the Mathematics Departmental Committee where great strides were made on Equality policies including an action for 2020/21 year to consider target scholarships to promote equality, diversity, and inclusion. He is the founder and director of Mfano Africa, a mentorship scheme targeting pre-doctoral Africa Mathematics students. He holds the idea that improved outreach policies and revamped collaboration strategies will go a long way in making Oxford a more accessible study and work destination. 

 

Izzi Floyd MearDr Izzi Floyd Mear

Department of Engineering

Teaching and Design Engineer

Pronouns: they/them 

I am part of the teaching support group in the engineering department. I spend most of my time teaching coding and other technical skills in undergraduate laboratories, supporting the next generation of engineers. I’m an LGBT+ Role Model, as in the words of Sally Ride, I strongly believe ‘you cannot be what you cannot see’. As an EDI Fellow I plan to draw on my experiences of navigating academic spaces as a non binary, mixed race person and implement changes that improve the experiences of marginalised members of staff and students.

 

Lucy TaylorDr Lucy Taylor

Department of Zoology

Junior Research Fellow

Pronouns: she/her 

I am a Junior Research Fellow in the Department of Zoology. My route into academia was not a straight line. Amongst other things, I did not complete my A-levels and became allergic to my study species half way through my DPhil. These experiences underlined the importance of good support and training. I set up and now coordinate the Zoology Graduate Support & Mentoring Scheme in my Department. I’ve also written three career columns for Nature. As an MPLS ED&I Fellow, I would like to focus on improving mental health in all levels of academia. 

 

Aprajita VermaDr Aprajita Verma

Department of Physics

Senior Researcher

Pronouns: she/her 

I am a Senior Researcher in Astrophysics and am interested in the complex situations that can give rise to inequities in academic environments. Having acted as a confidante or mentor for dozens of early career researchers, I am aware of how inequities and bias can affect careers and well-being.  As a MPLS ED&I Fellow, I am keen to contribute to positive cultural change in our division. Some potential targeted actions include facilitated learning circles to encourage open discourse on discrimination and bias that can develop empathy and allyship, and to introduce safe spaces for BAME staff to discuss inclusion issues such as workplace advisors and discussion fora across MPLS departments.