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Institute of Advanced Study: Fellows and Projects

(4 October 2019)

The Institute of Advanced Study is delighted to welcome its first cohort of 2019/20 Fellows. Several of this year’s Fellows focus on supporting four exciting interdisciplinary projects, sponsored by the IAS, and led by Durham scholars. Further details of these projects, its associated Fellows, and activities planned for this year can be found here.

Mediation for the Twenty First Century: Connecting the Local and the Global
PIs: Dr Catherine Turner (Durham Law School)l; Dr May Darwich (Government and International Affairs)

Antibacterial Clay TherapyPIs: Dr Gary J. Sharples, (Biosciences); Dr Kim Jamie (Sociology)

Material imaginationPIs: Professor Tiago Moreira (Sociology); Dr Margarita Staykova (Physics)

Science, society and environmental change in the first millennium CE
PIs: Dr Helen Foxhall Forbes (History); Dr Karen Milek (Archaeology).

The Fellows in residence for the duration of Michaelmas term are: 

Dr Elshan (El) Abdullayev is a researcher French-Azerbaijani University in Baku, Azerbaijan. He researches clay minerals, their chemical composition and the geochemistry of the sediments from the lacustrine and marine basin.

Lia Bryant is Professor of Sociology and Social Work in the School of Psychology, Social Work and Social Policy at the University of South Australia. She teaches applied social research and critical and creative research methods.

Hailiang Dong is Professor of Geomicrobiology, Geochemistry, and Mineralogy at Miami University, Ohio. He has published over 230 research papers in the fields of clay mineralogy, low temperature geochemistry, geomicrobiology, environmental microbiology, and environmental engineering

Irene Fellin is Senior Fellow on gender and security issues at the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI). Her work deals with the implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000)+ on “Women, Peace and Security” within the framework of the UN, NATO, the OSCE and the EU and on strengthening women's inclusion in peace mediation efforts.

Andrea Halpern is Professor of Psychology and a member of the Neuroscience Program at Bucknell University. As a cognitive psychologist and cognitive neuroscientist, she studies memory and perception of nonverbal information, usually music, and sometimes art. 

Professor Janet Hoek holds a joint appointment in the Departments of Public Health and Marketing at the University of Otago, Dunedin. Her recent work has explored standardised (‘plain’) packaging of tobacco, the management of tobacco supply, tobacco product innovation, and e-cigarettes. Her wider interests include food marketing and obesity, and commercial determinants of health.

Dr Sean McMahon is an astrobiologist interested in microbe­–mineral interactions and their role in the preservation of fossils on Earth and (theoretically) Mars. His research explores how geological materials select, shape and sustain communities of organisms, and how organisms in turn produce, degrade and modify rocky substrates to leave lasting traces in the geological record.

Martine Miller is the Vice President at the International Center for Religion and Diplomacy in Washington; a Lecturer at the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok. Her research interests include inclusive mediation, focusing on gender and on religious peacemakers. She has area studies expertise in the Central to Asia-Pacific region.

Jing-Bao Nie is Professor at the Bioethics Centre, Dunedin School of Medicine, University of Otago, New Zealand, and an adjunct Professor at Peking University Health Science Centre and Wuhan University in China. His extensive research takes a distinctive transcultural approach to bioethics and cultural studies, and provides unique insights into the Asian (particularly Chinese) socio-cultural context.

Johanna Poutanen is Head for Women in Peacemaking at the Crisis Management Initiative (CMI). She leads CMI’s work on strengthening women’s inclusion in peace mediation. She has extensive experience in peace mediation and conflict management, with specialist expertise in women and youth participation in peace processes.

Engagement with the Fellows and the four projects is strongly encouraged. 
Details of all of this term’s Fellows and how to contact them can be found by visiting: 


Any queries related to a Fellow, project or activity should be addressed to

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