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Staff Profiles

Staff engaged in Music research

Dr Katherine Butler

Senior Lecturer in Music

Dr Katherine is a music historian with particular interests in the musical culture of sixteenth and seventeenth-century England. She studied at The Queen’s College, University of Oxford and then took her PhD at Royal Holloway, University of London ...more>>


Gavin ButtProfessor Gavin Butt

Professor of Fine Art

Gavin is a scholar of modern and contemporary art whose work contributes to the fields of art history & visual culture, performance and queer studies, and popular music studies. Trained as a fine artist and art historian, he is a writer, curator and filmmaker ...more>>


Dr Carlos Conde Solares

Senior Lecturer in Hispanic Studies

Carlos obtained his PhD in Medieval Hispanic Studies at Queen Mary, University of London, and was appointed to a lecturership in Hispanic Studies at Northumbria in September 2008 ...more>>


Dr Rachael Durkin

Senior Lecturer in Music 

Rachael leads the performance and pedagogical strands of the Foundation and BA Music degrees at Northumbria University. Her research interests focus on the history of musical instruments (organology), particularly string instruments of the baroque era ...more>>


Garry Elvin

Principal Lecturer/Teaching Fellow, Computer and Information Sciences

Garry joined Northumbria in 2003. Since joining, his roles have included year tutor, coordinator for collaborative ventures programmes (both in the UK and overseas), and programme leader. His research interests include web design and development ...more>>




Dr Adam Hansen

Senior Lecturer in English Literature

After a BA at Oxford and an MA and PhD at York, Adam taught at several universities (York, Oxford, Queen's Belfast), and abroad (in Poland and Macedonia), before coming to Northumbria in 2007 ...more>>  


Dr Martyn Hudson, Lecturer at Northumbria UniversityDr Martyn Hudson

Lecturer in Art and Design History

Martyn is an Applied Sociologist of Art and Design and a Critical Theorist whose primary research interests lie in Sound Art, Cultural Landscapes, Classical Origins of Critical Theory and Aesthetics, Socially Engaged Practice with Communities and Design-led methodologies ...more>>


Professor Matthew Kelly

Professor of Modern History

Matthew has worked on the history of Irish nationalist activism, particularly 'advanced nationalists' in the decade or two prior to the 1916 Easter Rising, and environmental campaigners in modern Britain. He is currently writing a book about women preservationists and conservationists ...more>>


Daniel LaquaProfessor Daniel Laqua

Associate Professor in History; Programme Leader for History & Politics; Departmental ERASMUS Coordinator

Before joining Northumbria University in September 2009, Daniel taught at University College London (UCL), where he had previously conducted his doctoral research. Daniel’s teaching covers the history of ...more>>


Bex Mather

Postdoctoral Researcher

Bex is a practitioner with over 25 years of experience within community music, theatre and higher education contexts. Whilst Head of the Community Programme at Sage Gateshead, in collaboration with the North of England Refugee Service (NERS) ...more>>


a woman standing in front of a buildingDr Laura O'Brien

Senior Lecturer in Modern European History

Laura joined Northumbria in September 2015, having previously taught at University College Dublin, Trinity College Dublin, Université Paris 1 (Panthéon-Sorbonne) and the University of Sunderland. She completed her PhD at ...more>>


Richard O'BrienDr Richard O'Brien

Lecturer in English

After an undergraduate degree in English and French, I was a member of the Shakespeare Institute (University of Birmingham)'s first MA cohort in Shakespeare and Creativity. My PhD, which included elements of original creative practice ...more


Dr Liz Pavey

Senior Lecturer in Dance

Liz, dance artist and researcher (improviser, choreographer and teacher), has lectured in performance at Northumbria University since 2004.  Her practice research focuses on the relationship of the moving body to its environment ...more>>


Dr Nayantara Santhi

Vice Chancellor's Senior Fellow



Dr Jamie Sexton

Senior Lecturer in Film and Television Studies

Jamie's research is mostly concerned with alternative forms of film and other media, particularly cult cinema and independent cinema. Methodologically, he has approached subject areas from different angles, but he is particularly interested in looking at how films and other media forms are embedded ...more>>


Dr Petia Sice

Associate Professor, Computer and Information Sciences

Petia holds a PhD in Systems and Complexity Thinking for Understanding Humans and Organisations. She is passionate about interpreting and applying insights from complexity theory for facilitating positive transformation in individuals and organisations ...more>>


Professor David Smith

Professor of Music

David is Professor and Founding Head of Music in the Department of Humanities, and is responsible for developing the exciting new degree programme in Music at Northumbria University ...more>>


EE Matteo Sommacal Staffprofile 255Dr Matteo Sommacal

Assistant Professor in Applied Mathematics

Matteo Sommacal was born in Roma, Italy, on November 18, 1977. Currently, he is Senior Lecturer in Applied Mathematics in the Department of Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering at Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, where he arrived in January 2012 ...more>>>


Professor Joe Street

Associate Professor in History

Joe was educated at Sheffield University between 1996 and 2004. Between 2003 and 2005 he lectured in American History at Sheffield before moving to the University of Kent to take up a Lectureship ...more>>


Professor Lesley Twomey

Professor in Medieval Golden Age Hispanic Art and Literature

Lesley Twomey is Associate Professor in Hispanic Studies at the University of Northumbria. She is a member of the Executive Committee of the Association of Hispanists of Great Britain and Ireland and is responsible for the mentoring scheme ...more>>


Francesca VellaDr Francesca Vella

Assistant Professor in Music; Convenor of the Music Research Group

Francesca Vella was born and raised in Italy, where I studied Art, Music and Performing Arts at the University of Florence and piano at the Scuola di Musica di Fiesole, before moving to the UK to complete an MMus and a PhD at King’s College London... more>>>


Paul -VickersProfessor Paul Vickers

Associate Professor and Reader in Computer Science and Computational Perceptualisation

Prior to joining Northumbria, Paul worked for 12 years in the School of Computing & Mathematical Sciences at Liverpool John Moores University, and from 1987-1988 he worked in a software development team at Digital Equipment Co. Ltd., Reading ...more>>


Professor Brian Ward

Professor in American Studies

Brian is Northumbria University's first Professor in American Studies. Previously, he held the Chair in American Studies at the University of Manchester (2006-2012), served as Head of the Department of History ...more>>


Professor Julian Wright

Head of Humanities

Julian is Head of the Department of Humanities, and a historian of modern Europe who has worked extensively on French intellectual, political and cultural history. The author of two books with Oxford University Press, on regionalism and socialism, he is particularly fascinated by the idea and experience of time in the present ...more>>

Research at Northumbria

Research at Northumbria

Research is the life blood of a University and at Northumbria University we pride ourselves on research that makes a difference; research that has application and affects people's lives.

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