Our Ambassadors

Our ambassadors are researchers who give up their time to help raise awareness and grow the community because they share the vision of a global research community. If you would like to represent your University or region then please get in touch.
Become an ambassador

Ken Dutton-Regester

stemventurist@gmail.com

 

Dr Ken Dutton-Regester is an active cancer researcher exploring new ways to treat late-stage melanoma. Completing his PhD at the Queensland University of Technology in 2012, Ken also did a postdoc at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Broad Institute in Boston, Massachusetts before pursuing an independent research program back in Australia. Ken is also the founding director of Excite Science, a scicomm start-up explaining complex science in creative ways. Their first product was Makings of a Malignancy, a cancer biology-themed escape room and has been exposed to 10,000+ people across Australia. Having served on a number of leadership bodies including the National Postdoctoral Association and the Associate Member Council for the American Association for Cancer Research, Ken founded Stemventurist as a community resource helping scientists in their careers, inside or outside of academia.

 

 

Helena Hartmann

helena.m.hartmann@gmail.com

 

 

Helena Hartmann's research is all about feeling other people's pain in your own brain, also known as empathy! She finished her Master of Science in Clinical and Biological Psychology in 2017, where she investigated empathic abilities and evidence for emotional egocentricity in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Directly after that, she started her PhD at the Social, Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Unit led by Claus Lamm at the University of Vienna. In her dissertation, she is investigating why and how we understand and share the pain of other individuals around us. More specifically, Helena is interested what role our own pain processing plays in empathy for other people's suffering and the showing of prosocial behavior, specifically focusing on somatosensory pain processing in the human brain. She is enthusiastic about conducting transparent research through open science principles and loves transmitting her research to the public via science communication.

 

 

 Sofia Bariami

sophia.bariami@gmail.com

 

 

 

Sofia Bariami is a computational chemistry PhD student, at the University of Edinburgh. With a diverse background in applied mathematics and physics, and having experience working in a pharmaceutical company, she is using her expertise to develop and use theoretical models to understand small active molecules, that can be used as drugs (Computer Aided Drug Design). Her research focuses on two important aspects of computational chemistry: the development of forcefield parameters, focusing on host-guest systems that can be used as molecular carriers; and the modification of existing Molecular Dynamics frameworks using programming to incorporate new features, using as a test-case the HIV reverse-transcriptase. Apart from her research, she is part of the “Scientist next door” community, a group of scientists that share with children their passion for science, hoping more of them will find it as exciting. At her free time, she participates in public engagement activities, and she enjoys sketching. She is also always up for travelling and meeting new people.

 

 

Alexander Thom

alexander.thom18@gmail.com

 

 

Alexander (Ali) Thom is a 3rd year chemistry PhD student at the University of Glasgow. His initial research project focused on novel methods to alter the surface chemistry of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) for biomedical applications. MOFs are porous materials with a wide range of potential applications including use in biomedicine as well as gas storage for carbon capture and hydrogen storage and transport. His PhD focuses on synthesising and characterising novel MOFs for future use in gas storage applications. Apart from his research, Ali was the president of the University of Glasgow chemical society (aka Alchemists’ club) in 2018-19. In his spare time he volunteers with Glasgow City Mission at their main project in helping to combat homelessness in Glasgow as well as being involved in their winter night shelter. He is an avid rugby fan, even though that means being under the perpetual curse of being a passionate supporter of Scotland rugby.

 

 

Beth Eyre

bleyre1@sheffield.ac.uk

 

Beth's PhD research at University of Sheffield investigates a mechanism called neurovascular coupling. When neurons in the brain fire, there should be a large increase in blood flow to that same region, to redeliver oxygen and glucose that have been used up, this relationship is termed neurovascular coupling. This relationship is really important because it ensures that cells in the brain get the oxygen and glucose they need to survive.

When she is not studying the brain, Beth likes to take part in public outreach and widening participation activities. She has recently become a Brilliant Club tutor, whereby she goes into schools and delivers university-style tutorials. The scheme is aimed at getting more young people from underrepresented backgrounds into highly selective universities- something that she is really passionate about because university should be for everyone and should not depend on your background. In her spare time you’ll most likely find her watching documentaries (about whales) or eating pizza.

 

Thiru Somasundaram

tsomasundaram@deakin.edu.au

 

Thiru (Thiruchenduran Somasundaram) is a PhD researcher developing seaweed supplements for dairy cows in Australia under Deakin University Postgraduate Scholarship grants. Thiru is one of the past postharvest scientist at National Aquatic Resources Research and Development agency (NARA) in Sri Lanka. As one of the cruise “Food Safety and Nutrition-Scientist”, Thiru cruised with R/V Dr Fridjtof Nansen sampling Sri Lankan territorial waters. He has contributed in expert scientific panels for FAO’s EAF-Nansen Programme at Institute of Marine Research, Bergen and at FAO headquarters Rome.

He currently explores the potentials of seaweed as a supplement for dairy cattle in several platforms including, source of essential nutrients for cattle, natural way of fortifying milk and milk product and improving quality, mitigating health cow’s health issues like bloating and subacute rumen acidosis and reducing greenhouse gas emission through altering gut microbiota. Thiru believes networking is the most important quality of growing early career scientist.

 

Pauline Oustric

 Pspjo@leeds.ac.uk

 

Pauline is a third-year PhD researcher at the University of Leeds. As an Engineer in Nutrition from AgroParisTech (Paris), her background covers multidisciplinary challenges in life science from the field (agriculture) to the fork (food science and nutrition). She then wanted to understand why we eat and created her PhD on food reward (our pleasure and motivation to eat) in weight management. Her PhD is investigating the biopsychology of food reward to improve weight management outcomes such as food intake in adult.

She is passionate about communication, cooking and coding. She is PGR-rep and Mental health & Wellbeing Champion at the School of Psychology and member of the Research & Scientific Advisory Committee for the Association of Study of Obesity (ASO). She loves organizing workshops and conferences for early career researchers and she delivers workshops on networking, communication, and data visualization. She aims at bringing people together to create a strong community of researchers.