Janice Ansine Photograph

Janice Ansine

Senior Project Manager for Citizen Science

Janice has a comprehensive background in project and programme management, media, communications, behaviour change, public outreach and engagement around biodiversity, science and nature and has been managing projects for over 15 years. She is PRINCE2 certified and holds an MSc in Environmental Change and Management (Oxford); an MSc Science and Society (OU), a BA (Hons) and Diploma in Mass Communication, (UWI, Jamaica); and was a UNEP / World Conservation Monitoring Centre Chevening Scholar at University of Cambridge conducting research in Biodiversity Communications. She is currently pursuing an OU Doctorate in Education (EdD) in the area of Technology Enhanced Learning researching citizen science learning journeys. At the OU Janice manages projects and supports initiatives funded by multiple funders, including iSpot (a portfolio of over £2.5m) and The Evolution Megalab (a pan-European citizen science research project which involved 14 countries focused on the evolutionary effects of climate change).

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Shuang Ao

PhD Student

Shuang is a PhD student working on deep learning methods for multi-modal classification.

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Harriett Cornish

Graphic Designer

Harriett is the graphic designer for KMi, who maintains the general graphical elements for KMi along with the overall look and feel of the Lab. Harriett also provides the graphics for KMi projects, including several of the CS&AI group, ranging from project banners and logos, to posters, presentation backgrounds, web design and application icons.

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Damian Dadswell

Senior Manager, Digital Development Services

Damian has been with KMi since May 2000, when he joined as a work experience student. He now works as a lead developer, and builds and maintains KMi's Internet, Intranet and research project websites. His skills include interpretting graphic visual or interaction designs into HTML, CSS and Javascript, to create visually appealing web pages and interfaces. He manages the development and maintenance of the iSpot infrastructure.

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Mike Dodd

iSpot Curator

Mike is the iSpot UK Curator based in the Faculty of Science at The Open University. Mike has over 25 years' experience in teaching and research including writing OU Science and digital photography courses and playing a key role in the development of, other OU citizen science projects such as Evolution Megalab and Treezilla as well the Floodplain Meadows Partnership project. Mike also has a background in surveying and GIS and expertise in a number of groups of organisms. His responsibilities within the iSpot project include provision of online support for website users; liaison with national recording schemes and other partners to develop community of experts and beginners using the site; data sharing and analysis. He sits on the UK National Biodiversity Network verification data flows and online recording working group.

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Riasat Islam

Research Associate

Riasat is researching haptic technologies for multisensory interactions within the SENSE project.

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Phillimon Mumba

PhD Student

Philimon is a PhD student working on automated digital storytelling from data.

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Rachel Redford

Project Officer

Rachel is a Citizen Science Project Officer at STEM/STEM Deanery.

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Stefan Rueger

Professor of Knowledge Media

Stefan read Physics at Freie Universit&?auml;t Berlin and gained his PhD (Dr rer nat) at Technische Universit&?auml;t Berlin (1996). He carved out his career at Imperial College London from PostDoc (1997) to a Readership in Multimedia and Information Systems (2005). During this period he held also an EPSRC Advanced Research Fellowship (1999-2004). In 2006 he became Professor of Knowledge Media when he joined the Open University's Knowledge Media Institute to cover the area of Multimedia and Information Systems. Stefan has published widely in the area of Multimedia Information Retrieval. He has been Principal Investigator in the EPSRC-funded Multimedia Knowledge Management Network, Principal Investigator in the ICT integrated project PHAROS for audiovisual search across online spaces, and Co-Investigator on a joint 3-year NSF-EU project on Cultural Heritage Language Technologies. He collaborated with BT in industry-sponsored research and executed a joint project on digital visual libraries with Waikato University, where he currently holds an honorary professorship. He has held Visiting Fellowships at Imperial College London and Cranfield University, UK, where he supervises MSc student projects. Stefan is interested in the intellectual challenge of visual processing with a view to automated multimedia understanding. Stefan is a member of the EPSRC College, the ACM, the BCS, the BCS committee for Information Retrieval and a fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

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Nirwan Sharma

Research Associate

Nirwan gained his PhD in Computing Science at the University of Aberdeen on the topic "Facilitating individual learning, collaborative learning and behaviour change in citizen science through interface design", which sits in the interface of HCI and environmental citizen science. He was motivated to work in the domain of environmental sciences due to concerns arising from climate change, rapid urbanisation and species declines. During his PhD he gained knowledge and research experience from an interdisciplinary team of supervisors in education, computing science and environmental sciences which helped him draw and triangulate understandings and methodologies from these disciplines. Before starting his PhD, Nirwan was employed as a Research Assistant (RA) in User Interface Development at the dot.rural Digital Economy Hub, University of Aberdeen, UK. As RA, he was involved in several projects related to rural transport studies, business, medicine and environment conservation.

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Advaith Siddharthan

Professor of Computer Science and Society

Advaith read Physics at the University of Delhi, India, Computer Science at the University of Cambridge and gained his PhD in Computational Linguistics at the University of Cambridge (2003). After postdoctoral positions at Columbia University, New York, and the University of Cambridge, he took up his first faculty position at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland in 2009, where he co-founded the citizen science project BeeWatch, which he still manages along with his Ecologist collaborator Prof. Rene van der Wal. Advaith joined the Open University in 2017. He has been the Principal Investigator for grants from the EPSRC, NERC and ESRC and has also been Co-Investigator on grants from ESRC, NERC, National Geographic, H2020 and RCUK. He has worked closely with Environmental charities in the UK to develop socially responsible AI technologies that bridge the divide between professional scientists and lay public, facilitate meaningful public engagement with science and foster attitudinal and behavioural change, particularly around biodiversity issues. Advaith is the academic lead for three citizen science projects at the OU: iSpot Nature, X-Polli:Nation and Planting for Pollinators. His current research investigates science learning within such citizen science projects, especially how citizens can learn alongside artificial intelligence from data, and how technology can help reconnect people with nature.

Chris Valentine Photograph

Chris Valentine

Principal Developer

Chris is the principal developer for the iSpot platform. Joining the OU in the Spring of 1992, his initial projects were related to the transcription of course material for print-disabled students. Chris was a founding member of KMi when it was launched in 1995. He is now a web applications developer using PHP and mySQL. Chris's role on iSpot includes development of the platform and infrastructure as well as the application of software engineering principles to the platform as a whole, to help ensure everyone can have the best possible experience with iSpot.