PhD Researcher of the Year Finalists 2017

PhD Researcher of the Year Finalists 2017

The Graduate School is pleased to announce the five PhD Researcher of the Year (ROY) finalists for 2017.

These students have been selected to represent the five Research Themes: Food, Environment, Health, Prosperity and Resilience, Heritage and Creativity.

These outstanding final year doctoral researchers will deliver presentations on their doctoral research and their time at Reading at the Doctoral Research Conference on 20 June 2017.

Max Brookman-Byrnemax-brookman-byrne-grad
WINNER OF PHD RESEARCHER OF THE YEAR AWARD 2017

Prosperity and Resilience Research Theme

School of Law

Title of PhD: The international law implications of the use of armed drones

My research considers the vague and problematic interaction between the use of armed drones by states and international law. I am assessing the overall lawfulness of the use of these weapons systems, as well as looking at how their use may be altering parts of international law, as these issues have big implications for the way states interact with each other. I am particularly concerned with highlighting how international law has been used to promulgate an approach to the use of armed drones that serves to undermine the protections enjoyed by individuals across the globe.

Rebecca Emertonrebecca-emerton-grad

Environment Research Theme

School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science

Title of PhD: Implications of climate variability for global scale flood forecasting and predictability

Floods are the most frequent of natural disasters, affecting more than 90 million people worldwide every year, and the anticipation and forecasting of floods is crucial for flood preparedness. Flood forecasting systems producing forecasts for the entire globe are now becoming operational, and my research aims to find ways to improve these global scale flood forecasts in order to provide earlier warnings of upcoming flood events. One aspect of my PhD explores the use of large scale atmospheric features, such as El Nino, to provide early indicators of flood events across the globe, months to seasons ahead.

Anna Thomsonanna-thomson-grad

Food Research Theme

School of Agriculture, Policy and Development

Title of PhD: Improving the efficiency of forage legume utilisation in the UK dairy industry

I have studied methods of feeding dairy cattle in the UK, with the aim of improving the sustainability of farming systems by replacing grass with specific legumes (clover or lucerne) in the diet. Growing ryegrass requires a high input of nitrogen fertilizer, which has a large carbon footprint and is expensive, whereas legumes are able to fix their own nitrogen from the atmosphere and also enhance local biodiversity. However, farmers often experience difficulty growing and feeding legumes efficiently, and therefore the aim of my PhD project was to generate knowledge on how to incorporate legumes successfully into their systems.

Saleh Omairisaleh-omairi-grad

Health Research Theme

School of Biological Sciences

Title of PhD: Blood supply is the key determinant to endurance exercise and muscle regeneration

Two ideas have been central to our understanding concerning the structure and regenerative capacity of skeletal muscle. Firstly, that the size of muscle fibres that support long term exercise could not grow above a certain limit which was set by the diffusion capacity of oxygen. Secondly, that the key determinant in promoting effective muscle regeneration was stem cell number.My research has overturned both these concepts. My work shows that it is possible to generate large muscle fibres that are able to generate a large amount of force whilst enduring longer periods of exercise. My work also demonstrated effective muscle regeneration in the face of a massive reduction in stem cell number.

Will Davieswill-davies-grad

Heritage and Creativity Research Theme

School of Literature and Language

Title of PhD: Samuel Beckett and the Second World War

My PhD thesis uses archival, historical and theoretical approaches to reassess Samuel Beckett's writing in the context of the Second World War. In bringing these approaches together, this project offers new ways of understanding the role of Beckett's experience of the Second World War within his writing whilst also working to recover the 'moment' of Beckett's wartime and postwar work. In doing so,the thesis engages more broadly with the still under examined question of Beckett's relationship to, and use of, history.

Max Brookman-Byrne

Prosperity and Resilience Research Theme

School of Law

Title of PhD: The international law implications of the use of armed drones

My research considers the vague and problematic interaction between the use of armed drones by states and international law. I am assessing the overall lawfulness of the use of these weapons systems, as well as looking at how their use may be altering parts of international law, as these issues have big implications for the way states interact with each other. I am particularly concerned with highlighting how international law has been used to promulgate an approach to the use of armed drones that serves to undermine the protections enjoyed by individuals across the globe.

 

 

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