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Harassment Peer Support Network Contacts

Ellie Biggs

I am a Digital Change Analyst for the Digital Portfolio Team in DTS. My role requires me to implement IT change projects across the University and I have received training in change management.  Since joining Reading in 2016, I have worked with a broad range of colleagues and have experienced in a lot of University departments.  I started as an Administrative Officer for Academic and Governance Services after a year of work and travel in Asia, Australia and New Zealand, and have since progressed to roles in Students Services, Marketing and Campaigns and Henley Business School before joining DTS in 2022. My roles have taught me about the structure of the University and I have witnessed the different work cultures firsthand. I understand and appreciate that each role in the University comes with its own stressors and would be happy to speak with someone effected by challenging work relationships or environment.

Outside of work I am an outgoing, sociable and outdoorsy type, who enjoys meeting friends, going on adventures and travelling.  I meet new people often and draw energy from helping others as I am empathetic and kind.

For friendly, impartial advice on any issues you may be having, please contact me on Teams or by email at

Maria Broadbridge

I joined the University as part of the Academic Computing Team in DTS in June 2016. My role as a Specialist Teaching and Research Support Analyst involves supporting the computing needs of students and staff in the Meteorology Department. Prior to this I’ve obtained my BSc in Meteorology from Reading in 2007 and my PhD in Ocean Modelling from the University of Southampton in 2012. Just before joining the University in my current role I’ve been a postdoctoral researcher at Imperial College London in Regional Climate Modelling.

Because I have moved around quite frequently in my career and often changed teams, I am very familiar with the challenges of new working environments and adapting to new roles. I am also a working mum and I focus on and try to maintain physical and emotional happiness in a very busy lifestyle! I have a very relaxed, tolerant and non-judgemental approach to any kind of query or concern and I’m always up for an informal chat and giving advice and support where needed. I am an LGBT+ Ally. I can be contacted via email at

Mark Laynesmith

I've been working full-time at the University since September 2005 and have been a priest in the Anglican Church since 2001. Much of my role involves supporting and accompanying students and staff - of any faith or none - through times of difficulty. I aim to provide a non-judgmental, friendly ear to all. I teach mindfulness and wellbeing techniques, supporting students and staff dealing with anxiety and stress.

My academic background is in History, Medieval Studies and Theology.

Mark Laynesmith 0118 378 8797 Email

Mary Weller

I joined the University of Reading in 1995.  I currently work as the Finance and Office Manager for Digital Technology Services, a role I enjoy very much.  My role involves working with various teams within DTS, often dealing with confidential and time sensitive information.  I believe you have the right to work in an environment free from harassment. I am a good listener, and won’t pass judgement, I am here to support you whilst you seek advice in going through the options available to you.

In my personal life I enjoy reading, listening to music and spending time with my young Grandson who keeps me active.

I usually work a hybrid week, I can be contacted via email,,  MS Teams or 0118 378 8430

Emma Butler

I have worked in Higher Education for nearly 30 years with the last 25 years at Reading as a Careers Consultant where I provide a confidential, non-judgmental careers guidance and support for students & graduates. During my career I have experienced many changes including restructures and office moves, and I have been fortunate enough to work with some great colleagues and together we ensure we support one another.

I have a particular interest in mental health and have completed the Mental Health First Aid course. I realise that not everyone experiences such support at work and as a working mum I also understand that sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day! I would hope that I am approachable, a good listener and a naturally supportive person. I am an LGBTQ+ Ally and also have a particular interest and understanding of neurodiversity. Please feel free to contact me either via email or on 0118 378 6614.

Keshavan Niranjan

I joined Reading University as a lecturer in October 1989. After completing PhD at the University of Bombay, where I also lectured in chemical engineering between 1980 and 1984, I worked as a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Cambridge between 1984 and 1989. I have been part of the Harassment Peer Support Network since the beginning of 2001. My experience in dealing with harassment matters relate to problems between colleagues (staff or students), as well as perceived prejudice based on race and gender. At Reading, we are fortunate not to have had many cases of harassment, but if you do feel harassed in any way, you are not without help. Feel free to email me at