Research Activities

I m currently a Lecturer in the School of Computing and Mathematics at Keele University, a Visiting Researcher at the eCentre at the University of Greenwich, previously a Researcher at the City eHealth Research Centre (CeRC) at City University, London.

Categorised list of research publications (pdf) updated August 2015.

Research Interests

Web 2.0 and Social Media

I have recently been involved with research that has investigated the potential of twitter to detect disease outbreaks such as Swine Flu and determine hay fever seasons within the UK. In collaboration with CeRC at City University, we collected over 3 million tweets that contain the word "flu" and showed that activity on twitter can predict swine flu outbreaks up to 1-2 weeks faster than conventional methods currently used by the NHS. This work has received international press coverage (e.g. The Telegraph, The Times of India), was featured by the Health Protection Agency and has been presented at 10 further international conferences (e.g. ESCAIDE, MedInfo) Follow on work, using similar techniques, is investigating the impact of the Olympics and has been presented at the London Olympic Legacies Conference and a collaboration with the Business School at Greenwich has investigated the use of social media by UK Charities.


As an active member of the eCentre at Greenwich and Leader of the Web 2.0 / Social Web for Learning Research Group, I was the technical lead on the TQE funded Social Bookmarking project, which investiged the use of social bookmarking by 200 students and lecturers. A subsection of the preliminary results from this study were presented at eHealth 2010 and the complete results at a number of international conferences and workshops in 2011 (eHealth 2011, eLearning in Health 2011, eTeaching and Learning Workshop 2011, Enhanced and Transformed: Tales from the Digital Age). I have recently finished a complementary project that has looked into the use of twitter by lecturers and students to support learning and engagement and as Chair of the Greenwich Connect Project, I have recently published a number of articles about the potential uses of Social Media tools for Learning and Teaching. I have also received funding to research how VLE's such as Moodle can support Early Career Researchers.

Elicitation and Evaluation techniques

My PhD research (download thesis pdf) involved using a technique called Card Sorts to elicit the attributes of web pages and music that people are interested in. As part of this I have developed an online card sorting tool which allows researchers to perform card sorts with a variety of media i.e. photos, music, not just words which previous tools were restricted to. I am also researching a range of elicitation, development and evaluation techniques for constructing websites as part of undergraduate and post graduate web development modules e.g. paper prototyping, laddering, think aloud etc.

In my last position, I was involved with a team at CeRC who successfully evaluated the SeaLife family of Semantic Web browsers. This was one of the first user-centred evaluations of Semantic browsers details of which have been published in 3 recent papers.


An other area of research that I am interested in is visualisation, in particular methods for representing large amounts of code and data. There have been several outputs from this research including a paper in CSIC and PPIG, a patent, an online search application, winning a design competition for a symposium booklet cover and numerous large scale representations of mathematical numbers e.g. Pi to 1 million digits. I continued this research at City, looking at visualising server logs to identify trends in online user behaviour and search (UMAP 2009).

Music Categorisation

Following on from my PhD research, I have been investigating people's perceptions and categorisations of music and comparing them to automated methods. In collaboration with other researchers within the School of Computing and Mathematics at Keele, software is being developed that identifies and visualises the features of music that respondents like and dislike.

Publications, Conferences and Workshops

Categorised list available for download (pdf) updated July 2014.

Professional Activities and Memberships

Invited Talks and Seminars

Grants and Funded Projects