LIDA Development Programme Academic Advisory Group (LIPAG)

LIDA Development Programme Academic Advisory Group (LIPAG) Members

LIPAG is made up of a diverse membership of academics from across the University of Leeds and it reports directly to LIPAG Chair, Assoc. Prof Michelle Morris. Its remit is to support the delivery of the Programme’s operations, as well as formulating the Programme’s research strategy. It provides the opportunity, not only for senior, but also for junior academics at the University of Leeds to support the training and development of early career Data Scientists through robust academic assurance of this Development Programme. It also represents a key internal networking opportunity, in line with the Programme’s aim to promote interdisciplinarity.

Assoc. Prof Michelle Morris, LIPAG Chair


Dr Michelle Morris is an Associate Professor in the School of Medicine at the University of Leeds, based in the Leeds Institute for Data Analytics where she leads the Nutrition and Lifestyle Analytics team. Her research investigates how novel consumer data can be utilised to better understand population diet and activity behaviours. Michelle is an interdisciplinary researcher in data science with a background spanning; nutritional epidemiology, health informatics and health geography.

Prof Nick Malleson, LIPAG Deputy-Chair

I am a Professor of Spatial Science at the Centre for Spatial Analysis and Policy at the School of Geography. Most of my research focuses on the development of computer models that help us to understand social phenomena. I have a particular interest in simulations of crime patterns and in models that can be used to describe the flows of people around cities. More recently, I have become in interested in how we can use ‘big data’, agent-based modelling, and smart cities initiatives to reduce the impacts of phenomena like pollution or crime.

Prof Oliver Carsten

Oliver Carsten is Professor of Transport Safety at the Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds. His major research focus is on driver interaction and safety with new driver support systems. He led the UK national project on Intelligent Speed Assistance and has acted as chair of the Road User Behaviour Working Party of PACTS, the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety. He has provided advice on safety policy to the UK Department for Transport and to the European Commission, especially on behalf of the European Transport Safety Council. He was a member of the European Commission’s GEAR 2030 High-Level Group on the future of the European automobile industry as well as a member of the C-ITS Platform. He is an attendee at the meetings of UNECE in the area of automation and a member of the Informal Group of Experts on Automated Driving (IGEAD) under UNECE WP.1. He is editor-in-chief of the academic journal Cognition, Technology and Work.

Dr Florien Boele

Dr. Florien Boele is Associate Professor of Medical Psychology. She is a member of the Patient-Centred Outcomes Research Group and the Academic Unit of Health Economics at the Universtiy of Leeds. Dr. Boele has a background in neuropsychology and obtained her PhD from the VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam. Following a postdoctoral Niels Stensen Fellowship, she moved to Leeds in 2016 for a Yorkshire Cancer Research funded University Academic Fellowship. Her research interests include family caregiving, quality of life, symptom management, and access to support in (neuro-)oncology.

Dr Dan Birks

Dr Dan Birks is Associate Professor of Quantitative Policing and Crime Data Analytics in the School of Law, and a Turing Fellow at the Alan Turing Institute. He joined Leeds in 2018, having previously held research and teaching roles at Griffith University (Brisbane) and University College London. His research focuses on how data science methods and tools can be responsibly used to derive actionable insights from administrative criminal justice data to support understanding, prevention and responses to crime problems.  He has over 15 years’ experience working with criminal justice practitioners and policy makers in UK and Australia. To date, his research has been supported by over £1.4m of research income, and he currently leads an EPSRC funded project exploring how computer simulations can help police better understand supply and demand dynamics.

Dr Zhi-Qiang Zhang  

Dr Zhi-Qiang Zhang is a University Academic Fellow in Body Sensor Network for Healthcare and Robotics between the School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering and School of Mechanical Engineering. His research interests mainly include body sensor network, wearable sensing, statistic signal processing, sensor fusion, biomechanics, machine learning, big data, gait analysis, wearable robots and rehabilitation.

Dr Julie Aspden

Julie is a University Academic Fellow in Pervasive Transcription. She is an RNA biologist, interested in how are genes are expressed and discovering new genes. During her postdoc at Berkeley, she became interested in using genomics and transcriptomics to understand the role of RNA binding proteins. Whist a postdoc at Sussex Julie started using Ribo-Seq and developed adaptations to discover novel protein-coding regions. She is a UK leader in this approach. Her current interests include dissecting mechanisms of mRNA translation regulation, non-coding RNA function and the role of RNA-protein complexes. Her group use a combination of biochemistry, genomics, molecular biology and genetics to study RNAs both in Drosophila melanogaster and several mammalian systems including neuronal differentiation.

Dr Rebecca Birch

Rebecca is a Research Fellow specialising in healthcare inequalities with projects including the relationship between diabetes and cancer outcomes, the treatment of older patients and the use of routine data to assess comorbidity. Principally using large scale, linked population level, healthcare datasets to examine the characteristics, treatments and outcomes for cancer and quantify variation.