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Aberystwyth University announces 150th anniversary Research Fellows

Aberystwyth University

Aberystwyth University has announced the first Fellows of a new programme launched to mark its 150th anniversary, with their research spanning AI, migration and Mars.

The four Fellows will receive between two and three years of funding for their specific research project. The scheme was launched to foster research within existing or burgeoning areas of strength within the University.

The four Fellows are:

  • Dr Eli Auslender, Departmental of International Politics – a migration scholar whose work focuses on the rights of asylum seekers and refugees, and the structural hinderances raised to deter them. His project will examine negotiation tactics used by developed countries in climate conferences that are used to subvert developing rights for climate migrants.
  • Dr Thomas Dekeyser, Departmental of Geography and Earth Sciences (with the Department of Film and Television Studies and Department of Information Studies) – a cultural digital geographer who explores the relations of power and resistance in the digital space. His project will focus on “AI pessimism”, which is the emotions, practices and politics of those critical of artificial intelligence.
  • Dr Adam Hepburn, Department of Geography and Earth Sciences – a former PhD student at the University whose work was on the glacial history of Mars. His new project will model the flow of water beneath glaciers, which is critical to understand how they respond to climatic warming.
  • Dr Latif Tas, Department of Law and Criminology – a socio-legal scholar whose work is on social justice, migration, governance, gender, transnationalism, conflict and social mobilisation in the Middle East and Europe. His new project will explore migrants’ transnational welfare from a gendered perspective.

Professor Angela Hatton, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research, Innovation and Impact, said: “At Aberystwyth University, we are proud of our longstanding tradition of research that builds upon our historic strengths to tackle contemporary challenges facing Wales and the wider world.

“These projects illustrate the breadth of research we have underway at the University. Our research will make demonstrable differences to people’s lives and help us gain further insight into some of the key issues of our time.”

According to the latest results of the Research Excellence Framework in 2021, Aberystwyth University’s percentage of research activity of an internationally recognised standard or higher has risen to 98%.

More than three quarters of the research was categorised as world-leading or internationally excellent, up nine percentage points on the last assessment.