Completed Projects


My most recently completed research projects are:

1) IMPROVER: Improving Resilience to Crises and Disasters through Preparedness and Experiential Feedback, June 2015- September 2018.

I was a Work Package leader for this Horizon 2020 funded project, which examined how communities used social media to improve their resilience to both human-made and natural disasters – such as the recent Nepal earthquake or the sinking of ships that left thousands of Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants stranded at sea. It also explored how social media can be used to crowdsource information during a crisis situation – and how this information can help reduce response and recovery times and raise awareness about the risk of future disasters.

We identified examples of good practice for information dissemination to the public during crises. These were used to develop a communication strategy for emergency services and incident managers that will raise public awareness about the risks associated with these events.

The press release for IMPROVER can be found here

2) Risk, Crisis, Disaster and Development Management: Future Leader Programme, Improvement in Research & Education Fund, Kansai University, £32,400 (Co-Investigator, Primary Investigator Nibedita Ray-Bennett), May 2017- August 2018.

I was co-Investigator for this project that evaluated  current disaster risk management courses offered by Higher Education Institutions in Japan and the UK, with a view to developing a Future Leaders programme to be jointly hosted by Kansai University and the University of Leicester.

The press release can be found here 

3) Social media and adolescent mental health: A preliminary qualitative exploration of the potential use of social media for promoting mental health and wellbeing among 12-18 year olds, January 2016-January 2018.

I was co-Investigator for this Wellcome Trust funded project that examined how 12-18 year olds in the East Midlands used social media to locate information on mental health and wellbeing.

4) CascEff: Modelling of dependencies and cascading effects for emergency management in crisis situations (April 2014 – September 2017)

I was one of the Work Package leaders for this multi-national project funded by the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme for Research. My project (awarded £115,386.38 in April 2014) focussed on how incident managers use social media to provide information to members of the public during crisis situations. It provided new empirical data on the communication flows that emerge on sites such as Twitter during crises and the ways in which the cascading effects of such situations are mediated by both citizen and professional journalists.

The press release for the project can be found here

5) YouTube, sousveillance and the policing of union flag protests in Northern Ireland (June 2014- May 2015)

I was the Primary Investigator for a British Academy funded study (awarded £7,300 in March 2014) of YouTube footage of the police response to the loyalist flag protests in Northern Ireland in January 2013. This project explored whether this use of social media for sousveillance (inverse surveillance) had the potential to elicit support for these groups, whose narratives do not always feature in mainstream media coverage of civil disturbances. This was achieved through an in-depth thematic analysis of the comments posted under videos which were presumably shared on YouTube in order to hold the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) to account for their ‘heavy-handed’ policing of the protests.

The press release for the project can be found here

6) Transformative Networks: Social media, Parades and Protests (February – December 2014).

Dr Orna Young and I were the Primary Investigators of this project funded by the Northern Ireland Community Relations Council (£12,000 awarded January 2014). It explored the role of social media in providing accurate, real-time information to residents affected by controversial parades and protests in Northern Ireland. It also identified ways in which stakeholders such as local residents’ groups can use these sites to reduce intercommunal tensions and improve community relations in contested areas such as North Belfast. I was responsible for the collection and analysis of Twitter data during the 12th July Orange Order parades in Northern Ireland in 2014.The final report can be downloaded here

See also:

Tweeting for peace? Twitter may help to defuse sectarian tensions in Northern Ireland, LSE British Politics and Policy, 24 April 2015.

Tweeting for peace? Twitter, information flows and the Ardoyne parade dispute in July 2014