Dr. Karina Rodriguez Echavarria, Principal Investigator, University of Brighton
She is a Reader at the School of Architecture, Technology and Engineering, University of Brighton and Director for the Research Centre for Secure, Intelligent and Usable Systems which focuses on both theoretical and practical research in computer science challenges related to software systems, leading on the provision of digitisation and visualisation technologies. She chairs the Eurographics Workshops Board, and heads the Eurographics Steering Committee on Graphics and Cultural Heritage which organises yearly workshops in this area. She is an interdisciplinary researcher, with a background on Computer Science, with a PhD on knowledge based engineering systems for collaborative manufacturing and an MA on Histories and Cultures. Her research interests include the development and application of computing technologies for the digitisation of objects and environments; the information management, analysis, search/browse visualisation of visual representations, including 2D and 3D content; as well as their physical reproduction using digital fabrication. A focus of the research is the Cultural Heritage (CH) sector and its related applications such as creative applications, art, culture, education and tourism. She has produced research outputs in interdisciplinary areas such as computer graphics, information and knowledge management as well as cultural heritage.
Prof. Tim Weyrich, Co-Investigator, University College London
Professor of Visual Computing at the Department of Computer Science at University College London (UCL), where he is part of the Virtual Environments and Computer Graphics group (VECG) that routinely pursues foundational research in an applied and user-centric context. Prof. Weyrich is also a member and co-founder of the UCL Centre for Digital Humanities (UCLDH), which capitalises on UCL’s world-leading strength in information studies, computer science and the arts and humanities, bringing together many different departments and centres, including the university’s library services, museums and collections and external partners. From the centre’s creation in 2010, Prof. Weyrich served as an Associate Director, and later as its Deputy Director (2014–2021). As of late 2021, Prof. Weyrich also holds the chair of Digital Reality at Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU).
Dr. Mark Hedges, CO-Investigator, King’s College London
Mark’s original academic background was in mathematics and philosophy, and he gained a PhD in mathematics at University College London, before starting a 17-year career in software and systems consultancy, working on large-scale development projects for industrial and commercial clients. After a brief career break – during which he gained an MA in late Antique and Byzantine Studies – he began his career at King’s in 2005 as Technical Manager of the Arts and Humanities Data Service, and then as Deputy Director and subsequently Director of the Centre for e-Research. He moved to his current position in the Department of Digital Humanities in 2012.
Dr. Xavier Aure, Co-Investigator, Centre for Fine Print Research (CFPR), University of the West of England
Dr Xavier Aure joined the Centre for Fine Print Research (CFPR) as an early career Research Fellow as part of the Expanding Excellence in England investment from Research England in November 2019. Funded by the National Gallery via an AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award Dr Aure completed his PhD at the CFPR on the topic of 2.5D and 3D technologies applied to the conservation and presentation of surface texture in paintings. His research explores practical workflows for the generation of high-quality 3D replicas of cultural heritage objects and its applications to scientific documentation of artworks, online engagement and tactile reproductions. Through collaborative applied research he is also developing affordable custom scanning systems to record surface texture and colour information to produce high-resolution digital assets.
DR. Doug Boyer, Duke University
Boyer is an associate professor in the department of Evolutionary Anthropology at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. His research focus is on evolutionary origins of primates and he has authored over 100 peer-reviewed articles on this and related topics. His studies draw on evidence from comparative skeletal morphology of extant and fossil species. He has a long history working for museums and with museum collections. Before and while pursuing a BS in Geology at the University of Michigan (1997-2003), he worked as a fossil preparator and paleo artist in the University of Michigan Museum of Paleontology where he was trained and supervised by Philip Gingerich and William Sanders. He earned a PhD in an Evolutionary Anatomy at Stony Brook University under advisement of Dr. David Krause (2003-2009), learning key principles of specimen collection curation and management by working with Krause’s Crazy Mountain Basin Collection of Paleocene mammal fossils. As a bioinformatics postdoc under Jukka Jernvall of the University of Helsinki (2009-2010) he was charged with developing initial designs for what would ultimately become MorphoSource in 2013. Boyer also connected with Dr. Ingrid Daubechies (Duke Dept of Mathematics) and Dr. Julia Winchester (lead developer and product manager of MorphoSource) through Jernvall and pursues research into computational methods for morphometric shape comparison with them. MorphoSource has since become the largest repository of specimen-based imagery. It is also the only web repository designed to (1) reflect actual data creation workflows for major 3D imaging modalities and (2) anticipate and serve the needs of museum staff as primary stakeholders in managing digital imagery of their specimens. It currently has imagery sourced from almost 700 museum collections and has been cited in ~1,200 scholarly articles as a source or repository of data.
DR. Myrsini Samaroudi, Research Fellow, University of Brighton
Dr Myrsini Samaroudi holds a degree in History and Archaeology from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, a MSc in Cultural Informatics and Communication from the University of the Aegean and a PhD from the School of Architecture, Technology and Engineering of the University of Brighton. Myrsini is a member of the Centre for Secure, Intelligent and Usable Systems of the University 0f Brighton. Myrsini has worked as an archaeologist in Greece, as a researcher in academia and as a cultural informatics professional for the integration of IT in the cultural heritage domain. Myrsini has delivered talks, CPDs and seminars about digital documentation and dissemination of cultural heritage information by deploying advanced IT methods. Myrsini’s PhD, held in collaboration with the Royal Pavilion & Museums Trust, examined digitally fabricated replicas of museum artefacts as interpretative “devices” and proposed a framework for their integration and evaluation within experiences for different audience groups. Over the last couple of years Myrsini has worked in various research projects, investigating creative and technology facilitated methods to improve children’s wellbeing; the impact of Covid-19 on heritage institutions; the use of 3D printed replicas and digital 3D-games to enhance museum interpretation; and digital technologies for documenting and accessing intangible heritage knowledge, skills and practices of heritage craft in collaboration with the UCL, the Egyptian Heritage Rescue Foundation and the V&A.
DR. Julie Winchester, Duke University
Julie is the Lead Repository Developer and Product Manager for the MorphoSource 3D Data Repository in the Department of Evolutionary Anthropology at Duke University. Her research background is in bioinformatics, specifically creating and applying algorithms to quantify 3D shape from anatomical surfaces to elucidate form function relationships between anatomy and behavior. Julie has published widely, applying these algorithms to study dietary ecology of living and fossil primates, and has created many software tools implementing these algorithms. Her current professional focus is on combining software engineering and academic research experience to improve and expand digital cyberinfrastructure for archiving and making accessible scholarly data of scientific or cultural value, especially 3D data, which tends to require a particularly high degree of care and specificity in its curation. In 2016, Julie began working with MorphoSource, the largest digital repository for academic 3D data representing physical objects, both scientific samples and cultural heritage objects. In her role as Product Manager, Julie leverages an understanding of academic use cases and perspectives to design solutions that help MorphoSource better serve its diverse user community. As the Lead Repository Developer, she guides a team of three developers in architecting and implementing these solutions. In early 2021, the MorphoSource team launched a complete rebuild of the repository platform, significantly expanding both the functionality and usability of the site, including features like deeper support for cultural heritage and photogrammetry data, and the ability to interactively preview and measure color/textured 3D meshes and CT/MRI volumetric images, among many others.
Neil Jakeman, Senior Research Software Analyst, King’s College London
Neil came to the Department of Digital Humanities as a Research Developer in 2011 to help guide development in the spatial turn that DH research that was undergoing at that time. Arriving with a background in environmental analysis, spatial statistics and experience in commercial development, his interests within the department quickly broadened to encompass the diversity of topics that found their way into the department’s project portfolio. Neil has led development on a number of projects, most recently collaborating with the University of Wales to create a database of archaeological and palaeo-linguistic information to address questions of the origin and development of the Celtic language in the Bronze Age with the “Atlantic Europe in the Metal Ages” project. He also created a text and manuscript comparison tool for the study of vectors of transmission of French textual traditions for the project “Medieval Francophone Literary Culture Outside France”. His role within the lab has evolved to encompass cultivating new projects and relationships in the digital community and beyond as a Project Analyst. Outside of the lab Neil is a keen photographer, guitarist and climber.
Brian Maher, Senior Research Software Engineer & Systems Administrator, King’s College London
After completing his MSc in Bioinformatics at KCL, Brian joined the Department of Digital Humanities in 2013 as a Research Developer working on two projects – “The Art of Making” and “The Making of Charlemagne’s Europe”. Brian’s main research interests are rather split, starting with Heuristic algorithms – attempting to solve problems which are impractical (or impossible) to solve by normal means. He is also interested in data analysis and modelling, including visualising data in fun and informative ways. He has previously taught classes in Data Structures and the Foundations of Computing – a module which teaches the underpinnings of modern computer systems.
Mackenzie A. Shepard, Duke University
Mackenzie Shepard is a Data Curator with MorphoSource. She graduated from Duke University with a Bachelors in Evolutionary Anthropology. She has worked as Lab Manager of the Boyer Lab at Duke University since 2017. She is responsible for CT scanning specimens, uploading data to MorphoSource, and acting as one of the primary points of contact with MorphoSource users. Mackenzie was added to the MorphoSource team in 2020 in preparation for the launch of the new platform in 2021. As a member of the admin team, she works with a diverse community of MorphoSource members to streamline their user experience, onboard new individuals and organizations, review requests for persistent digital identifiers, curate records for accuracy and context, and to support diverse use cases. In the past, she has run training workshops for external user groups and hopes to continue teaching others about MorphoSource.
Edward Silverton, Mnemoscene
Co-founder of Mnemoscene, Edward has 20 years of experience in web development, working for a decade in the Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums (GLAM) sector. He is lead developer of the Universal Viewer, an open source viewer for IIIF 2D, AV, and 3D cultural heritage content and the chosen solution for the British Library, National Library of Wales, National Library of Scotland, and Bodleian Library. It has also won international adoption from Stanford and Princeton University Libraries, the Swedish National Archives, Ghent University Library, and North Carolina State University. The Universal Viewer is the primary interface for the British Library’s Save Our Sounds project, and is integral to Duke University’s MorphoSource platform for the display of 3D biometric data.
Edward is founder and co-chair of the IIIF 3D Technical Specification Group. Since 2017 he has presented his work with IIIF at the Europeana Conference, Eurographics, the Internet Archive’s Decentralised Web conference, the Vatican, MoMA New York, US National Gallery of Art, Library of Congress, and many others.
Ronald Haynes, University of Cambridge
Ronald Haynes is a University Computer Officer who has been part of academic ICT in the US and UK, including previously as University of Bristol’s Computing Service Information Officer, course developer and provider, Arts Faculty Graduate Centre Committee member and postgraduate researcher in Philosophical Theology, and first Webmaster, with the University site short-listed for a national award. Moving to Cambridge first as Computer Manager for Selwyn College, then becoming Deputy IT Manager for the Cavendish Laboratory, he later joined the University Computing Services’ Institution Strategy team – involving liaison, consultancy, course development and provision, professional and community development. Following the IT Review and with the formation of University Information Services, he and the team transitioned to a deeper strategic focus on the needs of selected institutions, as a Relationship Manager for Colleges, as well as a wider responsibility for the needs of the University Information Technology community, as an IT Community Development Manager. Having helped found Cambridge’s College IT Management Group (CITMG) and Departmental IT Group (DITG), he remains active in supporting both groups’ goals of mutual support and shared solutions. Active technical research interests include collaborative technologies for unifying communications and sustaining distributed and learning communities, cultural and investigative potentials for Augmented Reality, and other complementary physical and virtual 3D technologies. More recently, he has presented and published in the area of the use of Augmented Reality in museums. Formerly he was a consultant, technical writer and editor in Pittsburgh (USA) and London, developing on and publishing about the interworkings of the main micro systems. He is a Governor of St. Mary’s School (Cambridge), a Trustee of the Eckhart Society, and holds BCS, ACM, Computer Society, and IEEE membership.