Doctoral Inaugural Lectures 2019

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We are delighted and honoured to welcome back three recent graduates to present their doctoral inaugural lecture at this year’s Festival of Postgraduate Research: Dr Jonathan Dale (SET), Dr Louisa Buck (SoA) and Dr Will Abbott (SaSM).

We hope to publish our programme for the afternoon shortly but we anticipate the inaugurals starting around 4pm. To join us for all or part of the festival, get your free ticket on Eventbrite.

Dr Jonathan Dale
Doctoral student 2014-18
School of Environment and Technology
Supervisors: Dr Heidi Burgess, Prof David Nash, Prof Callum Firth and Prof Andy Cundy

The evolution of the sediment regime in coastal saltmarsh restoration schemes

Saltmarsh restoration schemes (such as managed realignment sites) are being constructed to improve coastal flood defence and to compensate for intertidal habitat loss elsewhere. However, there is growing evidence that these sites have lower biodiversity and ecosystem service delivery than anticipated. A failure to recreate the physical functioning of a natural system within these schemes has been proposed as a possible explanation for these differences, which has been related to the influence of the former land use and site design. This talk presents analysis of the evolution of the sediment regime at the Medmerry Managed Realignment Site, West Sussex, United Kingdom. The scheme involved the construction of 7 km of new defences, up to 3 km inland, making it the largest open coast managed realignment site in Europe (at the time of site inundation). Findings are discussed in terms of compensating for habitat loss and the provision of coastal flood defence, considering the implications of future climate change and the need to sustainably defend against sea level rise, whilst compensating for habitat loss and degradation.

Dr Jonathan Dale profileBiography
Dr Jonathan Dale was awarded his PhD, titled The evolution of the sediment regime in a large open coast managed realignment site: a case study of the Medmerry Managed Realignment Site, West Sussex, UK, in May 2018 from the School of Environment and Technology, University of Brighton. Following the submission of his PhD in September 2017, Jonathan worked on a number of research projects, and as a Lecturer, within the School until January 2019, when he moved to Coventry University to take up a lecturing role in the School of Energy, Construction and Environment. Jonathan is a Physical Geographer, and his current research focuses on coastal and estuarine morphodynamics, restoration and management. More specifically, Jonathan is investigating cohesive sediment dynamics and contaminate release in saltmarshes, mudflats and estuaries in response to human activity and natural forcing mechanisms.

Dr Louisa Buck
Doctoral student 2011-18
School of Art
Supervisors: Mr Frank Gray and Prof George Hardie

Greek Mythology and the British political cartoon: a classical reception approach to the case study of Sisyphus

Dr Louisa Buck’s PhD research project critically considered the role of Greek mythology within the contemporary British political cartoon. Together, Greek myth and British political cartoons examine the world and comment on contemporary times. As myth carries with it its own narratives from the time of its conception and its different receptions, this appropriation in the political cartoon functioned as a visual metaphor for particular narratives and meanings. The thesis explored the various perspectives and histories relevant to this subject. In particular it examined sixty British political cartoons that featured the myth of Sisyphus from 1844 – 2017. The practice element of the research served two purposes: An Illustrated Journal displayed the classical reception of the Sisyphus case study within the framework of an imagined personal journal, highlighting the theories of Classical Reception borne out of Freud’s theories of psychoanalysis. Its purpose was to serve as a device to both organise and peel back complex layers in order to reveal core concepts, stories and the central trauma.The Annotated Journal was originally conceived solely as a reference guide to the Illustrated Journal, but it became more than that as it served to act both as a tool to reveal the sources of the Sisyphus myth and the shifting perspectives associated with its interpretation. It also worked to position it within western history, a variety of media and contemporary life.

Dr Louisa Buck profileBiography
Louisa teaches on the MA Fine Art course at the University of Brighton and recently was Acting Course Leader on this course. She was awarded her PhD entitled: Greek Mythology and the British political cartoon: A classical Reception approach to the case study of Sisyphus in 2018. She is a founding member of the British Consortium of Comic Scholars (BCCS) and an active member of the Drawing Research Enterprise Group (DREG) at the University of Brighton. Her research concentrates on the use of Greek mythological adaptation in contemporary times. Most recently she is looking at the use of Greek mythological punishment narratives in the rhetoric of mental health theory.

Dr Will Abbott
Doctoral student 2014-19
School of Sport and Service Management
Supervisors: Dr Gary Brickley and Dr Nicholas Smeeton

Monitoring and prescription of GPS training load in elite academy soccer athletes

Due to the competitive nature of soccer, organisations are constantly searching for tools to gain a competitive advantage. A process that has recently gained momentum in sport science is the use of technology to monitor training load. Global positioning system (GPS) technology provide information on total distance, speed, and acceleration, which can be utilised to quantify external workload completed by athletes. However, the current application of global positioning system technology provides limited consideration of the individual or population. Will’s thesis investigated an individualised approach to monitoring and prescription of training load in elite academy soccer.

Initial investigations within Will’s thesis focused upon individualising the training load monitoring process. Whilst monitoring individual athletes, it is important to account for physical capacities, and differences in physical demands elicited by competition. Results from the current thesis demonstrate holistic demands placed upon individual playing positions vary significantly. Later investigations within Will’s thesis progressed the focus to the individual prescription of training load for soccer athletes. Considering the significant variations in individual’s physical capacities, and the physical demands placed upon playing positions, it is vital the prescription of training acknowledges the specific requirements of athletes. Will’s findings have significant implications for applied practitioners aiming to improve the accuracy of the training monitoring process, and the specificity of training and competition prescription.

Dr Will Abbott profileBiography
Will Abbott is currently the Head of Academy Strength and Conditioning at Brighton and Hove Albion FC, a club he has spent the past seven seasons with. Will leads a team of practitioners responsible for the sport science provisions, and athletic development services provided to athletes aged 8-23 years. Prior to his time at Brighton, Will spent two years at Southampton FC whilst completing BSc Sport and Exercise Science, and MSc Sports Performance degrees.

Whilst holding BASES Sport and Exercise Scientist, and UKSCA Strength and Conditioning Coach accreditations, Will has recently completed his PhD thesis. The thesis is titled ‘monitoring and prescription of GPS training load in elite academy football athletes’, with data collected in conjunction with his applied role at Brighton and Hove Albion FC. Additional to Will’s work in training load, he has authored and co-authored research investigating training and match demands, athlete well-being, recovery modalities, and performance asymmetries.

Three Minute Thesis 2019


 An 80,000 word thesis would take 9 hours to present.

Your time limit… 3 minutes.

Call for applications: deadline extended! 12.00 (midday) Wednesday 01 May 2019 Monday 13 May, 10am

When you’re asked to summarise your thesis at your viva, what will you do? Freeze? Burble away? Refer the examiners to the document in front of them? Or think back to the time you participated in 3MT and feel a surge of confidence because you know you’ve got this?

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT) offers a unique opportunity to develop skills vital for today’s researcher. The challenge of explaining your thesis to a non-specialist audience in less than three minutes, using only one slide, helps you to identify the essence of your research and highlight why it matters. It’s all too easy to lose sight of this when you’re steeped in the details of your work.

The competition at Brighton is undoubtedly one of the highlights of our annual Festival of Postgraduate Research. In the last couple of years, students from a range of schools have skillfully explained their research and created some nail-biting moments as the clock ticks down.

Interested in participating this year? Sign up for our 3MT workshop (optional) on Thursday 28 March and complete our short 3MT registration form.

The event at Brighton will be held on 22 May, Moulsecoomb. We’ll be awarding £400 to the judges’ prize winner and £200 to the runner up, while £250 goes to the speaker winning the most audience votes.

But it doesn’t end there. Our local event is part of a bigger national competition hosted by Vitae. Brighton’s winner will go on to participate in the UK online semi-final. If they go through to the final, they’ll be competing for a prize of £3K.

Register online by 10am on Monday 13 May 2019 by clicking the button below.

For a range of tips, guidance and to view 3MT videos, check out our resource pack:

And be sure to familiarise yourself with the competition rules, judging criteria and eligibility criteria.

The UK final takes place on Monday 16 September 2019 in Birmingham. Doctoral candidates who have not yet had their viva at the time of our local competition on Wednesday 22 May will be eligible to participate.

See also:

Watch the 2018 Brighton 3MT final online

Watch the 2017 Brighton 3MT final online

Festival of Postgraduate Research 2019

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Our Festival of Postgraduate Research returns to Huxley on Wednesday 22 May. We very much hope you’ll want to join us in this annual celebration of doctoral research at Brighton.

Book your free place on Eventbrite!

Festival competitions

Find out more and tweet by noon, Thursday 23 May
First prize: £50

Research Poster Competition
Find out more. Registration is now closed.
First prize: £400

Research Photo Competition
Find out more. Registration is now closed.
First prize: £150

Bake your Thesis Competition
Find out more. Registration is now closed.
First prize: the glory of taking home our Bake your Thesis trophy!

Opposites Attract Collaboration Challenge
Find out more. Registration is now closed.
Prize for the winning team: £500

Three Minute Thesis
Find out more. Registration is now closed.
First prize: £400 and entry into the national 3MT competition

Festival events and activities

Doctoral Inaugural Lectures
from Dr Jonathan Dale (SET), Dr Louisa Buck (Art) and Dr Will Abbott (SaSM)

In addition to our competition presentations, displays, and a range of stalls, we’ll have three doctoral inaugural mini-lectures from recent graduates in the Schools of Environment and Technology, Art, and Sport and Service Management. We have a series of lightning talks lined up, including updates from the Brilliant Club on the work of our PhD tutors in state schools. We’ll also have a demo of Pure to support the launch of Pure for PGRs this summer. If you want to get yourself Pure-profile ready, sign up for our morning workshop, Creating and Raising your Research Profile. Then head over to our festival photo drop-in, 11.30-1pm, to get a free, professional profile photo taken.

A drinks reception and prize-giving event will close the afternoon.

The University of Brighton has such a wonderful breadth of exciting, pioneering research. Once again, we are delighted to be providing a forum to bring our postgraduate researchers and their supervisors together to showcase and celebrate the work of our students.

We hope you’ll want to join us!