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For out-of-hours press enquiries contact Press Officer James Haigh on 07876 885 601.

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Directory of experts

We provide media-friendly academics and researchers who have extensive experience of speaking directly with journalists on a wide range of subjects.

Click on their profiles for further information about their fields of study.

Alison MacLeod – Professor of Contemporary Fiction

Professor Alison MacLeod


○ Contemporary literature and culture

○ Modernist and postmodernist fiction

○ Developments in short fiction

○ Man Booker Prize

Previous media contributions and appearances

 Print: Guardian, Observer, Mail

○ Radio: BBC R2, BBC R4, BBC World Service

○ Television: BBC One, BBC News​



Bill Gray – Professor of Literary History and Hermeneutics

Professor Bill Gray


○ Fairy tales

○ Folklore and Fantasy fiction

○ JRR Tolkien

○ CS Lewis and Robert Louis Stevenson

Previous media contributions and appearances

○ Print: Mail, Telegraph, MirrorChichester Observer, The Argus

○ Radio: BBC R2, BBC R4

○ Television: BBC 4


  • Professor Gray is specialises in fairy tales and fantasy fiction, and is the Director of the Sussex Centre for Folklore, Fairy Tales and Fantasy, and editor of its journal Gramarye.
  • He has written biographies of CS Lewis and Robert Louis Stevenson, and has published a selection of books on fantasy, as well as collections of essays on Mervyn Peake.
  • His work explores the origins of fantasy literature especially in German Romanticism and its development into fantasy writing by JRR Tolkien and contemporary writers such as JK Rowling, Philip Pullman, and Terry Pratchett.


Brian Lobel - Senior Lecturer in Theatre

Dr Brian Lobel


○ Cancer

○ Contemporary Theatre

○ Edinburgh Fringe Festival

○ Illness

○ Wellcome Trust

Previous media contributions and appearances

○ Print: Guardian, Daily Mail, The Stage, San Francisco Bay News

 Radio: BBC Radio 4, BBC World Service


  • Dr Lobel’s performance theatre explores society’s fascination will illness and, in particularly, the public’s interest in cancer, having suffered from the disease as a young adult.
  • He started performing about illness while recovering and, throughout the last ten years, has developed a career across the world’s leading stages
  • Upon taking up residence at the University, was awarded a Fellowship with the Wellcome Trust to further his investigations into innovative theatre.


Graeme Smith - Reader in Public Theology

Dr Graeme Smith


○ Public theology

○ Religion in politics

○ Red Toryism

○ Secularity in contemporary culture

○ Theology and critical work in social theory

Previous media contributions and appearances

○ Print: Guardian, Independent

○ Radio: BBC South Today, ITV Meridian, BBC Radio Sussex


  • The impact that Britain’s most controversial political leaders including Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair have had on religion and wider society is the subject of Dr Smith’s work.
  • He has written extensively on issues including Red Toryism, American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, and how radical political shifts have changed the public’s impression of religion.
  • His currently investigations include how society and culture can co-exercise theological debate and whether ideas of God and salvation are pertinent within political and cultural life.


Hakim Adi - Professor of the History of Africa and the African Diaspora

Professor Hakim Adi


○ African American Studies

○ African History and Politics

○ Black Studies

○ Black/African Diaspora

○ British Imperial and Colonial History (1600-onwards)

○ Gender and race

○ Pan Africanism

○ Social Movements

Previously media contributions and appearances

○ Television: BBC2, BBC4, Channel 4

○ Radio: BBC World Service, BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio 4, Radio London, Radio Adelaide (Australia), Cape Radio (South Africa), PBS (US)


  • Professor Adi is the UK’s first professor of History who is of African heritage, and one of a small number of professors of any subject who are of African heritage in this country.
  • He is supported by the University in raising awareness for History Matters: a campaign to encourage young Black people to engage with History.


Duncan Salkeld – Professor of Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature

Professor Duncan Salkeld


○ Shakespeare

○ Courtesans

○ Renaissance literature

○ Elizabethan and Jacobean life

○ Modern archives of Bridewell and Bethlem hospitals

Previously media contributions and appearances

○ Print: Guardian, Observer

Radio: BBC Radio Sussex


  • Dr Salkeld specialises in historical approaches to early modern literature and theatre history emphasising on Shakespeare and renaissance.
  • He is the author of the award-winning volume Shakespeare Among the Courtesans: Prostitution, Literature and Drama 1500-1650.


Jenny Smith – Senior Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Psychology

Dr Jenny Smith


○ Sport and exercise psychology

○ Breast care research 

○ Visual attention and eye movements

○ Royal Lifesaving Society UK

Previously media contributions and appearances

○ Print: Portsmouth News, Chichester Observer

○ Radio: BBC Radio Sussex, BBC Solent, Capital FM south coast, Heart FM south coast



  • Dr Smith current research considers how girls at UK secondary schools might be avoiding sport because of embarrassment or pain caused by their breasts.
  • She also investigates visual attention and eye movements, and recent projects have examined the surveillance process of pool and beach lifeguards in collaboration with the Royal Lifesaving Society UK.
  • Dr Smith has worked as a sport psychology consultant with professional sports teams including Warrington Wolves, Football Association referees, and Gym 01 Fitness and Martial Arts.


Mark Willems – Professor of Exercise Physiology

Professor Mark Willems


○ Blackcurrant research on exercise physiology

○ Physiological Limitations to Performance

○ Skeletal Muscle: Structure, Function and Plasticity

○ Biomechanics

○ Human Movement Science

Previously media contributions and appearances

○ Print: Mirror, Mail, Portsmouth News, Chichester Observer

○ Radio: BBC R1, BBC R2, BBC R4, BBC Radio Sussex


  • The significant impact of blackcurrants on exercise performance is the focus of Professor Willem’s research.
  • He is exploring how the intake of specialist blackcurrants from New Zealand affected long-distance athletes and triathletes.