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Cognitive Anthropologist, University of Kent

Dr Martha Newson’s research centres on group bonding, ritual, and community. The populations and methodologies she works with are diverse: from taking saliva samples from football fans at live World Cup matches in Brazil to investigate stress; to interviewing rave participants in warehouses across London; to running surveys with fundamentalist Muslims and hardcore football fans in Indonesia and Australia.

Academically, she is based at the Universities of Greenwich and Oxford. She completed her BSc at Sussex and postgraduate studies at Oxford. She currently leads research on how major football clubs can help tackle reoffending in partnership with the Twinning Project, Her Majesty’s Prison & Probation Service, the Ministry of Justice, and Prof Harvey Whitehouse.

Martha is experienced in academic research, brand consultancy, and media engagement. Consultancy clients include Guinness, the Premier League, AEG, Hyundai, Manchester City, and Eaton Energy, among others. She is available for consultation and research projects and will be launching a charity consultancy unit soon.

Martha has contributed to Discovery’s Why We Hate, produced by Steven Spielberg, as well as numerous BBC and Sky TV features in the UK, such as BBC News, Sky News, and Radio 4’s World at One and PM programmes. Her research has also featured in The Telegraph, The Independent, International Business Times, The Daily Mail, The Sun, Haaratz, Der Speigel, and many others.


  • –present
    Cognitive Anthropologist, University of Oxford
  • 2023–present
    Associate professor, University of Greenwich


  • 2017 
    University of Oxford, DPhil Anthropology
  • 2013 
    University of Oxford, MSc Cognitive & Evolutionary Anthropology
  • 2011 
    University of Sussex, BSc Hons. Human Sciences

Grants and Contracts

  • 2020
    Future Leaders Fellowship
    Funding Source: