Senior Lecturer in Social Media and Digital Society, University of Sheffield

I was appointed Senior Lecturer in Social Media & Digital Society in the Information School at the University of Sheffield in October 2015. I was previously a lecturer in Media and Communication at the University of Leicester (November 2009- September 2015). I was awarded the University of Leicester Teaching Fellowship in January 2014 in recognition of my contribution to the enhancement of teaching in the Department of Media and Communication through the development and promotion of digital media technologies. I also received the Leicester Students’ Union Superstar Award in May 2015 for my sensitivity to responding to student learning needs. I specialise in the study of online political communication, with a specific interest in how social media is used to promote better community relations in divided societies. I have written one book on the role of the internet in conflict transformation in Northern Ireland (Framing the Troubles Online: Northern Irish Groups and Website Strategy, Manchester University Press 2011) and am currently writing my second on the role of social media in promoting positive intercommunity relations in the region (due 2016). My work has been published in a number of journals including Information, Communication & Society, New Media & Society, Policy and Internet and Urban Studies. My current research projects include a British Academy funded study of YouTube footage of the union flag protests in Northern Ireland, a study of how social media is used by first responders during crisis situations funded by the EU 7th Framework Programme for Research (FP7) and a Horizon 2020 funded study of how social media can be used to build community resilience against disasters. I have also organised a knowledge exchange seminar for the Economic Social Research Council and been an invited speaker at events organised by the Arts Marketing Association (East Midlands), the European Police College (CEPOL) and the Royal United Services Institute.


  • 2015–present
    Senior Lecturer in Social Media & Digital Society, University of Sheffield


  • 2008 
    University of Glasgow, PhD Politics
  • 2001 
    University of St Andrews, MA (Hons) International Relations and Modern History


  • 2012
    Community Worker Perspectives on the Use of New Media to Reconfigure Socio-spatial Relations in Belfast, Urban Studies, 49:15, pp.3385-3401
  • 2011
    Framing the Troubles Online: Northern Irish Groups and Website Strategy, Manchester University Press
  • 2011
    'Anti-social' Networking in Northern Ireland: Policy Responses to Young People's Use of Social Media for Organizing Anti-social Behavior, Policy and Internet, Volume 3, Issue 1.
  • 2008
    Googling Terrorists: Are Northern Irish terrorists visible on Internet search engines?, in Spink, A and Zimmer, M. (eds) Search Engines: Interdisciplinary Perspectives, (New York: Springers), pp. 151-177
  • 2006
    Civil Society, the Internet and Terrorism: case studies from Northern Ireland, in Oates, S, Owen, D and Gibson, R.K (eds) The Internet and Politics: Citizens, voters and activists (London: Routledge), pp. 118 – 135


PhD Politics, University of Glasgow, 2008.MA (Hons) International Relations and Modern History, University of St Andrews, 2001.