Coronavirus (COVID-19) academic experts

Spanning a wide range of themes, we have experts who can provide the media with research, analysis and comment concerning all aspects of the coronavirus crisis.

This is a select list of University of Bristol academics from across our faculties, schools, and research institutes who can share their expertise with media relating to the coronavirus pandemic.


For further information or for interview requests:

The science of the virus

Individuals' health and wellbeing

  • Dr Nilufar Ahmed: The impact of COVID-19 on BAME and marginalised communities and the response of communities to Govt advice. The impact of incongruent message around face coverings. Psychological impacts of lockdown on vulnerable and isolated people. The mental health crisis that will hit services as a result of the pandemic – are services equipped?
  • Dr David Arnold: Patient outcomes and longer-term consequences of coronavirus; both clinical and more holistic.
  • Professor Raimondo Ascione: Treating non-COVID-19 adult patients with severe heart conditions during the COVID-19 emergency. Advanced preclinical testing of fast-tracked biomedical devices.
  • Dr Emily Blackwell: The welfare of companion animals during social distancing and self-isolation and advice for pet owners for keeping cats and dog entertained at home.
  • Dr Matthew Booker: The demand and/or the use of urgent and emergency medical services (particularly ambulance services)
  • Professor Jeff Brunstrom: Psychobiological controls of food choice and food intake, including portion size.
  • Professor Tim Cook: Clinical care, ICU care, anaesthesia, PPE, and research on trends of COVID-19 deaths among health and social care workers.
  • Dr Karen Coulman: Obesity, weight management including bariatric surgery, nutrition and dietetics. The impact of public lockdown and shielding on eating patterns.
  • Professor Richard Coward: The impact of COVID-19 on people with kidney disease and the possible kidney consequences of coronavirus infection.
  • Dr Liz Coulthard: The impact of the current lockdown on sleep and wellbeing in people with dementia and neurological complications of COVID-19.
  • Dr James Dodd: The clinical presentation, assessment and management of COVID-19 infection, the management of chronic respiratory disease, multimorbidity and breathlessness. Specialist interest in complex chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma.
  • Dr Catherine Dodds: The social determinants of health, focusing on marginalised groups. Challenges of using self-sampling COVID-19 PCR test kits among BAME users.
  • Dr Mojtaba Dorri: The impact of COVID-19 on dentistry and public oral health; minimally-invasive aerosol-free dentistry; evidence-based restorative dentistry; and innovations in dentistry in relation to the pandemic.
  • Dr Clare England: Nutrition and dietetics, including reducing risk of developing diabetes and managing the condition. 
  • Professor Gene Feder: The impact of COVID-19 and social isolation on domestic violence and abuse and the role of general practice in the pandemic.
  • Dr Charlie Foster: Physical activity and health outcomes.
  • Professor David Gordon: The effects of COVID-19 on child and family and food poverty and related issues.
  • Dr Alison Gregory: How people experiencing domestic violence and abuse may be additionally vulnerable during lockdown and what communities - particularly friends, family members, neighbours and colleagues - can do to help.
  • Dr Fergus Hamilton: Patient outcomes and longer-term consequences of coronavirus; both clinical and more holistic.
  • Dr Lindsey Hines: Adolescent drug use and mental health.
  • Professor Julian Hamilton-Shield: BMI and diabetes relating to COVID-19, including whether excess body fat impacts viral illnesses.
  • Professor Bruce Hood: Advice for staying positive when in self-isolation.
  • Dr Jonathan Ives: The ethics of healthcare workers' responses to working during an influenza pandemic. Fatherhood in lockdown.
  • Dr Anders Johansson: The crowds, crowd safety and the spread of disease in crowded places.
  • Dr Saffron Karlsen: The impact of ethnicity on coronavirus risks and outcomes, the need to acknowledge and address inequities driving the disparity in health outcomes.
  • Dr Lucy Kelly: The benefits of keeping a diary in lockdown, especially people with stressful jobs, such as teachers and healthcare workers. 
  • Dr Duleeka (Dee) Knipe: Population health sciences, suicide, self-harm and mental health.
  • Dr Sarah Lewis: COVID-19 infection in children and risks to children and teachers regarding schools opening.
  • Dr Karen Luyt: The effect of COVID-19 on pregnancy, babies and mothers, maternity services and child mortality.
  • Professor Marcus Munafo: Health behaviours, such as smoking and drinking, mental health and nudge interventions.
  • Dr Lucy Pocock: General practice, end of life care, and older people. 
  • Professor Athimalaipet Ramanan: The new hyperinflammatory syndrome described in children associated with COVID-19. Expertise in drugs including hydroxycholorquine and tocilizumab and other immunomodulatory agents.
  • Professor Peter Rogers: Appetite and weight gain during lockdown.
  • Dr Angela Rowe: Managing our closest personal relationships in stressful and unusual situations.
  • Dr Gabriel Scally: Public health, including handling of major public health crises.
  • Dr Lucy Selman: A social scientist who can discuss grief and bereavement, staff-patient communication and palliative care.
  • Emily Widnall: Mental health and wellbeing of younger teenagers pre and during public lockdown due to pandemic.
  • Dr Paul Willis: The impact of self-isolating on older adults.
  • Dr Yvonne Wren: The impact of COVID-19 and wearing masks on children's speech, language and communication development and also the impact on children born with cleft lip and palate.
  • Professor Lucy Yardley: Explaining Government advice and behavioural change in pandemic.

Business and economic impact

Social effects

  • Dr Nilufar Ahmed: The impact of Covid-19 on BAME and marginalised communities and the response of communities to Govt advice. The mental health crisis that will hit services as a result of the pandemic. How communities will respond to face masks..
  • Professor David Evans: Sustainability, consumption, behavioural science (nudge and rapid response).
  • Professor Paul Howard-Jones: The implications for "lost learning" of children in the face of COVID-19, and the issues encountered by parents regarding home education and how to address concerns.
  • Professor Richard HuxtableMedical ethics and law, particularly ethics in clinical practice. 
  • Professor Helen Lambert: Public understanding of COVID-19 and social responses to public health measures in UK and globally. Health, social, cultural and economic impacts, implications for global health and development.
  • Dr John Lee: Historical performing arts perspective on theatre closures during Plague in 1590s, 1600s.
  • Dr David Leech: Faith in times of crisis.
  • Professor Stephan Lewandowsky: Combating COVID-19 misinformation, public acceptance of privacy encroaching technologies, including social licensing of location tracking data in emergency situations.
  • Dr Dan O’Hare: Talking to children, support for schools and parents, education.
  • Professor Agnes NairnOnline gambling advertising and how lockdown has affected gambling habits, especially among the young and vulnerable.
  • Professor Martin Parker: How COVID-19 is a catalyst for societal change, a new green economy, and the will to #buildbackbetter.
  • Dr Harry Pitts: Future of work, future of capitalism, self-employment, Labour Party.
  • Dr Gregory Schwartz: Intra-European labour migration in the food, care, and shelter sectors and how COVID-19 has impacted these industries with a high reliance on migrant workers.
  • Dr Kirsty Sedgman: What it means to be together in public spaces and how audiences can still enjoy shared live experiences digitally.
  • Dr Hans Sievertsen: The economics of education and early investments. 
  • Dr Fiona Spotswood: Behavioural change and compliance, social marketing.
  • Dr Mimi Thebo: Creative writing, fiction, getting published, writing a novel in quarantine.
  • Dr Penny Walters: How the pandemic has increased interest in family, hobbies, gardening, growing produce, and acts of kindness. BAME experiences.
  • Dr Lucy Wenham: Education - the issues associated with returning to school.

  • Emeritus Professor Gareth Williams: Historical perspective of how people reacted to pandemics, namely polio and smallpox, and how this fuelled vaccination progress.
  • Dr Emma Williamson: How victims of domestic violence and abuse may be particularly vulnerable due to lockdown/self-isolation measures and support available.

Political and legal effects

  • Dr Nilufar Ahmed: How the campaign against face coverings has created a psychological resistance to face coverings that will be hard to overcome.
  • Professor Alan Bogg: Labour law including: right to refuse unsafe work, whistleblowing, next steps for job retention scheme, return to work issues and workplace stress, and mass redundancies.
  • Professor John Coggon: Public and global health ethics, health law and policy, including developments for health professionals and their working environments.
  • Professor Sir Malcolm Evans: Advice and measures which should be taken globally to protect people in prisons, immigration detention facilities, closed refugee camps, and psychiatric hospitals.
  • Professor Michael Ford: Labour law, including maternity rights.
  • Dr Clair Gammage: Possible effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on food security.
  • Dr Saffron Karlsen: Ethnicity and coronavirus: the need to acknowledge and address inequities driving the disparity in health outcomes.
  • Professor Tonia Novitz: Working with trade unions to ensure support for the most vulnerable, precarious workers.
  • Professor Judy Laing: Ethics of lockdown for people with mental health issues.
  • Dr Denny Pencheva: The relationship between migrant workers and COVID-19.
  • Professor Albert Sanchez Graells: Public procurement regulation during the COVID-19 pandemic and its long-term impact.
  • Professor Peter Turnbull: Workers’ rights in international labour organisations, transport unions.


  • Dr Jon Bird: How apps and other digital technologies can help address challenges during the pandemic, including an increasingly ageing population and socioeconomic issues.  
  • Professor Ian Craddock: How digital health technologies, including smartphone apps, wearable monitors, and smart home systems can help during the pandemic. Ethics, inclusivity, regulation, data security and privacy in digital health. 
  • Dr Sabine Hauert: The role of artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics in fighting the pandemic.
  • Professor Simon McIntosh Smith: High Performance Computing and supercomputers.
  • Mr Charles Radclyffe: The governance of the ethical design and use of technology, including stakeholder engagement in the design and introduction of contact tracing and digital immunity certification technology.
  • Professor Awais Rashid: Cyber security, privacy and internet services to continue with our work. The risks of criminals using COVID-19 to launch phishing attacks.
  • Professor Tom Scott: The usage of robots and drones.
  • Professor Dimitra Simeonidou: How advanced mobile technologies/5G can support home-working, education, social care in the home, e-healthcare, and other wellbeing benefits and the fact the UK is moving into an online nation.
  • Dr Emmanouil Tranos: Digital technologies and cities, telecommuting, working from home and internet.
  • Dr Emma Williams: Cyber security in the home, susceptibility to online scams, secure online practices and technology adoption.  
  • Dr Minhao Zhang: Global supply chain management, technology, and how telemedicine can help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Environmental impact

  • Professor Jonathan Bamber: Climate change and environmental factors relating to COVID-19, including the benefits of a Green Recovery strategy for the global economy and a sustainable future.
  • Dr Dann Mitchell: Commonalities between the climate and COVID-19 crises, extreme weather, air pollution, and carbon emissions in public lockdown.
  • Professor Daniela Schmidt: The environmental impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and public lockdown.


  • Professor Richard Harris: The geography of COVID-19 and its relationship to the socio-economic geography of the UK.
  • Professor Oliver Johnson: Statistics, data visualisation, and group testing.
  • Dr Daniel Lawson: Statistics regarding genetics and genomics, machine learning, and Bayesian methods which are used to learn the parameters behind a pandemic.
  • Dr Jie Sheng: Big data and business analytics in the context of COVID-19 pandemic.

Coronavirus research priorities

The University of Bristol's coronavirus research priorities.

Bristol in the media

Read coverage featuring Bristol's research and researchers.

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