Presenter Biographies

Dr. Joshua B. Fisher

Dr. Joshua B. Fisher is an Earth Scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and the Science Lead of the ECOSTRESS Mission. His work focuses on terrestrial ecosystems, water, carbon, and nutrient cycling using a combination of supercomputer models, satellite and airborne remote sensing, and field campaigns throughout the Amazon to the Arctic. Dr. Fisher received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from UC Berkeley and his postdoctoral work from the University of Oxford, where he also taught for a few years before coming to JPL in 2010.

Cate Watkinson 

Dr. Cate Watkinson has been working as a glass artist and designer since 1988. In that time, she has built up an extensive body of public art work and private commissioned pieces throughout the UK and has exhibited gallery pieces internationally. Within the North-East of England these include a stained glass window for Newcastle Cathedral and a laminated glass screen for the Arrivals Hall at Newcastle International Airport. She trained in the traditional skills of stained glass making including, glass cutting and leading. Over the years she has developed the skills and knowledge gained from working in the traditional methods to bring a fresh slant and new techniques and ideas to her contemporary work. Since 2006 she has held the post of Subject Leader and Senior Lecturer in Architectural Glass at the University of Sunderland.

Giles Gasper

Professor Giles E. M. Gasper: Giles is a historian of European medieval culture, focusing on science and religion at Durham University, UK. Educated at the University of Oxford and the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, Toronto, he has taught and researched in Durham since 2004. Leader of the Ordered Universe research project since 2008 his other interests encompass medieval food culture and monastic life and thought. Giles collaborates with non-academic partners regularly, with creative arts, restaurants, churches, museums and galleries. He is occasionally to be heard on BBC Radio and seen on BBC Television. 

Andy Hook 

Andy Hook read Physics at Swansea University in Wales, before embarking on a first career in engineering and manufacturing management. After a decade of working in factories he decided to switch careers and opened a restaurant on the North East of England coast. This was quickly followed by others including the acquisition of a 13th century former Dominican friary in the heart of Newcastle from where he has run Blackfriars Restaurant ever since. Juggling the challenges of operating a number of independent commercial restaurants, Andy always has time to immerse himself in Blackfriars’ medieval food history. Blackfriars has been collaborating with Durham University for over 10 years. Together they co-host biannual lectures of medieval food in Blackfriars Banquet Hall.

Brian Tanner 

Professor (Emeritus) Brian K. Tanner studied physics at the University of Oxford graduating with a doctorate in 1972. Brian is best known for his research and business applications of high resolution X-ray diffraction and imaging. He has worked at the Department of Physics at Durham University since 1973, where he was made Professor of Physics in 1990 and was the University Dean of Knowledge Transfer and Enterprise from 2008-2016. In 1978 he co-founded Bede Scientific Instruments Ltd, purchased in 2008 by Jordan Valley Semiconductors, which itself is now part of the Bruker group. A member of the research team that led another spin-out from Durham University, from 2003 to 2015, he was Chairman and then Nonexecutive Director of what is now the Kromek Group plc., with facilities in the UK, Pittsburg and Rivergreen CA. Brian is a Chartered Physicist, a Fellow of the Institute of Physics, Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He was jointly awarded the 2005 Barrett Award of the International Center for Diffraction Data. He received the Queen's Award for Enterprise Promotion in 2012. In 2014 the Institute of Physics awarded him the Gabor Medal for distinguished work in the application of physics in an industrial, commercial or business context.

Colin Rennie

Colin Rennie is an artist and teacher, works predominantly with blown and hot formed glass metals and other materials, the work is a blend of digital design and visualization processes with traditional craft practices. Rennie’s work has often sought to respond sculpturally to a range of scientific ideas, discoveries and theories, previous works have often included models of ideas and invented apparatus that could be part of the process of discovery, for Rennie the making process is integral to the concept. Rennie lives and works in the northeast of England as Senior Lecturer, Artist and Researcher, specializing in Hot Glass and Digital Crafts, and Drawing at the University of Sunderland.

Alexandra Carr 

Alexandra Carr is an artist working with patterns in nature, natural processes and phenomena. Trained at Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design and Camberwell College of Art (Ceramics), she has exhibited work at the Fondation Cartier in Paris, in collaboration with Jean-Paul Gaultier, worked at galleries including Tate Britain, and as a model maker for Sir Norman Foster. A varied range of commissions include pieces for Radiohead; competitions include a shortlisted piece for the Arts@CERN COLLIDE International Award. A Leverhulme Trust Artistic Residency, ‘Sculpting with Light’, at Durham University, involved collaborating with medieval and modern cosmology. She is currently exploring kinetic and interactive sculptures with a particular focus on phase changes, smart materials and new technologies.

Joshua Harvey

Joshua S. Harvey: Joshua is a researcher at the University of Oxford, investigating visual neuroscience with medieval questions. After his first degree—a Masters in Biochemistry at Oxford and the Weizmann Institute, Israel—he undertook a PhD in collaboration with the Ordered Universe research project. His doctoral research explores medieval theories of sensory perception surrounding light, colour, sound and speech. Other research interests involve high-speed imaging of acoustic phenomena, visualization, and display technology.

Luke Fidler

Luke Fidler is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Art History at the University of Chicago, where his dissertation examines issues of aesthetics and ideology in twelfth century Germany. He frequently publishes criticism on contemporary art, and teaches with several organizations dedicated to expanding access to higher education in prisons and community settings.

Henrike Lange

Professor Henrike C. Lange is Trained at Hamburg, Vienna, and Yale universities, Henrike Lange holds a joint appointment as Assistant Professor in Berkeley's Departments of History of Art and Italian Studies. She specializes in Italian late medieval / early Renaissance art and architecture history and literature. A second field of expertise is historiography in the European and American late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Her art historical research has focused in recent years on Giotto, Donatello, Mantegna, and the history and theory of relief sculpture. Other current projects include Botticelli's Dante, the Italian Mediterranean, and a cultural history of triumphs.

Ordered Universe 

The Ordered Universe Project is an international research project dedicated to the scientific works of the remarkable English thinker Robert Grosseteste (c.1170-1253). The project has been running since 2010, and is supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (UK). Based at Durham University and the Universities of Oxford and York, UK, we branch across the world with partners at University of Rome, Tor Vergata, Italy; McGill University, Montreal; Georgetown University, Washington D.C.; American University of Beirut; Trinity College Dublin; Bishop Grosseteste University, Lincoln and core team members from the Humboldt University, Berlin; the University of Milan; the University of Cambridge and the University of Reading. Over 150 scholars have engaged with the project in various capacities, and from a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds: science, social science and humanities.

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