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Our COVID-19 experts

We have a number of academics across the university engaging in research, community work, social planning or with expertise to help the fight against COVID-19.

Dr Carlos Crivelli, Lecturer in Psychology

Dr Crivelli is a renowned expert in behavioural psychology and has been looking at why, despite it being key in the fight against coronavirus, some people find social distancing a challenge. Using observational methods, Dr Crivelli studies human social interaction and how it impacts our behaviour – crucial talking points while lockdown and social distancing measures are in place amidst the COVID-19 outbreak.

Dr Katie Laird, Reader in Microbiology and Head of the Infectious Disease Research Group

Dr Laird studies how antimicrobials can prevent transmission of germs and bacteria, particularly in healthcare settings. She is also a co-author of ‘A Germ’s Journey’ – an educational resource produced to teach young children around the world the importance of washing their hands. As an expert in health hygiene, Dr Laird has extensive knowledge in the science behind handwashing and why it is crucial for preventing the spread of COVID-19. She is also an expert in how to decontaminate textiles to prevent them being used as transmission routes for the virus.

Amina Chitembo, PhD researcher and Lecturer at Leicester Castle Business School

Amina’s research focuses on migration and she has a wealth of experience in leadership development coaching and diversity and inclusion consultancy. She helps organisations to develop their human capital by engaging migrants into leadership and decision-making positions. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, Amina has provided insight into what it means to be a migrant working on the NHS frontline.

Dr Maitreyi Shivkumar, Lecturer in Molecular Biology

An expert in virology, Dr Shivkumar has provided easy-to-digest explanations of what COVID-19 is, how it compares to similar viruses and how it has spread around the world. Thanks to her broad knowledge of this subject, Dr Shivkumar is able to explain how to avoid the spread of the virus, including hygiene best practice in the home.

Professor Laurence Brooks, Professor of Technology and Social Responsibility

Researching how artificial intelligence and ICT affects people – whether at the individual, group or societal level – Professor Brooks explores the ethics of emerging technologies. With millions of people now working from home due to the coronavirus, he is interested in what this means for workplace surveillance and whether people are willing to accept more intrusive surveillance and disclosure of data in order to help prevent pandemics.

Mustafa Kaiiali, Senior Lecturer in Cyber Security

Mustafa has expertise in the fields of cloud computing, information security and identity and access management. In response to the outbreak of COVID-19, he is looking at ways to implement an ‘Epidemic Crisis Management System’ to track a list of potentially infected individuals who were in contacted with a confirmed infected person within the last two-three weeks. This could prove invaluable in the preparation for any future crisis.

Professor Rachel Granger, Professor of Urban Economies

Since the UK was put into lockdown to combat the spread of COVID-19, there has been widespread concern over how the Government will support businesses and keep the economy thriving during this unprecedented time. Specialising in urban economies, Professor Granger has an excellent knowledge of how cities and economies collapse and grow.

Dr Indrani Lahiri, Senior Lecturer in Media and Communications

Dr Lahiri is an experienced researcher in the field of digital media, society and politics. With a frequent stream of hard-hitting news, including death reports, fake news and crisis talks filling the media because of COVID-19, Dr Lahiri is interested in what impact this is having on audiences’ mental health. She is looking at the coping mechanisms people use in these unprecedented times.

Professor Edward Cartwright, Professor of Economics

With behavioural science being used to inform the Government’s policy on social distancing and how to incentivise workers and the self-employed during the COVID-19 crisis, Professor Cartright is looking at how the messaging of official advice interacts with financial incentives, and the impact this has on peoples behaviour.


For any media enquiries or interview requests, contact our press team:

Chris Thundow
Chris Johnston
Sian Brewis
Sian Young
Claire Roberts