Postdoctoral Research Associates

Each year outstanding researchers holding recognised postdoctoral positions at the University of Cambridge are granted PDRA status at Queens’ College. The Postdoctoral Research Associates are members of the SCR, given rights to dine at High Table and granted a personal research allowance. This programme allows them to flourish and build relationships in an outstanding academic community.

Our current PDRAs are:

Research interests
Dr Pau Formosa-Jordan Queens' Postdoctoral Convenor In my current research at the Sainsbury Laboratory, I study different aspects of cell signalling and patterning at the tissue, cellular and subcellular levels. To do so, I am using combined theoretical and experimental approaches involving mathematical modelling and time lapse microscopy of fluorescent markers in plant tissues and in cell cultures.
Dr Arnau Garcia Postdoctoral Research Associate Landscape archaeology Remote sensing and field survey methodologies Cultural Heritage
Dr Rosemary Holt Queens' Postdoctoral Research Associate
Dr Mona Jebril Queens' Postdoctoral Research Associate Higher Education; Political Economy; Conflict-affected areas; MENA (Middle East and North Africa); Social justice and Development; Symbolic violence; Interdisciplinary/ multidisciplinary studies.
Dr Hanne Kekkonen Queens' Postdoctoral Research Associate My current research interests are (statistical) inverse problems, regularisation and uncertainty quantification. My research mostly focuses on infinite dimensional problems. I'm also interested in mathematical art and how complex mathematical concepts can be made simpler to understand with physical models.
Dr Ece Kocagöncü Queens' Postdoctoral Research Associate Through my postdoctoral projects I am aiming to develop early neurophysiological biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease that predict cognitive decline in individuals who are at risk of developing the disease and help better stratify prodromal Alzheimer’s disease patients from the healthy, as well as from individuals with subjective memory complaints and mild cognitive impairment. Development of non-invasive early biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease would help test the effectiveness and sensitivity of experimental medicine, and fast turnover of clinical trials.
Dr Paul Michael Kurtz Queens' Postdoctoral Research Associate My research focuses on the history of classical, biblical, and orientalist scholarship in 19th-century Germany. With a concentration on Judaism, I examine the ideas and practices operative in modern reconstructions of the ancient past within their concrete cultural, political, and religious complexes. These inquiries contribute, more broadly, to intellectual history, historiography, and the history of the humanities in modern Europe.
Dr Hélène de Maleprade Queens' Postdoctoral Convenor My research focuses on experimental fluid mechanics. My last work aims at understanding the swimming of micro-organisms, typically algae. I study their phototactic behaviour and their swimming in complex environments through series of experiments completed by theoretical models. I am also particularly interested in interfacial and wetting problems, like the dynamical behaviour of drops and bubbles at the vicinity of a solid surface.
Dr Brendan McCormick Kilbride Queens' Postdoctoral Research Associate I am a volcanologist, specialising in the study of volcanic gas emissions by satellite-, field-, and lab-based methods. I am interested in monitoring volcanic unrest by study of gas emissions as well as using gas chemistry as a fingerprint for deep geological processes and their influence on the evolution and composition of planetary atmospheres and climate. I have worked on volcanoes in Italy, Iceland, the Marianas and Ecuador, and my main field sites presently are in Papua New Guinea. Following my time at Queens' I will be taking up a Presidential Fellowship at the University of Manchester.
Dr Rhiannon McGlade Queens' Postdoctoral Research Associate I completed my thesis on the subject of Catalan satirical cartoons at the University of Sheffield in 2013. My subsequent research has focused on the implications and nature of humour in an Hispanic cultural and political context. My book, Catalan Cartoons: A social and political history (University Wales Press, 2016), explores the Catalan satirical tradition from 1865 to 1982 across a shifting political landscape examining the relationship between humour and identity and satire’s power to influence its own context. In addition to my work on the MEITS project, I am currently part of a number of on-going research projects (at various stages) including: Humour Research Network (Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona); Humour, Music and Language (UNAM, Mexico) and Between the Frames: Politics and Visual Print Media from Spain since 1975 with Dr Bryan Cameron (University of Cambridge).
Mr Tobias Müller Queens' Postdoctoral Research Associate Political Theory, especially 20th century; Religion, politics, and secularism, especially Islam in Europe; Critical, feminist, spatial and postcolonial theory; Governance of diversity in urban settings; Strictly observant religion, orthodoxy, fundamentalism.
Dr Cristina Peñasco Queens' Postdoctoral Research Associate PhD in Economics. My research lines bring together multidisciplinary research in environmental economics, innovation policy and energy economics in green and energy efficiency technologies, with a focus on the policy instruments enabling the transition to low-carbon economies.
Dr Vicente Pérez-Garcia Postdoctoral Research Associate During a successful pregnancy, the placenta allows the vital crosstalk between the mother and the baby. Placental disorders are often the primary cause of several pregnancy complications. I am interested in understanding the molecular mechanism that underlie the abnormal placentation process using in vitro 3D cultures called organoids.
Dr Simon Pickl Queens' Postdoctoral Research Associate I specialise in language variation and change with a particular focus on German. In the area of dialectology, I work with geostatistical methods in order to understand the geographic distribution of dialect features and how spatial patterns of language variation are shaped by geographical, political and societal factors. My work in the field of language history and language change includes a current research project on how German morphosyntax changed over time. In order to understand the dynamics of a changing grammar and the historical factors that influence it, I am working on a diachronic corpus of sermons which spans the time from the earliest records of German prose up to the 19th century. Finally, I am interested in the relation between speech and writing on a theoretical level as well as with a particular focus on how Standard German spelling and pronunciation were shaped and conceptualised during its standardisation in the centuries leading up to the most recent times.
Dr Roushanak Rahmat Postdoctoral Research Associate Medical Image Analysis; Image & Signal Processing; Computer Vision; Machine Learning; Cloud Computing; Artificial Intelligence
Dr Ellen Schmidt Postdoctoral Research Associate I am a statistical geneticist interested in translating genetic evidence for disease association into new medicines. As part of a public-private partnership called Open Targets at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, I use computational approaches to integrate summary statistics from genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and functional experiments to rank and prioritize genes according to their likely functional impact. Results from these analyses are available through an open source web portal to allow all researchers with translational interests to discover and validate safe and effective therapeutic targets and assess opportunities for drug repurposing.
Dr Shan Tang Postdoctoral Research Associate My current research focuses on genetic code expansion and reprogramming. One project I am working on is to identify novel orthogonal synthetase/tRNA pairs to expand the diversity of unnatural amino acids incorporation. Moreover, I am using genetically encoded traps to capture protein/protein, enzyme/substrate interactions in living cells.