Wilberforce Institute staff group

Meet our people

Our team is made up of scholars, research fellows, postgraduate students and affiliates. We’re working together to learn from historical slavery and eradicate modern exploitation.

Our staff

Trevor Burnard

Professor Trevor Burnard

Director of the Wilberforce Institute for Slavery and Emancipation

Dr Nick Evans

Dr Nicholas J Evans

Senior Lecturer in Diaspora History

Dr Evans’ research focuses on voluntary and coerced migration to, through and from Britain.

Cassandra Gooptar

Dr Cassandra Gooptar

Lecturer in Legacies of Slavery

Dr Gooptar focuses on stories of the enslaved and exploring the links between British organisations and historical slavery.

Dr Simon Green

Professor Simon Green

Professor of Criminology and Victimology

Professor Green's research is primarily in the fields of victimology, vulnerabilities and crime control.

Dr. Alicia Heys

Dr Alicia Heys

Lecturer & Researcher in Modern Slavery

Alicia specialises in issues of policy, agency and representation. She is a research fellow for the Modern Slavery & Human Rights Policy and Evidence Centre, looking at the legal enforcement of modern slavery.

Dr Daniel Ogunniyi

Dr Daniel Ogunniyi

Lecturer in Modern Slavery

Dr Ogunniyi's interests lie in the areas of modern slavery, children’s rights, human rights, and international law broadly construed, with a particular focus on Africa.

Dr Zahra Shirgholami

Dr Zahra Shirgholami

Lecturer in Modern Slavery

Dr Shirgholami's interests include forced labour and modern slavery, precarious forms of work, business and human rights, sustainable supply chains and enterprises, and governance.

Andrew Smith

Andrew Smith

Manager, Justice Hub and Coordinator of the Humber Modern Slavery Partnership.

Andrew brings over 10 years’ experience as a practitioner working with at-risk groups to coordinate the Anti-Slavery agenda regionally and across the UK.

Judith Spicksley New

Dr Judith M Spicksley

Lecturer at the Wilberforce Institute

Dr Spicksley is an economic and social historian whose research currently focuses on the relationship between enslavement and debt.

Cristina Talens

Cristina Talens

Director of Modern Slavery Risk Assessments/ Head of Business Risk Assessment Services

Ms Talens advises businesses on how to eradicate slavery from their supply chains.

Sophie Blanchard

Sophie Blanchard

Modern Slavery and Partnership Administrator.

Simon Smith

Professor Simon Smith

Professor of International History/ Graduate Research Director

Professor Smith will use the Wilberforce Institute Sabbatical to research Slavery and the Slave Trade in Arabia and the Gulf, between 1924-1971.

Our students

Mavuto Kambochola Banda

Mavuto Kambochola Banda

PhD Cluster: Living with the Consequences of Slavery

Supervisors: Dr Elsbeth Robson, Dr Judith Spicksley and Professor Lewis Holloway

Fred Bricknell

Fred Bricknell

PhD Candidate: Water, Slavery, and Unfree Labour in the Nineteenth-Century British Empire

Supervisors: Professor Trevor Burnard and Professor Briony McDonagh

Jasmine Holding

Jasmine Holding Brown

PhD Cluster: Falling through the Net PhD

Supervisors: Dr Judith Spicksley and Dr Mick Wilkinson

Adiva Lawrence

Adiva Lawrence

The memorialisation of transatlantic slavery in museums of black heritage and the uses of art

Supervisors: Professor Helen Johnston and Dr Susan Ashley (Northumbria University)


Rajib Mustofa

Differential characteristics of marginalization and vulnerability of sexual minority groups to exploitation in South Asian countries: The Transgender community in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan

N. Jennifer Nghishitende

N. Jennifer Nghishitende

PhD Cluster@ Living with the Consequences of Slavery

Supervisors: Professor Helen Johnston and Dr Alicia Kidd

Lance Parker

Lance Parker

Survivalists: Communities and kinship in enslaved and Maroon societies during the 17th and 18th centuries in South Carolina and the Caribbean.

Supervisors: Professor Trevor Burnard and Dr Nicholas Evans

isabel arcy zelada

Isabel Arce Zelada

Living with the consequences of slavery PhD cluster

Supervisors: Professor Simon Green and Dr Mick Wilkinson

Laura Skinner

Laura Skinner

Transatlantic Cultures of Incarceration Cluster

Supervisors: Dr Alicia Heys and Dr Sabine A. Vanacker

Ryan Clarke

Ryan Clarke

Living with Death - Learning from COVID Cluster

Supervisors: Dr Nicholas Evans, Dr Judith Spicksley and Dr Elsbeth Robson

Lewis Carter

Lewis Carter

ESRC White Rose Doctoral Training Programme Scholar

Supervisors: Dr Nicholas Evans, Professor Rudi Wurzel and Professor Andy Jonas

Joanne Butcher

Joanne Butcher

Transatlantic Cultures of Incarceration Cluster

Supervisors: Dr David Eldridge and Dr Alicia Heys

Laura Birkinshaw

Laura Birkinshaw

Leverhulme Doctoral Scholarships Centre for Water Cultures Scholar

Supervisors: Dr Nicholas Evans and Professor Trevor Burnard

Giulia Repetti

Giulia Repetti

PhD in Social Justice: Centre for Water Culture. Investigating the link between climate-related water stresses, migration and human trafficking

Supervisory team: Dr. Alicia Heys and Professor Briony McDonagh

Louise Salaun

Louise Salaun

My research focuses on female marronage in the French, English and Spanish West Indies during the 18th Century

Supervisors: Professor Francois-Joseph Ruggiu and Professor Trevor Burnard


Helen Johnston UOH_4722

Professor Helen Johnston

Professor of Criminology

Professor Johnston is an expert in the history of crime and punishment from the year 1750 onwards.

Professor Gerry Johnstone

Professor Gerry Johnstone

Professor of Law

Professor Johnstone’s interests include punishment, restorative justice and overcriminalisation.

Professor John Oldfield

Professor John Oldfield

Emeritus Professor of History and Emancipation

A former director of the Wilberforce Institute, Professor Oldfield’s interests lie in the history of slavery and abolition.

Michael Turner

Professor Michael Turner

Emeritus Professor

Professor Michael Turner is one of the three original founders of the Wilberforce Institute, although his expertise lies in land tenure, and in particular the history of copyhold land.


Dr Mick Wilkinson

Lecturer in Race and Social Justice

Dr Wilkinson’s research interests include 21st century slavery and transnational organised crime.

Prof Thomas Lundmark

Professor Thomas Lundmark

Thomas Lundmark became the first American law professor at a German university when he was appointed Chair in Common Law and Comparative Legal Theory at the University of Muenster.

Dr Andrew O'Shaughnessy

Dr Andrew O'Shaughnessy

Andrew is a professor at the University of Virgina and a fellow at the Wilberforce Institute where he is currently completing a book with Professor Trevor Burnard.

Gary Craig

Professor Gary Craig

Gary Craig was the world's first Professor of Social Justice when appointed at the University of Hull in 2000. He was one of the three founders of the Wilberforce Institute in 2006 where he led the stream on modern slavery.

Honorary fellows and honorary associates

Professor Manuel Barcia

Professor Manuel Barcia

Chair of Global History, University of Leeds.

Dr Craig Barlow

Dr Craig Barlow

Independent Forensic Social Work Consultant & Criminologist

Expert adviser to police and prosecutors in cases of trafficking and modern slavery.

Steven Behrendt

Steven Behrendt

Associate Professor

School of History, Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations at the Victoria University.

Gifty Burrows

Gifty Burrows

Educator and Project Lead

Freelance - working to broaden historic and contemporary narratives to include people of African descent.


Dr Ally Dunhill

Head of Advocacy at Eurochild

Saphia Fleury

Dr Saphia Fleury

Honorary Fellow

Dr Fleury's research interests include human rights law, climate change and human migration.

Kate Hodgson

Dr Kate Hodgson

Lecturer in French, University College, Cork

Research interests are focused in the areas of Francophone Postcolonial Studies and Slavery Studies.


Professor Angela McCarthy

Professor of Scottish and Irish History and Director of the Centre for Global Migrations, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand with research interests in a range of global migrations including the forced migration of slaves and refugees.

Jeff Morgan

Dr Jeff Morgan

Physician/Psychiatrist (retired)

He is concerned with modern slavery amongst asylum seekers & third world workers with asbestos & other hazardous materials.

Karen Okra

Karen Okra

Community activist and champion of female and race equality

Black History Month advacate and board member for the Hull Freedom Festival.

Angelina Osborne

Dr Angelina Osborne

Heritage consultant, independent researcher on Black British and imperial histories, and author.


Professor Joel Quirk

Professor in Political Studies, University of the Witwatersrand

His research focuses upon slavery and abolition, human mobility and human rights, repairing historical wrongs, and the history and politics of sub-Saharan Africa.


Dr Anthony Rabin

Honorary Research Fellow

Research on History of the Jewish People in the Greco Roman Period and Slavery in the Ancient World.

Chandler Saint

Chandler B. Saint

Honorary Research Fellow

Co-director of VENTURESMITH.org and President of Beecher House Center for Equal Rights


Professor Suzanne Schwarz

Professor of History, Politics and Sociology, University of Worcester


Dr Meghna Singh

Honorary Research Fellow

I work with mediums of video and installation, blurring boundaries between documentary and fiction to create immersive environments highlighting issues of 'humanism'


Dr Lee Karen Stow

PhD candidate in Media Studies through NECAH

Documentary photographer & visual researcher of untold narratives of women survivors of war, conflict, persecution & forced displacement. Wilberforce Women & Freedom Women Collective founder.

James Wavin

Emeritus Professor Jim Walvin

Professor of History Emeritus at the University of York.


Dr David Wilkins

Teacher of Religious Studies, History and Classics

Research interests focus on the histories and legacies of slavery, lessons for today and education, truth telling and reparations.


Dr Mary Wills

Formerly Postdoctoral Researcher at the Wilberforce Institute, Dr Wills studies Britain's role in historic slavery and abolition.

Zahedieh photo KH

Nuala Zahedieh

Honorary Research Fellow

Research: Slavery in the early modern British Atlantic economy with a focus on the Caribbean.

Eva Veldhuizen Ochodničanová

Eva Veldhuizen Ochodničanová

Forensic Psychologist

Consultant to international organisations in Child Sexual Abuse and trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation.