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CFL Director, Dr Tim Grant has qualifications in both linguistics and psychology and is particularly interested in the interaction between forensic linguistics and forensic psychology. He is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Languages and Social Sciences, teaching undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Forensic Linguistics and Research Methods. His main research interests are in forensic authorship analysis and in the conversations which occur between attackers and victims in cases of serious sexual assault and rape. He has publications in both of these areas in both psychology and linguistics journals. His consultancy has largely involved the analysis of abusive and threatening communications in many different contexts including investigations into sexual assaults, murder and terrorist offences. It has also included cases of copyright infringement and academic plagiarism.
Emeritus Professor of Forensic Linguistics, Professor Malcolm Coulthard is best known for his work on the analysis of spoken and written discourse and his 'An Introduction to Discourse Analysis' (1977/1985) is still widely used. He is the founding editor of The International Journal of Speech, Language and the Law and was the Founding President of the International Association of Forensic Linguists. He is the author of 20 authored and edited books, as well as 50 articles and chapters in books, and has supervised numerous PhD dissertations on various aspects of language and law. Malcolm has been commissioned to write reports in almost 200 cases and has given expert evidence in courts in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Germany and Hong Kong.
Dr Jack Grieve received a PhD in Applied Linguistics from Northern Arizona University. Formerly a Research Fellow in the Department of Linguistics at University of Leuven, he is now a Lecturer in Forensic Linguistics in the School of Languages and Social Sciences. His academic interests include quantitative corpus linguistics, sociolinguisics and forensic linguistics. In particular, his research focuses on dialectology and authorship attribution, including quantitative methods for data collection and data analysis.
Dr Kate Haworth has a PhD in Forensic Linguistics, and is also a barrister. She practised both civil and criminal law, and spent two years working in legislative drafting at the Parliamentary Counsel Office, Whitehall. Pursuing a long-standing interest in the language of legal contexts, she subsequently moved to the Centre for Research in Applied Linguistics at the University of Nottingham, from where she received an MA in Applied Linguistics, before completing her ESRC-funded PhD thesis on police interview discourse and its roles in the judicial process. Her research interests include all aspects of language and the law, especially language as evidence. At Aston she teaches undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Forensic Linguistics, as well as pursues further research on police interviews.
Dr Krzysztof Kredens received his MA in English Studies and PhD in English Linguistics from the University of Lodz. Formerly a Marie Curie Research Fellow in the Department of English at Birmingham University, he is now a Lecturer in Applied Linguistics in the School of Languages and Social Sciences. His academic interests include corpus linguistics, translation studies and social applications of linguistics. His main research interest lies with language and the law, as evidenced by his numerous publications and conference papers in the area. He is particularly interested in the linguistics of the individual speaker and its implications for forensic authorship analysis. He is a practising public service interpreter.
Dr Nicci MacLeod holds a BA in English Language from the University of Wales, Bangor, an MA (Distinction) in Forensic Linguistics from Cardiff University - where she was also awarded the Dell Hymes Commendation for Sociolinguistics - and a PhD from Aston University. She was employed as Research Fellow on the project 'Language and Linguistic Evidence in the 1641 Depositions' at the University of Aberdeen, before returning to Aston in 2010 as a Research Associate in the Centre for Forensic Linguistics. She is currently working on projects in the areas of native language identification, modelling online identities, and the BAAL funded Applying Linguistics to Police Interviewing. Her research interests lie in the linguistic performance of identity and the manifestation of power through linguistic structures, particularly in legal and investigative contexts.
David Woolls is an Honorary Visiting Fellow in the Centre for Forensic Linguistics. He is well-known for his work on automated plagiarism detection, in particular for the Copycatch program used by both educational institutions and commercial companies. In 2007 his software company, CFL, was selected as technology partner by UCAS, the British Universities and Colleges Admissions Service, to provide a system to monitor the personal statements in all the 500,000 university applications to receive each year. His primary research interest is in how readers recognise similarity between texts and components as small as individual sentences and in whether and how such recognition can be accurately modelled in computer programs. He has published papers in the areas of forensic linguistics, plagiarism and multilingual concordancing. For more information visit his website.
Yvonne Fowler holds a first degree in French Studies from Birmingham University. She worked as a teacher for many years and took her MA in English Language Teaching at the University of Warwick, in which she gained a distinction. After 15 Years of training over 250 legal interpreters for the Diploma in Public Service Interpreting and training police officers, magistrates, social workers and probation officers to work through interpreters, she left City College Birmingham to pursue a PhD at Aston University. The subject for her research is interpreted and non-interpreted Prison Video Link communication. Prison Video Link is the system by which remand prisoners appear in court remotely from prison. Her other research interests lie in police investigative interviews conducted through an interpreter and peer evaluation in interpreter training.
Eva Ng holds a BA in Translation from the University of Hong Kong, where she has been teaching Translation and Interpreting since 1997, the year she completed her MA in Translation (Linguistics) at the University of Birmingham. Her MA thesis examined the multi-functional role of the interpreter in the Hong Kong courtroom, where she used to work full-time as a staff court interpreter. Her PhD project, based on recordings of nine criminal trials from the three court levels in Hong Kong, researches into the reality of interpreting in the Hong Kong courtroom - now dominated by bilingual legal professionals - and focuses on the predicaments faced by the interpreter in such a legal setting.
Andrea Nini holds a BA (with Distinction) in Modern Languages Applied to Computer Science from Tor Vergata University of Rome. He has recently completed an MA in Applied Linguistics with specialisation in Forensic Linguistics at Aston University. His dissertation focused on the development of a Systemic Functional Linguistic framework for authorship attribution. Andrea's interests are authorship profiling and Systemic Functional Linguistics and his Doctoral research aims at linking the two in order to find reliable ways of profiling anonymous writers.
Ria Perkins holds a BA in German from Royal Holloway University of London. She has just completed an MA in Applied Linguistics with Forensic Linguistics at Aston University, the dissertation for which focused on the potential of using interlingual features to determine whether an English text was written by a native German speaker. This has lead her to her PhD research, which focuses on interlingual identifiers of L1 Farsi speakers writing in English and the implications for the intelligence community and authorship analysis. Her research interests lie in forensic authorship analysis.
Rui Sousa Silva holds a first degree in Modern Languages and Literature (English and French), and an MA in Translation and Terminology, both from the University of Porto. His MA dissertation looked, from an applied linguistics perspective, at how contemporary art texts use different semantic devices in English and in Portuguese to influence readers' mindset accordingly. He is now working on his PhD on 'Computational Linguistics for Plagiarism Detection in the context of Forensic Discourse Analysis'. His research interests lie in authorship attribution, authorship infringement and their legal implications, particularly in the academic context.