RISCS Associate Fellows

Nerida Brand, University of Exeter,
RISCS Associate Fellow

Nerida Brand is a PhD candidate at the Universities of Exeter and Cardiff. On completing a research placement with RISCS, supported and funded by the South, West & Wales Doctoral Training Partnership, Nerida was invited to be an Associate Fellow.

Her research focuses on the human experience of digital technologies, particularly the balancing of information sharing with an understanding of cyber risk. She is primarily interested in how these issues are negotiated by vulnerable individuals, such as children and adolescents. Her work with RISCS will investigate how risk and digital responsibility can be communicated in age-appropriate terms, harnessing today’s youth’s unprecedented engagement with digital technologies.

Richard Cole, University of Bristol
RISCS Associate Fellow
Dr Richard Cole is a narratologist specialising in video games, virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI). He is interested in how different audiences engage with immersive media, and in particular the impact that immersive stories about the past and future can have, both imaginatively, and in terms of education. He currently co-directs the Bristol Digital Game Lab, which brings together researchers and practitioners from a radically diverse range of perspectives, with digital games as a shared object of interest. With RISCS, Richard is keen to explore the capacity that games might have for understanding cyber security issues, as well as for training purposes. He is also interested in how rapid advancements in AI might shape the way in which cyber security and risk is understood.
Alicia Cork, University of Bath
RISCS Associate Fellow
Dr Alicia Cork completed her PhD in Social Psychology from the University of Exeter in 2021. She now works as an interdisciplinary Research Associate at the University of Bath, where she collaborates with a number of diverse academics including psychologists, sociologists, computer/data scientists and behavioural scientists. Alicia’s research focuses on the conceptualisation of Online and Virtual Reality Harms and she is funded by the EPSRC’s National Centre on Privacy, Harm Reduction and Adversarial Influence Online (REPHRAIN). She leads the research on four diverse projects which broadly aim to understand experiences and mitigations of current online harms, whilst also examining the future risks of novel technologies such as Virtual Reality. She has presented her work to various important stakeholders involved in the regulation of online technologies, including the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Metaverse and Web 3.0 technologies at the House of Lords, Ofcom and the NCA.
Jason Dymydiuk, University of Wolverhampton
RISCS Associate Fellow
Dr Jason Dymydiuk is a Lecturer in Contemporary Conflicts and Warfare at the University of Wolverhampton with a focus on intelligence and cyber. He is currently conducting research into AI metrics to improve government, industry, and public understanding of the potential risks of algorithms in technology including smart cities, control systems, surveillance, and weaponry. This is a multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional project embedding socio-technical thought into the research.

Previously, he worked as a Postdoctoral Research at Queen Mary University London (QMUL) as part of the National Research Centre on Privacy, Harm Reduction and Adversarial Influence Online (REPHRAIN) project Privacy Enhancing Technologies for Small and Medium Enterprises (PETs4SMEs). Working under the leadership of Dr Maria Bada (PI-QMUL), Dr Jason Nurse (University of Kent), and Dr Stephen Furnell (University of Nottingham) to produce a Privacy Starter Pack for SMEs.

Prior to this, Jason worked as a Post-doctoral Research for RISCS Senior Fellow in Leadership and Culture Dr Ruth Massie (University of Cranfield) to produce an advisory report for middle management leadership in cyber security.

Dr Dymydiuk received his PhD from the University of Warwick. He was subsequently awarded an Institute of Advance Study Early Career Fellowship from the University of Warwick to publish his article 'RUBICON and Revelation: the curious robustness of the ‘secret’ CIA-BND operation with Crypto AG' in the Journal Intelligence and National Security.
Ola Michalec, University of Bristol
RISCS Associate Fellow
Dr Ola Michalec is a social scientist based at the University of Bristol, investigating the sociology of technological expertise and collaboration in the context of digital innovation. She also leads the SPRITE+ “Communicating Cyber Security” community of interest and coordinates policy engagement activities at the REPHRAIN National Research Centre on Privacy, Harm Reduction and Adversarial Influence Online. For RISCS, Ola is looking forward to exploring intersections between cyber security and creative methods!
Maryam Mehrnezhad, Royal Holloway, University of London,
RISCS Associate Fellow
Dr Maryam Mehrnezhad is a Lecturer at the Information Security Group (ISG), RHUL. Before that, she was a Senior Lecturer at Newcastle University, and a Visiting Professor at ETH Zurich in 2022. She has a PhD in CS from NU (2013-16) where she was a Research Fellow too (2016-21). Maryam was the team leader and winner of the Kaspersky/Economist competition on blockchain for e-voting (2016), winner of best PhD research award, NCSC ACE-CSR (2016), and runner-up of Newcastle alumni achievement award (2018), John Karat usable privacy and security award, SOUPS (2016), and Google Anita Borg student award (2014).

Maryam is interested in Security and Privacy Engineering topics where her research is informed by real-world problems. She works on emerging technologies by performing attacks (side-channel, fingerprinting, tracking) and designing solutions (e.g., sensor-based IoT authentication, and secure contactless payment). She works on usable security and privacy topics by conducting system and user studies across platforms (web, mobile, IoT) and demography (gender, nationality, age). Maryam is particularly interested in the complex risks and harms concerning Minority and Minoritized users. She is the PI of an EPSRC PETRAS grant: CyFer (cybersecurity, privacy, trust, and bias in FemTech), and Co-I of a UKRI grant: AGENCY (Assuring citizen agency in a world with complex online harms).