Good news is rare these days, and every glittering ounce of it should be cherished and hoarded and worshipped and fondled like a priceless diamond.

- Hunter S. Thompson

Marine technology research

I am the Director of the Marine Technology Research Unit at the University of Essex, developing inter-disciplinary projects bringing together researchers from biology, conservation, governance, computer science and engineering. We work with a number of companies on industrial-scale applications involving computer vision, photogrammetry, autonomous navigation and 3D printing. I am also the diving officer for the University of Essex, responsible for overseeing HSE regulations and risk assessments for all UK dive operations of the University.

I learnt to dive in the Galapagos Island in 2004 and have since been lucky enough to dive all over the world, including Indonesia, Mexico, UK, Malta, Egypt, Dominica, Seychelles and the Dutch Antilles.

I qualified as a PADI Divemaster in the Komodo Marine Reserve in Indonesia, famed for strong currents and being in the middle of nowhere. Since then I've also completed SDI Solo Diver training and numerous PADI Speciality courses. I have over 1000 dives, most of them being scientific dives where carrying and operating equipment or surveying was required. I have experience of survey techniques including laying transects and quadrats, setting up permanent quadrats, taking core samples using a pneumatic drill, cleaning and repairing exclusion cages, still and video camera operation, etc.

I was appointed Vice-Chair of the Scientific Diving Advisory Committee (SDAC) in Dec 2022, a group representing academic institutes and the diving industry conducting scientific and archeological research in the UK.

I qualified as a Seasearch Observer in 2011 and completed my Seasearch Surveyor training in 2012. I have attended specialist training courses in Marine Life, Fish, Seaweed and Sea Squirts. Seasearch is a project for volunteer sports divers who have an interest in what they're seeing under water, want to learn more and want to help protect the marine environment around the coasts of Britain and Ireland. I was part of the Seasearch expeditions Seaweed East (surveying algae from Kent to Scotland), Scotsquirt (surveying sea squirts in Scotland), Squirt Trek (surveying sea squirts from Essex to Scotland) and other day activites. I've helped teach the Seasearch Observer course and help organise the Blackwater (Essex) surveying.

Diving, even as a recreational activity, puts you in a hostile environment where preparation and training are key to safety. However, accidents do happen and it is essential to be able to respond quickly and confidently to any emergency. For this reason I attended the 3 day dive medic training course at the London Diving Chamber to understand more about what the human body endures whilst under pressure in the water. I have been appointed the Diving Officer for the University of Essex and oversee the risk assessments and diving activity of staff in the UK.


  • HSE Professional SCUBA
  • Divemaster (PADI)
  • Diver Medic (London Diving Chamber)
  • CPR and First Aid (EFR)
  • Medical Emergencies and Resuscitation (UK Resuscitation Council)
  • Decompression Chamber Awareness (PADI)

I've been sailing small boats all my life and more recently started sailing yachts and power boats. I regularly skipper safety boats RIBs for sailing races and water-based events. I qualified for my powerboat license in Strangford Lough, Northern Ireland.


  • International Certificate for Operators of Pleasure Craft (ICC)
  • Power boat handling (BSAC)
  • Diver coxswain (BSAC)
  • Day Skipper for Sail and Power Craft (RYA)
  • Diesel Engine Maintenance (RYA)
  • Outboard Engine Maintenance (RYA)

Language research

I'm the lead of the Natural Language and Information Processing research group, incorporating the Language and Computation (LAC) inter-disciplinary group, at the University of Essex, which covers a diverse range of topics during regular meetings such as statistical analysis to using Prologue programming language.

The research group annually has a conference at the start of each academic year where participants can present their research and discuss future trends in the field.

I have been a reviewer for journals and conferences such as PlosONE, JMIR, Nature, LREV, IJHCS, CHI, SIJ, International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, Journal of Applied Ecology, ACL 2020, AACL-IJCNLP 2020, EMNLP 2020, EMNLP 2021, COLING 2020 and BMC, and am Associate Editor for the journal Human Computation. I have been on the programme committee for workshops including: PlayIT (WWW2011); Disco2013; GCI2012; GamifIR 2014; GAMNLP 2019; AnnoNLP 2019; and SCSD 2019. I am co-chair of the Games4NLP workshop series that has previously been held at EACL 2017 and LREC 2018.

I also write for the British Computer Society and review proposals for EPSRC.