Talented Aberystwyth academics selected for Welsh Crucible programme

L to R: Rebecca Zerk, Dr Adil Mughal and Dr Kim Kenobi

L to R: Rebecca Zerk, Dr Adil Mughal and Dr Kim Kenobi

23 May 2024

Aberystwyth University academics researching older people and domestic abuse, packing problems, and biological applications of statistics have been selected for a prestigious programme to develop the future research leaders of Wales.

Now in its tenth year, Welsh Crucible is a highly competitive and award-winning personal, professional and leadership development programme.

It comprises inspiring guest speakers, seminars, skills sessions and informal discussions, allowing researchers to explore how they can work together to tackle the current research challenges facing Wales.

This unique opportunity, offered to just thirty people a year, supports research-inspired innovation and cross-disciplinary collaboration in Wales.

One of the three Aberystwyth University academics who has been selected for the Welsh Crucible programme is Rebecca Zerk, who is completing a PhD on older people and domestic abuse, looking specifically at how people seek help in later life. Based at the Department of Law and Criminology, she is the Co-Lead of the Dewis Choice Initiative, a longitudinal research study examining the lived experiences of victim-survivors of domestic abuse in later life, which also offers a co-produced service for older people who have experienced domestic abuse.

Dr Adil Mughal, a theoretical physicist, has also been awarded a place on the Welsh Crucible. Dr Mughal lectures on mathematical modelling, and researches packing problems and topics in soft matter physics.

Statistics lecturer Dr Kim Kenobi has also been selected. His research interests lie in biological applications of statistics, including species distribution modelling and statistical shape analysis. His research has included modelling the distribution of bird species on both sides of the Irish Sea, assessing the impact of climate change and land use.

Professor Angela Hatton, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research, Knowledge Exchange and Innovation at Aberystwyth University said:

“I am really pleased that three Aberystwyth academics have been given the opportunity to attend the Welsh Crucible. The programme offers unparalleled opportunities to connect and share ideas with researchers from other disciplines and to explore how to achieve greater impact with your research through collaboration and innovation.”

Welsh Crucible is funded by a consortium of Welsh higher education institutions and the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW).