Heritage Strategy Group

Dr Bryony Onciul
Senior Lecturer in Public History


Dr Bryony Onciul is Chair of the Heritage Strategy Group. Dr Onciul's research embodies public history, indigenising and decolonising museology, post-colonial narratives, difficult histories, identity and performance, understanding place and environment, the effects of climate change on heritage management, repatriation, apologies, truth, reconciliation and the power and politics of representation. Dr Onciul is Chair and Founder of the Association of Critical Heritage Studies for the UK, and a member of the AHRC. Collaborations include: Aberystwyth University; University of Birmingham; Monash University; The National Library of Wales; National Welsh College; Cornish Audio Visual Archives; National Trust; Association of Critical Heritage Studies (ACHS).

Professor Henry French
Professor of Social History


Professor French is Vice-Chair of the Heritage Strategy Group. His academic interests cover economic, social, and cultural and gender history in Britain, 1600-1900. His expertise includes extensive experience of researching in local and regional archives, and collaborating with partner organisations, particularly in the South West. Collaborations include: the Poltimore Estate Research Group; Dorset Heritage Centre; Powderham Castle; Southwest Heritage Trust; Devon History Society; Southwest Regional Library Service; Exmoor National Park.

Dr Jamie Hampson
Senior Lecturer in Heritage


Dr Hampson specialises in heritage studies, post-colonial history, and Indigenous rock art. He works in Europe, North America, South Africa, India, and Australia. Current projects include work on Indigenous heritage and world views; post-colonial historiography; rock art regionalism and identity; cultural tourism and the presentation of heritage sites to the public; the commodification of the past; the relationships between humans and animals; and human interaction with cultural landscapes. He tries to spend at least six weeks each year working in the field with indigenous groups, often acting as an advisor on how best to develop visitor centres and cultural 'keeping places' in remote regions.

Professor James Clark
Associate Dean for Research and Knowledge Transfer, Professor of History


Professor Clark's research explores the period between the Black Death and the Break with Rome, including themes of religion, intellectual and cultural life. His approach to research is informed by historical sources and methods, as well as archival, literary, artistic and material culture. As part of this exploration, he has worked closely with TV and radio on heritage features. Collaborations include: BBC; Channel 4; ITV; Powderham Castle; University of Illinois; Royal Historical Society.

Dr Nicola Thomas
Associate Professor in Cultural Historical Geography


Dr Thomas’s research has developed along several strands, united by her interests in biographical approaches, including: cultural and humanities perspectives on the creative economy; post-colonial geographies of gender, race and empire; histories of geography and science; gendered labour practices and career progression in higher education, and equality in the workplace. Collaborations include: the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site; Gloucestershire Guild of Craftsmen; Devon Guild of Craftsmen; Crafts Council; Leach Pottery; Porthcurno Telegraph Museum; Arts for Health Cornwall; Imperial War Museum; Craftspace.

Professor Andi Smart 
Professor of Operations & Process Management, Director of Centre for Innovation and Service Research


Professor Smart’s research explores design and improvement of operational systems, business models in the mobile payments ecosystem, the optimisation of maintenance activities for offshore wind farms, and the improvement of patient experience in healthcare systems. Collaborations include: European Operations Management Association; Virgin Media; Helsinki University of Technology (HUT); GKN Westland Aerospace; Nokia; Rural Payments Agency; DEFRA; PWC; Deloitte; Gartner Consulting.

Dr Caitlin DeSilvey
Associate Professor of Cultural Geography


Dr DeSilvey’s research explores explores the cultural significance of material change and transformation, with a particular focus on heritage contexts. She has worked with artists, archaeologists, environmental scientists and heritage practitioners on a range of interdisciplinary projects, and is currently co-investigator on the Heritage Futures project. Her recent monograph, Curated Decay: Heritage Beyond Saving (UMP 2017), received the 2018 Historic Preservation Book Prize. Collaborations include: National Trust, Historic England, Wheal Martyn Museum, Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site, Cornubian Arts & Science Trust, Rewilding Europe, Trelowarren Estate, CITiZAN. 

Professor Jane Whittle
Professor of Economic and Social History


Professor Whittle's research focuses on the history of late medieval and early modern England with particular interests in economic development, work, gender, popular protest, consumpton and material culture. Research projects have been funded by The Leverhulme Turst, AHRC, ESRC and the Economic History Society. Prof. Whittle is the General Editor of Studies in Regional and Local History published by University of Hertfordshire Press, a member of council for the Economic History Society, and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. 

Other academics working in heritage