Zoomposium 18: 19 April 2021

Published: 24 March 2021

Dr SOURIT BHATTACHARYA: ‘The British Empire, Food Crisis, and Public’ Dr ILYENA HIRSKYJ-DOUGLAS: ‘Animal-Computer Interaction’ Dr JUNLONG SHANG: ‘Rock Mechanics and Geomechanics for Underground Space and Earth Resources’

Watch Zoomposium 18 (passcode: #9NS9pp6)


Dr Sourit Bhattacharya, School of Critical Studies, College of Arts

The British Empire, Food Crisis, and Public Art’

On Jan 22, 2019, scientists in IIT Gandhinagar published an essay in Geophysical Researcher Letters on reconstructed soil moistures arguing that the 1943 Bengal famine was not a climatic event but rather a consequence of wartime British policy failure. Writers, artists, journalists, and members of the civil society had long spoken of this ‘man-made’ famine. In my current Carnegie research project, I am examining reports of the Famine Inquiry Commission and reading into periodical and artistic responses to understand how the government and the public imagined the event. I am particularly interested in knowing scientific/environmental/policy approaches to global food insecurity and what artistic and cultural responses could reveal about public reception and collective tackling of the crisis.

Sourit Bhattacharya is Lecturer in Postcolonial Studies at the University of Glasgow. His research interests include colonial and postcolonial literatures; environmental and food security studies; and critical theory. Sourit is a founding co-editor of Sanglap: Journal of Literary and Cultural Inquiry and runs the ‘Empire, Colonial, and Postcolonial Studies’ reading Group at Glasgow. Sourit has recently collaborated with colleagues from History and Law to develop an interdisciplinary ArtsLab sponsored research group called Food Sovereignty.


Dr Ilyena Hirskyj-Douglas, School of Computing Science

Animal-Computer Interaction’

I am a researcher in Animal-Computer Interaction, who joined the school in mid-February. Day-to-day, I work designing, building, and testing novel technologies for animals from screen and internet systems for dogs to bespoke music and screen systems for monkeys. I have established several research methods with animals and novel systems and theories around co-design and animal-centered design. Currently interested in building systems to support an animal's choice and autonomy for improving animal, environmental, and human welfare. I welcome collaborations with those interested or using animal technologies and those who want to develop novel technologies for animals (including systems to support humans, such as working animals). 


Dr Junlong Shang, James Watt School of Engineering   

‘Rock Mechanics and Geomechanics for Underground Space and Earth Resources’

I joined UoG as Lecturer in Engineering Geology and Geotechnics in Oct 2020. I hold a PhD in Earth Sciences from Uni. of Leeds. My research focuses on rock mechanics & geomechanics for underground space (e.g., tunnels, caverns) and earth resources (e.g., minerals, geothermal energy). I recently put some emphasis on the application of machine learning in geosciences and geotechnics and coupled thermal–hydrological–mechanical–chemical (THMC) modelling, with implications for enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) development and production. I am keen on research collaboration and am open to any potential collaboration opportunities, especially in the following areas:

  • Mechanics of rocks and discontinuities (e.g., joints, faults)
  • Machine learning for geosciences and geotechnics (e.g., land subsidence, spatial variation of the properties of geomaterials)
  • Deep geothermal energy (e.g., EGS)
  • Laboratory study of coupled THMC behaviour


First published: 24 March 2021