Our team

Virtual Nature combines experience in communications, psychology, humanities and public engagement to create a truly interdisciplinary research team.


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Alex Smalley

Alex is the PhD researcher on the Virtual Nature project. With a background in the physical sciences and extensive experience in media production, he has spent the last 12 years translating and communicating complex science. Alex has also developed content for the BlueHealth virtual reality project, part of a broader programme of environment and health research he has contributed to since 2011. More about Alex


Supervisory team


Dr Mathew White

Environmental Psychologist

Mat is an expert in natural environments, human health and wellbeing.

He co-ordinates the European BlueHealth project exploring the wellbeing benefits of aquatic environments.

More about Mat

Prof Nick Groom

Cultural Historian

Nick is a leading authority on Gothic literature and cultural heritage.

His current research focuses on vampirism from the perspectives of social science, theology, and medicine.

More about Nick

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Dr Ann Grand

Public Engagement Expert

Ann is a Senior Lead for Engaged Research at the WCCEH.

Her academic interests are engaged research, public engagement with research and open science.

More about Ann