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The University of Southampton
Public Policy|Southampton

Meet the team

We come from a variety of different backgrounds bringing a range of skills, expertise and experiences in policy engagement. Together we help facilitate policy impact by linking policymakers with researchers at the University.

Whether you are an academic or have involvement at any level of policy, any of our dedicated team members would be happy to have a conversation about supporting you in the best way. So if you are interested in upcoming opportunities, events or enhancing your policy impact, please get in touch via the contact details below.

Gareth Giles
Gareth Giles

Gareth Giles, Head of Public Policy|Southampton

Giles (as he is known to all) brings more than a decade’s worth of experience working between central and local government and the higher education sector. In his current role, he is responsible for the strategic direction of PPS, financial sustainability of the team and internal and external stakeholder management. Giles is currently working on policy engagement culture change within the University specifically focusing on developing mechanisms that support and celebrate the successes of our diverse range of world leading Early Career Researchers.

Most likely to say: ‘Go do good things...’

Biggest fan of: the (home) office plants

+44 (0)23 8059 8981

+44 (0)7557663644

Contact Giles



Yaryna Basystyuk
Yaryna Basystyuk

Yaryna Basystyuk, Policy Engagement Manager

Yaryna brings extensive experience of knowledge exchange between HEIs and the private sector, State government and the United Nations from her time in the United States.  In her current role within PPS, she oversees our Policy|Placement programme with national and local government, manages Cambridge Science and Policy (CSaP) fellowship scheme, and leads on engagement with Universities COP26 Network. Yaryna is currently developing and implementing our Policy|Associate Pool programme to offer enhanced insight to principle investigators and exposure to policy for PhD and post-doctoral researchers at the University.

Most likely to say: ‘so we shall see…’.

Biggest fan of: the coast, and everything in and around the water.

+44 (0)23 8059 5466

Contact Yaryna



Chandni Maria Jacob
Chandni Maria Jacob

Chandni Maria Jacob , Specialist Policy Officer (Environment and Life Sciences)

With a background in clinical medicine and public health, Chandni has worked with multiple international organisations to support the development of health policy and clinical guidelines. Her PhD and research have focused on the implementation of a life-course approach in policy and adopting a person-centred approach in clinical care. She has vast experience in the science-policy interface and evidence-informed policymaking having led multiple projects to develop recommendations for international organisations that support policymakers. These include writing policy analyses, reviews and white papers for the World Health Organisation, International Federation of Gynaecologists and Obstetricians, UNICEF and Royal Colleges. She has also supported policy engagement activities for advocacy networks such as the Preconception Partnership and delivered workshops on knowledge translation for researchers. In her current role, she has a keen interest in connecting researchers with policy audiences and providing support for identifying and developing policy-relevant outputs (policy briefs, written and oral evidence etc.) for principal investigators.

Most likely to say : 'Sure, why not'

Biggest fan of : Dogs, travel and baking

Contact Chandni



Alistair Sackley
Alistair Sackley

Alistair Sackley , Specialist Policy Officer (Web Science Institute)

Alistair is a specialist policy officer within the Web Science Institute and consultant to UK and International crime and criminal justice agencies. He is a criminologist, philosopher and knowledge broker who specialises in policing, crime and epistemology of technology. His interests are in serious organised crime, artificial intelligence, trust, privacy and ethics. In his current role he works on digital, AI and data-driven assignments, bringing commercial, financial, regulatory and policy knowledge to service the needs of researchers and stakeholders to maximize its impact for reinvestment at scale.

Most likely to say: ‘no worries…’

Biggest fan of: black mirror, sport and all things outside.

Contact Alistair



Jaskiran Kaur Gill
Jaskiran Kaur Gill

Jaskiran Kaur Gill, Specialist Policy Officer (Medicine)

Jaskiran's professional journey has been firmly grounded in the realm of public health. It began with her career as a Public Health Inspector in Canada where she worked within communicable disease control and environmental policies. Upon relocating to the UK, she channelled her expertise into the non-profit sector, specifically working on advancing maternal and early childhood development policies. These experiences reinforced her dedication to the formulation of impactful policies and research with the potential to bring about concrete and positive changes in public health.

In her current role, she is fully committed to bridging the gap between researchers and policy-makers, ensuring that their work effectively informs government and healthcare policies.

Most likely to say: ‘Sounds good’

Biggest fan of: Travel, fashion and maple syrup

Contact Jaskiran



Grace Compton
Grace Compton

Grace Compton , Specialist Policy Officer (Sustainability and Resilience Institute (SRI))

Graces works to enhance the impact of the SRI's interdisciplinary research on the socioeconomic impacts of the transition to a more sustainable future.

She has first-hand experience in design and delivery of Climate Response and Energy Transition policies, working with central government clients in climate change and sustainability. She graduated from the University of Exeter with a  degree in Human Geography and went on to complete a Masters in Transformational Leadership. On graduating, she completed the TeachFirst Leadership Development programme gaining a PGDE Secondary Teaching Qualification, teaching Maths and Geography.

Most likely to say: 'I recently heard on a podcast…'

Biggest fan of: Mountain biking, women's sport

Contact Grace



Alice Booth
Alice Booth

Alice Booth, Specialist Policy Officer

Alice is a postgraduate researcher at the University of Southampton, in the final year of her PhD in Climate and Earth Science where she is exploring climate sensitivity and Earth System dynamics. Following her degree in Environmental Earth Sciences at the University of St Andrews, Alice graduated from the University of Leeds with an MSc. in Climate Change and Environmental Policy in 2020. She is particularly passionate about ensuring evidence-informed climate and environmental policy and has worked to engage with the policy process throughout her PhD. She joined PPS as a Policy Associate in 2021 working with the Wolfson Unit for Marine Technology and Industrial Aerodynamics as they supported the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) with the implementation of the new Code of Practice for the safety of small fishing vessels. Since then, she has worked with PPS on a number of projects such as the iPACT (Infrastructure for Port cities And Coastal Towns) Network, and the Southampton City Council's local evidence catapult fellowship where she researched the challenge of achieving Net Zero in the Port of Southampton. In 2023, Alice also undertook a 4 month fellowship at the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology where she produced a POSTnote briefing on the use of biomass for UK energy generation. In her new role as a Specialist Policy Officer for the Southampton Marine & Maritime Institute (SMMI), Alice will be supporting SMMI researchers to boost their policy impact and building effective working relationships with SMMI's key strategic partners.

Most Likely to Say: 'I need a cup of tea'

Biggest Fan of: Taekwon-Do, wellbeing walks, and big cosy blankets

Contact Alice



Fatima Ozcan
Fatima Ozcan

Fatima Ozcan , Senior Policy Associate

Fatima is a postgraduate researcher at the University of Southampton, specialising in maritime law and currently continuing her PhD on Cyber Coverage of Autonomous Ships in the Context of Marine Insurance Law. Beyond her academic pursuits, Fatima is also passionate about policy and evidence informed decision-making process.

She entered the policy world as a Policy Associate in 2021 at Public Policy|Southampton with a project on Solid Bulk Cargo Liquefaction: Strategies for Effective Control. She supported the project team with a stakeholder analysis by engaging the project partners and external stakeholders and producing a policy synthesis report that brings together relevant grey literature and other project findings. A few months into the role, she has been offered to manage the consultation activity, supporting university academics in responding to calls for evidence by the UK Parliament and Government. Recently Fatima has been selected for the PPS Local Evidence Catapult Programme where she focuses on investigating health inequalities in Southampton.

Most likely to say: 'Wanna grab a coffee?'

Biggest fan of: Blogging and cycling

Contact Fatima



Hannah Dalgleish
Hannah Dalgleish

Hannah Dalgleish , Knowledge Exchange Fellow

After completing a PhD in Astrophysics at Liverpool John Moores University in 2020, Hannah found herself drifting towards the humanities and social sciences. This journey began at the University of Namibia where she explored the role of astronomy as a means for sustainable development – through education, (indigenous) tourism, and cultural relations. Upon returning to the UK in 2021, she became an Oxford Policy Engagement Fellow, focusing on light pollution. During this time Hannah built up an international dark skies and society community, organised the UK’s first Dark Sky Meeting, and exchanged knowledge with council officers in Northern Ireland as well as the House of Lords. Hannah then spent time at the Sustainable AI Lab in Bonn, working as a Green Talents Fellow on ‘rewilding the night’, before joining the University of Southampton as a Knowledge Exchange Fellow. Here, she is looking forward to bridging the academic-policy gap in order to solve local challenges and support the University’s civic agenda.

Most likely to say: 'cool beans'

Biggest fan of: travelling and trying new things

Contact Hannah



Pooja Pandey
Pooja Pandey

Pooja Pandey , Knowledge Exchange Fellow

With a background in inter-agency exchange and collaboration, Pooja recently joined the University of Southampton as a Knowledge Exchange Fellow. Her academic journey began with a strong foundation in GIS, but her passion for policy-related endeavours truly ignited during her tenure as a Marie Curie researcher in Cyprus. Pooja brings a wealth of expertise to her current role, with a distinguished academic background in wildfire management and a penchant for data-driven research. Her ability to thrive in interdisciplinary collaborations is noteworthy, and she remains actively engaged in environmental initiatives that drive meaningful contributions to sustainable development.

In her current capacity, Pooja is dedicated to bridging the gap between academia and practical solutions, with the aim of making a lasting impact.

Most likely to say: 'cool, of course'

Biggest fan of: culinary cuisine

Contact Pooja



Joseph Owen

Joseph Owen, Research Fellow

Joseph is a research fellow at the University of Southampton, working on several projects in the Southampton Institute for Arts and Humanities (SIAH), including 'Poetry and Place', 'Neighbouring Data', 'Pathways to Health', and 'Feeling Towns', the last of which explores pride, place attachment and civic engagement in UK towns and cities. He liaises with Public Policy | Southampton, researchers, communities and organisations on policy impact. Joseph completed his doctorate in English literature, and is currently publishing research on Carl Schmitt, sovereignty and modernism. He is Co-Director of the Centre for Modern and Contemporary Writing (CMCW) and writes arts, film, and literary criticism.

Most likely to say: 'What does any of this actually mean?'

Biggest fan of : Meaning

Contact Joseph


Miya Small
Miya Small

Miya Small , Policy and Evaluation Officer

Miya is a graduate of the University of Southampton, holding a BSc in Politics. Her academic journey culminated in a final research project on ''The Political Ambition of Ethnic Minorities in the UK.'' With a foundation in the Public Sector, Miya has immersed herself in roles within Local Government and the NHS. Currently, she is dedicated to evaluating and showcasing PPS' influence and role in policy engagement and is committed to contributing to the evolution of their work in the future.

Most likely to say : ‘I’ll figure it out’

Biggest fan of : Books and bad PC games

Helen Ballem
Helen Ballem

Helen Ballem , Departmental Administrator

Helen’s extensive experience of being a Departmental Administrator at the University of Southampton for more than 15 years, has given her a great insight on how the mechanisms work and how she can best provide assistance to colleagues. In addition to her other responsibilities within RIS, Helen is currently assisting PPS in keeping the Policy Projects Database up to date and producing monthly analytics which allows PPS to plan ahead and manage their work more efficiently. Her remit includes to get in contact with the principal investigators of each policy project and get the latest update, to liaise with the other members of the PPS team in finding suitable times for meetings with academics and to alert the team whenever a research project ‘s proposal becomes successful.

Most likely to say: ‘OK, cool’

Biggest fan of: F.R.I.E.N.D.S (TV series)

Contact Helen



Isabella Wang
Isabella Wang

Isabella Wang, Digital Communications Officer

Isabella graduated from the University of Southampton, studying marketing. She has been working with Public Policy|Southampton for more than one year and is in charge of social media channels (Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube), managing email memberships and podcasts, updating PPS websites, and all the other promotion parts for Public Policy|Southampton, academics from the University of Southampton and stakeholders. She is keen to improve the efficiency and results of the communication and marketing of Public Policy|Southampton.

Most likely to say: 'Have you signed up for our memberships?'

Biggest fan of: Cute animals, travel and Chinese food

Contact Isabella

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Chandni Maria Jacob in high resolutionAlistair Sackley in high resolutionJaskiran Kaur Gill in high resolution