Our Trip Scholars

Each Oxford Journeys trip is accompanied by an expert trip scholar. Our scholars share their extensive knowledge and insights into the sites visited and give regular talks about their related research.

Dr Carolin Crawford is Public Astronomer at the University of Cambridge’s Institute of Astronomy.  Dr Crawford is also a College Lecturer, Fellow, and Tutor at Emmanuel College, and was appointed as Professor of Astronomy for Gresham College from 2011 to 2015. Her years of active research experience and her significant contributions to science, engineering, and technology won her a prestigious Woman of Outstanding Achievement award in 2009.  Dr Crawford will be covering a range of exciting topics during your voyage such as exoplanets, lifecycles of stars, and cosmology.

Professor Nick Davies (Wolfson, 1973) is Professor of Behavioural Ecology at the University of Cambridge. An ornithologist and field naturalist, he has accompanied many previous alumni tours to great success. His research concerns the study of how behaviour evolves in response to selection pressures from ecology and the social environment. His current work focuses on the interactions between cuckoos and their hosts, and Professor Davies has recently published Cuckoo: cheating by nature (Bloomsbury), as well as having previously co-authored a number of definitive primers on Behavioural Ecology.

Professor Roger Davies is the Philip Wetton Professor of Astrophysics at Oxford University and a Student of Christ Church. He is Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and of the Institute of Physics and was recently elected the Fellowship of University College London. His research interests centre on cosmology and how galaxies form and evolve. He has a longstanding interest in astronomical instruments and telescopes and has pioneered the use of a new class of astronomical spectrograph to measure the masses and ages of galaxies, as well as search for black holes in their nuclei.

Dr Justin Gerlach (Wadham College, 1988) is a Senior Teaching Member at Robinson College, Cambridge and an affiliated researcher at the University Museum of Zoology.  He was born in the Seychelles and growing up there he became passionate about nature and conservation. He completed his PhD in Zoology at the University of Oxford before joining the research team at the University of Cambridge and his research interests cover all aspects of tropical island ecology, evolution and conservation. Species of particular interest include the Seychelles giant tortoises, sheath-tailed bat, sooglossids frogs, caecilians and the tiger chameleon.

Dr Jamie Greenbaum is currently a visiting Fellow at Peking National University, researching the history of early Chinese utopias and the early Northern State of Yan (the area around and to the north of present-day Beijing). He has travelled widely in China and lectured on both ancient and contemporary China. He has accompanied seven previous alumni tours.

Dr Alexander Herrera is Associate Professor at the Department of Art History, Universidad de los Andes, Colombia. Professor Herrera knows all of Colombia`s archaeological parks and is well acquainted with the material culture of the broader region, regularly leading study trips, directing research on collections, and bringing together artists and scholars at learned meetings.  A Cambridge graduate, he specialises in the prehistory of the central Andes region from a socio-ecologic perspective, having conducted field research in Bolivia, Peru and Colombia. He is currently writing Water Ancestors and Memory, a summary of 15 years’ work on the technical and symbolic dimensions of water management. He has also been working to apply knowledge derived from ancient techniques to rural development today.

Professor Alexei Leporc is a Curator of Western European Art at the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg. As well as his curatorial responsibilities, he is also Professor of 15th–20th century West European art and architecture at St Petersburg Europe University and has previously held research and teaching positions at Institutes of Art History in Vienna, Munich and Berlin. Professor Leporc has accompanied several highly successful Oxford alumni visits to Russia.

Charles Melville is Professor of Persian History and Director of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Cambridge.  Professor Melville has been a long-serving member of the Governing Council of the British Institute of Persian Studies and chairman of the Research Committee, and is currently Vice-President.  Since 1999, he has been Director of the Shahnama Project, and since 2006 he has been President of The Islamic Manuscript Association (TIMA), both based in Cambridge.  In 2010 he was behind an exhibition of Persian manuscripts and paintings of the Shahnama (Persian Book of Kings) at the Fitzwilliam Museum. He has travelled widely in Central Asia and Iran (both before and after the Islamic Revolution).

Professor Charles Ramble specialises in Himalayan anthropology and has spent over 15 years living in Nepal working as an anthropologist and a naturalist. Until recently he was University Lecturer in Tibetan and Himalayan Studies at the Faculty of Oriental Studies at the University of Oxford. He currently holds a professorship in Tibetan history and philology at the École Pratique des Hautes Études (Sorbonne University) in Paris. He has travelled extensively in the Himalayan region and has led previous successful Alumni visits to Nepal and Bhutan.

David Tolley (Harris Manchester, 1995) is a Tutor in Fine Art at the Ruskin School. He exhibits his own fine art photography worldwide and is a successful commercial photographer. David’s primary interests lie in the interplay between art, literature, and film: exploring the ephemeral in art, and the relationship between past and present, fact and fiction. He works mainly with photography and HD-video. He has recently been making works in collaboration with performance artist, and Ruskin tutor, Brian Catling. In October they exhibited in Leipzig in Germany, at the British Council funded exhibition Kunst Fuer Tiere/Art for Animals, held at Halle Zoo.  Coiner, their animated short film, was selected for a film festival in Modern Art Oxford and shown in the Swedenborg Society in London – part of a group show organised by the Parlour Collective. He has also exhibited his photography in group-shows at Modern Art Oxford: The Oxford Show and The Oxford Open. David is also a College Lecturer in English at Hertford College, Oxford.

Nirvana Romell is a freelance lecturer on the history of Western art, including Balkan art and culture. She has given numerous talks and accompanied tours of permanent and temporary exhibitions for organisations such as the Manchester City Art Gallery, The Walker National Gallery in Liverpool and the National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies (NADFAS).  

Colonel Nick Lipscombe is a historian specialising in the Napoleonic Wars, in particular the Peninsular War, and is a lecturer at the Department for Continuing Education at the University of Oxford. He has written numerous books about the Napoleonic Wars including An Atlas and Concise Military History of the Peninsular War which was published in 2010.  

Dr Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough is Associate Professor in Medieval History and Literature at Durham University. She cut her teeth in the Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic at Cambridge, where she completed her MA, MPhil and PhD (on landscape and identity in the Old Norse-Icelandic sagas) and then defected to the dreaming spires of Oxford, where she was a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow based at The Queen's College. She is now a regular presenter for Radio 3's arts and culture programme, Free Thinking. Nordic-flavoured documentaries for Radio 3 include True Norse, Supernatural North and Immortal North. Programmes for Radio 4 include Costing the Earth (on climate change in Svalbard) and Open Country (on the Isle of Lewis during the Viking Age). Eleanor is the author of Beyond the Northlands: Viking Voyages and the Old Norse Sagas (Oxford University Press, 2016), on Viking Age far-travellers and Iceland's storytelling saga culture.

Dr Peter Collins is a Senior Research Fellow in Mathematics, St Edmund Hall and has given invited lectures in more than 30 countries, including holding senior visiting positions in the United States, France and New Zealand. He is also a keen wine enthusiast and is a regular participant at the Alumni Weekend in Oxford, running his popular wine tasting session.

Gillian Gloyer studied ancient languages at Wadham College and was president of the Oxford University Archaeology Society. She lived in Albania for four years, directing a long-term training programme with mid-career politicians from 12 parties. Gillian is the author of the Bradt Travel Guide to Albania, now in its fifth edition (January 2015). 

Dr Jacke Phillips is a Fellow in the Department of Art History and Archaeology, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Her fieldwork in Ethiopia includes five seasons as Assistant Director of the Aksum Archaeological Project and her current project focuses on the 13th century transition from the Zagwe to Solomonic dynasties in the Lalibela region, and the Eastern Tigray region in the 4th-5th centuries. She also worked on the Ethiopian Heritage Conservation Project to develop the new Aksum museum.

Dr Neil Faulkner (King's, University of Cambridge, 1977) is an Archaeological Research Fellow at Bristol University and specialist in Roman, Anglo Saxon and First World War archaeology. He is the author of numerous books including Lawrence of Arabia's War and The Decline and Fall of Roman Britain.

Zara Fleming is an art historian, exhibition curator and lecturer specialising in the art and culture of Buddhist countries. Initially based at the Victoria & Albert Museum, she has also worked with the Central Asian Department of Bonn University, the Orient Foundation and Asia House.

Dr Peter Sharrock (Downing, University of Cambridge, 1963) is a Senior Teaching Fellow at SOAS and is currently writing a book on Buddhist art in Southeast Asia and in particular the island of Java. Dr Sharrock made his first visit to Southeast Asia  in 1970 when he became Reuters’ correspondent in Cambodia and Vietnam. He reported the American war there and in Laos for four years and discovered how, as the French say, Indochina ‘attaches to the skin’. He obtained his doctorate on Buddhism and Imperial politics as discerned through the sacred art of the Khmer civilization from the London School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) where he now lectures and researches.

Professor James Lewis is Associate Professor of Korean History at the University of Oxford. His particular research interests are the cultural, economic and social histories of premodern Korea and the history of Korean-Japanese relations prior to 1850. Editor, author and co-author of many books about the history of Korea, Professor Lewis is currently preparing a monograph on the economic history of Korea from 1400-1900 and translating the Korin Teise, an early 18th Century Japanese view of Korea and diplomatic relations with the Joseon Dynasty.

Dr Daniela Arroyo Barrantes is Professor of History and Heritage Management at the University of Costa Rica. Previous to this, she gained a PhD in Archaeology from the University of Cambridge and a degree in Earth and Archaeological Sciences from the University of Rome. Dr Arroyo Barrantes has extensive fieldwork experience across different geographies, including Latin America, the Middle East and Europe. At UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre, she worked towards the conservation of natural and cultural sites around the world. She has also led hundreds of scholar visits in the UK, Italy, France and Turkey.

Dr Joanna Page is Director of the Centre of Latin American Studies, University of Cambridge. She has travelled to Argentina to undertake fieldwork every year for the past two decades and has an unrivalled passion for the country, offering valuable insights into Argentine history, politics and culture. Dr Page teaches the University of Cambridge’s  MPhil in Latin American Studies and the MPhil in European, Latin American and Comparative Literatures and Cultures. Her particular area of research is Argentinian literature and film-making and the lectures on the trip will introduce you to some of the most important themes in Argentine society and culture, vividly illustrated with audiovisual material.