Meet the Team
Professor Yvonne McDermott Rees
Yvonne is a Professor of Law at Swansea University, United Kingdom. Prior to establishing TRUE, she was Principal Investigator on OSR4Rights, a multi-disciplinary project funded by the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council that examined how open source research has transformed the landscape of human rights fact-finding. Yvonne is Legal Advisor to the Global Legal Action Network (GLAN) and an Associate Academic Fellow of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple.
Vanessa is a research assistant for the project and a PhD student in Experimental Psychology at University College London. Her research is in cognition and decision-making, specifically focusing on how people ascribe blame in moral and legal contexts. She holds a BSc degree in Psychology and a MSc in Social Cognition from UCL.
Anne is a PhD student in Law at Swansea University, United Kingdom. Prior to joining TRUE, she worked for a German NGO in science communication, and at a law firm in Berlin. Anne holds an LLM in International Criminal Law and Human Rights Law from Bangor University, United Kingdom, and a Bachelor of European Studies from Maastricht University in the Netherlands.
Michael is a research assistant on the project. He recently completed a master’s in Data in Society and Culture at King’s College London and holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley. Michael is also a researcher with Mnemonic, an organization focused on preserving digital documentation of human rights violations and international crimes.
Dr Alice Liefgreen
Postdoctoral Research Associate
Alice is an experimental psychologist working in the Hillary Rodham Clinton School of Law, Swansea University, United Kingdom. Prior to working on the project TRUE, she worked as a post-doctoral research fellow at University College London, the University of Reading, and the Oxford Institute of the Internet. In February 2022 she obtained a PhD in Experimental Psychology from University College London. Alice’s research focuses on investigating the psychological underpinnings of human judgment and decision-making under uncertainty, predominantly within legal-investigative domains.
Rebecca is an applied linguist and PhD student on the project, focusing on the discourse of jury deliberations in terms of the perceived trustworthiness of user-generated evidence. Her research interests lie broadly within the areas of discourse analysis, conversation analysis, Welsh sociolinguistics, and corpus linguistics. She holds a BA (Honours) Degree in English Language and Linguistics from the University of the West of England, which she completed in May 2022. She also holds an MA Degree in Applied Linguistics from Cardiff University, which she completed in 2023.
Ruben Lamers James
Ruben has joined the TRUE project as a PhD student in Psychology at Swansea University, United Kingdom. Ruben has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology with Biology from the University of St Andrews and a master’s degree at the University of Bath in Applied Psychology and Economic Behaviour. His research focuses on cognitive processing and factors influencing people's decision-making. The topic of the PhD will involve examining factors affecting trust in user-generated evidence and how these may influence human deepfake detection ability.
Dr Ruth Horry
Psychology Researcher & PhD Co-Supervisor
Dr Ruth Horry is a cognitive psychologist whose research focuses on how people integrate different sources of information to make decisions. Much of her work is applied to the criminal justice system – including how jurors and other triers of fact evaluate evidence and how eyewitness make decisions from police lineups. In addition to her academic role, Dr Horry is also a Senior Behavioural Scientist within CogCo, an organisation that applies insights from behavioural science to help improve individuals’ lives.
Dr Gabriela Jiga-Boy
Dr Gabriela Jiga-Boy is a social psychologist interested in how thoughts (memories, forecasts, values) shape current and expected emotions. Her research belongs to the fields of social cognition and applied social psychology. The topics she currently investigates are: whether mindfulness can provide skills that help people regulate future-orientated emotions, whether trust can explain political partisanship, and what helps us align our motivation and performance with our emotional states, goals, and values, and with what consequences.
Dr Katy Vaughan
Law Researcher & PhD Co-Supervisor
Dr Katy Vaughan is a Lecturer in Law at Swansea University. Her research interests lie broadly within the areas on counterterrorism law and policy, human rights, and public law. More specifically the impact of the regulation of online content on human rights protection. She is a member of the Cyber Threats Research Centre (CYTREC), the VOX-Pol Network of Excellence, and the Christchurch Call Advisory Network. This year, Katy has been a member of GIFCT’s Legal Frameworks Working Group and has led on the group’s output on the interoperability of terrorism definitions.
Professor Nuria Lorenzo-Dus
Linguistics Researcher & PhD Co-Supervisor
Nuria is Professor of Linguistics and Digital Communication at Swansea University. She is the author of several books and over seventy journal articles and book chapters and has held visiting research positions in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, New Zealand, Spain and the USA. Her research examines interpersonal and intergroup communication in cyber-crime contexts, with a particular focus on child sexual grooming and ideological extremism. Her research has attracted substantial research funding and features extensive collaboration with academic teams and leading stakeholder groups worldwide. Nuria's latest initiative is Project DRAGON-S.
Claire Adionyi is an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya. She is a holder of an LLM in International Human Rights Law from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. She also holds an LLB Degree (Hons) from the University of Nairobi and a post-graduate diploma in law from the Kenya School of Law. She is currently pursuing her PhD studies at the University of Pretoria under the Institute of International and Comparative Law in Africa (ICLA) in South Africa and her PhD focuses on open source evidence and accountability for human rights violations. Claire is the Research Director at Strathmore Law School and is a member of the Strathmore University Research Committee, she is a member of the Strathmore Law School Management Committee, a Research Fellow at the Strathmore Institute of Advanced Studies in International Criminal Justice (SIASIC) and a Lecturer of International Criminal Law.
Ruwadzano Patience Makumbe
Ruwadzano Patience Makumbe is a Zimbabwean human rights lawyer and doctoral researcher under the European Research Council funded project ‘DISSECT: Evidence in International Human Rights Adjudication’ at the Human Rights Centre, Ghent University (Belgium). Her research looks at the use of digital open-source information as evidence in international human rights adjudication. In 2022, she spent four months at the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights, University of Oxford, as a Research Visitor working under the ‘Civil liability for Human Rights Violations’ Project. Her career has involved human rights activism, advocacy, conducting research and legal practice in the judiciary and civil society in Southern Africa, the UK and Asia. In 2020 and 2021, she worked for the Asia Justice Coalition as its International Human Rights and Justice Advocacy, Campaigns and Communications Fellow.
Konstantina is a Fellow of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Researcher in the programme ‘Human Rights and International Criminal Law’ at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Fundamental and Human Rights in Vienna, and PhD candidate at the Law Faculty of the University of Vienna focusing on the use of user-generated evidence in international criminal proceedings. In addition, Konstantina is a Lecturer at the University of Vienna in the postgraduate programme ‘Human Rights’. Konstantina holds an undergraduate degree from Panteion University of Athens and an LL.M. in Public International Law from Utrecht University.
Ulic Egan is a PhD candidate and Swansea University Research Excellence Scholar (SURES) at the Hillary Rodham-Clinton School of Law, where he is undertaking a socio-legal intersectional analysis of the role of technology in the investigation of conflict-related sexual and gender-based violence. He is also a Program Manager for the Institute for International Criminal Investigations (IICI) in The Hague. Ulic is an attorney at law and holds a Bachelor of Civil Law degree from the National University of Ireland, Galway and an LL.M. in International Criminal Law from the Irish Centre for Human Rights.
Karolina is a Lecturer in Law at Tallinn University in Estonia with previous experience at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals and Global Rights Compliance. She has worked for the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights, where she is also the previous Editor-in-Chief of the Utrecht Journal of International and European Law. Karolina has published on a variety of international criminal and humanitarian law topics, including in the Journal of International Criminal Justice, Journal of International Humanitarian Legal Studies, Annotated Leading Cases of International Criminal Tribunals, Oxford Reports on International Law and several edited collections. Karolina holds an LLB degree from the University of Southampton and an LLM by research degree from Utrecht University. Her PhD at Swansea University focused on structural investigations and domestic prosecutions of core international crimes in armed conflicts in Syria/Northern Iraq and Eastern Ukraine.