About Us

Meet the team


Sensing the Forest brings an interdisciplinary team of artists and scientists together to work on a timely issue using an original approach to gaining knowledge about the connection between forests and climate change that can have a local, national and global impact. The democratisation of these tools is essential to progress in the field.

Meet the team

Photo of Anna Xambó

Dr Anna Xambó (PI, Queen Mary University of London)

Anna Xambó is a researcher and musician. Her research and practice focus on building and evaluating interactive music systems for music creation and performance using human-computer interaction research. She is a Senior Lecturer in Sound and Music Computing and a member of the Centre for Digital Music (C4DM) at School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science (EECS), Queen Mary University of London.

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Dr Peter Batchelor (CI, De Montfort University)

Peter Batchelor is a Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader in Music Technology, and member of the Music, Technology and Innovation - Institute of Sonic Creativity (MTI2) at De Montfort University, Leicester. His creative activities encompass a range of electroacoustic composition and sound-making work, including radiophonic documentary, live-electronics and improvisation, multimedia and large-scale multi-channel installation work. Research interests that arise from this practice include: aural landscape construction in sonic arts practice; sound spatialisation/immersion; theories of space; place and listening as they pertain to sound; audience engagement and public art.

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Dr Michael Bell (CI, Forest Research)

Mike Bell is Climate Scientist at Forest Research. Mike supports research at the Straits Inclosure long-term carbon dioxide flux monitoring site, helping to maintain sensors and data acquisition systems. As well as this, he is involved with routine data collection for the Environmental Change Network site and the ICP forests “Level II” programme. For both of these programmes, he is responsible for running the associated automated weather stations at Forest Research sites. Mike joined Forest Research as an Environmental Research Assistant in the Climate Change group in 2018 after obtaining a PhD in Environmental Science from the University of Reading. His PhD research focussed on the ecohydrology of blanket peatlands and their sensitivity to climate change.

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Dr Georgios Xenakis (CI, Forest Research)

Georgios Xenakis’ work focuses on measuring the carbon, water and energy balances of upland Sitka spruce plantations. Using micrometeorological techniques and eco-physiological process-based models, George quantifies the effect forest management has on carbon dynamics. George is also the manager of the Harwood Forest GHG monitoring site. His other research focuses on the drought effect on trees, both on the ecosystem and individual tree scale. George currently leads a manipulation experiment investigating the physiology of young trees during the recovery from drought.

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Dr Luigi Marino (Research Fellow in Sound and Music Computing, Queen Mary University of London)

Luigi Marino’s work focuses on networks able to display relationships between human and nonhuman actors, and especially on how intuitive decisions can derail a pre-existing order. He is an active improvisor performing on both electronic media and percussion, in particular zarb and bowed custom cymbals extended with DIY portable circuits.

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Hazel Stone (Forestry England)

Hazel Stone is the National Curator of Contemporary Art at Forestry England. Award-winning curator Hazel Stone has an established career that spans curating and commissioning contemporary art in the landscape, exhibition design, artist development, and learning. Her portfolio includes roles such as Curator of the Sidney Cooper Gallery, Director of Curious Planet, Lecturer and Arts Development Manager for the North of England for Forestry England, as well as Curator for Grizedale Forest. From 2016 to 2023, Hazel led the art programme for one of the largest outdoor galleries in the UK at Grizedale Forest, with over 50 sculptures in the landscape, maintaining and developing strategic partnerships to grow this nationally significant collection. She has initiated and supported a range of projects across the UK and internationally, bringing a wealth of experience, making her a driving force in the intersection of art, nature, and engagement. This expertise continues in her current role as National Curator of Contemporary Art for Forestry England, spearheading the development of contemporary art, architecture, and innovation in the nation’s forests through new commissions, publications, partnerships, residency programmes and touring exhibitions.

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Dr Krishna Nama Manjunatha (CI, De Montfort University)

Krishna Nama Manjunatha is a Senior Lecturer in Micro and Nano Electronics at De Montfort University. Krishna is interested in synthesis, development, and characterisation of nanoscale materials and their applications in emerging areas of electronics as well as in the growth of silicon nanostructures and its application in charge storage (memory and Li-Ion batteries) and charge generation (photovoltaics).

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Ashok Karavadra (Senior Technician, De Montfort University)

Ashok Karavadra is a Senior Technician at De Montfort University.

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Danielle Grimsey (Forestry England)

Danielle Grimsey is the Visitor Services Manager at Alice Holt Forest and works alongside Max Gravestock. With her main focus being on visitors, her role combines her love for the outdoors and a commitment to providing visitors with an immersive and unforgettable connection to nature. Beyond the trees and trails, Danielle is passionate about creating opportunities for educational exploration, developing a deeper understanding and appreciation for the diverse ecosystems within our forest which is why she is excited to be a part of this project. Danielle started her role in September 2023 and still has lots to learn about how we can tell the beautiful, historical story of Alice Holt Forest.

Photo of Max Gravestock

Max Gravestock (Forestry England)

Max Gravestock is the Site Manager at Alice Holt Forest (Forestry England) managing over 260 hectares of woodland at a busy visitor site that sees over 450,000 visitors a year. While Danielle focuses on the people and visitors, Max focuses on the site and its features including but not limited to: Mixed woodlands, Ponds, Meadows, Streams, Walking and cycling trails, play areas, and much more. Max’s passion has always been in countryside management and finds great joy in starting an ambitious project, managing the works (or issues!) throughout and seeing the end product not only for the benefit of the site and its inhabitants but also the visitors who can enjoy and learn from the project and will go on to share what they have seen or learnt to others. Max has worked at Alice Holt for about 2.5 years now and still has much more to learn from this site with a rich history dating back to the Roman era, and is always looking for ways to tell the site’s story in new and interesting ways.

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Nick Wardlaw (Forestry England)

Nick Wardlaw is the District Recreation Manager coving Visitor Centres in Forestry England’s South District. Nick works closely with Max Gravestock and Danielle Grimsey on how we can improve our offer for visitors and how they connect with our Forest at Alice Holt. Nick has been with Forestry England for 10 years working in both habitat conservation, and for the last four years his focus has been on connecting visitors with the forests. He takes great joy in knowing that the team’s work helps over a million people a year to learn to love and care for the outdoors environment.

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Johana Knowles (Forestry England)

Johana Knowles is a Visitor Services Officer at the Alice Holt Forest. Johana works at Alice Holt Forest in the Visitor Centre and is very interested in improving how to communicate to the Alice Holt’s visitors through on site interpretation and digital media. Alice Holt has a fascinating social and ecological history that she thinks enhances a visitor’s experience of this place. We are still learning how to tell this story but she believes artistic intervention is an important part of achieving that. Johana comes from an arts background and is currently completing a masters in Illustration at Kingston University. Her art practice seeks to foster a sense of shared identity through place. She wants to tell stories in exciting and dynamic ways, in the hope of changing the way people think about the world for the better.

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Dr Matthew Wilkinson (Advisor, Forest Research)

Matt Wilkinson is a Programme Manager of the Natural Capital Ecosystem Assessment (NCEA), has been Co-Investigator of the project until January 2024 and is currently a project advisor. The focus of his research is to improve our understanding of forest carbon and greenhouse gas (GHG) balances and how they may be impacted by management, environmental and climate change. Matt’s particular work focuses on using a combination of surface flux techniques across a range of scales to understand the processes controlling C and GHG cycling within forest ecosystems. In addition to leading several GHG and forest monitoring related projects, he has managed the Straits Flux Research Site within the Alice Holt Research Forest for > ten years. Matt is also interested in developing new techniques and sensors for trace gas flux measurements and forest monitoring. Matt joined Forest Research in 2001. He graduated from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth in 1995 with a BSc (Hons) in Agriculture and the Environment and then obtained an MSc in Crop Production in the Changing Environment in 1996 from the University of Essex. He completed his PhD by Publication at the University of Portsmouth.

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Kok Ho Huen (Advisor, Queen Mary University of London)

Kok Ho Huen is Electronics Teaching Lab Manager and is a Technical Advisor of the project.

Mazharia Rahman (Advisor, Queen Mary University of London)

Mazharia Rahman is an EECS Finance Assistant.

Zainab Tarki (Advisor, De Montfort University)

Zainab Tarki was the Finance Officer of the project from September 2023 until December 2024.

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Gerard Roma (Advisor, University of West London)

Gerard Roma has extensive experience in research and development in the field of sound and music computing and is a Technical Advisor of the project. He is also a practitioner in electronic and computer music. His research interests include audio analysis and synthesis, digital musical instruments, intelligent audio processing, audio source separation and environmental sound recognition.

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Frederic Font (Advisor, Universitat Pompeu Fabra)

Frederic Font is a senior researcher at Phonos, a pioneering centre in the field of music technology research associated with the Music Technology Group of Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, and is a Technical Advisor of the project. At the Music Technology Group, he leads the Freesound project and all Freesound-related research.

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Aleksander Skutnik (Queen Mary University of London)

Aleksander Skutnik is a BSc Computer Science final year student at Queen Mary University of London. For his final year project, he has decided to undertake a research based topic within the Sensing the Forest project under the supervision of Dr Anna Xambó. His areas of interest and academic experience include probabilistic algorithms and risk analysis, as well as research experience in cognitive and sociocultural areas of psychology. Aleksander also has experience in community organising, advocacy and charity work for a range of organisations which include event and campaign planning.

Photo of Shuoyang Zheng

Shuoyang Zheng (Queen Mary University of London)

Shuoyang Zheng is a PhD student at the Centre for Digital Music (C4DM), Queen Mary University of London. His research is in the field of explainable AI for musical audio synthesis. His long-term research goal focuses on developing interactive and understandable AI systems that facilitate musical creation and expression, and on understanding how these technological advances impact artistic practices. He is equally interested in the aesthetical and ethical implications inherent to the development of AI.

Advisory Board

Photo of Mark Plumbley

Professor Mark Plumbley (Professor of Signal Processing, EPSRC Fellow in “AI for Sound”, University of Surrey)

Prof Mark Plumbley’s research concerns AI for Sound: using machine learning and signal processing for analysis and recognition of sounds. Mark’s focus is on detection, classification and separation of acoustic scenes and events, particularly real-world sounds, using methods such as deep learning, sparse representations and probabilistic models. Mark has published over 400 papers in journals, conferences and books, including over 70 journal papers and the recent Springer co-edited book on Computational Analysis of Sound Scenes and Events. Much of Mark’s research is funded by grants from EPSRC and EU, Innovate UK and other sources and currently holds an EPSRC Fellowship on “AI for Sound”.

Photo of Louise Fedotov-Clements

Louise Fedotov-Clements (Director of Photoworks, National Curator at Forestry England)

Louise Fedotov-Clements is a senior leader in the arts with 20+ yrs international experience. She is currently the Director of Photoworks and leads the National Contemporary Art Programme at Forestry England across 1500 forests, where she has implemented the strategic direction, developing creative partnership projects, residencies, publications and events at the intersection of art, design, architecture, environment and ecology. Previously Louise was the Artistic Director of QUAD a centre for contemporary art and film for 20 years and Co-Founder Director of FORMAT International Photography Festival for 18 years, where Louise led major international commissions, events, festivals and engagement locally, nationally and worldwide.

Photo of Leigh Landy

Professor Leigh Landy (Professor of Contemporary Music, Director of Music, Technology and Innovation - Institute for Sonic Creativity (MTI2), De Montfort University)

Prof Leigh Landy’s research concerns electroacoustic musical production and musical studies: in particular, electroacoustic musicology, music dramaturgy, access to/facilitating the making of electroacoustic music, electroacoustic music in a cross-arts context, composition and devising practices. The major projects, beyond compositions, include analysis project and EARS 2 pedagogical project with the development of its Compose with Sounds software (+ associated publications including my recent book “Making Music with Sounds”). Leigh is editor of the international journal of music technology Organised Sound (Cambridge University Press) and author of over 100 articles and eight books.


Bret Battey (MTI2, DMU), Mike Baynham (University of Leeds), the Future Research Leaders 8 Cohort (DMU), Finella Bottomley (Leicester City Council), Tom Moore (DMU), Auwal Muktar Dodo (DMU), Gaia Rossetti (University of Nottingham), Lucy Gregson-Green (DMU), Meera Warrier (University of Leicester), Deborah Cartmell (DMU), Emma Vadher (DMU), Raffaella Villa (CEM, DMU), James Russell (CEM, DMU), Shushma Patel (CEM, DMU), Allan Taylor (LMS/CEM, DMU), James Andean (MTI2, DMU), Simon Atkinson (MTI2, DMU), John Young (MTI2, DMU), Janette Ratcliffe (DMU), Talent Acquisition Team (DMU), Krishna Vandra (TA, DMU), Emma Inch (TA, DMU), Ashiyah Banglawala (TA, DMU), Poonam Patel (HR, DMU), Monika Bednarczyk (HR, DMU), Val Milner (HR, DMU), Brijesh Thanki (CEM, DMU), Afzal Ghumra (DMU), Rachel Beeby (CEM, DMU), Lindsey Trent (CEM, DMU), Anne Galt (CEM, DMU), Zoe Cox (Forestry England), Jonathan McGloin (Forestry England), David Naylor (DMU), Shivalli (Leicester), Julie Macdonald (QMUL), Hayley Cork (QMUL), Sharon Cordin (QMUL), Jasmina Bolfek-Radovani (QMUL), Elzbieta Poplawska (QMUL), Jan Clarke (QMUL), Laura Kennard (QMUL), Annie Lewis (QMUL), Serena Bancroft (QMUL), Tania Sultana (QMUL), Jenny Martin (DMU), Gemma Goodman (DMU).