PhD Students

Linda Adams

Linda Adams

Name: Linda Adams

Area of Research: Music Cognition

Thesis Title: Investigating Harmonic Expectation

Supervisor: Dr. Patricia Flynn



Linda Adams is a musician and PhD researcher in audio technologies and music cognition. Her current research involves an investigation into the effects of harmonic context on expectation in musicians and non-musicians. Linda graduated with a BA in Jazz Performance from Newpark Music Centre in 2007. She subsequently began performing with various ensembles and composing for and performing with her own piano trio. In 2014 she received a M.Phil in Music and Media Technologies. She has since published research on methods of MIDI humanisation and generative composition in MaxMSP, object-based audio, and music cognition. She has presented at conferences in Ireland and internationally and was recently awarded a scholarship to attend the 2019 Sound and Music Computing Summer School. Linda joined the faculty of Newpark Music Centre in 2007 and began teaching Piano Studies and Harmony on their BA in Jazz Performance. She currently teaches on DCU’s BA in Jazz and Contemporary Music Performance, lecturing in Piano, Harmony, Arranging, Music Technology and Aural Training.



John Alderdice

John Alderdice

Name: John Alderdice

Areas of Research: Part-time PhD researcher exploring the relationship between Ordained Ministry in the Methodist Church in Ireland and Servant Leadership Theory.

Working Thesis Title: Servant Leadership as a paradigm for Ordained Ministry in the contemporary Methodist Church in Ireland. 

Supervisors: Dr Gabriel Flynn and Prof Patrick Flood (DCU Business School)

John is husband to Ruth and dad to Hannah and Daniel. He is an Ordained Minister of the Methodist Church in Ireland and currently serves as the denomination’s Director of Ministry. He is also involved with leadership development as the Director of Arrow Leadership Ireland. He is deeply interested in how the church needs to be shaped or reshaped to fulfil its calling in today’s world and the type of leadership that is required to do this. 

He holds a BA in Modern History from Queen’s University Belfast, a Bachelor of Divinity also from Queen’s University, and a Master of Arts in Evangelism Studies from the University of Sheffield.

He is a rugby watching, tech lover, mac geek, guitar player, Man Utd fan, book collector, music listener, geocache finder and loves the idea of getting out more to run and cycle!

Lina Andonovska

Lina Andonovska

Name: Lina Andonovska

Areas of Research: Contemporary Western art music, classical music, artist entrepreneurship, practice-based research

Thesis Title (working title): The 21st Century Musician: entrepreneurship through the performance of contemporary Western art music

Supervisor: Dr Patricia Flynn

Curiosity, fearlessness and versatility carry Lina Andonovska’s artistry around the globe. Andonovska is a rare breed in the flute world; a Name that you’ll discover on both the pages of Rolling Stone and the Australian Chamber Orchestra roster. She has not only cultivated partnerships with leading artists including Louis Andriessen, Donnacha Dennehy, Claire Chase and Bryce Dessner, but also deep community ties from Timor Leste to Tokyo’s Wonder Site.

She has collaborated with Ensemble Modern, Crash Ensemble, Deutsches Kammerorchester, stargaze and eighth blackbird. Recent credits include performances at the Berlin Philharmonie, New Music Dublin, Musica Nova Helsinki and a solo show as part of the Melbourne International Arts Festival that was noted as “re-defining the act of going solo “ (​The Age)​.​  Lina released her debut solo album with Diatribe Records label in early 2020, which was described as “brimming with energy and bold textures, though marked throughout by nuance. A Name to watch out for.” (All About Jazz). She will be joining the line-up of Grammy Award-winning ensemble ‘eighth blackbird’ when restrictions lift and will be commencing PhD studies at Dublin City University in late 2020.


Kevin Boushel

Kevin Boushel

Name: Kevin Boushel

Areas of Research: Choral Studies, American music, Contemporary music, Music Analysis

Thesis title: Towards the New Transcendental: The development of non-functional tonal harmony in a cappella choral music in the United States during the Twentieth Century.

Supervisor: Dr Barbara Dignam

Kevin is a choral practitioner and researcher from Dublin. He directs several choirs including Clermont Chorale and Acallam Men's Choir, and sings in the Palestrina Choir of St Mary's Pro-Cathedral Dublin. Kevin has experience teaching music at all levels, from preschool to tertiary. Following his Bachelor's in Music at Maynooth University, he studied Advanced Choral Conducting and Music Pedagogy at the Kodály Institute of the Liszt Academy in Hungary. Kevin then was a member of the first MA in Choral Studies class at DCU. Kevin has participated in conducting masterclasses with many internationally acclaimed conductors, such as Eimear Noone, Eric Whitacre, and Josep Vila i Casañas. 

Kevin's doctoral research focuses on the new style of choral harmony prevalent among contemporary American composers such as Eric Whitacre, Morten Lauridsen, and Libby Larsen. Kevin is a member of the Society for Musicology in Ireland, the American Choral Directors Association, the Association of British Choral Directors, and Sing Ireland. Kevin is also a member of the Executive Committee of Conradh na Gaeilge, and is a regular contributor on Dublin's Raidió na Life 106.4FM.

Dermot Byrne

Dermot Byrne

Name: Dermot Byrne

Areas of Research: Inter-faith and Inter-convictional dialogue and relations, Radical Islamism, Religious Extremism, Terrorism, Political Theology, Secularism, Post-Secularism, Liberalism, Jewish Philosophy,

Thesis Title: To Be Confirmed

Supervisors: Dr Joseph Rivera and Dr Peter Admirand


Master of Arts in Religion (2020) Yale University, Bachelor of Arts in Theology and Religious Studies (2018) KU Leuven

Dermot’s thesis will seek to explore ways in which the liberal political sphere (often said to be lacking in positive communal values) can be enriched through insights from inter-religious dialogue and Jewish philosophies of encounter. This shall also include a consideration of ways in which a shifting and post-Catholic Irish identity can be inclusive of ethnic and religious minorities which may be more attuned to a traditional and communally oriented ethos than the dominant liberal culture. The overarching aim of the thesis shall be to seek ways to uphold social cohesion and avoid the disintegration and polarisation that are evident in numerous other Western liberal democracies.

Prior to joining DCU Dermot was a graduate student at Yale Divinity School from 2018 – 2020. While there he also worked as a researcher at Yale’s Department of Political Science. He attained his B.A. at KU Leuven in Belgium from 2015 – 2018. Much of his studies have focused on the phenomenon of religiously inspired violence and terrorism. Academia aside, Dermot is a qualified carpenter and joiner by trade who has also dabbled in a little pig and poultry farming. He enjoys keeping up with current affairs, walking in the Wicklow hills, cooking and indulging his epicurean proclivities with various cheeses, meats and whiskeys!

Helena connolly

Helena Connolly

Name: Helena Connolly

Areas of Research: Theological anthropology, Biblical studies, women’s spirituality, Sacramental theology,

Thesis Title: The New Illuminators: Women in Search of Spiritual Authority and Resilience (NISAR). This NISAR research project is an Irish Research Council funded PhD.

Supervisors: Dr Amanda Dillon and Dr Brad Anderson

M.Phil. (2020) Christian Theology, Loyola Institute, Trinity College Dublin; Post Graduate Diploma (2005) Chaplaincy Studies, St Patrick’s College Maynooth; Post Graduate Certificate in Education (2002) Secondary Education / Music, The University of Edinburgh; BMus hons (2001) Music, Queens University of Belfast

Helena is a recent graduate from the Loyola Institute, Trinity College Dublin where she secured the 2019 Sean O’Riordan scholarship. She is also an alumni of The University of Edinburgh and Queen’s University Belfast. Helena’s thesis focuses on the spiritual autonomy gained, exercised and expressed by women actively engaged in the practice of Bible journaling – a practice that nurtures women’s faith and their unique experience of God within an honest and vibrant spirituality. Her research explores how this emerging trend empowers women to find meaning beyond traditional and androcentric readings of the text handed on from male authority and the implications on gender complementarity and the nature of women’s authority in the Church. Bible journaling enables the Bible to function as Word of God for women in a fresh and important way and gives voice to that which has been silenced in patriarchal theology. To discover the reimagining’s of biblical texts by women’s journal entries is an exciting research area.  By undertaking this research Helena will explore and interpret women’s experience and spiritual practice and bring them into the framework of current theological discourse.

Helena is a professional photographer, singer/songwriter and musician. In 2018 she published her book Prayerful Ireland, a contemplative book of photographs and


Daniel Crean

Name: Daniel Crean

Areas of Research: Research integrity

Thesis title: Teaching research integrity. A systematic analysis of current approaches and recommendations for improvement

Supervisors: Prof Bert Gordijn and Dr Alan Kearns


Danny is an assistant professor in Veterinary Medicine in University College Dublin, Ireland. He has a background in the biomedical sciences from undergraduate through to PhD degrees, and more recently completed an MA in Ethics from Dublin City University. Additionally, Danny is a group leader, and runs an active laboratory in the field of biomedical research. As an active researcher, he is aware of the environment and pressures which scientists face that can impact on scientific integrity, and has had a sustained interest in this dynamic throughout his career. Danny’s PhD focuses on comprehensively examining the ethics approaches employed in teaching research integrity, and whether the most promising approaches can be combined to maximise their strengths, while diminishing their weaknesses, without the inverse occurring. Ultimately, this work aims to advance the way in which research integrity teaching is done.


Freya Dasgupta

Freya Dasgupta

Name: Freya Dasgupta

Areas of Research: Jewish-Christian relations, Interfaith dialogue, Yiddish Literature, Jewish Studies

Thesis Title: In Pursuit of the Kingdom: Jewish-Christian Reconciliation in Sholem Asch's Fiction and Its Relevance to Interfaith Dialogue

Supervisors: Dr Peter Admirand and Dr Jonathan Kearney

M.Phil. (2018) Trinity College Dublin, Intercultural Theology and Interreligious Studies; M.A. (2011) Jamia Millia Islamia - New Delhi, Islamic Studies; B.A. (2009) Loreto College - University of Calcutta, English Literature

Freya's thesis focuses on Jewish-Christian reconciliation in Yiddish author Sholem Asch's fiction, especially in his depiction of biblical characters and use of Christian themes. Her broader research interests include interfaith dialogue between Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, the role of popular literature in promoting ideas of rapproachment, and the role of Yiddish in the formation of Jewish identity, especially one that counteracts aggressive ethno-nationalist tendencies. Born and raised in Calcutta, Freya did her B.A. in English Literature from Loreto College. She has a master's degree in Islamic Studies from Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, and another in Intercultural Theology and Interreligious Studies from Trinity College Dublin where her dissertation examined Asch's portrayal of Jesus as the arbiter between Judaism and Christianity in his novel The Nazarene. As a Junior Research Fellow under India's University Grant Commission, she taught 'Indian Religion and Culture' for two years at Jamia Millia Islamia. She has also had six years of experience working as a journalist for Outlook Magazine and Huffington Post India. Her obsession with Sholem Asch, the protagonist of her Ph.D., is well-known in Yiddishist circles, as she continues to learn his mame-loshn. Apart from teaching and promoting the marvellous canon of literature in Yiddish, she also aspires to write bestsellers like Asch. Freya prides herself on being a bit of an animal whisperer and spends much of her time in the company of tails. She is a rookie plant parent, frequently dabbles in art, and in the words of Sholem Aleichem: 'books—she swallows like dumplings'. She also likes dumplings.  

Martin Della Vecchia

Martin Della Vecchia

Name: Martin Della Vecchia

Research Area: Music Composition

Title: Seeing and sensing movement as an approach to music composition

Thesis Focus: How practices of seeing may advance compositional practice. How the affective responses to seeing movement can be articulated in sound design and music composition?

Supervisor: Dr Rhona Clarke and Dr Sean Doherty

My proposed research output is a portfolio of music compositions accompanied by a thesis. The common thread that will run through the body of compositions will be an understanding that music is rooted in the body’s interactions with the world. By investigating the experience of seeing and perceiving in music composition practice, I aim to advance on new techniques for composition and contribute to the understanding of the embodied origins of music, which is at the core of expanding knowledge of both music composers and scholars.

Tony Devlin

Tony Devlin

Name: Tony Devlin 

(I know that for DCU I'm officially Anthony, but no one calls me that!)

Areas of Research: Authority, Control and Dissent in post-Vatican II Catholicism, including the historical development of the concept of orthodoxy, Vatican II perspectives on doctrinal development, orthodoxy and control, Vatican II reception and the associated crises in magisterial authority, the attitudes to dissent evidenced in successive papacies, challenges and the nature of dissent in the 3rd millennium, the future for a pastoral magisterium 

Thesis Title: Theological Dissent – From Vatican II to the New Millennium

Supervisor: Dr Ethna Regan

Best described as a work-in-progress, I was born in 1952, and grew up in the 1960s when everything seemed possible (and actually was). Mairéad and I were married in 1973 and she has tolerated me now for nearly half a century. Her place in heaven is secure. We’ve been blessed with four children, all grown up and with children of their own now. One son and one daughter live overseas (Sweden and England) while one daughter and one son live here in Dublin. The eight grandchildren have been a surprise and delight in so many different ways it’s difficult to know where to begin, so I won’t. Each one is a wonder child.

I spent my working life in technology (software development) and travelled fairly extensively as an R&D Manager with Ericsson, the telecommunications company. I liked Sweden and Italy best of the places where I was stationed, so different from Ireland and so vibrant in their different ways. Now retired, I still do some technical work developing training programs for the Technology Ireland Skillnet. I also volunteer with that great organisation Trócaire, speaking in schools, lobbying politicians and promoting the message of Laudato Si’ about ‘the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor’. That mission took me to Geneva last year to support efforts to secure a binding UN Treaty on Business and Human Rights.

I have been a runner for most of my adult life. My marathon days are well over but I still enjoy the endorphin release of regular runs in the Phoenix Park. I write a lot, and not just for academic purposes. My stories and poems have enjoyed modest success over the years and in 2014 I published a historical novel Season of Snow which deals with those heroic heretics, the Cathars. 

maria douglas

Maria Douglas

Name: Maria Douglas

Areas of Research: Mariology, pneumatology [with a wider emphasis on trinitarian theology], Christian anthropology and soteriology, St. Pope John Paul II’s Man and Woman He Created Them: A Theology of the Body, the Marian and pneumatological writings of St. Maximilian Kolbe, development of doctrine, deposit of faith.

Thesis Title: Working thesis title in progress

Supervisor: Dr John Murray


2020 - M.Phil. in Christian Theology, Trinity College Dublin; 2011 - M.A. in Religion and Education Post-Primary, Mater Dei Institute, Dublin; 2010 - Bachelor of Religious Education and English Post-Primary, Mater Dei Institute, Dublin.

Maria is a recent graduate of the Loyola Institute, Trinity College Dublin where she secured the 2018 M.Phil. in Christian Theology Spiritan Mission Scholarship. She is an alumni of Mater Dei Institute, DCU and has extensive experience working within the voluntary and charity sector.

Maria’s research is funded by the DCU Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences PhD Scholarship Programme. It is concerned with interpreting the Marian and pneumatological titles found in the writings of St. Maximilian Kolbe through an anthropological lens. Maria’s research critically analyses the key concepts of St. Kolbe’s theological synthesis, namely in his doctrine on the Blessed Virgin as a) the ‘created Immaculate Conception’, b) the ‘complement of the Trinity’, c) the ‘quasi incarnatus of the Holy Spirit’ and it utilises the theological anthropology advanced by St. John Paul II’s ‘Theology of the Body’ as a hermeneutical tool.


In her research, the key concepts of communion and conception, divine action and human reaction intrinsic to Kolbean thought are assessed in tandem with the paradigms of inter-subjectivity and union, freedom and reciprocal gift defined anthropologically by John Paul II’s ‘Theology of the Body’. Through this relational lens, the core facets of St. Kolbe’s pedagogy on the personhood of Mary, on her participation in the inner life and work of the Trinity, and on her interrelatedness with God are analysed, not solely in virtue of the Divine Maternity, but in light of her identity as a locusof the Spirit’s sanctifying and divinising operations in the order of salvation.


Viji Eapen

Name: Viji Varghese Eapen

Areas of Research: Subaltern Studies, Liberation Theology, Ecclesiology and Liturgical Theology

Thesis Title: Consulting the Subalterns: Developing a Subaltern Dialectical Boundary Discourse for a Borderless Church

Supervisor: Dr Ethna Regan


Viji, from India, is pursuing his research located at the intersection of Theology and Subaltern Studies. His research seeks to examine two subaltern public discourses, Subaltern Studies and the theological appeal to subalternity. He aims to develop a “Subaltern Dialectical Boundary Discourse” for a borderless Church (a just and inclusive community). Previously he earned his Bachelor of Divinity (Hons.) in 2004 from the United Theological College, Bangalore and the Master of Theology in 2008 from the Federated Faculty for Research in Religion and Culture, Kottayam. Being an ordained minister in the Church of South India (a member of the Anglican Communion), he has spent almost fifteen years with several marginalised communities. Besides, he has also engaged in building eco-justice, inter-church communion and inter-faith dialogue.

He has already done two research works, one in the area of subaltern pneumatology, developing a new area called ‘Dalithics,’ by re-reading the Christian understanding of Holy Spirit in light of the Dalit understanding of the Mother Earth, and another, interdisciplinary research on Liturgical Theology and Ecclesiology.  He has edited and co-edited several books and authored several articles about ecclesiology and ethics, caste and gender studies, inter-religious studies, subaltern studies, liberation, postcolonial and public theologies, and liturgical studies which are his research interests.

In Dublin, he voluntarily serves as the Vicar of the CSI Congregation, as well as the president of an ecumenical union of Churches belonging to the Catholic, Protestant, Reformed and Eastern traditions. Both these roles offer prospects for him to practise the concepts that he explores in his current research on subaltern ecclesiology. During his leisure, Viji enjoys music (he composes hymns and lyrics), sports (cricket and football), engaging in meaningful conversations, and social networking. After his PhD, he plans to return to his Church and engage in theological education, particularly in the area of subaltern studies and theology.


Mark Farrell

Mark Farrell

Name: Mark Farrell

Thesis Working Title: An ethical assessment of Irish recordkeeping legislation and practice

Supervisors: Dr Alan Kearns and Professor Bert Gordijn

Originally from Dublin but living in Co Kildare for the last 25 years (so not too far from my origins!). I'm undertaking my PhD on a part-time basis so I spend a lot of time juggling work, research and family/leisure time. In my work environment I am an archivist, running my own company, which provides archive, library and other information services mostly to public sector clients. When not doing all of that, I like to get outside into the fresh air - lots of walking and the occasional bike journey. I also have an interest in history (no surprise, given what I do for a living) but also keep a close eye on current affairs, and I watch a good deal of sport too, when the opportunity arises. I'm married, with two children in their early twenties - so all in all I have lots of varied things to take up my time.


Giovanna Feeley

Name: Giovanna Feeley

Areas of research: liturgical music, ritual studies, pastoral theology, choral studies, chant performance

Thesis title: From Praise to Practice: the vocal and musical expression of the Alleluia as Gospel Acclamation in the Roman Rite Eucharistic celebration: tradition, principles, and practice

Supervisor: Dr Roisin Blunnie


Giovanna Feeley is a professional singer, choral director, and educator, with over twenty years’ specialism in liturgical music. She directs a number of choral groups in Dublin and Meath, including Schola Hyberniae, Ashbourne Choral Collective, Cor na Mi, Meath Youth Choir, and BUVINDA Workplace Choir. She completed undergraduate studies at Mater Dei Institute of Education, Dublin, and taught at second level for seven years before taking on the full-time role of Pastoral & Liturgical Coordinator in Ashbourne/Donaghmore Parish, Diocese of Meath, for a further six years. In 2005 she began postgraduate studies at the Pontifical University, Maynooth, where she served a term as Acting Director of Sacred Music. She was Invited Lecturer in Pastoral Music Ministry at St Patrick’s College, Thurles, from 2008 to 2010, and in 2007 she was appointed Associate Director & Lecturer in Pastoral Theology at the Pontifical University, for a period of ten years. She holds a First Class Honours Master’s Degree in Theology, specialising in Liturgical Music. In addition, she holds Performer's Diplomas in both Pianoforte (AVCM) and Voice (ARSM). She also holds a Diploma in Community and Group Music Teaching from the Royal Irish Academy of Music.

She is a scholarship recipient in the School of Theology, Philosophy, and Music, and her PhD thesis is concerned with exploring early evidence of the use of alleluia in ritual practice, tracing its development and assimilation into the Roman Rite Eucharistic celebration, and debating the key question of how this word became one of the principal dialogic musical acclamations in the liturgy. Her study is contextualized by an examination of the Alleluia in current liturgical-musical Irish practice and, by extension, pastoral, liturgical, and musical realities in the Irish church today. She lives in Ashbourne, County Meath, with her husband and fellow musician, Ephrem, and their three young children.

Gearoid Ferrick

Gearoid Ferrick

Gearoid Ferrick

Dip. Soc. (Oxon);

B.A. Hons (PPE);

MA (Oxon); B.Ed.;



After Graduating with Undergraduate and Post-Graduate degrees from Oxford, in Philosophy Politics and Economics, Gearoid Ferrick pursued a successful 17 year career in International Banking and Finance, culminating as Managing Director of the Derivatives trading company, of Willis PLC.

A tenacious and innovative business director with a strong record of commercial achievement, this experience has convinced him of the need to be a committed advocate of change management. His experience is in developing strategies for change, analytical review and professional advocacy.

Following a career reappraisal he decided to realise a personal ambition to be involved in the ‘Not for Profit’ sector. Thus a second career of nearly 20 years saw him contribute to various projects that were designed to develop ‘Social Capital’ in disadvantaged regions across Ireland. In addition he returned to the teaching profession.  He has been a senior career counsellor within the educational environment for the last ten years. He has recently completed a Masters in Theology in DCU, and is enrolled to continue his studies at a Ph.d level.

Gugun Gumilar

Gugun Gumilar

Name: Gugun Gumilar

Thesis Title: Pancasila and Interreligious Dialogue: Challenges and Opportunities

Supervisors: Dr. Peter Admirand and Dr. Jonathan Kearney


I earned a Bachelor of Education from the English Education Department at the Faculty of Teacher Training at the State Islamic University of Sunan Gunung Djati Bandung, West Java, Indonesia in 2011. Then, I earned a M.A. in Religious Studies from Hartford Seminary, United States in 2015. Upon completion of the Doctoral program in Dublin City University, my long-term goal is to join the political party in Indonesia. I plan to be a public servant who will innovate and bring change to the government that will benefit most people. Having studied abroad in the United States and Ireland, I plan to transfer this knowledge to politicians to help them maintain interreligious dialogue in Indonesia. I want to take part of the changes and continue to making decisions that will impact my nation.

Solomon Gwerevende

Solomon Gwerevende

Name: Solomon Gwerevende

Areas of Research: Applied ethnomusicology, ethnochoreology, multicultural dance/music education and decolonisation of dance/music research.

Working Thesis Title: The Adaptative Re-use of Indigenous Musical Heritage: Muchongoyo Musical arts heritage as a means for sustaining the Livelihoods of the Ndau people in Zimbabwe.

Supervisor: Dr John O'Flynn


Solomon graduated from Choreomundus, a consortium of four universities internationally recognized for their leadership in the development of innovative curricula for the analysis of dance and other movement practices: University of Clermont Auvergne (coordinator), France; Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway; University of Szeged, Hungary and the University of Roehampton, United Kingdom, where he studied for an Erasmus Mundus Joint Master’s Degree in Dance Knowledge, Practice and Heritage. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts General Degree in Music and Religious studies and Bachelor of Arts Special Honours Degree in Music, both from Great Zimbabwe University and Post Graduate Diploma in Dance and Music Education from Zimbabwe Ezekiel Guti University. Besides this, he also holds a Post-Graduate Certificate in Research Methods, Certificate in Dance Studies and Certificate in Computer Operations and Applications. 

He has published three papers in peer-reviewed journals, on the decolonization of dance research in Zimbabwe, the revival of mbende dance heritage and a review of Biel's (2017) book on Dance and Organisation. He is the founder of the Zimbabwe National Federation of Musical Arts, an organization responsible for promoting musical arts education, performance and research in Zimbabwe through a partnership with schools, colleges, universities and organizations directly and indirectly linked to musical arts.

Tristin Hartley

Tristin Hartley

Name: Tristin Hartley

Areas of Research: Biblical Studies, Feminism, Postcolonialism

Thesis Title: Crisis and Female Agency: A Re-examination of Gender and Power in the Hebrew Bible

Supervisor: Dr Brad Anderson


I am currently in my second year of the PhD programme at Dublin City University. My research focuses on answering the question: ‘how do we account for the fact that it is often in times of crisis that we see the agency of women come to the fore?’ My project is an interdisciplinary exploration, through a re-examination of theories of power and gender, the relationship between times of crisis or upheaval and female agency in the Hebrew Bible.

My passion for biblical studies informed my decision to study at the Faculty of Theology and Religion at the University of Pretoria where I obtained both my BA in Theology and BTh Hons in New Testament studies. My Bachelor of Arts in Theology and my two-year elective in Biblical Hebrew laid the foundation for my interest in Hebrew Bible studies. This trajector of biblical study with an emphasis upon ideological interpretations as a lens for reflection developed during my studies on the Master’s degree at Dublin City University.

While I miss the sunshine in my native South Africa, I am truly blessed to experience the beauty and magic of Ireland while continuing my love of research in Dublin. On a more personal note, I’m the kind of girl to cry in a movie when the dog dies and my Instagram account is a more of a shrine to my miniature pincher and three greyhounds than anything else.

Louise Hassan

Louise Hassan

Name: Louise Hassan

Areas of Interest: Game of Thrones! Literature, Creative writing, and Religious Studies

Working Thesis Title: Christology and Mythology in George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire.

Supervisors: Dr Peter Admirand and Marina Carr


I am currently in the second year of a Research PhD with the School of Theology, Philosophy and Music at Dublin City University. I have spent the past five years as a student at DCU. I first completed a Joint Honours degree in Theology and English and then undertook a Master’s degree in Creative Writing, one of the first students to pass this new MA degree offered by the School of English.

My thesis examines how Martin reworks Christology and Mythology in his novel series A Song of Ice and Fireand its subsequent HBO television production A Game of Thrones. It is an interdisciplinary thesis with the Schools of Theology and English. I am incredibly fortunate to have Dr. Peter Admirand as my primary supervisor and the secondary supervisor is famous Irish playwright, Marina Carr.

I’m originally from the UK but have been living in Ireland for the past 19 years. I have a wonderful daughter and partner and we live on the Northside of Dublin. I enjoy hill walking and being out in nature. An avid reader of a variety of books including fiction, non-fiction, fantasy, and classic works I also enjoy trips to the cinema to see movies involving action, drama, fantasy and sci-fi.

Yvonne Higgins

Yvonne Higgins

Name: Yvonne Higgins

Areas of research: Children’s musical thinking and learning

Thesis Title: Thinking in Sound: Developing a conceptual framework for a communicative, meaning-making approach to children’s music reading in choral contexts.

First Supervisor: Dr Patricia Flynn

Second Supervisor: Dr John O’Flynn


My work with student teachers in Music Education, with children at primary level and with choirs of all ages has led me to my research topic. I always been fascinated by how children think and learn, especially in music. Through generating theory with expert choral practitioners, I hope to contribute to developing both theory and practice in the teaching of music reading in Irish choral contexts.

My research investigates children’s musical thinking, particularly as they engage with music notations, in choral settings. I am particularly interested in whether the breadth of research and understanding on children’s learning to read written language can inform or extend a theoretical understanding of children’s music reading.

Wanhui Hao

Wanhui Hao

Name: Wanhui Hao

Areas of Research: Existentialism, Thomism, Anthropology

Thesis Title: Existential Loneliness—an incessant desire to Being

Supervisors: Dr Peter Admirand and Dr Joseph Rivera


My current research is in the realm of existentialism. After two long years of the Covid pandemic, isolation has become familiar to people. However, through availing of the use of modern technology, this kind of isolation could bring a spatial separation for people but need not impact and isolate their emotional or other kinds of connections from one another.


Except for being isolated from others or from parts of oneself, however, underlying these splits, a more basic and deep inner isolated feeling emerges unaware in the conscious sometimes. This experience is realized with the accompanying emptiness, sadness, and longing, despite the most gratifying engagement with family and friends and despite consummate self-knowledge and integration. It emerges without a reason and direction but persistently longs for something. It is neither for appearances nor for the fleeting and superficial; it is for something of substance, a deeper and inner satisfaction. It refers to an unbridgeable gulf between oneself and others. Although it is distinct from emotional loneliness, it motivates our moods and deeds to form who we are and what we do when this ‘feeling’ is emerging.


Loneliness, a melancholy theme, has a long history of dominance in the western world. It has been striking scholars’ attention from the ages of the Old Testament, the Homeric myths, the tragedies of Sophocles and the ensuing theological speculations of the Christian millennium. This present study, through the investigation of man’s solitary existential condition in the first part and the metaphysical understanding of human nature in the second part, is an attempt to offer a metaphysical explanation of existential loneliness.


Jeanne Magnetti

Jeanne Magnetti

Name: Jeanne Magnetti

Areas of Research: Philosophy, Ethics, Theories of Justice, Policymaking, Governance, Carbon Pricing, Sustainability, Climate Change

Thesis Title: Ethics and Carbon Pricing

Supervisors: Dr. Bert Gordijn and Dr. Goran Dominioni



Jeanne Magnetti is a multidisciplinary PhD student working between the school of Philosophy, Theology and Music, and the school of Law and Governance. Her research explores the ethical implications of carbon pricing policy. She has previously worked as a researcher and analyst within the global governance and non-profit sector. Jeanne graduated with a BA in International Relations from SUNY Geneseo in 2016 and obtained an MA in International Relations from University College Dublin in 2018.

Róisín Maher

Róisín Maher

Name: Róisín Maher

Research areas): women composers, undergraduate music programmes, third level music education

Thesis title: ‘Enabling strong representation of women composers on undergraduate music programmes: challenges and innovations’

Supervisor: Dr Patricia Flynn

Email: or

I studied music and French at UCC and subsequently did a taught masters in Opera Studies at the University of Leeds (where I became a Leeds Utd supporter for my sins!).  After graduating from Leeds, I spent two and a half years in Sierra Leone, West Africa, with Voluntary Services Overseas, lecturing in music at a primary teacher-training college.  On my return to Ireland, I did some part-time lecturing in TCD, the National College of Ireland and Mary Immaculate College in Limerick before moving to Cork, where I have lectured on the BMus degree course at CIT Cork School of Music since 2004.  I teach modules on Women in Music, Opera Studies, and music history from 1800 to the present day.

In a parallel career as an arts administrator, I have worked in a wide variety of posts from Marketing Assistant to General Manager with organisations including Universal Edition music publishers in London, Opera North in Leeds, Opera Theatre Company, the Contemporary Music Centre, Crash Ensemble and the Irish Association of Youth Orchestras.  In 2017 I co-founded a concert series of music by women composers Finding a Voice with my sister Cliona, in my hometown of Clonmel, Co. Tipperary.  The concerts take place over four days around International Women’s Day (8th March) and feature leading Irish and international performers.

I live in West Cork with my husband and two daughters as well as our newest addition to the family, a toy poodle-Shih Tzu puppy.  I love living by the coast as I get to swim in the sea and walk on the beach every day.  Right now, I really miss singing in choirs, as it’s something I’ve done throughout my life but hopefully will get back to again soon.

Angelos Mavropoulos

Angelos Mavropoulos

Name:  Angelos Mavropoulos

Areas of research: Theology, Religious Studies, Christian Ethics, and Bioethics

Thesis Title: The Ethical Consideration of Body Modification: A comparative case study of Tattooing and Body Piercing practices between Catholic and Orthodox perspectives

Supervisor: Dr. John Murray

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About me: I am Angelos Mavropoulos and I am from Thessaloniki, Greece. I have master in Christian Ethics and Sociology Christianity from Aristotle University’s Faculty of Theology. I also possess a certificate of postgraduate Education on Medical Deontology and Bioethics from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens.

   I have developed a broad interest in Christian Theology and more specifically in how Christian Ethics can guide modern people and society into taking the right moral decisions. During my Christian Ethics courses for my Master’s, I studied the field of Bioethics and Medical Ethics, which immediately appealed to me. This is the field that I wish to follow, my inclination, the subject that excites and fulfills my scholarly interests and pursuits. Furthermore, I have long had an interest in modern scientific and scholarly disciplines and medicine and I found dealing with the human body and the prospects that modern medicine can provide to it, extremely interesting. Thus, during the course of my studies, I was intrigued by the prospect of combining the fields of Religious Studies and Medical Ethics, particularly in conjunction with the subject of body modification which has not been widely researched and offers the potential for further theological analysis.

   My ultimate ambition is to work within the academic sector, I want my work to be widely acknowledged and sensitize as many people possible, since my proposed research deals with a contemporary and universal issue. Moreover, as my project is comparative between two different Christian traditions, an ultimate aspiration of mine is for it to contribute to the inter-denominational and inter-confessional dialogue and discourse and to bring together people from both traditions, whether they belong to the traditional academic sector or not.

Mahon McCann

Mahon McCann

Name: Mahon McCann

Areas of Research: Ethics, Social Media, Attention and the Attention Economy

Thesis Title: The Ethical Issues of Social Media Companies Monetising Users' Attention

Supervisors: Dr Bert Gordijn and Dr Fiachra Ó Brolcháin


Mahon is a Philosophy PhD researcher studying the ethical issues of Social Media Companies monetising users’ attention. His background is in philosophy, economics, creative writing and marketing. He received his BA in Economics & Philosophy from University College Dublin and his MA in Creative Writing from Queen’s University Belfast. His stage plays have been performed in the Lyric Theatre, Seamus Heaney Centre Belfast, Rua Red Gallery and awarded the Dublin Fringe festival's 'Fringe-lab 50' in 2020. Additional he is very involved in online communications, having a podcast and blog on philosophy and ethics for personal growth and development which has been top ten self-improvement and education in Ireland. His PhD work ultimately aims at laying the ethical foundations for the future regulation of social media technology. 

Padraig Mc Bennett

Padraig Mc Bennett

Name: Padraig Mc Bennett

Areas of Research: Secularism and Pluralism in a post-Catholic Irish context. 

Thesis Title: Not confirmed yet but related to concepts above.

Supervisor: Dr. Joseph Rivera.


My professional background is in mental health nursing where I worked as a clinician and then senior nurse manager with the Health Service Executive before taking a different career direction in 2005.  I was a lecturer and clinical tutor in mental health at The School of Nursing and Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin for approximately 13 years until retirement in 2018.  My main responsibilities were teaching, academic administration and research. I was involved in a number of interdisciplinary research projects with the mental health team and clinical partners in Trinity, which involved evaluations of mental health and intellectual disability interventions.  I co-authored a number of peer-reviewed publications based on these research projects. I  also lectured on mental health topics at Dundalk Institute of Technology for periods. I completed the MA in Theology in DCU in September 2020.


A native of Monaghan, I now reside in Co. Louth. What I love most in life is spending time with my adult children and grandchildren. For leisure pursuits, I enjoy walking and trekking and I also like to travel, which is obviously curtailed at the moment due to the Covid-19 restrictions. I particularly enjoy visiting the West of Ireland, where one of my favourite locations is amidst the Karst topography of the Burren landscape.

Hannah Millington

Hannah Millington

Name: Hannah Millington

Thesis title: Beyond The Suffragette: Reclaiming Ethel Smyth’s Vocal Works for the Twenty-First Century

Supervisor: Dr Róisín Blunnie

My research is focused on the choral and solo vocal works of the British composer, Dame Ethel Smyth. I am particularly interested in the context surrounding these works and will approach this facet of Smyth's oeuvre from an interdisciplinary perspective. My broader academic interests include the role of women in music; the relationship between music and literature; and hermeneutic analysis.

I moved from Shropshire (UK) to Ireland in 2019 to embark on the PhD and haven’t looked back! I am a founding member of the Dublin Musicology Collective, a network established for the social wellbeing of music graduate students based in Dublin and beyond. I am also the part-time administrator for the Society for Musicology in Ireland. In my spare time I love to read, explore the countryside, and swim in the sea.

Kirsten Overkamp

Kirsten Overkamp

Name: Kirsten Overkamp

Research Areas: Religious Studies, Papacy, Church History and Sociolinguistics

Thesis Topic: Papal Names and Narratives

Provisional Title: The impact of chosen narratives: an analysis of papal Names in the context of Church history and identity politics.

Supervisors: Dr Brad Anderson and Dr Gabriel Flynn


I am from the Netherlands and I have lived in Dublin for about a year now. Besides terribly missing salty liquorice and Dutch apples, I enjoy life in Dublin. 

I have studied Classics and Religious Studies. In my PhD I will focus on papal Names, exploring the characteristics and significance of the pope’s Name choice, and analyzing the use of the Name as a tool in papal politics and narratives.

I have been to Rome countless times and hope to return there, for leisure or research. At the moment, nevertheless, I will stick to nearby outings such as Bull island and the Botanic gardens.

Laura Sheils

Laura Sheils 

Name: Laura Sheils

Areas of Research: Choral Studies, Irish choral music, Contemporary composition, Music and Text Analysis

Thesis Title: From Text to Music: A Semantic Reading of Twenty-first Century Irish Choral Music

Supervisor: Dr Róisín Blunnie


Laura is a music educator, choral composer and researcher from Offaly. She completed her undergraduate studies in Music and Religious Education at Mater Dei Institute of Education (Dublin City University), followed by a diploma in Advanced Choral Conducting and Kodály Music Pedagogy at the Kodály Institute of the Liszt Academy of Music in Hungary. Laura also holds a First Class Honours Master’s Degree in Choral Studies from DCU. She is an active choral singer with Laetare Vocal Ensemble, Dublin and was composer-in-residence for Dublin Youth Choir in 2020. Her choral compositions have been published by Cailíno Music Publishers and have been performed by choral groups in Ireland and abroad.

Laura’s research focuses on Irish contemporary choral composers’ approaches to text-setting, seeking to highlight the compositional techniques used by composers to narrate poetic texts and their underlying meaning through music. She is particularly interested in investigating the importance of storytelling in Irish choral composers’ works and the communication of their personal interpretation of texts in the journey from text to music.

Laura is a member of the Society for Musicology in Ireland and serves on the Kodály Ireland committee. She is also a piano accompanist, with a particular love for musical theatre. In her spare time, Laura enjoys traveling, running, watching sport, and supporting her favourite football team, Liverpool FC.

Sukanya Shukla

Sukanya Shukla

Name: Sukanya Shukla

Area of Research: Nudging, Environmental Ethics, Political and Moral Philosophy, Philosophy of Science.

Working Title of Thesis: Nudging Society to Avoid Climate Catastrophe: Context Design, Environmental Communication and Environmental Ethics.

Supervisors: Dr. Fiachra O’Brolchain (Primary Supervisor), Prof. Patrick Brereton, Dr. Padraig Murphy.


I completed my MSc degree in Philosophy of Science from London School of Economics in 2020. Apart from the courses in philosophy, I undertook courses on political science, geography and public policy at LSE. Writing political ecology essays and reading several case studies about decision-making under uncertainty has taught me that one can deploy analytical and methodological skills from philosophy to tackle real-world issues.

My PhD research focuses on the practice of Nudging as a context-designing tool to mitigate the problem of climate change. While it seems that nudging has the potential to improve the relationship of people with the environment effectively, there are some ethical concerns that deem the practice to be paternalistic and manipulative in nature. I intend to explore the ethical dilemmas and explore how nudging can be an effective tool to tackle climate catastrophe.

My academic interests have been interdisciplinary in nature. Prior to pursuing MSc at LSE, I completed my undergraduate degree in Physics from Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra in 2019. I have tried my hands at theatre during my undergraduate days, and I write poetry sometimes. For leisure, I enjoy painting sceneries. I am fond of gardening and pets.

Abigail Sines

Abigail Sines

Name: Abigail Sines

Area of research: Christian theological thinking underpinning the Sanctuary movement

Working title: Towards a Constructive Theology of Sanctuary

Supervisor: Dr Ethna Regan


Originally hailing from Hampton, Virginia on the east coast of the USA, Abigail has lived and worked in China, Hawai`i, Belfast, Dublin and now finds herself living in Blarney in Co Cork. She is an ordained priest in the Church of Ireland and serving as Associate Minister in the Carrigrohane Union of Parishes while precariously balancing part-time study! She earned her BA in International Relations from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia; an MA in Asian Studies, from the University of Hawai`i; an MTh from Queen's University Belfast (Title: The Role of Interfaith Dialogue in the Practice of Christian Spirituality); and an MTh from TCD, the dissertation for which was subsequently published as part of the Church of Ireland Theological Institute's Braemor Studies Series under the title 'Let Us Celebrate The Feast – Holy Communion and Building the Community' in 2016. Abigail is part of the steering committee for the Sanctuary in Faith Stream within Places of Sanctuary Ireland and is a member of the Church of Ireland Interfaith Working Group. She is keenly interested in how Christian faith is expressed and embodied in multi-cultural and multi-faith society.

Holly Woods

Holly Woods

Name: Holly Woods

Area of Research: Historical ethnomusicology

Thesis Title: A historical-ethnomusicological open enquiry into the musical and

cultural traits of selected Irish children’s song collections


Hello! My Name is Holly Woods. I am a post-primary music teacher and choral conductor based in Dublin. I am passionate about music education and also a self-confessed choral nerd – which makes DCU’s School of Theology, Philosophy and Music a wonderful place to be! I am researching children’s songs because I am curious as to what type of music Irish children make, by themselves and with others. Almost no information exists on this, so I decided the best place to start exploring this curiosity of mine was probably in the past. I hope that by studying historical song collections, and by finding out what sort of songs children used to sing in Ireland, I can provide a foundation for further study in this field – whether that’s by musicians, teachers, psychologists, anthropologists… Children’s songs seem to fascinate lots of scholars around the world, and hopefully Ireland is starting to catch up. In the meantime, I manage my aforementioned choral-nerd affliction by singing with award-winning chamber choir New Dublin Voices. I also love the outdoors, and on any morning of the week (when I’m not researching, ahem…) you might find me swimming in the sea, out horse-riding, and/or chasing our family’s obstinate beagle hound around the public parks and beaches of north Dublin. For enquiries about arranging choral workshops in schools, I would be delighted to hear from you via email.

Michael Young

Michael Young

Name: Michael Young

Areas of Research: Musicology, Musical Theatre Score Analysis, Soundtrack Analysis, Performance Practice

Thesis Title: A comparative Analysis of the Musical Theatre Works of Jason Robert Brown

Supervisor: Dr John O’Flynn


Michael is a graduate of the CIT Cork School of Music, with a BMus in piano performance, piano accompaniment and chamber music, and a MA in piano and organ accompaniment. He also holds diplomas in piano performance (dipABRSM), piano teaching (DipLCM TD), organ performance (ALCM) and a licentiate diploma in vocal and instrumental accompaniment (LLCM). Michael works extensively as a recital accompanist in the Munster area and has been an official vocal accompanist with the Irish Youth Choir in 2019, Limerick Sings since 2017, Feis Maitiú since 2014 and with the Féile Luimní since 2011.

Michael is passionate about musical theatre and has musically directed many award-winning productions, including bare with the CIT Musical Society (where he won a national AIMS award for “Best Musical Director” and “Best Chorus”) and The Producers (AIMS award for “Best Chorus”) with The Cecilian Musical Society. He is particularly interested in contemporary musical theatre – musically directing the Irish premieres of Carrie and Bad Girls (CIT Musical Society) and forming his own theatre company, NMT Productions, in 2014, musically directing and producing the Irish Premieres of When Midnight Strikes, LIFT and Dogfight.

Michael’s interest in contemporary musical theatre, coupled with over a decade of experience playing in the pit for musical theatre societies around the country, has led him to his research topic. Jason Robert Brown is an award-winning American musical theatre composer whose output currently consists of six musicals, a short choral work, contributions to a Broadway musical and several solo albums.  Through multi-modal analysis, Michael’s research will comprehensively explore Brown’s compositional style, while documenting how he references other styles of music and comparing his works to those of other musical theatre writers.

Rodrigo Almonte Zegarra

Rodrigo Almonte Zegarra

NameRodrigo Almonte Zegarra

Area of Research: Ethnomusicology - Rhythmic Studies - Improvisation

Thesis Title: Creating a natural cognitive approach to metric modulation and rhythmic variation in clave-influenced traditional music. A case study of rhythmic evolution in Andean Peruvian Music 


Supervisors: Dr. John O' Flynn and Dr. Matthew Jacobson

Rodrigo Almonte is a musician, educator and PhD researcher in rhythmic studies and ethnomusicology. His current research involves an investigation into the Analysis of “Non Tempered" rhythms and swing percentages in Andean Peruvian traditional music in order to develop an alternative approach to Metric Modulation. Rodrigo graduated with a BA in Jazz Performance from Newpark Music Centre in 2017. In 2020 he received a Cum Laude Master in Jazz Performance from Prins Claus Conservatory in The Netherlands. For over 10 years, Rodrigo has performed, composed and recorded music with various ensembles as a leader and side man internationally. He is the co-founder fo The Peruvian Jazz Project, a project aiming to catalog and accurately transcribe traditional Peruvian music. Rodrigo released his debut album as a leader “Distancia” in 2021 which was described as: “a unique travelogue centered around Almonte's guitar and its shimmering sonic similarities to the music of guitarists such as Pat Metheny and Terje Rypdal, sometimes even Tal Farlow.” 



Recently completed PhDs:

Name: David Mark Dunning

Thesis Title: Gendering and Queering Theological Anthropology: Historical Perspectives and Contemporary Challenges

Supervisors: Dr Ethna Regan and Dr Joseph Rivera


Name: Mohammad Hosseini

Thesis title: Ethics of contributor role ontologies and taxonomies

Supervisors: Professor Bert Gordijn and Dr Jonathan Lewis

Name: Áine Mulvey

Thesis Title: Song Literature in Ireland: The Influence of the Irish Cultural Revival (1891-1922)

Supervisor: Dr John O’Flynn



Name: Marcellinus Azukaoma Uche Osakwe

Thesis Title: Nigerian Postcolonial Thought and Peace Process In Northern Nigeria

Supervisor: Dr Peter Admirand


Name: Orla Shannon

Thesis Title: The Forgotten Female: Twentieth Century Irish Art Music and the Cultural Politics of Revival

Supervisor: Dr. Seán Doherty