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Professors elected Fellows of the British Academy

Posted on 26 July 2017

Two University of York academics have been elected Fellows of the British Academy in recognition of their outstanding contribution to research.

Professor Mike Burton, from the Department of Psychology, is a leading expert on face perception, while Professor Paul Kerswill, from the Department of Language and Linguistic Science, is a leading authority on sociolinguistics.

Professor Burton said: “I am delighted and honoured to be elected into the BA Fellowship.  My work on face recognition is inherently collaborative, and I share the honour with my many colleagues who have contributed to the research over the years.”

Professor Kerswill said: “Being elected to the British Academy Fellowship is a huge honour, and a responsibility as well - in my case to the continued exploration of the links between language and society."

Professor Burton’s research is focussed on identification and our ability to recognise the people we know quickly and easily. 

His research aims to provide insights into fundamental aspects of human perception. It also has application in computer-based face recognition, and in forensic settings.

His current project concerns the role of variability in face recognition:  how does our perceptual system use different images of the same person to derive stable representations? 

He uses experimental and computational modelling approaches to address this problem and collaborates with security agencies in the UK and globally y on issues related to personal identification.

Professor Paul Kerswill’s research is concerned with language variation and change.

His research is largely focused on dialect contact – the long-term linguistic consequences that ensue when speakers of different accents or dialects come together through migration and mobility.

A consequence of dialect contact is dialect levelling – the overall reduction in linguistic diversity across a dialect area.

Professor Kerswill also has a growing interest in new youth language varieties, particularly in Northern Europe.

Global elite

Fellows of the British Academy represent the very best of humanities and social sciences research, in the UK and globally.

This year’s new Fellows are experts in a wide range of subjects, ranging from feminist theory to the economic development of Africa; medieval history and Indian philosophy.

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