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A photograph of Barbara Bechter

Professor Barbara Bechter

Interim Executive Director


Barbara is Associate Professor in Human Resource Management at Durham University Business School (DUBS). She is a social scientist, she developed and led multidisciplinary projects and managed international project teams. With her international and interdisciplinary research, she contributes to policy debates around new forms of employment and their regulation. She is especially interested in the link between employment and health. Her research extends beyond the workplace by investigating interventions and support provided by social partner organisations at organisational, national and transnational level to improve the health and safety of workers.

Professor Brian Castellani

Interim Executive Director


Brian joined the Department of Sociology at Durham University in 2018. Trained as a sociologist, clinical psychologist and methodologist, he is also an Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry (Northeast Ohio Medical University); Co-Editor of the Routledge Complexity in Social Science series; Co-Editor of the International Journal of Social Research Methodology and on the editorial board for Complexity, Governance and Networks. My areas of research are the complexities of place and health, communities and global civil society, computational modeling and mixed-methods, complexity theory and policy evaluation and big data and digital sociology

Brian is resolutely international and interdisciplinary in his work, regularly publishing with colleagues from across the entire academy – from maths and physics to medicine and environmental science – and around the world. Brian's work is also juxtaposed between the theoretical, methodological and applied, with his research, at any given moment, moving variously from one emphasis to the other.


Jonathan WIstow

Associate Professor Dr Jonathan Wistow

ECR Director


Jonathan is an Associate Professor and joined the Department of Sociology as a Research Fellow in 2007, working in the field of health inequalities.  His research in this area focuses on the application of qualitative comparative analysis to health inequalities and links to broader debates about governance and public policy implementation.  He subsequently worked on a number of projects concentrating on climate change adaptation in health and social care systems.  He recently completed a book called Social Policy, Political Economy and the Social Contract that ties together a range of diverse but related research interests, through employing complexity and social contract theory to understand the trajectory of the political economy and its interrelationship with policy. I am now working on research into the UK Government’s Levelling Up agenda alongside ongoing research into health inequalities and the impact of air pollution on brain health.

Mrs Suzanne Boyd

Mrs Suzanne Boyd (DipHE)

Institute Manager


Suzanne is the Senior Officer of the Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing. Suzanne is responsible for the day to day running of the Institute, dealing with matters pertaining to HR, budget, committee support and management, project support and Fellowship support. She is responsible for the Institute website, fortnightly newsletter and social media accounts.