School of Computer Science

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Elena Nichele

Research Fellow, Faculty of Science



I am a Research Fellow at the School of Computer Science, University of Nottingham (UK), where I am a member of the Horizon Digital Economy Research Institute and the Trustworthy Autonomous Systems Hub.

My expertise combines linguistics and marketing. I was awarded the PhD title in Applied Linguistics from Lancaster University (UK) and I hold degrees in Languages for Business Communications (MA) and International Business (MA).

I have been investigating perceptions, often expressed with the aid of technology and AI, whilst focusing on the impact of identity and culture, with particular regard to the concept of authenticity. My main research area is the complementary and interdependent relationship between global and local dimensions.

Expertise Summary

My knowledge and skillset are cross-disciplinary.

In linguistics, my expertise mainly involves pragmatics and semantics. It additionally comprises corpus analysis and discourse analysis, which I applied in my PhD thesis and research collaborations, combining corpus-informed analysis and text analysis.

In marketing, my knowledge and experience mainly involve branding, global marketing, product adaptation and commodification. It additionally comprises the experience economy, destination marketing and servicescapes.

Research Summary

I am currently involved in different projects at the University of Nottingham.

In a team of linguists, computer scientists and experts in human factors, I am investigating the complex relationship between how individual public health messages are perceived, interpreted and re-produced by members of the public. The project, Coronavirus Discourses: linguistic evidence for effective public health messaging, is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC/UKRI) and led by the University of Nottingham, in collaboration with Cardiff University, in partnership with Public Health England, Public Health Wales and NHS Education for Scotland. The research addresses key challenges that the coronavirus pandemic presents in relation to understanding the flow and impact of public health messages in public and private communications.

With researchers from across Computing, Engineering, Medicine, Psychology and Sociology, I am also investigating public perceptions and concerns regarding the NHS Test and Trace app. The project is funded by the EPSRC TAS Hub and the multidisciplinary team works within the Trustworthy Autonomous Systems Hub (TAS).

Within TAS, in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Southampton, I am also involved in the 'Chatty Car' project, which will unveil public perceptions and trust of automated vehicles. I am additionally contributing to the 'Safe Spaces NLP' project, which explores the use of Socio-Technical Natural Language Processing (NLP) for classifying behavioural online harms within forum posts (e.g. bullying, drugs and alcohol abuse, gendered harassment, self-harm), especially for young people. 'Safe Spaces NLP' is developed in partnership with Kooth, an online mental wellbeing community.

Recent Publications

Past Research

My past research was cross-disciplinary and dealt with sociolinguistics, corpus linguistics and discourse analysis. At the same time, my research involved international, service and relationship marketing.

In my PhD thesis, I focused on computer-mediated communication and corporate communication. More specifically, I explored the role of the nationality of the cuisine in online evaluations of dining experiences, questioning the impact of authenticity and other factors on the reviews. Ultimately, I defined a model, which filled theoretical gaps in the conceptualisation of authenticity, and contributed to both business communication and research into consumer attitudes and ratings.

My track record of publications includes cross-disciplinary research contributions, mainly regarding corporate discourse and political discourse.

I focused on product labelling and analysed how nationality was presented and communicated, through linguistic and non-linguistic cultural references.

With a colleague, I linguistically analysed online corporate statements and demonstrated their contribution to the corporate images and their impact on competitive strategies.

In collaboration with another colleague, I analysed how social movements were communicated on webpages and investigated the impact of cultural backgrounds on online content and delivery.

School of Computer Science

University of Nottingham
Jubilee Campus
Wollaton Road
Nottingham, NG8 1BB

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