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.
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.
I am currently involved in different projects at the University of Nottingham.
I am currently co-leading with Dr Mohammad Naiseh, fellow TAS member at the University of Southampton, the project Communicating liability in autonomous vehicles. This project examines how liability is perceived and communicated between AVs' drivers, and 3rd-party insurers, and aims to develop integrated and commonly agreed-on mental models that help each stakeholder in their risks and responsibilities of vehicle control.
I am also co-leading, with Horizon fellow Dr Yordan Raykov, the project Promoting Net Zero - Recommender system, which aims to better understand ways to inspire transformative policy and lifestyle changes in support of the transition to a net zero economy. It will address factors affecting the opinion polarization of families and individuals with regard to policy and lifestyle required for a carbon-free economy.
With colleagues at the University of Nottingham and the University of Southampton, I am contributing to the project Understanding Internet and Technology Delusions of Suspicion, which investigates the barriers and facilitators to engaging with autonomous digital systems and online cognitive training, using a mixed methods study, co-produced with public involvement partners.
With colleagues at King's College London, I am contributing to the Leap of Faith project, which explores the conditions under which a human subject can be persuaded to take that leap, focusing in particular on three factors: the AS's relatability, the degree to which its instructions can be verified as correct (guarantee), and it's level of authority.
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).
With colleagues at the University of Southampton, I am 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.
PEPPER, CECILY, REYES-CRUZ, GISELA, PENA, ANA RITA, DOWTHWAITE, LIZ, BABBAGE, CAMILLA MAY, WAGNER, HANNE GESINE, NICHELE, ELENA and FISCHER, JOEL E, 2022. Understanding Trust and Changes in Use after a Year with the NHS Covid-19 Contact Tracing App in the United Kingdom: A Longitudinal Mixed-Method Study. Journal of medical Internet research.
NICHELE, ELENA, LAVORGNA, ANITA and MIDDLETON, STUART E, 2022. Identifying key challenges and needs in digital mental health moderation practices supporting users exhibiting risk behaviours to develop responsible AI tools: the case study of Kooth. SN social sciences. 2(10), 217
DOWTHWAITE, LIZ, WAGNER, HANNE GESINE, BABBAGE, CAMILLA MAY, FISCHER, JOEL E, BARNARD, PEPITA, NICHELE, ELENA, PEREZ VALLEJOS, ELVIRA, CLOS, JEREMIE, PORTILLO, VIRGINIA and MCAULEY, DEREK, 2022. The relationship between trust and attitudes towards the COVID-19 digital contact-tracing app in the UK. PloS one. 17(10), e0276661
DOWTHWAITE, LIZ, FISCHER, JOEL, VALLEJOS, ELVIRA PEREZ, PORTILLO, VIRGINIA, NICHELE, ELENA, GOULDEN, MURRAY and MCAULEY, DEREK, 2021. Public Adoption of and Trust in the NHS COVID-19 Contact Tracing App in the United Kingdom: Quantitative Online Survey Study JOURNAL OF MEDICAL INTERNET RESEARCH. 23(9),
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 a team of linguists, computer scientists and experts in human factors, I investigated 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, 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 addressed key challenges that the coronavirus pandemic presents in relation to understanding the flow and impact of public health messages in public and private communications.
Within the TAS Hub, in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Southampton, I was involved in the 'Chatty Car' project, which unveiled public perceptions and trust of automated vehicles.
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.