Staff - Institute for the Study of the Asia Pacific
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Our Staff

Prof. Niki Alsford, Head of ISAP

Niki Alsford is Professor in Asia Pacific Studies and Head of Asia Pacific Institutes at the School of Humanities, Language and Global Studies at UCLan. Alsford welcomes proposals for doctoral research on Asian Pacific society and culture. He is particularly keen on proposals pertaining to Taiwan and the wider Pacific Ocean. He is co-Editor of the Routledge Research on Korea series, and the Brill Series on Taiwan.

Alsford is Head of the Institute for the Study of the Asia Pacific (ISAP) which was established in 2019 to function as an umbrella institute for the School of Humanities, Language & Global Studies’s successful Asia Pacific institutes. Of these institutes, Alsford is co-director of both the International Institute for Korean Studies (IKSU), and the Northern Institute for Taiwan Studies (NorITS). He is also chair the Centre for Austronesian Studies (COAST).

He is an appointed Research Associate at the Centre of Taiwan Studies at SOAS, the University of London and is a Research Fellow at the Ewha Institute of Unification Studies at Ewha Womans University in Seoul, South Korea.

He is a Fellow of Royal Asiatic Society and the Royal Anthropological Institute. He is Country of Origin. Expert (Taiwan) for the International Refugee Rights Initiative (IRRI), and Country of Origin Expert for Taiwan, North Korea, and the Pacific Islands for AMERA International. He is available for Radio, Television, and Press, for all matters relating to Taiwan. Read more

Alsford, Niki J.P and Hu Chia-yu, Local Aesthetics with Foreign Perceptions: The Formosan Collection Housed at the British Museum『他者視角下的地方美感』─ 大英博物館臺灣藏品圖錄出版與倫敦展示計畫草案. Taipei: National Taiwan University Press, 2018.

Alsford, Niki J.P., Buried Treasurers: Taiwan Indigenous Peoples’ Archives Held at the School of Oriental & African Studies, the University of London Taipei: Council of Indigenous Peoples, 2017.

Alsford, Niki J.P. Transitions to Modernity in Taiwan: The spirit of 1895 and the cession of Formosa to Japan . London: Routledge, 2017.

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Dr Sojin Lim, Associate Head of ISAP

Dr Sojin Lim is Senior Lecturer, Courses Leader for both MA North Korean Studies and MA Asia Pacific Studies, and Co-Director of the International Institute of Korean Studies (IKSU) at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan). She also works as Co-Editor of the ‘Routledge Research on Korea’ series. Prior to joining UCLan, Dr Lim worked for aid agencies as senior research fellow with hands-on field experiences. She obtained a BA and a MA from Ewha Womans University and a PhD from the Institute for Development Policy and Management (IDPM) at the University of Manchester. Dr Lim’s research interests lie at development studies, area studies, public policy, and political economy: development experience of South Korea; development assistance to North Korea; transformation of state system; global norms and compliance; and accountable institution and fragile states. Recently, she has discussed changes in North Korea and in the Korea Peninsula during media interviews, such as BBC Breakfast. Read more

Lim, S. (2019). Determinants of Aid Modalities: A Case of South Korea on Triangular Cooperation and its Implication towards North Korea. North Korean Review, 15(1): 73-93.

Kim, T and S. Lim (2017). Forging ‘Soft’ Accountability in Unlikely Settings: A Conceptual Analysis of Mutual Accountability in the Context of South-South Cooperation. Global Governance, 23(2): 183-203.

Lim, S. (2014). Compliance with International Norms: Implementing OECD DAC Principles in South Korea. Globalizations, 11(6): 859-874.

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Dr Lara Momesso, Associate Head of ISAP

Dr Lara Momesso is Lecturer and Course Leader for the BA Programme in Asia Pacific Studies at the School of Humanities, Language and Global Studies at UCLan. She is founder and Co-Director of the Northern Institute of Taiwan Studies at UCLan and founder and Co-Deputy Director of the Centre for Migration, Diaspora and Exile at UCLan.

Her research interests look at the specificity of gender in contemporary Asian migrations, the link between migration and political participation, the role of emotions in migration experiences.

She has an extensive track record on her main research theme, marriage migration between China and Taiwan. More recently she has turned her attention towards Asian migrant experiences in Europe, including Taiwanese citizens’ diplomacy in Europe, Chinese new migrants’ political participation in Italy, Chinese diaspora, triads and criminal networks in the UK. Another side project she has been involved in revolves around social media and democracy in Asian societies.

Dr Momesso is a Research Associate at the Centre of Taiwan Studies at SOAS (the University of London, UK), an Associate Fellow at the European Research Centre of Contemporary Taiwan (University of Tuebingen, Germany) and is an elected executive board member of the European Association of Taiwan Studies (EATS).

Dr Momesso welcomes proposals for doctoral research on contemporary Asian Pacific societies and cultures. She is particularly keen on proposals pertaining to Taiwan, and issues related to migration, gender, ethnographies in Taiwan as well as the Asia Pacific Region. Read more

Momesso, Lara (forthcoming). Chinese marriage migrants in Beijing’s Cross-Strait diplomacy. European Journal of East Asian Studies.

Momesso, Lara (2020). From bargaining to alliance with patriarchy: the role of Taiwanese husbands in marriage migrants’ civic organisations in Taiwan. Asia Pacific Viewpoint. DOI:

Momesso, Lara and Lee, Chun-yi (2019) Nation, Migration, Identity: Learning from the Cross-Strait Context. International Migration. DOI: 10.1111/imig.12576

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Dr Moises Lopes de Souza, Associate Head of ISAP

Dr. Moises de Souza is Lecturer in Asia Pacific Studies and Chair of the Northern England Policy Centre for the Asia Pacific (NEPCAP) at University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).He is co-founder of the South China Sea Think Tank and Researcher in Asia Studies at the International Relations Research Center of the University of São Paulo (NUPRI-GEASIA). He has a particular interest in Asian maritime disputes, Asia Pacific non-traditional security and China-Latin America relations. Read more

SPANGLER, J. (Org.); KARALEKAS, D. (Org.); SOUZA, M. L. (Org.) Enterprises, Localities, People, and Policy in the South China Sea: Beneath the Surface.1. Ed. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018.

SOUZA, M. L. Beneath the Surface of Consensus: The Development of Confidence-Building Measures Between the PRC and ASEAN in the South China Sea Disputes In: Jonathan Spangler, Dean Karalekas, Moisés Lopes de Souza. Enterprises, Localities, People, and Policy in the South China Sea: Beneath the Surface (Org.). 1 ed. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018, v. , p. 51-76.

SOUZA, M. L. ; KARALEKAS, D. Domestic Politics And Personal Beliefs In Taiwan’s Territorial Claims In: Peter BÁTOR; Róbert ONDREJCSÁK (Org.). Panorama of Global Security Environment 2015 – 2016. 1 ed. Bratislava: Strategic Policy Institute (STRATPOL), 2016, v. , p. 409-421.

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Prof. Robert Ash, External Steering Committee Member

Prof. Ash is an Emeritus Professor at SOAS University of London, and Founder and Professorial Research Associate of the Centre of Taiwan Studies at SOAS. Before his retirement in 2020 he was a Professorial Fellow of the SOAS China Institute and Professor of Economics with reference to China and Taiwan. From 1986 to 1995 he was Head of the Contemporary China Institute at SOAS; during 1997-2001 he was Director of the EU-China Academic Network.

From 1999 to 2013 Prof. Ash was Director of the SOAS Taiwan Studies Programme and its Centre of Taiwan Studies. In 2012 he received the Freedom Medal of Diplomacy from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the ROC Government in recognition of his efforts on behalf of Taiwan Studies in the UK and elsewhere in Europe.

Prof. Ash has held visiting research and teaching positions at universities in Australia, Hong Kong, France and Italy. He has been researching China for more than 40 years and has published widely on development issues relating to China, as well as on Taiwan and Hong Kong. He has been a consultant for international banks and multinationals, and has undertaken work on behalf of the European Commission and the International Labour Organisation.

Prof. Ash’s current research interests focus on domestic social and economic development issues in China, especially as these relate to living standards, agriculture and the rural sector.

Ms Amie Kirk, Affiliate Research Fellow at the Institute of Japanese Studies (IJS)

Amie Kirk is a Affiliate Research Fellow working within the Institute for the Study of the Asia Pacific (ISAP) at the University of Central Lancashire. Completing her Bachelor of Arts with honours in Illustration in 2019, she joined the team in March 2020.

Prior to UCLan Amie worked in the financial sector whilst pursuing her freelance illustration career, having illustrated a series of children’s books. Amie’s main area of interest is Asian Art, particularly Japanese Ukiyo-e, Sarawakian Tribal Tattoos and North Korean political posters. When not pursuing these interests, Amie enjoys video games and cosplay.

Amie is currently working with the Institute of Japanese Studies on a research project focusing on connections between North England and Japan and helping to organise student events.

Dr Philip Constable, Research Advisory Board Member

Dr Philip Constable is Senior Lecturer in History. He lectures on the history of modern Asia and the Asia-Pacific, with a research focus on the history of 19th and 20th-century South and South-east Asia.

His research interest focuses on Dalit history and society in 19th and 20th-century India. He is also involved in an inter-university research project on Buddhism and society in South-east Asia. Philip is a member of Teaching Academy. Read more

Dr Sunny Liu, Research Advisory Board Member

Sunny has more than 20 years’ experience in teaching Chinese as a second language. She has taught in China, the US and the UK, and was awarded fellowship of the Higher Education Academy in 2012.

As an associate professor in translation since 2007, Sunny has also had nine translated books published, and written a column for the China Daily for two years. Read more

Dr Edward Griffith, Teaching Advisory Board Member

Ed Griffith’s research interests are mainly focussed on the international relations of East Asia, in particular the Sino-Japanese relationship and China’s approach to its own changing role in the region. He is interested in exploring how established IR theories can be adapted to deepen our understanding of China’s behaviour in developing its relationships with neighbouring countries. Read more

David Leeming, Innovation Advisory Board Member

David has lived and worked across the Globe. He specialises in researching, designing, and delivering programmes in Intercultural Leadership/ teams with a strong focus on Employability. David has a diverse portfolio of professional and academic qualifications. He has published works in Blended Learning, Employability and Intercultural Communication. He has a track record in significant grant capture. He has a strong belief in people and won’t let a day go by without having a positive engagement. Read more

Our Institutes

Please visit our individual Research Institute and Centres websites for more information on staff and affiliates working within each institute.