PhD Students ‌

The knowledge platform has an active PhD student community researching a range of issues relating to the work of the group.  Our current PhD students and their research interests are shown below showcasing the diverse interests of both the Knowledge Platform and the PhD community it supports.  Members of the Knowledge Platform are always interested in working with PhD students and we actively encourage you to find out more about the support The University of Liverpool Management School offers its PhD students.

Morteza Abolhasani                                        


I graduated on the MSc Consumer Marketing at the University of Liverpool. Upon graduation, I decided to continue my studies and started a PhD course in Managements Studies at Liverpool University. With a background in marketing and some other business and management related subjects, I have always been interested in consumer behaviour and hence, decided to specialise my PhD course in Advertising. The topic of my research in Music and Advertising in which I try to investigate the influence of music used in the background of commercials and promotional videos on the behaviours of consumers, their attitude towards the ad and the brand, and their purchase intention. This research is being done with the help of my first supervisor, Dr. Steve Oakes who is a senior lecturer in Marketing, and my second supervisor, the Departmental Director of Postgraduate Research in the School of Music of the University of Liverpool, Professor Anahid Kassabian. The objective is to contribute to the knowledge through conduction research in the relevant field as well as finding a career in business and management academia.

First Supervisor: Dr Steve Oakes
Second Supervisor: Prof Anahid Kassabian

Anna-Katharina Balonier


After graduating with a MA Marketing from Keele University and two years in the business development department of an international firm, I have decided to resume my studies. My programme of research will focus on the identity-making projects of consumers. Where my MA dissertation focused strongly on the consumption of ethical products, my PhD project revolves around consumer decision making regarding end-of-life planning and how identity can play an important role in the process. I am grateful to my supervisors Professor Elizabeth Parsons and Professor Anthony Patterson for allowing me to take on such a sensitive topic and in supporting me along the way.  

First Supervisor: Prof Elizabeth Parsons
Second Supervisor:
Prof Anthony Patterson

David Fell


What is it to be ‘cool’? Exploring urban service experiences and connected ‘party buzz'.

Since completing a Masters in ‘International Technology Management’ at University of Warwick and more recently the ‘MSc Consumer Marketing’ programme at Liverpool, I have been interested in understanding consumers as a source for creative marketing practice. As a result, I commenced a PhD at the University of Liverpool’s management school in October 2014.

I am researching how consumers create ‘cool’ affiliations to certain service encounter experiences. This involves interpreting experiences within trending, vibrant consumer communities. I am particularly interested in brands, consumer nuances, cultures and their relationships with human interactions. I am using various research methods to understand phenomena and am especially interested in narrative research methods for describing and communicating meaning in creative ways.

This is important research as I believe that understanding why and how consumers affiliate themselves with physical experiences and authenticate themselves is essential to understanding new social, lifestyle trends and deep contextual understanding of consumer behaviour (and their contemporary practices). This study can help inform service providers of how to develop their brand affinity and brand appeal within influential consumer communities.

Most of my previous career has involved working for and with large organizations in the digital and telecommunications industries as well as managing a healthcare SME. I have led both multi-disciplinary and intercompany teams in international sales, marketing and product marketing arenas, while also creating and delivering new product development programmes and service launches.

First Supervisor: Anthony Patterson
Second Supervisor: Lee Quinn

 Izian Idris  


Izian’s project focuses on older models in Malaysian advertising. The first stage of the project comprises a content analysis of both television and print media advertising, in order to ascertain the representation of seniors, including the numbers, nature of their roles, and types of brands for which older adults are utilised. The second stage comprises a questionnaire designed to ascertain attitudes towards different advertising campaigns that use older models. This questionnaire will be distributed to both older and younger Malaysian adults.

First Supervisor: Dr Lynn Sudbury-Riley
Second Supervisor: Prof Anthony Patterson

Klara Scheurenbrand

The aims of my research are to explore the impact of emerging practices on consumption within a specific cultural environment and to explore the methodological dimensions of the application of Practice Theory on consumption studies as well as to explore the benefits of a Practice Theory approach for the field of behaviour change and social marketing studies.

Practice Theory is a new approach within consumer research rooted in culture studies. Hence, gained insights give not only answers and new understanding of the specific consumption in its particular cultural context, but also pioneer new methodological analysis of consumption, which until recently has been reduced to the relationship between objects and subjects whereas Practice Theory looks beyond this one-to-one respect enabling a wider picture grasping the complex relationships of many interrelated dimensions influencing a practice in which consumption is embedded.

My study is conducted through an ethnographic methodology in the context of a European island, where the practice of cycling currently emerges; being pushed by several dimensions such as political and economical. Hence, at a practical level, my research provides cultural based insights for social marketing and behaviour change strategies, as they reflect native sayings, doings and Habitus of the consumer.

First Supervisor: Prof Elizabeth Parsons 
Second Supervisor: Prof Anthony Patterson

Maria Sherrington


Maria Sherrington holds a BSc( Hons) and an MA in International Marketing. She has previously conducted research into consumer perception of country-of-origin. Maria is currently conducting a PhD study into food advertising to young consumers, which incorporates longitudinal and cross-cultural research with adolescents in England and Sweden. The study concerns television advertising and advertising in new media.

First Supervisor: Dr Steve Oakes
Second Supervisor: Dr Philippa Hunter Jones

Rachel Spence


After completing my undergraduate degree in Business and Politics in 2014 at the University of Liverpool, I am now continuing as a research student. My interests include: patients’ experience and sense-making of health care service encounters; value co-creation; eHealth, and  mHealth.  My PhD research aims to consider the foundational premises underpinning the theory of Service-Dominant Logic, regarding primary health care services. Service-Dominant Logic is an influential framework within the marketing community, which requires further exploration. The aim is to study how the role of operant, and intangible resources, influences service perceptions, and impacts the health service encounter.

First Supervisor: Pippa Hunter Jones
Second SupervisorAnthony Patterson