Dr Selin Nugent

PhD, MA, BA/BSci

Assistant Director - Centre for AI, Culture and Society

School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics


Selin is an anthropologist and data scientist specialising in digital heritage, data ethics, and human cultural evolution, employing computational, statistical, and field-based methods. After completing her PhD in Anthropology from The Ohio State University, she held positions at New York University’s Institute for Study of the Ancient World and the Institute for Social Cohesion at the University of Oxford. She is Assistant Director of the Centre for AI, Culture & Society (CAICS) in the School of Engineering, Computing, and Mathematics where she leads research on the social impact of AI and digital technologies, with particular focus on cultural heritage. She also serves as a Network Lead for the Artificial Intelligence and Data Analysis Network.

Selin's research focuses on two interconnected research streams. The first stream cross-pollinates evidence from computational modelling and field-based methods to reconstruct prehistoric nomadic cooperation networks in Western Asia (South Caucasus and Southern Arabia). The second stream focuses on evaluating the opportunities and challenges of advanced data technologies in the heritage sector, particularly with the goal of integrating participatory engagement in digital heritage and developing responsible innovation governance strategies that monitor and mitigate social impacts.

Her current field research takes place at the Şərur Valley in Azerbaijan and at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bat, Al-Khutum, and Al-Ayn in Oman. Previous projects include designing the RESISTIRÉ app for monitoring post-pandemic gender inequalities in Europe, a Disability and AI advocacy campaign to raise awareness of disability inclusion related to AI technologies in the workplace, and advising on human-centred Artificial Intelligence systems for employers through the World Economic Forum. As part of her wider interest in making spaces more impactful and accessible for communities, Selin also serves on the Board for Makespace Oxford.

Teaching and supervision


Manton, J. 2023 - present, Post-Digital Books & The Library Lab

I am looking for talented researchers (MA, PhD, or postdocs) in digital heritage, AI/Data Ethics, computational social science, or related subjects to join my team. If this is interesting to you, please get in touch!


Research Grants and Awards

  • "Advancing AI and Responsible Innovation in the Heritage Sector" - OBU Knowledge Exchange Award, 2024 - (PI)
  • OBU Executive Coaching Award, 2022
  • "REsponding to outbreaks through CO-creatiVe inclusive Equality stRategIES", European Commission, 2021 (co-I)
  • American Schools for Research in the South Caucasus Fellowship, 2019 (PI)
  • National Science Foundation, Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant, 2016 (PI)
  • Wenner-Gren Foundation, Dissertation Fieldwork Grant, 2016 (PI)
  • Daniel Hughes Memorial Fund, Ohio State University, 2015
  • Elizabeth Salt Travel Award, Ohio State University, 2015
  • Federal Employees Education Fund, 2014
  • Heritage Fellowship, American Schools for Oriental Research, 2014
  • Larsen Research and Travel Award, Ohio State University, 2014
  • William S. Pollitzer Award, American Association for Biological Anthropologists, 2014
  • Graduate Fellowship, Ohio State University, 2012


Active Research Areas

Digital Heritage and Participatory Engagement

  • Bat Archaeological Project
  • Advancing AI and Responsible Innovation in the UK Heritage Sector, 2024
  • Nugent, S 2023. 'Mortuary Excavation and Recording Approaches'

AI and Data Ethics

  • Nugent SE, Scott-Parker S. 2022. 'Recruitment AI has a Disability Problem: anticipating and mitigating unfair automated hiring decisions.'
  • Crook N, Nugent S, Rolf M, Baimel A, Raper R, 2021. 'Computing morality: Synthetic ethical decision making and behaviour.'
  • Bridge O, Raper R, Strong N, Nugent SE. 2021. 'Modelling a socialised chatbot using trust development in children: lessons learnt from Tay.'
  • Hollister M, Acarkan T, Beudeker R, Abercrombie C, Alonso A, Anderson C, Benreytan D, Bokelberg E, Cohen A, Crane B, Du S, Ergin Tosun M, Finlayson J, Furlong J, Gabsi A, Garg A, Gedik E, Gil S, Golbin I, Greenway E, Hogan T, Hoque E, Huang H, Jadhav V, Jyotishi S, Karp A, Keating M, Ley A, Lupushor S, Mathiason G, Matos A, Morrison E, Nascimento L, Ng E, Nugent S, Ntlatlapa N, Oral Y, Pagliarello T, Parker-Wood A, Polli F, Raghavan M, Sarioglu O, Scherer M, Scott-Parker S, Simon A, Solan Z, St-Denis X, Trindel K, Yarger L, Yakubovich V, Zywien J, “Human-Centred Artificial Intelligence for Human Resources: A Toolkit for Human Resources Professionals.”

Computational Social Science / Modelling Human Cultural Evolution

  • Turchin P, Whitehouse H, Larson J, Cioni E, Reddish J, Hoyer D, Savage PE, Covey RA, Baines J, Altaweel M, Anderson E, Bol P, Brandl E, Carballo DM, Feinman G, Korotayev A, Kradin N, Levine JD, Nugent SE, Squitieri A, Wallace V, François P. 2022. 'Explaining the rise of moralizing religions: a test of competing hypotheses using the Seshat Databank.'
  • Turchin P, Whitehouse H, Larson J, Cioni E, Reddish J, Hoyer D, Savage PE., Covey RA, Baines J, Altaweel M, Anderson E, Bol P, Brandl E, Carballo DM, Feinman G, Korotayev A, Kradin N, Levine JD, Nugent SE., Squitieri A, Wallace V, François P. 2022. 'Big Gods and big science: further reflections on theory, data, and analysis.'
  • Warinner C, Scott A, Reinhold S, Hermes T, Kalmykov A, Belinsky AB, Buzhilova A, Berezina N, Kantorovich AR, Maslov VE, Guliyev F, Lyonnet B, Gasimov PG,Jalilov B, Eminli J, Iskandarov E, Hammer E, Nugent SE, Hagan R, Majander K, Onkamo P, Nordqvist K, Shishlina N, Kaverzneva E, Korolev A, Khokhlov A, Smolyaninov R, Sharapova S, Krause R, Karapetian M, Stolarczyk E, Krause J, Hansen S, Haak W. 2022. 'Emergence and intensification of dairying in the Caucasus and Eurasian steppes.'
  • Stovell C, Lionello L, Rossett Fi, Charafeddine R, Nugent S, Still A, Tanwar J, Tzanakou C. 2022. 'RESISTIRE D3.2 - Summary report on mapping quantitative indicators – cycle 2.'


Centres and institutes


Projects as Principal Investigator, or Lead Academic if project is led by another Institution

  • REsponding to outbreaks through CO-creatiVe inclusive Equality stRategIES (led by OBBS) (01/04/2021 - 30/09/2023), funded by: European Commission, funding amount received by Brookes: £51,314

Projects as Co-investigator

  • REsponding to outbreaks through CO-creatiVe inclusive Equality stRategIES (Led by ESF)(01/04/2021 - 30/09/2023), funded by: European Commission, funding amount received by Brookes: £295,101, funded by: European Commission


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