Meet the Team

Dr Ella McPherson

Ella, founder and lead of The Whistle, is Senior Lecturer in the Sociology of New Media and Digital Technology at the University of Cambridge. Her current research in Cambridge’s Department of Sociology is on the impact of social media on human rights reporting, funded by an ESRC Future Research Leader fellowship and the Isaac Newton Trust. She is also the Anthony L. Lyster Fellow in Sociology at Queens’ College and Co-Director of Cambridge’s Centre of Governance and Human Rights, where she leads the Human Rights in the Digital Age research theme.

Isabel Guenette Thornton

Isabel is the Product Lead at the Whistle and a PhD student in Sociology at Cambridge. She also holds an MPhil from Cambridge in Media and Culture with a focus on digital technology. Prior to Cambridge, she was an early member of Nest (acquired by Google in 2014) as the product manager of the Nest Learning Thermostat, a thermostat that uses advanced machine learning to help users save energy (named one of TIMES Magazine’s 50 Most Influential Gadgets). Her interests include the use of advanced software agents in domestic and intimate spaces, mediated interaction in augmented and virtual reality, and the use of digital tools in a human rights context.

Matt Mahmoudi

Matt Mahmoudi is Program Lead at, and Jo Cox PhD Scholar at Cambridge. His research focuses on technological marginalisation in refugees and asylum seekers and examines the justice implications of new digital boundaries to life in cities in an era of “datafied refuge”. Matt co-coordinates the Cambridge branch of Amnesty International’s Digital Verification Corps, and co-founded and co-produces Declarations: The Human Rights Podcast at Cambridge’s Centre of Governance & Human Rights. 

Saide Mobayed

Saide evaluates the impact of The Whistle and supports other research activities. She is a PhD candidate in Sociology at Cambridge where she is looking at how data on fem(in)icide—the gender-related killing of women and girls—is being collected, compared and contested. Her interests include globalisation, violence against women and girls, and the use of digital technologies to report human rights violations and data activism.

Louis Slater

Louis studied Computer Science at Pembroke College, Cambridge. Since graduating in June 2019, he has been working as a research associate and software developer on The Whistle.