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. 

Devika Ranjan

Devika runs communications and measures the impact of The Whistle. She is an ethnographer and theatre-maker focused on stories of human rights, migration, and technology. Devika holds a B.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and an MPhil in Sociology from the University of Cambridge as a Marshall Scholar. Her work between performance and politics has been commended by HRH Duchess of Sussex for its importance for vulnerable people and political crises at large. 

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.

Tom Berman

Tom is a software developer, interested in projects with clear social, political and environmental impacts. Tom has worked at Cambridge University at the Centre for Sustainable Development, then IBM and green energy startup Octopus Energy. He has also worked on an art commission looking into the future of work – Work We Want, shown at the Southbank.