Professor Laura Bishop
Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Faculty of Science)
Professor Bishop is the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Science and Professor of Palaeoanthropology. A native New Yorker, she was educated at Yale College and awarded a BA in Anthropology in 1984. Following a brief period working in the legal profession, she returned to her first academic interest and earned a PhD from Yale University in 1994. She relocated to the UK in 1995, first to the University of Liverpool as a post-doctoral research assistant funded by the Leverhulme Trust. She moved to a permanent lectureship at Liverpool John Moores University in 1999.
Her initial focus at LJMU was teaching and research and she was promoted to Reader in 2007 and Professor in 2011. She co-founded LJMU's Research Centre in Evolutionary Anthropology and Palaeoecology in 2004. She also served as Programme Leader and Subject Leader, stimulating her interest in academic leadership in higher education. Her research interests in human evolution led to her involvement with the AESOP (A European and South African Partnership on Heritage and Past) Erasmus Mundus and AESOP+ Erasmus Plus Projects, where LJMU was the only UK partner of eleven European Universities working with nine South African Universities to provide overseas educational opportunities for postgraduate students.
As a first-generation university graduate, Laura is an active advocate for the transformative potential of higher education and emphasising the power of internationalisation to improve outcomes in students academic and personal lives. In 2015, she shifted her professional focus towards international education, becoming Associate Dean for Global Engagement in her academic faculty. In this role she engaged in a successful programme to expand LJMU's transnational education profile and increase student engagement with international study opportunities.
Professor Bishop was Principal of the Sino-British College of the University of Shanghai for Science and Technology (SBC). SBC is a unique UK-China joint venture institution offering British degree programmes in Engineering and Business as well as access routes to UKHE, in partnership with NCUK. During her time there, she refocused the strategic priorities of the institution to deliver internationalisation goals for USST and its nine UK partner universities, to achieve international accreditation for degree programmes and to share best practice in teaching and learning within the partnership.
Her research explores the environmental contexts of the evolution of human behaviour in Africa. She focuses on interpretation of the dynamic aspects of hominin evolution, particularly behaviour and ecology, within accurate environmental settings. She has conducted extensive field research in eastern and southern Africa following initial archaeological training in Europe. Working with a multidisciplinary, international team, Laura has authored more than sixty scholarly publications.
Professor Bishop is committed to the mentorship of young scientists and early career researchers and she has been a Role Model for the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education's (now Advance HE) Aurora Women's Leadership Programme. As a co-founder of LJMU's Women Professors Network and a past member of its Athena Swan Working Groups, she promotes equality and diversity in all aspects of academic life.