Dr Sian Lewis

Dr Sian Lewis

Lecturer in Criminology

School of Society and Culture (Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business)



Sian's research specialty is sexual harassment in public space, focusing on public transport. As a timely topic, she has established herself as an expert in the field and engaged extensively with both stakeholders and the media. She acted as an academic expert on the British Transport Police Sexual Offences Independent Advisory and Scrutiny Panel, wrote evidence for the UK parliamentary Women and Girls Equalities Committee, and has appeared on national and global television and radio. She has also spent time in Udaipur, India, working for a local criminological think tank. She is currently part of an interdisciplinary research team exploring the links between gender-based violence and the pandemic restrictions on movement. Prior to working at the University of Plymouth, Sian has worked as University of Roehampton, Loughborough University and Anglia Ruskin University.


  • PhD in Sociology – Loughborough University, School of Social Sciences, October 2015 - March 2019
    Thesis Title: Sexual harassment on the London Underground: Mobilities, temporalities and knowledges of gendered violence in public transport.
  • MSc in Gender, Sexuality and Society – University of Amsterdam, School of Social Sciences, 2013 - 2014
    Thesis Title: Lads on Tour: Deconstructing Masculinities in Amsterdam’s Red Light District.
  • BSc Global Health and Humanitarian Relief – University of Hull, 2009 - 2012



Teaching interests

  • Urban space and social exclusion
  • Gender, sexual harassment and sexual violence
  • Criminological theory



Research interests

Other research

2017-2019 – Research assistant on a project titled ‘LGBT Experiences in Construction’. Using in-depth interviews and focus groups we investigated experiences of institutional homophobia within the construction industry. Responsibilities include recruiting participants, conducting interviews, analysing data, delivering presentations and working closely with the project leads: https://www.ciobacademy.org/course/lgbt-in-construction/

Grants & contracts

2020-2021 UKRI grant (£131,485) gender based violence and lockdown. Part of interdisciplinary research team. 




Lewis, S., Saukko, P., Lumsden, K. (2020) Rhythms, sociabilities and transience of sexual harassment in transport: mobilities perspectives of the London Underground. Gender, Place and Culture.

Internet Publications

The Conversation (Jan 2020) What not to say when women talk to you about sexual harassment: https://theconversation.com/what-not-to-say-when-women-talk-to-you-about-sexual-harassment-112813

Barnard, S., Dainty, A., Lewis, S., Culora, A. LGBT in Construction: Exploring Experiences to Inform Inclusive Practice: https://www.ciobacademy.org/course/lgbt-in-construction/

The Wire, Opinion Piece (March 2019) Why India’s ‘Dignity March’ Against Sexual Violence Stigma Deserves Attention: https://thewire.in/women/india-dignity-march-sexual-violence-stigma

Article written for The I News summarising BBC 100 Women Week 2017, ‘What happened when we were given five days to tackle sexual harassment’: https://inews.co.uk/opinion/happened-given-five-days-tackle-sexual-harassment/

Article published on The Conversation: ‘He just pulled my hand in to his lap’: what it’s really like to be assaulted on the London Underground (Nov 2017). Republished by The Independent, City Metric. Times of Malta, Salon and Newsify: https://theconversation.com/he-just-pulled-my-hand-in-to-his-lap-what-its-really-like-to-be-assaulted-on-the-london-underground-88114

Other Publications

BBC World News mini-film discussing research and own experience: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/world-41630741/100-women-why-i-didn-t-report-sexual-harassment-on-the-bus

Loughborough University Press Release Video (2017): ‘Study tackles sexual assault on the Underground’ : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ed1-8AAD448



Reports & invited lectures

  • Lewis, Sian ‘Sexual Harassment in Public Transport’. International Women’s Week: Tackling Trolling and Sexual Harassment. Loughborough University (March 2020)
  • Lewis, Sian, ‘Mind the (gender) gap: sexual harassment on the London Underground’ University of Sussex (March 2018)
  • Lewis, Sian, ‘Experiences of sexual harassment on the London Underground’, Loughborough University Consent Week (February 2017)
  • Lewis, Sian ‘Lads on Tour’: Deconstructing Masculinities in Amsterdam’s Red Light District’, guest lecture at Loughborough University (2017)
  •  Lewis, Sian ‘Experiences and Perceptions of Sexual Harassment on the London Underground’, British Transport Police Research Day, British Transport Police Headquarters, London (December 2016)
  • Lewis, Sian ‘Experiences of Sexual Harassment on the London Underground’, University of Warwick Centre for the Study of Women and Gender (2016)

Conferences organised

  • Organising committee for the ‘Feminist Methodologies Symposium’ (20/03/2018) at Loughborough University

Other academic activities

  • PhD research used to inform British Transport Police Sexual Offences Independent Advisory and Scrutiny Panel (2017)
  • Lewis Sian, Barnard Sarah, Dainty Andrew, ‘LGBT in Construction: Exploring experiences to inform inclusive practices’, Loughborough University LGBT+ Research Day (May 2nd 2018)
  • Lewis, Sian ‘Mind the (gender) gap: sexual harassment in the London Underground’, LOVA International Conference on Gender, Ethnography and Mobilities, VU University, Amsterdam (July 2017)