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Cristina Chueca Del Cerro

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Sociology
Fellow of the Durham Research Methods Centre


Cristina is an interdisciplinary scholar at the intersection of political and complexity sciences. She studied Politics with Quantitative Methods at the University of Glasgow in 2018 and was then awarded a 1+3 Advanced Quantitative Methods studentship funded by the ESRC to continue her academic journey at the University of Glasgow. Cristina graduated her MRes in Political Communication with Merit in 2019. For her dissertation she developed a theoretical agent-based model of echo chambers on social media platforms, coded in Python. The goal being to uncover the necessary network conditions for echo chambers to emerge on social media platforms.

In 2019 she began her PhD investigating how national identity polarisation contributes to protest mobilisation around secessionist movements using a social simulation. She has developed an agent-based model to understand how social media and social networks contribute to the polarization of national identity and the effects this has on protest mobilisation. She was awarded the best student paper at the Social Simulation Conference (SSC) in Milan (September 2022), organised by the European Association of Social Simulation (ESSA) on her work about social media and social network's role in shaping attitudes: an agent-based model which used the case study of Catalonia's secessionist movement to understand this process.

Cristina obtained her PhD in Political Sciences from Glasgow University at the end of February, weeks after delivering a seminar at the International Roundtable on Computational Social Science Roundtable organised by the Institute for Analytical Sociology (IAS) of Linköping University on her PhD work. She has since moved to her new role as a research associate in computational social science at Durham University, working alongside Dr. Jen Badham, focusing on generating realistic synthetic social networks for simulation. Her research interests include social media research, political participation, and social simulation. She frequently programs in R or Netlogo as well as Python.

Moreover, Cristina has been a committee member of Social Network Analysis Scotland (SNAS) since 2021 contributing to research and engagement activities for PGR students and social media content creation. She is also a member of ESSA's special interest group on Social Identity in Agent-based Modelling (SIAM) composed of interdisciplinary and cross-university researchers modelling social identity approaches.

Research interests

  • Complexity science
  • Network science
  • Social simulation
  • Social media research
  • Polarisation
  • Social Network Analysis
  • Protest mobilisation