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Photo of Dr Travis Coan

Dr Travis Coan

Associate Professor in Computational Social Science

Dr. Travis G. Coan is an Associate Professor in Computational Social Science at the University of Exeter. He is co-director of the Exeter Q-Step Centre and is a member of the Centre for Elections, Media, and Participation (CEMaP). While Dr. Coan has published on a wide-range of topics, his core research examines questions in the areas of environmental and political communication. Travis' methodological interests include Bayesian statistics, natural language processing, and computer vision. His work has appeared in the American Political Science ReviewClimatic ChangeGlobal Environmental ChangeElectoral StudiesInternational Studies Quarterly, and Social Networks, among others.


Travis' recent funded projects include:

  • Co-investigator. “Extreme Identities: A Linguistic and Visual Analysis of European Far-Right Online Communities’ Politics of Identity (ExId)” [with Stephane Baele, Nicole Doerr (U. Copenhagen), and Constantine Boussalis (Trinity College Dublin)]. New Opportunities for Research Funding Agency Co-operation in Europe (NORFACE), €1,086,570, 2020-2023.
  • Co-investigator. “Mining the Chans: Exposing the Visual and Linguistic Dynamics of Radicalization in Far-right Image-boards (MineChans) [with Stephane Baele and Lewys Brace]. Centre for Research and Evidence on Security Threats  CREST, £69,000, 2020.
  • Co-investigator. “Identity, Belonging and the Role of the Media in Brexit Britain" [with Katharine Tyler, Susan Banducci, Cathrine Degnen, and Daniel Stevens]. Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC). £595,129, 2018-2021.
  • Co-investigator. “Media Context and the 2017 General Election: How traditional and social media shape elections [with Daniel Stevens and Susan Banducci]. Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC). £49,999. 2017-2018.
  • Co-investigator. “Measuring Information Exposure in Dynamic and Dependent Networks (ExpoNet)" [with Susan Banducci, David Layzer (Northeastern University), Hywel Williams, Lorien Jasny, and Gabriel Katz]. Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC). £635,000, 2016-19.
  • Co-investigator. “Assessing the Cognitive Mechanisms of Radicalization with a Quantitative Analysis of ISIS' Propaganda” [with Stephane Baele and Katharine A. Boyd]. Centre for Research and Evidence on Security Threats (CREST). £120,000, 2016-17.

Research group links

Research interests

 Political communication, environmental communication, computational social science.

Research supervision

Travis supervises students in the areas of political and climate change communication. He is particularly interested in supervising projects that employ natural language processing and other computational methods to measure and explain key environmental and political challenges.


Current students:

Ranadheer Malla (Advanced Quantitative Methods)

Mirjam Odile Nanko (Advanced Quantiative Methods)

Ned Westwood (Environmental Intellgence)


Past students:

Dr. Raluca Popp

Dr. Hannah Bunting

Modules taught

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