Matthew Spencer

M.St. in Oriental Studies (specialising in Pali).

Areas of interest: Pali language, Buddhist ethics, meditation theory and practice.

Matthew is especially interested in the application of contemplative practice to non-religious settings in healthcare and wider society, and the convergence of Buddhist traditions with them. In addition, he is researching metaethical theories as they relate to Buddhism and Pali texts in particular. His principal focus, however, is currently the Pali language.

Amy Norman

amy norman


MPhil in South Asian Studies

Amy got her MA (Hons) In Religious Studies at the University of Aberdeen. She won the 2011 Ewan Prize in Religious Studies for being the most successful honours candidate in the papers in history of religions. Her undergraduate dissertation was entitled: “Educate, Agitate and Organise: The Consequences of B.R. Ambedkar’s Engaged Buddhism.”

She completed her MPhil in Classical Indian Religion at Oxford University.

Bruno Galasek



Bruno is a PhD. Student at Bonn University with the Bonn International Graduate School – Oriental and Asian Studies.

He visited Oxford University on a scholarship from DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service, Bonn).

He has a MA in Indology from Bonn University – his MA thesis was:

“Die tibetische Übersetzung von Prajñākaramatis Kommentar zu Bodhicaryāvatāra III, 22-23 herausgegeben und übersetzt“. (“An edition and translation of the Tibetan translation of Prajñākaramati’s commentary on Bodhicaryāvatāra III,22-33 ”)

His PhD. project is “Narrative structures and the representation of characters in the Pali Suttas”

Alex Wrona

Alex visited Oxford for a term from the University of Vienna where he is reading for a BA in Languages and Cultures of South Asia and Tibet – (3rdyear).

His main interests are Pali, Theravada Buddhism and Sinhalese studies. During his stay he will be studying with various professors from Oxford.

He is pursuing his current Pali and Theravada studies because he is interested in the relations between Muslims and Buddhists, particular in South Asian and Arabic countries. For that reason he is also planning to start studying Arabic next year in Vienna.

Alex is the developer of the WiPitaka.  A web resource we co-host with him to encourage translations of the Pali canon into various languages.


Zhao You

Zhao You is a PhD candidate in Buddhist Studies at Peking University and visited Oxford for the academic year 2013-14 as a recognized student.

Before enrolling in this PhD programme, Zhao You majored in Philosophy and earned her BA from Peking University in 2010. Once interested in phenomenology, towards the end of her undergraduate studies she became more attracted to and convinced by Buddhist philosophy, especially its epistemological perspectives.

Later on, her practical concerns in the religious life that Chinese Buddhists are involved in, and all those tangible forms of religious objects including images that used to or continue to influence the lay communities, brought her to the question of lay Buddhist identity constructed by different types of narratives. Her dissertation will thus focus on Vimalakirti as a traditional ideal personality, interpreted and reinterpreted in the history of Chinese Buddhism.

Cao Ting




Ting Cao  (曹婷) is a PhD candidate at Zhejiang University and was a visiting research student at the Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies.

Already as a Master’s student she started focusing on the linguistic study of earliest Chinese Buddhist translations,especially in the context of the history of ancient Chinese language. More recently, she has also developed strong interests in Buddhist philology, comparative linguistics, and Japanese manuscripts of Buddhist scriptures.