The BAMSA team is made up of core staff, a steering group, research associates, volunteers and members of the wider bridge community.

All the core staff work part-time for BAMSA, and there is a large number of people whose contributions have assisted the project. Currently there are opportunities to participate in the project either as a researcher or as a volunteer.

Staff

Professor Samantha Punch
Professor Samantha PunchChair of Sociology
Samantha is Professor of Sociology in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Stirling. Since 2013 she has been developing the sociology of mindsport as an academic discipline with a focus on the social interactions and dynamics of the card game bridge. Sam is an international bridge player, representing Scotland on the women’s team (qualifying for the Venice Cup in 2019), the mixed team (2019) and the open team (Camrose 2013, 2016-18, 2020-21; Europeans 2021). In November 2017 with Marek Malysa she founded the Bridge and Science Committee of the World Bridge Federation. She is currently the education convenor of the Scottish Bridge Union. She launched Bridge: A MindSport for All in 2019 and currently leads and supervises various BAMSA projects. Her previous research interests include youth, childhood and the family which inform the sociology of bridge in relation to intergenerational participation in the mindsport.

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Dr Miriam Snellgrove
Dr Miriam SnellgroveBAMSA Research Fellow
Miriam is a BAMSA Research Fellow in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Stirling. She completed her PhD at the University of Edinburgh in 2013 and then worked in teaching and research at Bristol University and the University of Stirling. Miriam’s sociological fields of study are everyday life and the familiar, time and qualitative research methods. Miriam is not a bridge a player and brings her ‘outsider’ knowledge to the sociology of bridge. For BAMSA, she is working on the elite player interview data for Bridging Minds including papers on strategic interaction, bridging time and gender. Miriam is leading on Bridging Covid and will be conducting the research for the Bridging Schools project.

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Christina Ballinger
Christina BallingerBAMSA Mind Sport Officer
Christina is a consultant in communications and strategic planning and the founder of Bridge 2 Bridge, a bridge marketing partnership. She first started working for BAMSA in June 2020 and was appointed BAMSA Mind Sport Officer in November 2020. Christina has played social bridge since childhood and club bridge since 2015. She teaches bridge with an emphasis on partnership development. She is secretary of Heritage Coast Bridge Club in Suffolk, where she is also a tournament director (directing online since 2020). Although active in the world of club bridge, Christina believes that social bridge is no less important and is working on projects to popularise the game. Christina is currently researching a paper on the history of bridge for Bridging Organisations.

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Zoe Russell
Zoe RussellResearch Assistant
Zoe is an interdisciplinary PhD researcher in sociology and heritage studies in the Faculties of Social Sciences and Arts and Humanities at the University of Stirling. Her PhD examines the intersections between people and their environments and she has also studied criminology, health and social policy, and social research methods. With BAMSA, Zoe has been working on Bridging Minds papers related to identity, emotion and the work-leisure experience for elite players of tournament bridge.

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Dr Camilla Barnet
Dr Camilla BarnetResearch Assistant
Camilla is a Research Assistant in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Stirling. Her interests are quantitative methodologies relating to gender and stratification inequalities. For BAMSA she is designing a primary survey that will be sent to bridge organisations globally. She is also collating and analysing a range of secondary data on bridge playing for  Bridging Organisations.

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Jordan Maclean
Jordan MacleanResearch Assistant
Jordan is a PhD researcher in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Stirling. His doctoral research has developed a new socio-material perspective to the sociology of coaching, using football as the key case study. He joined the BAMSA team in late 2020 and is currently working on Bridging Sociology, Bridging Covid, and Bridging Insights, a new project for 2021.

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Kevin Judge
Kevin JudgePhD Researcher
Kevin is a PhD researcher in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Stirling. His doctorate on the sociology of bridge investigates barriers and opportunities in relation to the process of learning bridge and draws on data from a UK-wide survey and interviews with bridge teachers and learners.

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PhD Supervisors
The sociology of bridge PhD is supervised by Professor Samantha Punch (sociology, UoS), Professor Catherine Hennessy (leisure and ageing, UoS), Dr Greg Mannion (education, UoS) and Dr Dom Wilson (EBED). Thanks also to supervisory input from Dr Louise McCabe (social gerontology, UoS) and Dr Caroline Small (EBED).
PhD Funders
The funding partners for the sociology of bridge PhD are English Bridge Education and Development (EBED), Scottish Bridge Union, Irish Bridge Union, Northern Irish Bridge Union, Welsh Bridge Union and the University of Stirling.

Steering Group

Marianne Harding
Marianne Harding
As an advocate for research into the social, intellectual and health benefits of bridge, Marianne Harding has supported BAMSA since its launch. Marianne is dedicated to introducing young people to the game because of her conviction that children that learn bridge acquire a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts and greater social skills compared to youngsters that only play computer games. Marianne is employed by the Norwegian Bridge Federation (NBF) where she is responsible for recruitment and training. As a key BAMSA partner, NBF is collaborating on the Bridging Schools project. Marianne plays bridge for Norway on the women’s and mixed teams.

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Stephen Peterkin
Stephen Peterkin
Stephen Peterkin is a classically trained pianist and a Scottish national bridge player. With Samantha Punch he has played ten Camrose events and in 2014 they won the Commonwealth Nations transnational teams. Stephen assists BAMSA with transcribing, editing and proofreading, desk research, poster design and spreadsheets. He was event pianist at the Keep Bridge Alive evening and provides musical entertainment at other BAMSA events. In October 2018 Stephen helped set up and run the University of Stirling Bridge Club which attracts an intergenerational mix of university staff, students and local residents.
Tim Rees
Tim Rees
Tim is a Welsh international bridge player, currently living in England. Tim has won most of the main English and Welsh events, including in one year the Welsh Cup, Crockford’s Cup and the Gold Cup (2001). With Samantha Punch, Tim won the Scottish Cup in 2018. Tim has been supporting BAMSA in various roles, including background research, proofreading and editing. For the Pro-Am Pairs event in February 2020, Tim (in conjunction with Simon Cocheme) wrote the BAMSA Bulletin which contained a record of the event and a commentary on many of the hands played.  
Michael Xu
Michael Xu
Michael Xu is a bridge enthusiast and a member of the USA under-16 team that won bronze at the World Youth Team Championships in Wuhan in 2018. When he found out about BAMSA, Michael willingly volunteered to carry out research to support the game that is his hobby and passion. Michael is now involved with recording and analysing national bridge organisations’ responses to Covid-19, as well as exploring emerging themes in relation to cheating and online bridge.

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Research Associates

Marek Malysa
Marek Malysa
Dr Marek Malysa is Vice President of the Polish Bridge Union and a member of the Seniors Committee of the European Bridge League and the World Bridge Federation. In November 2017 with Samantha Punch he founded the Bridge and Science Committee of the World Bridge Federation. Marek led the Bridge 60+ project which helped launch 310 bridge clubs for the elderly in Poland and he is chairman of the council of the Bridge to the People Foundation which funds research into the social and health benefits of bridge. Marek has been the non-playing captain of the Polish under-20 team in European and World Championships and he was coach to the Polish women’s team at the European Championships in Opatija in 2016. He has been involved with BAMSA from the beginning and his contribution includes setting up biennial international academic bridge conferences.

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Dr Ashley Rogers