Meet the research team

Oxford Information Labs

Picture of Emily Taylor

Mark Robertshaw, speaking at an ICANN at-large meeting

Picture of Lucien Taylor

Oxford Information Labs (OXIL) is a team of software developers and research analysts.  OXIL works at the forefront of internet technology, providing database design, data analysis, data mining, and bespoke web-based software systems.  

OXIL has provided the technical research behind the IDN World Report since 2011, including analysis of domain name zone files, identification of languages, keyword analysis and data visualisations.

OXIL was established in 2002.  Current and former clients include ICANN, BBC, Oxford City Council, UK Department for Children Schools and Families, Calibre, Royal College of Nursing, Nominet, and the Dragon School. Recent research projects include ICANN Middle East Domain Name Marketplace Study (2015) and ICANN Latin America and Caribbean Domain Name Marketplace Study (2016).

Emily Taylor, OXIL’s CEO, is the lead author for the IDN World Report, and has a long working relationship with EURid, the .eu registry. Emily is an Associate Fellow of Chatham House and is Editor of the Journal of Cyber Policy, an academic journal published by Routledge, Taylor & Francis.

She is a member of the Global Commission on Internet Governance Research Advisory Network, for which she wrote papers on the “Privatisation of Human Rights” and “ICANN: Bridging the Trust Gap”. She was part of the research team on major studies for the UK regulator, Ofcom, on IPv6 Deployment, Carrier Grade Network Address Translation, and DNSSEC. Previous research projects include a critical analysis of ICANN’s policy development process (GNSO PDP), commissioned by the Accountability and Transparency Review Team. Emily chaired the independent WHOIS Review Team for ICANN, and served on the Internet Governance Forum’s Multistakeholder Advisory Group. From 2000-2009, she was at Nominet as Director of Legal and Policy. She has written for the Guardian and New Statesman, and has appeared on the BBC Now Show.

With EURid’s Giovanni Seppia, Emily has lectured on cybersecurity, EU internet law and governance at the College of Europe in Bruges, the University of Southern Bohemia in České Budějovice and the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa.

OXIL’s founders Mark Robertshaw and Lucien Taylor are experienced software programmers.  Mark has a degree in Mathematics from Oxford University, and has more than 15 years’ experience of software development for the web, using numerous programming languages such as C, Java, Perl, PHP, Javascript, HTML5, CSS, XML and other web standards.  Lucien graduated with a first class degree in Mathematics and Computing and obtained an MBA from the Open University.  Lucien designed and implemented Nominet’s Dispute Resolution Service workflow software in 2001, and specialises in graphical user interface design, workflow modelling and data analysis.

The most recent addition to OXIL’s IDN research team is Stacie Walsh.  Stacie advises industry, policy makers, and governments on Internet governance issues. She is an experienced researcher, data analyst, writer, presenter and project manager. She has worked on a variety of topics including the in Internet addressing (DNS) ecosystem, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Over-the-Top (OTT) services, and cybersecurity. Stacie is a CESG certified Cyber Security/Information Assurance Auditor Practitioner and holds a certificate in ISO/IEC 27001 Information Security Management Principles. In 2015 Stacie was an ICANN NextGen participant.

Giovanni Seppia

Giovanni Seppia - External Relations Manager (EURid)Giovanni Seppia is the External Relations Manager at EURid, the .eu registry, a position he has held since 2007.  He has devised and implemented EURid’s award winning marketing strategy, is responsible for EURid’s institutional relationships with the European Commission, Internet Governance Forum and ICANN.  He has served on the board of CENTR (the European ccTLD organsation) of which he was elected Chair in 2014.  Giovanni manages a team of more than 20 people, and coordinates account management with EURid’s 750 accredited registrars.  He has been responsible for numerous initiatives whilst at EURid, including the organisation’s accreditation for the environmental standard EMAS, launch of the .eu Web Awards, and EURid’s Insights research publications.

Giovanni has been involved in the IDN World Report since its inception in 2011.  He provides editorial oversight and liaison with key partners from the ccTLD and gTLD registry communities worldwide.

Giovanni has lectured on EU internet law and governance at the College of Europe in Bruges and the Scuola Sant’Anna, Pisa. Other recent research projects include ICANN Middle East Domain Name Marketplace Study (2015) and ICANN Latin America and Caribbean Domain Name Marketplace Study (2016 – forthcoming).

Prior to joining EURid, Giovanni worked for a number of other well-known organisations in the domain name sector, including ICANN, CENTR, and the Institute of Informatics and Telematics (the .it registry).

Giovanni has a degree in Political Science from the University of Pisa, with a thesis in international law.


Mark McFadden

Mark McFaddeMark McFadden has more than 20 years of operational and policy experience with internet protocol addressing and large-scale internetworking.  Since 2012, Mark has been a member of the UK delegation to the ITU’s Study Group on Security and has been the UK lead on Cloud Computing Security.  He is an active contributor to the work of the Internet Engineering Task Force and ICANN.  He is also a regular contributor to the work of the Regional Internet Registries, including serving as the Chair of ICANN’s Address Supporting Organisation.  Mark is currently Principal Consultant on Internet Infrastructure and Governance for InterConnect Communications.

Mark has been involved in the IDN World Report project since 2013. His focus is on the usability of IDNs – universal acceptance.  He has provided chapters on universal acceptance of IDNs in every issue since 2013.

Mark has led major research projects and studies for the UK regulator Ofcom, including major studies on IPv6 Deployment, Carrier Grade Network Address Translation, and DNSSEC.  Research projects for ICANN have included a critical analysis of the effectiveness of ICANN’s policy development process (the GNSO PDP), commissioned by the second Accountability and Transparency Review Team.  Mark led InterConnect’s team alongside partners from University College London, in providing evaluation panel support for ICANN’s new gTLD programme.  Mark is also part of the research team for ICANN’s Latin America and Caribbean Domain Name Marketplace Study (2016 – forthcoming).

Previous roles for Mark have included Resource Specialist at the IANA, Principal Strategist for Internet Naming and Addressing for BT, and Director, Internet, Internet Security and Wireless Certification Programs at the University of Wisconsin.