Who we are

Natalie Headshot

Dr Natalie Edwards


One of Canopy’s co-founders, Nat works with clients to develop meaningful, commercially-viable and future-proofed innovations, market positions and communications through the practical application of cultural insight.

She has led complex global projects across categories from FMCG, finance and healthcare to media, automotive and tech - helping her clients understand and connect with consumers from the US and Latin America, Indonesia and South Korea.

She has a PhD in media, gender and cultural theory and an enduring interest in the construction and evolution of meaning in culture. 

Sián Pearce

Siân Pearce


Sian specialises in semiotic analysis for brand redesign and market repositioning.

As a Director and cofounder of Canopy, she has conducted semiotics-led insight projects across markets from the UK to Argentina, South Africa and Indonesia, for categories spanning FMCG, alcohol, charity and automotive. A trained Demographer, she holds an MSc in Demographic Methods from the University of London, and before founding Canopy spent a decade in strategic communications roles in the energy and aviation sectors.


Dr Victoria Gerstman

Dr Victoria Gerstman

Associate Director

Victoria works closely with brands to deliver business results through in-depth cultural analysis.

She holds a PhD in Culture, Film and Media and has worked in New York and London, on global brands across categories spanning b2b, gaming, alcohol, entertainment and retail. Her interest in cultural analysis began as an undergraduate at Columbia University, where she studied Anthropology and East Asian Languages. She also holds a Masters degree in Social Science from the University of Chicago.

Rebecca Collins

Becks Collins

Project Director

Becks has extensive experience in semiotics and cultural analysis - managing projects, identifying cultural change and providing strategic insight for clients.

Her specialties are design, sensory and spatial semiotics, in the areas of beauty, health, food and beverage, technology, fashion, baby care and sustainability. She has led projects in a wide range of markets, in an equally diverse range of categories, from the future of soft drinks in Indonesia, to the evolution of Mexican haircare, to the changing world of healthcare in Europe.

Becks first discovered semiotics during her Master's degree in Cultural and Creative Industries, and after a varied career in the arts decided to pursue semiotics as her real passion.

Colette Sensier

Colette Sensier

Senior Project Manager

Colette is a semiotician, cultural analyst and brand strategist who manages projects, tracks changes in culture, and creates relevant insights that allow clients to stay ahead of the game.

She has worked on a wide variety of projects and markets, but particularly enjoys food & beverage, future tech, world of work and beauty projects – from coming up with new skincare concepts, to investigating luxury travel trends across Asia. She has particular interests in new product development and sensory semiotics, and also enjoys qualitative research and ethnography. Her background in creative writing helps her to track developments in language that indicate cultural change.

Colette worked as a freelance semiotician, trendspotter and copywriter in the US and UK before becoming a full-time cultural analyst. She holds an English BA from the University of Cambridge, and an MA in Creative Writing from UEA.

Eve Simnett

Eve Simnett

Senior Analyst

Eve has a background in qualitative research and film production.

She has worked in markets from Brazil to the US, France and China, across categories from finance and media/tech to alcohol and publishing, on demographics including Gen Z and Millennials, and on topics from luxury, technology, young masculinity and female consumer engagement to empowerment, premiumness and the meaning of play.

Dr Gianlluca Simi

Dr Gianlluca Simi


Gianlluca employs semiotics and cultural analysis to ensure maximum brand relevance and cultural significance across markets.

A native Brazilian working across both Brazil and the UK, he holds a PhD and MA in Cultural Studies and a BA from the Federal University of Santa Maria, and prior to joining Canopy worked in a range of academic, media and cultural industry settings.

Samuel Wilkinson

Samuel Wilkinson


Sam is a researcher with expertise in visual cultures, politics and the media in Western Europe, particularly France and the UK. 

He has a BA and an MA in French Studies and is completing a PhD on visual media and politics in contemporary France. 

He worked as a lecturer at Nottingham Trent University, where he taught on the BA in Graphic Design. He has also worked as a freelance researcher for recent online political campaigns in Europe.

Russell Williams Canopy Insight

Russell Williams


Russell is Canopy’s fieldwork pathfinder. Before joining Canopy, he spent 8 years working in the US tourism industry – and before that, some 12 years in the United States Navy and the Merchant Marines.

He has travelled widely across the length and breadth of the US, has extensive experience in project planning and logistics, and is particularly skilled in identifying and unlocking the changing meanings and insight use-value of places and spaces – both within the US and beyond. 

Claire Thomas Headshot

Claire Thomas

Associate Senior Analyst

Claire's interest in research techniques including semiotics and ethnography began when studying for her first degree at the LSE, where she specialised in Social Anthropology.

She went on to do a post grad in marketing at Kingston University to explore how research could be used in a commercial context. From here, she began a career in qualitative research, successfully running her own company (Mosquito) for several years, and most recently working at RDSi as a director.

Ally Castle

Ally Castle


Ally is a creative strategist, specialising in content and communication in broadcasting.

A former Senior Planner for BBC Entertainment, BBC Comedy and BBC Three, Ally uses many techniques – including audience insight, content analysis, storytelling tools and workshop facilitation – to develop frameworks in which creativity and editorial judgement can flourish.

She has a passion for supporting others in the innovation process.