Senior Lecturer and Director of Unit of School and Family Studies
+44 (0)20 7919 7887
+44 (0)20 7919 7873
Whitehead Building, Room 203/4
Goldsmiths, University of London,
New Cross, SE14 6NW
BSc Applied Psychology (Cardiff)
PhD Psychology (Kings College London)
1st year undergraduate:
Psychology of a Person
3rd year undergraduate:
Psychology & Education (course co-ordinator), Behavioural Genetics
Co-Director of MSc Science of Psychology, Genetics and Education
MSc Clinical and Cognitive Neuroscience
I supervise students interested in psychology applied to education, particularly focused on school achievement and behaviour.
2011: Nuffield Foundation Small Grant to study neuropsychological profiles of students in PRUs (£14,340).
2011: Participant in Royal Society MP-Scientist Pairing Scheme.
2011: Learning and Teaching Fellowship from Goldsmiths for production of employability resources (£1998).
2010: Learning and Teaching Fellowship from Goldsmiths for teaching-linked animations (£1850).
2009: Awarded funding from Goldsmiths Department of Psychology for bullying research (£3537).
2009: Awarded Local Authority funding for evaluation of intervention programme (£40,000).
2008: Awarded funding from the Central Research Fund at the University of London (£2303).
2008: Awarded ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship award for 12 months (£76,944).
I am also interested in science communication. I took part in the Royal-Society's MP-Scientist Pairing Scheme in 2011, and presented at the British Psychological Society's Psychology4All day in March 2011. I was also interviewed for Brain Culture aired on BBC Radio 4 on 15th November 2011.
My research is interdisciplinary and I have published experimental, behavioural genetic, and neuroimaging investigations of conduct problems, callous-unemotional traits, and autism spectrum disorders.
The main focus of my work has been on emotion processing and understanding and empathy in children and adolescents with antisocial behavioural problems. Specifically, I am interested in comparing children with callous-unemotional traits (or early psychopathic behaviours) with other children with antisocial behavioural problems, and with other children with empathy difficulties. I started this work with Young Offenders, and have continued to study children and adolescents in mainstream and in special education settings.
I received a first-class BSc from Cardiff University in 2003, and a PhD from the Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London in 2008. My PhD was supervised by Professor Essi Viding (UCL) and Professor Francesca Happe (KCL) and focused on emotion processing and empathy in children with antisocial behaviour and callous-unemotional traits. Part of my thesis used fMRI to investigate the neural correlates of fear processing in these children compared to typically developing children, and follow-up work aims to investigate the neural correlates of empathy and social information processing in this population. I have also used behavioural genetic methods to examine the relative genetic and environmental influences on psychopathic tendencies.
Previously, I worked as an assistant clinical psychologist in the Social Communication Disorders unit at Great Ormond Street Hospital. I am still interested in autism spectrum disorders, and have spent the several years looking at social inclusion and outcomes for students with ASD in mainstream education. This work was done in collaboration with Professor Norah Frederickson at UCL.
I am currently heading three major projects:
1) A project funded by the Nuffield Foundation to investigate the neuropsychological and mental health profiles of those students referred to specialist educational provisions for behavioural difficulties (Pupil Referral Units/SEBD schools). This work started in September 2011 and will intially run for one year.
2) An evaluation of an intervention programme for children with chronic and severe behavioural and emotional difficulties. This project is taking place in a primary school for children with emotional and behavioural difficulties, and I am working alongside Educational Psychologists and teachers to evaluate the effectiveness of this novel programme.
3) An investigation of the neuropsychological, behavioural and personality correlates of bullying. This study aims to use earlier work on callous-unemotional traits and emotional processing and empathy to refine the profiles of children and adolescents involved in different types of bullying behaviour.
Goldsmiths, University of London, New Cross, London, SE14 6NW, UK
Telephone: + 44 (0)20 7919 7171
Goldsmiths has charitable status