About us

Details about our staff and student members.

Group of Multi-ethnic school aged children gathering outside together

Academic staff

Dr Josie Booth

Dr Josie Booth is a Senior Lecturer in Developmental Psychology and Chartered Psychologist (BPS). Josie’s research seeks to understand and support how children learn and the relationships with their health behaviour (e.g. physical activity and obesity). Much of Josie’s research involves school based programmes which are often co-created with teachers and pupils, and includes neurodiverse populations, such as ADHD. Josie uses a range of methodology in her research, such as Randomised Controlled Trials, Secondary data analysis of longitudinal data sets, and systematic reviews and meta-analyses.

Dr Katie Cebula

Senior Lecturer in Developmental Psychology. My research and teaching interests focus on the experiences of families with children with developmental disabilities, with a particular focus on sibling relationships. I am also interested in educational approaches and experiences for children with developmental disabilities. A separate strand of my research looks at experiences of university students, focusing mainly on mental health and disabilities.

Dr Sarah Foley

Lecturer in Developmental Psychology. My research and teaching interests focus on family influences on children's social, emotional and cognitive development. I have a particular interest in the causes and consequences of variability in parents' representations of and behaviour towards their children as well as the interdependence of family members in diverse family forms. 

Holly Jenkins

Teaching Fellow in Developmental Psychology. My research focuses on exploring how unconscious cognitive processes, such as statistical learning, support language acquisition and processing. I am particularly interested in investigating how these processes change across development in individuals with and without language difficulties. I use a range of methods in my research, from novel behavioural paradigms designed to measure statistical learning in children, to neuroimaging techniques such as EEG which assess the neural processes that underpin these abilities.

Dr Andrew Manches

Senior Lecturer in Children and Technology. I am a Learning Scientist who uses design-based research approaches to examine how children’s interaction influences learning, and the implications for design, notably multimodal communication and technologies. Much of my work has focuses on the role of gesture in early STEM and the implications for pedagogy and design innovation. I have experience and interest in the role of entrepreneurship in education research.

Dr Sarah McGeown

Senior Lecturer in Developmental Psychology.  I use research-practice partnerships to understand and support children and young people’s literacy experiences and outcomes. You can learn more about my research on the Literacy Lab blog.

 Literacy Lab blog

Dr Julie Smith

Lecturer in Developmental Psychology.  I am a qualified Clinical Associate in Applied Psychology (Children and Young People).  My teaching and research interests include understanding what aspects of relationships promote and sustain social and emotional wellbeing in children and young people.  In particular, I am interested in the relationship between pedagogical approaches and wellbeing in educational settings, including student wellbeing in Higher Education.  I am also interested in the development of children’s problem solving skills in STEM subjects, with a focus on metacognitive use in collaborative situations.  I am particularly interested in evaluative research in applied settings.

Dr Tracy Stewart

Lecturer in Developmental Psychology (FHEA) and Chartered Psychologist (BPS). My research expertise is in understanding the development and maintenance of cognitive and emotional factors that give rise to clinical and pre-clinical symptoms across childhood and adolescence, mainly depression and anxiety. This also includes vulnerability and resilience to mental ill-health and school learning in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) and mental ill-health in autistic children and adolescents. Much of my research involves working with children and young people in schools and / or who are on CAMHS waiting lists.

Dr Martin Toye

Lecturer, CPsychol, AFBPsS, FRSA. As a former primary school teacher and developmental psychologist, my research and teaching interests are split between developmental psychology and (initial) teacher education. My primary research interests are in developmental disorders (especially ADHD) and inclusive education (see 'Recent paper' through link below ). More recently, I have been involved in research as Co-I with Dr Gale Macleod on the Beyond Behavior Project, which explores the educational implications of having or not having a diagnosis of a developmental or behavioural disorder as a Scottish secondary school pupil.

PhD students

Kawla Abdullah

Augmented Reality books:  Exploring potential to support reading motivation and engagement among struggling readers

Maggie Chan

Disability Representation in Picture Books

Helen Collins

The effect of a resistance training intervention on physical activity, obesity and the self in youth.

Mihaela Dragomir (with Informatics)

Facilitating Pretend Play in Autistic Children

Miranda Eodanable (with Clinical Brain Sciences)

Professionals’ and young people’s views on diagnosis of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder

Niamh Hart

Creating an Evidence Based Resource for Inclusive Yoga in Mainstream Schools

Margarita Kanevski (with Clinical Brain Sciences)

Identification of cognitive predictors to tailor mathematics learning interventions for children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Anne Kent

Wellbeing of children of prisoners in Scotland.

Nicola Kiernan

Mind over Matter - Digital STEM Education... Child's Play?

Brendan Kwiatkowski

Healthy masculinity and adolescence: Resilience to restrictive masculinity

Chuchu Li

Promoting physical activity and learning about data: An intervention study in primary schools

Alexia Revueltas Roux

Quest for Science: Cognitive neurocorrelates of embodied learning in early childhood for science thinking development in museum exhibitions

Elena Santi

Reflecting ourselves, reflecting others: Narrative fiction as a mirror and a window

Heather Simpson (with Psychology)

Examination of the impact of age of school entry on the neurocognitive trajectory of self-regulation development, and implications for socio-emotional wellbeing and school success

Stephen Sowa

Reimagining Quality Secondary Education in Kenya: Building the Capacity of In-Service Teachers to Enact Learner-Centred Pedagogy

Jill Steel (with Psychology)

Children's Emotional Wellbeing and Reading: Exploring the influence of Reading to Dogs

Buddhini Withana

Counselling, Psychotherapy and Applied Social Sciences, School of Health in Social Science; Social Anthropology in School of Social and Political Science