Dr Elaine Gray

Postdoctoral Research Assistant

Background

I joined the University of Edinburgh in February 2018 as a Postdoctoral Researcher in Clinical Psychology, working on a Wellcome Trust funded project. I work with Dr Stella Chan (Clinical Psychology) and Dr Heather Whalley (Division of Psychiatry) as part of the Emotional Vulnerability in Adolescence research team (EVA, https://www.eva-edinburgh.com). The work aims to identify factors that will help us understand why some young people experience low mood more often than others. We are assessing young people’s mood, thinking styles, and personality traits (amongst many other measures), and measuring biological aspects, including cortisol levels, DNA methylation, and sleep quality. It is possible that these factors may help explain health and mental health outcomes in the future, so the data will be examined to see whether the factors measured can predict mood over time.  

I completed my PhD at the University of Cambridge (Darwin College) in 2018 under the supervision of Dr Sara Baker. I was a member of the Centre for Research on Play in Education, Development and Learning (PEDAL), and funded by the LEGO Foundation. My work examined the role of executive function, metacognition, and support type in pre-schoolers’ ability to solve physics tasks. Prior to this, I worked as a research assistant at the Oxford Study of Children's Communication Impairments (OSCCI) lab with Prof Dorothy Bishop at the University of Oxford. I worked on a project examining whether there is a genetic basis for language difficulties and the language phenotypes of children with an extra sex chromosome. Before moving to Oxford I worked as a research assistant at the University of Dundee with Dr Lynne Duncan examining children's reading development and with Dr Emese Nagy examining neonates' imitative gestures. I completed the MA in Psychology (obtaining a First) and the MSc in Psychological Research Methods (obtaining a Distinction) at the University of Dundee.