Dr Elaine Gray

Postdoctoral Research Assistant

Background

I joined the University of Edinburgh in February 2018 as a Postdoctoral Researcher in Clinical Psychology. I work with Dr Stella Chan (Clinical Psychology) and Dr Heather Whalley (Division of Psychiatry) from the Emotional Vulnerability in Adolescence research team (EVA, https://www.eva-edinburgh.com). The project (https://www.eva-edinburgh.com/vulnerabilty-mechanisms) 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 hair 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 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. My PhD was funded by the LEGO Foundation and I was a member of the Centre for Research on Play in Education, Development and Learning (PEDAL, https://www.educ.cam.ac.uk/centres/pedal). 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 lab (OSCCI, https://www.psy.ox.ac.uk/research/oxford-study-of-children-s-communication-impairments) 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 a sex chromosome trisomy. 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 MSc in Psychological Research Methods (obtaining a Distinction) and the MA in Psychology (obtaining a First) at the University of Dundee.