Associate Professor in Psychology & Director of Research (CHHS Health and Wellbeing Academy)
Psychology
Telephone: (01792) 604561

I am an interdisciplinary academic, with research interests that span cognitive and affective neuroscience through to epidemiology, bridging the gap between biological mechanism and public health. I have developed a productive program of research to better understand the relationship between mental and physical wellbeing, attracting significant attention from scientific and lay communities. Between 2013 and 2015, I was a Visiting Professor at the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil, working on the largest study on the health and wellbeing of the Brazilian population. From 2005 until 2012, I was employed at the University of Sydney in Australia, supported by two prestigious NH&MRC research fellowships. Now as Associate Professor of Psychology, and Director of Research for the Health and Wellbeing Academy at Swansea University, I am focused on conducting high impact translational research that is collaborative and collegiate in spirit with an eye towards improving health and wellbeing in the local community.

Areas of Expertise

  • biological psychology
  • resilience and positive psychology
  • psychophysiology
  • social, cognitive and affective neuroscience
  • global burden of disease
  • student wellbeing

Publications

  1. & Associations between symptoms of depression and heart rate variability: An exploratory study. Psychiatry Research
  2. & From psychological moments to mortality: A multidisciplinary synthesis on heart rate variability spanning the continuum of time. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews
  3. Heart Rate Variability, Affective Disorders and Health. In Cardiovascular Diseases and Depression. (pp. 167-185).
  4. & Depression and resting state heart rate variability in children and adolescents — A systematic review and meta-analysis. Clinical Psychology Review 46, 136-150.
  5. et. al. Estimates of global, regional, and national incidence, prevalence, and mortality of HIV, 1980–2015: the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015. The Lancet HIV 3(8), e361-e387.

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Teaching

  • PS-M15 Special Research Skills

    Specialists from a variety of fields in psychology discuss the methods used in their own research area. The subject areas will vary from year to year depending upon the current research interests and activities of the staff. Each seminar is grounded by showing the application of these methods to a particular theory or issue in psychology. Students select two options from those presented (one in TB1 and TB2) and write an essay after consultation with the presenter on a topic geared to their own research interests.

  • PSY237 Research and Experimental Methods I

    This module is designed to further develop quantitative and qualitative methods and statistics for psychologists to prepare students for their final year independent research project. Students will be introduced to using the statistical software package SPPS for quantitative analysis and students will learn how to design mini-projects, apply appropriate statistical tests, and interpret and present data. Students will also be introduced to qualitative research methods. The module also covers research ethics, the nature of good experimental design, how to control for confounding factors and the need for replicability and reliability in scientific research.

  • PSY238 Research and Experimental Methods II

    This module is designed to further develop quantitative and qualitative methods and statistics for psychologists to prepare students for their final year independent research project and follows directly from Research and Experimental Methods I. Students will study advanced multivariate techniques and deal with complex experimental designs. Students will also explore qualitative research methods.

  • PSY319 Final Year Independent Research Project

    Students conduct an independent research project under the supervision of a member of staff. The research topic is decided in conjunction with supervisors and Research topics. Students must obtain ethical approval, design, conduct, analyse and write up a piece of research in order to achieve Graduate Basis for Chartership with the British Psychological Society (BPS).

  • PSY320 Dissertation

    This optional module provides students with the opportunity to conduct an extended literature review to discover what is currently known about an interesting, but less well known, area of psychology that is not taught as part of the psychology curriculum in Level 5 or 6. Students work independently, guided by their dissertation supervisor, to research a topic of their choice. In recent years students have written dissertations about `political psychology¿, `positive psychology¿ `why people take part in extreme sports¿, `does cannabis use cause schizophrenia¿ and many other diverse lines of enquiry.

  • PSY325 Independent Research Project - Joint Honours

    Students conduct an independent research project under the supervision of a member of staff. Students must obtain ethical approval, design, conduct, analyse and write up a piece of research in order to achieve Graduate Basis for Chartership with the British Psychological Society.

Supervision

  • The Impact of a Music Education Program on the Emotional Well-Being of Elementary Students in a Rural Community (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof Jaynie Rance
    Other supervisor: Dr Justine Howard