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.

  • PhD, Psychophysiology, Neuropsychopharmacology, Swinburne University of Technology, Australia
  • Bachelor of Arts (Honours), Psychology, major in biological psychology, University of Melbourne, Australia

Areas of Expertise

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

Publications

  1. & Reference values for short-term resting-state heart rate variability in healthy adults: Results from the Brazilian Longitudinal Study of Adult Health - ELSA-Brasil study.. Psychophysiology
  2. & Associations between symptoms of depression and heart rate variability: An exploratory study. Psychiatry Research
  3. & From psychological moments to mortality: A multidisciplinary synthesis on heart rate variability spanning the continuum of time. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews
  4. Heart Rate Variability, Affective Disorders and Health. In Cardiovascular Diseases and Depression. (pp. 167-185).
  5. & Depression and resting state heart rate variability in children and adolescents — A systematic review and meta-analysis. Clinical Psychology Review 46, 136-150.

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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.

  • 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
    Other supervisor: Andrew Kemp
  • A Realist Evaluation of a Multi-Speciality, Community-based Health and Well-Being Academy (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Liv Kosnes
    Other supervisor: Prof Andrew Kemp
    Other supervisor: Prof Jaynie Rance

Administrative Responsibilities

  • Director of Research - Health and Wellbeing Academy, College of Human and Health Sciences

    2016 - Present

  • Co-Chair - Health and Wellbeing Academy Research Committee

    2017 - Present

  • Chair - Department of Psychology Ethics Committee

    2016 - Present

Career History

Start Date End Date Position Held Location
2016 Present Associate Professor (tenured) Swansea University, United Kingdom
2014 2016 Consultant Various institutions worldwide
2013 2015 Invited International Visiting Professor University of São Paulo, Brazil
2012 2013 Associate Professor (by promotion) University of Sydney, Australia
2009 2012 NHMRC Career Development Award Fellow University of Sydney, Australia
2007 2012 Senior Research Fellow (by promotion) University of Sydney, Australia
2005 2008 NHMRC Australian Biomedical (Peter Doherty) Postdoctoral Fellow University of Sydney, Australia
2003 2005 Research Officer Westmead Hospital, Australia

External Responsibilities

  • Section Editor, PLOS ONE

    2013 - Present

  • Associate Editor, Frontiers in Psychology

    2013 - Present

  • Global Burden of Disease Expert, University of Washington

    2013 - Present

  • Member, Global Young Academy

    2014 - Present

  • Advisory Board Member & Team Leader, Human Affectome Project

    2015 - Present

  • Honorary Visiting Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Sao Paulo

    2016 - 2018