I am a lecturer in psychology and I teach on our BSc and MSc programmes. I am a biological psychologist with expertise in nutrition and mental health. My PhD focused on the associations between the gut microbiome and depression, and my other areas of research interest include omega 3 fatty acids, nutrient supplements, inflammation and immune function, and links between autism and the gut microbiome.

Areas of Expertise

  • Nutrition
  • Human gut microbiome
  • Immune function
  • Depression

Publications

  1. The Emerging Field of Nutritional Mental Health: Inflammation, the Microbiome, Oxidative Stress, and Mitochondrial Function. Clinical Psychological Science
  2. A randomised trial of nutrient supplements to minimise psychological stress after a natural disaster. Psychiatry Research
  3. & Systematic review of evidence to support the theory of psychobiotics. Nutrition Reviews 73(10), 675-693.
  4. & A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial of Lactobacillus helveticus and Bifidobacterium longum for the symptoms of depression. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry 51(8), 810-821.
  5. & Appropriateness of different pedagogical approaches to road safety education for children with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD). Research in Developmental Disabilities 70, 85-93.

Teaching

  • PS-117 Statistics and Research Methods

    Statistics and experimental methods are at the heart of the empirical discipline of psychology and this module introduces students to selecting and conducting simple statistical tests. Through hands-on practical classes and workshops this teaches how to design studies, collect data, understand ethical issues, and use both parametric and nonparametric quantitative methods to test hypotheses. Students will also learn how to prepare a practical report and discuss and interpret experimental data.

  • PS-M79 Empirical Projects

    This is a central teaching component of the Masters programme involving the practical application of skills acquired in the other components of the course. In Semester 1, the students are taught to think conceptually about advanced experimental design, using a discussion-based approach in weekly one-hour seminars. By the end of semester 1, students are able to critically consider the optimum experimental approach to examine a range of psychological topics, and choose an appropriate design for their small-scale group research project. This is assessed by completion of an Open Science Framework format research protocol. In semester 2, students execute, analyse, and provide a written report on a small-scale project, working in a group of 4-5 students under the supervision of a member of staff working on the module. Throughout Semester 2, students continue to attend a weekly one-hour seminar/ workshop, where they discuss all aspects of research design, data analysis and interpretation, and project write-up.

  • PSA113 Biological Psychology

    This module provides an introduction to biological psychology and the influence of the biological approach on the wider discipline of psychology. Through a series of lectures and tutorials this module will consider the structure and function of the brain and central nervous system and how they underpin human behaviour. The importance of understanding the role of hormones and neurotransmitters on physiology and behaviour as well as the biological basis of individual differences will be covered. These fundamental elements will be explored through by key topics such as emotions, motivated behaviour, language, sleep, learning and memory, and schizophrenia. The importance of understanding evolutionary psychology and gene environment interactions will also be integrated throughout the module.

  • PSA117 Statistics and Research Methods for Joint Honours

    Statistics and experimental methods are at the heart of the empirical discipline of psychology and this module introduces students to selecting and conducting simple statistical tests. Through hands-on practical classes and workshops this teaches how to design studies, collect data, understand ethical issues, and use both parametric and nonparametric quantitative methods to test hypotheses. Students will also learn how to prepare a practical report and discuss and interpret experimental data.

  • PSY113 Biological Psychology

    This module provides an introduction to biological psychology and the influence of the biological approach on the wider discipline of psychology. Through a series of lectures and tutorials this module will consider the structure and function of the brain and central nervous system and how they underpin human behavior. The importance of understanding the role of hormones and neurotransmitters on physiology and behavior as well as the biological basis of individual differences will be covered. These fundamental elements will be explored through key topics such as emotions, motivated behavior, language, sleep, learning and memory, and schizophrenia. The importance of understanding evolutionary psychology and gene environment interactions will also be integrated throughout the module.

Administrative Responsibilities

  • Admissions team - Department of Psychology

    2018 - Present

Career History

Start Date End Date Position Held Location
2016 2018 Senior Research Assistant University of South Wales
2015 2016 Associate Research Fellow Exeter University