I'm a PhD researcher in Psychology at Glasgow Caledonian University, investigating the relationship between alcohol, memory and psychological trauma. Whilst all people experience some form of psychological trauma throughout their lives, people that drink heavily a more likely to develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This may be due to the effect of alcohol on memory, exacerbating memory-based trauma symptoms that in turn increase the severity of PTSD overall. However, this relationship is not straightforward, as many heavy drinking individuals identify traumatic memories as reasons for post-traumatic alcohol use. This PhD will investigate both sides of this relationship, conducting laboratory experiments to determine the effect of post-traumatic alcohol use upon memory-based trauma symptoms, and conducting interviews with heavy drinking individuals about their beliefs and motivations for post-traumatic alcohol use.
I first graduated from Durham University with a BSc in Psychology in 2016, specialising in the neuropsychology of memory. I then completed a MRes in Psychology at the University of York, where I was supervised by Professor Alan Baddeley. The MRes focused on the levels of processing effect and other topics related to working memory. After graduating with distinction in 2017, I immediately began a funded PhD project at Glasgow Caledonain University, where I am currently a member of the substance use and misuse research group. I am also a member of the Scottish Alcohol Research Network, and postgraduate representative for the Scottish Branch of the British Psychological Society.