Senior Lecturer, The Open University

My research interests lie primarily in Behavioural Neuroscience/Biological Psychology. I am interested in understanding the brain mechanisms supporting cognition, particularly attention for goal directed behaviour, and in the valid and reliable capture of cognitive function and dysfunction using animal and human assessments. Recently my work has included investigating the goal directed behaviour of the Spontaneously Hypertensive Rat which is an animal model of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. I am now moving my work into the field of diabetes and diabetes care where I hope to better understand the changes in the brain that underlie this condition, and apply this understanding to improve the experiences of people with diabetes.

I joined the Department of Life Health and Chemical Sciences at the Open University in April 2007. I did my BPS accredited undergraduate Psychology degree at the University of Strathclyde and went on to study for a Behavioural Neuroscience PhD with Professor Philip Winn at the University of St Andrews. The research I was involved in aimed to understand the role of the brainstem pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus in higher order (or executive) cognitive processes. These processes are usually associated with the frontal cortex. Following an (incorrect) diagnosis of laboratory animal allergy I went to the University of Aberdeen to work with Dr John Ross on a large multidisciplinary HSE funded research project to investigate the long term health effects of occupational diving. From there my work has broadened across the Health Sciences. I now have extensive teaching and curriculum development experience in the Health Sciences and I have worked, and continue to work, as an academic consultant for the BBC because I am passionate about improving public understanding in Health Science.

Experience

  • –present
    Senior Lecturer, The Open University