I have held a special interest in human cognition and performance in extreme environments since being an undergraduate and postgraduate at Lancaster University (obtaining MSc in Psychological Research Methods in 1995). My career diverged into the area of consumer perception and behaviour, working as a research scientist at Unilever R&D for 21 years. Industrial experience was valuable to understand human behaviour in real world contexts, and how to bridge the gap between fundamental laboratory-based research with in-field studies across the global marketplace. Indeed, the breadth of experience from this role, including working closely with multiple academic institutions on collaborative projects, has played an invaluable part in the concurrent approach taken to study behaviour of people in more extreme situations (such as extreme sports). I obtained Chartered Psychologist (by research) status with the British Psychological Society in 2020, in recognition of work in the course of this research career.
I have returned to my academic roots, with a current visiting research position at Liverpool John Moores University, specialising in neurocognitive factors in human performance under environmental stress. I research attentional networks underpinning task performance, particularly in extreme environments, seeking ways to characterise functional connectivity in key brain networks using psychophysiological measures in simulated and real-world contexts. I have been pursuing this particularly in the context of BASE jumping in the UK (but also extending into other adventure pursuits), to understand more about the extreme sports mindset, and brain-body mechanisms involved. I believe such insights can help people overcome stress and adversity in everyday life.