Meet the Scientists

Each week five scientists will be online to bring the relevant research to help answer questions you may have on any aspect of school or learning.
On top of this, we have roaming scientists across the four weeks who will be online to answer questions and take part in live chats. Let’s meet them:


Week 1: 13th April – 17th April

Michael Thomas

Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, University of London

I'm a Scientist Learning Zone Scientist“My research uses multi-disciplinary methods, including behavioural studies, brain imaging, genetics, and computational modelling.”

Katherine Weare

Emeritus Professor

I'm a Scientist Learning Zone Scientist“Mindfulness for children and young people and those who live and work with them. Social and emotional learning, wellbeing and mental health of young people.”

Daniel Ansari

Professor of Psychology, Western University, Canada

I'm a Scientist Learning Zone ScientistI am a Developmental Cognitive Neuroscientists interested in how children acquire numerical and mathematical skills.

Catriona Morrison

Professor, Heriot-Watt University

I'm a Scientist Learning Zone ScientistI’m a cognitive psychologist with particular interests in memory and language, including language acquisition, autobiographical memory, childhood amnesia, and changes in cognition across the lifespan.

Anna Simmonds

Research Associate, Imperial College London

I'm a Scientist Learning Zone Scientist“I use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate foreign language learning.”

Week 2: 20th April – 24th April

Iroise Dumontheil

Lecturer, Birkbeck, University of London

I'm a Scientist Learning Zone Scientist“I am mostly interested in the prefrontal cortex, which supports aspects of higher cognition, in particular cognitive control, (the control of thoughts and behaviours to achieve goals), and social cognition, in particular our ability to think about our own thoughts and other people’s thoughts.”

Ian Devonshire

Lecturer, University of Nottingham

I'm a Scientist Learning Zone ScientistIan is interested in how young people’s intrinsic motivation to learn is a key factor for academic success and how the belief that one’s own ability does not match up with what is required can be highly de-motivating.

Joseph Devlin

Head of Experimental Psychology, UCL

I'm a Scientist Learning Zone Scientist“My research focuses specifically on the brain-basis of this difference. Interestingly, there is no single area of the human brain dedicated to language that differentiates us from other primates such as chimps. Instead, the differences may be related to how information is integrated across brain regions. “

Kathrin Cohen Kadosh

Research fellow, University of Oxford

I'm a Scientist Learning Zone Scientist“My research looks at how improving social cognitive abilities during childhood and adolescence relate to concurrent functional and structural brain development, and whether these developmental changes differ in anxious children.”

Emma Norris

PhD Student, Epidemiology & Public Health, UCL

I'm a Scientist Learning Zone Scientist“II investigate a range of public health-related topics, with my PhD focusing on improving physical activity in children and activity’s relationship to educational outcomes.”

 

Week 3: 27th April – 1st May

Anna Remington

Lecturer, Centre for Research in Autism and Education, UCL

I'm a Scientist Learning Zone Scientist“My research tries to figure out what is causing these advantages, in what circumstances they occur, and how we can use them in the classroom and workplace to improve learning and employment outcomes for autistic people.”

Alice Jones

Lecturer, Goldsmiths, University of London

I'm a Scientist Learning Zone Scientist“I am interested in supervising projects that relate to emotion processing and empathy development in children and adolescents. I am also interested in thinking about social and emotional aspects of learning that might contribute toward school achievement and well-being.”

Matt Davis

Programme Leader in Hearing & Language, Medical Research Council

I'm a Scientist Learning Zone Scientist“I am a cognitive neuroscientist working at the Medical Research Council Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge.”

Christopher Jarrold

Professor, University of Bristol

I'm a Scientist Learning Zone Scientist“Children’s memory and language, particularly something called working memory and its link to academic skills, and how children learn vocabulary. Some of my research is with children with autism, Down syndrome, or similar conditions.”

Sean Talamas

Postgraduate Tutor, University of St Andrews

I'm a Scientist Learning Zone Scientist“I mainly work on biased perceptions of intelligence and how these impressions of intelligence can influence teachers expectations of students – consequently impacting their actual performance.”

 

Week 4: 4th May – 8th May

Lucy Cragg

Lecturer, University of Nottingham

I'm a Scientist Learning Zone ScientistMy research investigates the development of executive functions (e.g. manipulating information in memory, flexible thinking, ignoring distractions) and their role in academic achievement, particularly maths.

Andy Tolmie

Professor, Institute of Education, University of London

I'm a Scientist Learning Zone Scientist“I am a developmental psychologist with longstanding interests in the development of children’s conceptual representations and behavioural skills, and the relationships between these.”

Kathryn Asbury

Lecturer, University of York

I'm a Scientist Learning Zone Scientist“I am increasingly interested in interest itself, and in the choices people make about what to do with their lives. I am particularly interested in how children’s interests are identified, by themselves and others. “

Duncan Astle

Programme leader, Cognition & Brain Sciences, Cambridge

I'm a Scientist Learning Zone Scientist“My research uses EEG and MEG with children and adults to explore the neural and cognitive mechanisms of top-down attentional control.”

Masud Husain

Professor, University of Oxford

I'm a Scientist Learning Zone Scientist“I’m a neurologist and cognitive neuroscientist. My group’s research focuses on trying to understand deficits of attention, memory, motivation and decision-making.”

 

Week 5: 11th May – 15th May

Rod Nicolson

Professor of Psychology, University of Sheffield

I'm a Scientist Learning Zone ScientistI have worked for many years on dyslexia and what causes it, and have a framework that suggests dyslexic people take longer to make skills automatic, have difficulty unlearning bad habits, and need to learn through enjoyment and immersion.

Rebecca Merkeley

Student of psychology, University of Oxford

I'm a Scientist Learning Zone Scientist“I am interested in how young children learn early numeracy skills and how cognitive factors such as attention play a role in this learning process.”

Mark Mon-Williams

Professor of Cognitive Psychology, University of Leeds

I'm a Scientist Learning Zone Scientist“I am particularly interested in motor control so a lot of my work is about identifying children with handwriting problems and then providing interventions to help them improve this (critical) skill.”

Kathy Robinson

PhD in Education Neuroscience

I'm a Scientist Learning Zone Scientist“I am interested in students’ experience when they are in a social learning context specifically their socio-emotional experience when communication with other students is mediated by a digital device.”

Joseph Devlin

Head of Experimental Psychology, UCL

I'm a Scientist Learning Zone Scientist“My research focuses specifically on the brain-basis of this difference. Interestingly, there is no single area of the human brain dedicated to language that differentiates us from other primates such as chimps. Instead, the differences may be related to how information is integrated across brain regions. “

 

Week 6: 18th May – 22nd May

Iroise Dumontheil

Lecturer, Birkbeck, University of London

I'm a Scientist Learning Zone Scientist“I am mostly interested in the prefrontal cortex, which supports aspects of higher cognition, in particular cognitive control, (the control of thoughts and behaviours to achieve goals), and social cognition, in particular our ability to think about our own thoughts and other people’s thoughts.”

Sarah Kuppen

Senior lecturer, Anglia Ruskin University

I'm a Scientist Learning Zone Scientist” I am very interested in issues concerning early years development and I specialise in literacy development in 6-10 year olds.”

Dana Ruggiero

Senior Lecturer in Learning Technology, Bath Spa University

I'm a Scientist Learning Zone Scientist” I am currently researching how games can be designed to make people more aware of social justice issues and how these games can effect behaviour and engagement.”

Crawford Winlove

Lecturer, University of Exeter Medical School

I'm a Scientist Learning Zone Scientist“My primary interest is the neural basis of addiction, which I study in humans. The most substantial part of this work has looked at the role of emotion in the relapse to opiate and psychostimulant use, particularly the importance of “craving” experiences.”

Mark Mon-Williams

Professor of Cognitive Psychology, University of Leeds

I'm a Scientist Learning Zone Scientist“I am particularly interested in motor control so a lot of my work is about identifying children with handwriting problems and then providing interventions to help them improve this (critical) skill.”

 

Roaming Scientists

Susanna Martin

Research officer, University of Bath

I'm a Scientist Learning Zone Scientist“I work on a range of topics, at the moment I am interested in energy literacy and understanding how displaying information in different ways can impact how we understand and interpret this.”

Colin Espie

Professor, University of Oxford

I'm a Scientist Learning Zone Scientist“My particular areas of research expertise are in the assessment and treatment of sleep disorders, most particularly the management of insomnia using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), and in studies on the aetiology and pathophysiology of insomnia.”

Steven Rose

Emeritus professor, Open University

I'm a Scientist Learning Zone Scientist“My research has been learning and memory and how trey are encoded in the brain through changes in the brain’s wiring diagram – that is, its synaptic connectivity.”

Ellie Dommett

Senior Lecturer, KCL

I'm a Scientist Learning Zone Scientist“My research interests are in the impact of psychostimulant drugs on the brain and subcortical visual processing but I also work on neuroeducation.”

Joni Holmes

Senior Investigator Scientist, Medical Research Council

I'm a Scientist Learning Zone Scientist“I focus on understanding the causes and consequences of working memory problems in the classroom and on developing targeted interventions.”

Matthew Nolan

Professor, University of Edinburgh

I'm a Scientist Learning Zone Scientist“My research addresses the question of how we know where we are. In particular my lab aims to understand the part of the brain that figures out where we are at any given time. “

Sarah Kuppen

Senior lecturer, Anglia Ruskin University

I'm a Scientist Learning Zone Scientist” I am very interested in issues concerning early years development and I specialise in literacy development in 6-10 year olds.”

Nikki Lee

Postdoctoral researcher, VU University Amsterdam

I'm a Scientist Learning Zone Scientist“My work focuses on the cognitive processes that underlie how we interact with others, known as social cognition. I study how social cognition changes and motivates behavior during adolescence, a period during which social relationships are particularly important and influential.”

Sue Fletcher-Watson

Chancellor’s Fellow, University of Edinburgh

I'm a Scientist Learning Zone Scientist“I’ve been doing research into child development, atypical development and especially autism for about a decade.”

Paul Howard-Jones

Reader in Neuroscience and Education, University of Bristol

I'm a Scientist Learning Zone ScientistHis research explores the benefits offered to education by emerging technologies, aided by a critical consideration of underlying cognitive processes.