Meet the Scientists

Each week 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 entire event who will be online to answer questions and take part in live chats.

Click on the sidebar to jump to the specific topic scientists, or scroll through to see everyone taking part:

Jump to Topic 1: Learning and Remembering
Jump to Topic 2: Attention, Reward and Motivation
Jump to Topic 3: Early development (Primary)
Jump to Topic 4: Adolescence
Jump to Topic 5: Evidence In The Classroom
Jump to Topic 6: Individual Differences
Jump to Topic 7: Factors affecting learning
Jump to Topic 8: Mindsets and Metacognition
Jump to Topic 9: Mental Health
Jump to Topic 10: Making learning difficult

 


Topic 1: Learning and Remembering

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Jessie Ricketts

Senior Lecturer
Royal Holloway, University of London

“I am keen to find out more about how language impacts on literacy learning and how once you can read, this feeds back into language learning.”
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Jo Taylor

Lecturer
Aston University

“I am a lecturer in Psychology at Aston University and my research investigates how we learn to read.”
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Elizabeth Toomarian

PhD Candidate
University of Wisconsin-Madison

“I’m currently finishing up my dissertation research about the ways in which people associate numbers and space.”
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Lucy Cragg

Lecturer
University of Nottingham

“My 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.”
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Paul Matusz

Junior Group Leader/ Lecturer
University of Applied Sciences

“My research focuses on how to best combine experimental psychology, cognitive neuroscience & technology to improve classroom learning and the treatment of sensory and learning disorders.”
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Yana Weinstein

Assistant Professor
University of Massachusetts

“I apply cognitive psychology to education; the goal of my research is to help students make the most of their academic experience.”



Topic 2: Attention, Reward and Motivation

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Geneviève Allaire-Duquette

PhD student and lecturer
Université du Québec à Montréal

“Training cognitive control could help low competence students to succeed in science. Yet, little is known about how instructional guidance can enhance cognitive control mechanism.”
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Emma Blakey

Lecturer
University of Sheffield

“I study how young children develop the ability to control and regulate their behaviour.”
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Mike Hobbiss

Affiliates Demonstrator and PhD Student
University College London

“I am interested in the types of cognitive control required for educational success, especially during the period of adolescence.”
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Gaia Scerif

Professor
University of Oxford

“Attentional control and difficulties.”
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Matt Dunn

PhD Student & Hub Leader
Keele University

“I am building a brain circuit in the lab in order to better understand and study diseases such as Parkinson’s and Huntington’s.”


Topic 3: Early development (Primary)

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Katie Gilligan

PhD Student
UCL Institute of Education

Mathematics learning and the role of spatial ability.
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Mark Mon-Williams

Professor of Cognitive Psychology
University of Leeds

“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.”
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Emily Farran

Professor
UCL Institute of Education

“My research relates to cognitive development in neurodevelopmental disorders (Williams syndrome, Down syndrome, Developmental Coordination Disorder, Cerebral Palsy, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and in typical development, with a specific emphasis on spatial cognition.”
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Rebecca Merkley

Postdoctoral Researcher
Western University

“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.”
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Sarah McGeown

Senior Lecturer
University of Edinburgh

“Early reading acquisition (phonics), reading motivation and engagement, sex differences in reading.”


Topic 4: Adolescence

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Kelly Trezise

Postdoctoral Fellow
Melbourne CSHE

Kelly is primarily interested in identifying individual differences in patterns of learning. She researches how cognition, emotion, and educational contexts, and their effect on learning processes and educational outcomes.
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Lucía Magis Weinberg

Postdoc
USA

During her PhD, Lucía studied how cognitive control (the ability to regulate behaviour and achieve goals) develops in adolescence. Now, in her postdoc, she has started to look more closely at how cognitive control is impacted by puberty
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Nicola Botting

Professor
City University of London

“Developmental Language Disorder, Autism, Longterm outcomes of communication disorders, Atypical language development, Memory and language, Language for thinking. Although developmental language disorders and autism start in early childhood, most of my research has been with 7years + and into adulthood.”
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Kinga Morsanyi

Lecturer
Queen’s University, Belfast

“I am interested in cognitive development and learning (especially with regard to mathematics and reasoning skills) in both typical and atypical populations (autism and dyscalculia).”
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Iroise Dumontheil

Lecturer
Birkbeck, University of London

“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.”
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Rebecca Gotlieb

PhD Candidate
University of Southern California

“My research focuses on social-emotional development during adolescence. Specifically, I am interested in how empathic and perspective-taking abilities develop behaviorally and neurophysiologically and their role in students’ learning.”


Topic 5: Evidence In The Classroom

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Richard Churches

Lead Advisor
Education Development Trust

Science of learning, teacher-led randomised controlled trials, evidence-based practice in education, teacher training.
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Brian Butterworth

Emeritus Professor
UCL

Dyscalculia
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Sara Baker

Lecturer
Cambridge

Cognitive flexibility in young chidren, in relation to science and social world.
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Carolina Kuepper-Tetzel

Lecturer in Psychology
University of Dundee

Human Learning and Memory
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Paula Clarke

Associate Professor
Leeds

Using psychological theory to inform comprehensive assessment and intervention to improve pupils reading and oral language skills.
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Alex Hodgkiss

PhD student
Institute of Education

Spatial cognition as a predictor of children’s science learning and achievement and more generally the development of spatial skills.
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Courtney Pollack

Postdoctoral Researcher
Vanderbilt, USA

“My current research focuses on understanding and working with number symbols, like digits or letters from algebra (e.g., x), and how this relates to mathematics competence.”


Topic 6: Individual Differences

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Lorna Hamilton

Lecturer
York St John

Typical and atypical development of language and literacy, school readiness and educational attainment, reading and language
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Camilla Gilmore

Reader
Loughborough

I use behavioural and observation methods. Lab or classroom based studies include experimental tasks to test specific cognitive skills as well as standardised assesments. With young children we use observational methods to explore their understanding of number words.
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Courtenay Norbury

Professor
UCL

“I’m currently running a population study looking at how variation in language ability at school entry is related to variation in other developmental skills (reading, executive function, social skills, emotion processing and regulation), academic achievement, and mental health.”
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Emma Meaburn

Senior Lecturer
Birkbeck, University of London

Human behaviour and genomics
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Jacob Paul

Senior Postdoc
Utrecht University

“My research seeks to understand why people differ when making decisions involving quantities, especially related to concepts of number, space and time.”
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Kathryn Asbury

Lecturer in Psychology in Education
University of York

Genetic and environmental influences on academic achievement, well-being, interests and future plans.


Topic 7: Factors Affecting Learning

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Jessica Horst

Senior Lecturer
University of Sussex

I research how preschool children and toddlers learn and remember the meanings of words, particularly by using toys and storybooks to teach new words.
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Catherine Wheatley

Researcher at Functional MRI of the Brain Centre
University of Oxford

Exercise
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Victoria Knowland

Research Fellow
York University

Sensitive periods in learning, neuromyths
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Catherine Gammon

Postdoc Researcher
Cambridge

“I have been testing an active lessons intervention in secondary schools, and exploring the preliminary effects of the intervention on adolescents’ physical activity, attention and wellbeing”.
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Louise Dye

Professor
University of Leeds

A biological psychologist who studies the effects of diet/food intake on cognition and health.
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Anne de Bruijn

PhD student
University of Groningen

The effect of physical activity on academic performance.


Topic 8: Mindset and Metacognition

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Anna Kauer

PhD Student
Surrey University

I use behavioural methods, including eye tracking, computerised experiments and questionnaires. I mainly conduct research in laboratory or school environments.
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David Whitebread

Principal Research Associate
University of Cambridge

Early years psychological development
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Linda Baker

Professor of Psychology
University of Maryland

“Specific areas include literacy development, motivation for reading and schooling, parents’ beliefs and practices that influence children’s school outcomes, students’ understanding and monitoring of their own cognitive processes (metacognition and comprehension monitoring), and instructional interventions to prevent reading difficulties.”
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Yvonne Skipper

Lecturer
Keele University

How we can encourage students to ‘believe and achieve’ using co-created interventions.


Topic 9: Mental Health

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Cat Sebastian

Reader
Royal Holloway

The development of social and emotional processing during adolescence
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Sveta Mayer

Lecturer
Institute of Education, UCL

To evaluate intervention effectiveness I currently conduct case studies, randomised controlled trials and surveys using education and psychometric observational tests, eye-tracking methods, audio-video recordings, computer-interface interaction data and mixed methods questionnaires and interviews.
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Alice Jones Bartoli

Senior Lecturer in Psychology
Goldsmiths, University of London

“I’m really interested in how emotion understanding relates to behaviour and school outcomes. Much of my work has been with children who have social, emotional and behavioural difficulties, and I have also worked with children with autistic spectrum conditions.”


Topic 10: Making Learning Difficult

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Helena Paterson

Lecturer
Glasgow University

Along with an interest in pedagogical research I also study person perception, including development of attitudes, stereotypes and biases
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Michelle Ellefson

Senior Lecturer
Cambridge

Maths and science education
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Efrat Furst

Post-Doctoral Research Fellow
Harvard

Efrat connects between research and practice of teaching and learning: she combines evidence from neural, cognitive and educational sciences with practical teaching methodologies. Efrat works with educators and instructors across levels and fields to promote effective teaching and learning.


Roaming Scientists

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Janet Dubinsky

Professor, Dept. of Neuroscience
University of Minnesota, USA

“Metabolic compromise in Huntington’s Disease, Impact of Neuroscience Knowledge on Teaching”
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Emily Hird

Postdoc Researcher
University of Manchester

Learning in the context of pain
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Naomi Winstone

Senior Lecturer
University of Surrey

A cognitive psychologist specialising in learning behaviour and engagement with education. Naomi’s research focuses on the processing and implementation of feedback, educational transitions, and educational identities.
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Matt Slocombe

PhD student
Birkbeck, University of London

Analogical reasoning in primary school
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Delia Fuhrmann

Postdoctoral Researcher
MRC Cognition and brain Sciences Unit at the University of Cambridge

I am interested in lifespan development, learning and plasticity. My current research focus is executive functions, such as reasoning and working memory, and their neural substrates.
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Dylan Wiliam

Emeritus Professor
Institute of Education, UCL