Oxford University 2004-7 BA, MA, University College London 2015-present PhD
Teacher 2007-15, PhD Student 2015-present
Affiliates Demonstrator and PhD Student, University College London
What topics do you work on?
I am interested in the types of cognitive control required for educational success, especially during the period of adolescence. How well do young people, whose ability to control their thoughts and attention is still developing, cope with the sometimes overwhelming number of concurrent information sources in the modern world? What differences are there between adolescents and adults, and what do these differences tell us about brain and cognitive development in this period? I run laboratory experiments and also work with schools to try to answer these sorts of questions, measuring things distraction, mood and multi-tasking ability.
What methods do you use?
I use mostly behavioural methods, a mixture of computerised tests and other measures such as questionnaires. I use these both in controlled conditions in the laboratory and also in school environments.
Who was your favourite teacher?
James Rich in secondary school and Markus Schrenk as a university student. They taught me politics and philosophy respectively, so not much to do with my current focus of study! However, both showed me that you can be unashamedly academic without being unapproachable or uninteresting!
Me and my work
I was a secondary school teacher for eight years before coming back to do my PhD. I taught a range of subjects but mostly Psychology and Biology at schools in the UK and abroad. These experiences were crucial in leading me to my current research.
Conducting experiments, analysing results, conducting undergraduate seminars, supervising projects, writing scientific papers, marking essays, programming new studies etc etc. I usually plan to do at least four of these in a day. If I manage two it’s a good result!