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. My role on this project was to set-up and conduct neuropsychological testing and to organise MRI scanning. I then returned to work with Professor Winn investigating attention functions of the pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus before moving to the University of Abertay to gain some teaching experience. Here I taught 2nd year undergraduate Biological Psychology and honours year Neuropsychopharamcology.
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 have also conducted some research in the field of Sports Psychology education as PhD supervisor to Open University colleague Caroline Heaney.
Health Sciences, Mental Health, Biological Psychology, Neuroscience, Neuropsychology
My main current teaching role is as Qualification Director for the Health Sciences curriculum and I work closely with the qualification director for the joint Health Care and Health Science degree as our Health Sciences modules are also used in this degree (Q96).
I am currently involved in production of new module, S350 'Evaluating contemporary science', which will be an interdisciplinary module that develops professional science skills in readiness for the capstone project module at level 3 (SXL390). I critically read all materials and have been involved in planning the digital student science conference section of this module. I have also written a project topic on antibiotic resistance.
I was production module team chair for SDK228/SKYN228, The science of the mind: investigating mental health and have continued into presentation as module team chair and award board chair, only stepping down from this role to take on the Qualification Director for Health Sciences role in 2013.
I have written a project guide on Aging for SXL390 our Health Sciences and Biology capstone dissertation project module.
I have also worked as production team chair for SXL288 Attention and the Brain which converted my research interests directly into a practical science teaching topic. I have continued to work as a topic specialist during presentation of this module.
I have worked as production module team member for SD329 Signals and Perception, with lead responsibility for updating the Somatosensation material. I have also worked as a production team member for SDK100 Science and health, an evidence based approach where I authored material on 'Pain' and 'Alcohol'.
I have been a presentation module team member for old modules SD226 Biological Psychology and SD805 Issues In Brain & Behaviour (Addiction and Neural Ageing).
In addition to this I currently hold 2 Associate Lecturer posts one each for: SDK228 and SDK100. In the past I have held AL posts for SDK125, SD226 and SD329.
Finally, I have been involved in producing new OpenLearn course material for modules SDK228 and SDK100, as well as article content related to the BBC programme 'Count Down to Life: The Extraordinary Making of You' that aired in September 2015. I am currently working as a consultant for a new BBC programme broadly in the field of the human body that is due to air in late 2017.
I have worked as a distance learning Psychology education consultant for RDI (Resource Development International).
I have worked as a consultant to the BBC for the programme 'Countdown to life: The extraordinary making of you'.
I am a fellow of the Higher Education Academy and hold Associate Fellow and Chartered Psychologist status with the British Psychological Society.
I am a member of several editorial boards for academic journals.
I work as a STEM ambassador for Northants region.
I am currently collaborating with researchers in Leicester university to study the role of the parafasicular nucleus in the thalamus on visual attention (the five choice serial reaction time task).
|Biomedical Research Network (BRN)||Network||Faculty of Science|
In addition to teaching on Open University modules our academics are engaged in ground breaking research that benefits individuals and society.
Explore our qualifications and courses by requesting one of our prospectuses today.Request prospectus