Dr Penny Woolnough

Senior Lecturer

School School of Social and Health Sciences

Department Division of Psychology

Contact info

+44 (0)1382 30 8638

Biography

I am a Senior Lecturer in Forensic Psychology and Associate Director of the Scottish Institute for Policing Research with specific responsibility for the Evidence and Investigation Network. 

I pioneered the development of behavioural profiling of missing persons and my research findings are used by all UK police forces, the RAF, Maritime Coastguard Agency and international agencies.

As an HCPC Registered Forensic Psychologist I act as Expert Advisor to the police and have provided operational support to over 100 high profile missing person cases around the world. I train Senior Investigating Officers and have worked with the Scottish Government to develop the first National Framework in Scotland for Missing Persons.

Before joining Abertay, I spent 14 years as Senior Research Officer and Head of the Grampian Police Research Unit (now Police Scotland). Working directly with the police I have cultivated my own research interests predominantly within the remits of forensic and investigative psychology.

I am specifically interested in the investigation of crime, missing persons, the policing of vulnerable people, and stress and policing. I am particularly passionate about translating research into practice which is pervasive throughout my work.

I am passionate about translating research into practice and my research has received numerous awards – including the ESRC Award for Outstanding Impact in Society – and extensive national and local media coverage over many years.

 

Programme Leader for BSc Psychology with Forensic Biology

Module Tutor:

  • Investigative Psychology and Law: Applying Psychology from Scene to Court Room
  • Forensic Psychology: Understanding Offender Behaviour
  • Workplace Review: : Designing a Psychological Intervention to solve a Real-World Issue

Supervision of BSc, MSc and PhD students.

Alexander, D. A., Kelly, H. and Woolnough, P. (submitted). In the Line of Fire: Recruitment and Retention of Police Authorised Firearms Officers. International Journal of Police Strategies and Management.

Taylor, C., Woolnough, P. and Dickens, G. (submitted). Adults Missing Persons: A Concept Analysis. Psychology Crime and Law.

Drivsholm, M., Moralis, D., Shalev-Greene, K and Woolnough, P. (2017). Once missing, never forgotten? Missing Children Europe, Brussels, Belgium.

Stevenson, O., Parr., H. and Woolnough, P. (2017). Missing women: policing absence. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 42 (2), 220-232.

Stevenson, O. and Woolnough, P. (2016) ‘Geographies of Missing People: Improving Police Knowledge and Response to Missing Persons’, in Morewitz, S. J.and Sturdy-Colls, C. (Eds). Handbook of Missing Persons: An Interdisciplinary Study. Springer: San Francisco.

Woolnough, P. S., Alys, L. and Pakes, F. (2016) ‘Mental health issues and missing adults’, in K. Shalev-Greene and L. Alys (eds.) Missing Persons: A Handbook of Research. London: Ashgate.

Woolnough, P. S., Stevenson, O. Parr, H and Fyfe, N. (2016) ‘Geographies of missing adults’, in K. Shalev-Greene and L. Alys (eds.) Missing Persons: A Handbook of Research. London: Ashgate.

Woolnough, P. S. and Gibb, G. J. (2016) ‘Geographies of missing children’ in K. Shalev-Greene and L. Alys (eds.) Missing Persons: A Handbook of Research. London: Ashgate.

Bonny, E., Almond, L. and Woolnough, P. (2016). Adult missing persons: Can an investigative framework be generated using behavioural themes? Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling. 13(3), 296-312.

Parr, H., Stevenson, O. and Woolnough, P (2016). Searching for missing people: families living with ambiguous absence. Emotion, Space and Society, 19, 66-75.

Fyfe, N., Parr, H., Stevenson O. and Woolnough, P. (2015). To the end of the world: Space, place, and missing Persons Investigations. Policing, 9(3), 275-283.

Parr, H., Stevenson, O., Fyfe, N. and Woolnough, P. (2015). Living absence: the strange geographies of missing people. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 33(2), 191-208.

Fyfe, N, Stevenson, O. and Woolnough, P. (2015) Missing persons: the processes and challenges of police investigation. Policing and Society , 25(4), 409-425.

Woolnough, P., Stevenson, O. and Parr, H. (2015). Investigating missing persons: learning from interviews with families. Journal of Homicide and Major Crime Investigation, 10(1), 1-13.

Joseph, S., Diack, L., Heyman, I., Klein, S, McCluskey, S. and Woolnough, P. (2015) Interagency Adult Support and Protection Practice of Police and Health and Social Care Professionals: A Realistic Evaluation Approach. SIPR Research Summary No. 19. Scottish Institute for Policing Research.

Woolnough, P., Stevenson, O. and Parr, H. (2015). Investigating missing persons: learning from interviews with missing persons. Journal of Homicide and Major Crime Investigation, 9 (2), 14-25.

Stevenson, O., Woolnough, P. and Parr, H. (2014). Geographies of Missing People: Improving Police Education and Response to Missing Persons. Scottish Institute for Policing Research, Annual Report 2013.

Woolnough, P, Stevenson, O., Parr, H. and Fyfe, N. (2014). Missing partnerships. Police Professional. Verdant Media: Aylesbury. Published Wednesday 12th March. Police Professional, edition number 396, 13/03/2014 (ISSN 2041-8809).

Gibb, G.J. & Woolnough, P. S. (2007) Missing Persons: Understanding, Planning, Responding. A Guide for Police Officers. Aberdeen, Grampian Police.

Meet the rest of the team

Ms Michele Schubiger

Ms Michele Schubiger

Division of Psychology | Research Fellow

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Dr Glenn Williams

Dr Glenn Williams

Division of Psychology | Research Fellow

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