I lead the Division of Sport and Exercise Sciences at Abertay.
I’m a Professional Psychologist, with over 25 years of experience in research within Differential Psychology.
I joined Abertay as a lecturer in 1996 - shortly after completing my PhD in Primate Behaviour at the University of Stirling - and have since held various senior posts including Psychology Division Leader and Director of Research.
My research interests are varied but all fall within the umbrella of Differential Psychology and how our individual differences influence behaviour in sport, health, mental health and wellbeing. I’m particularly interested in how biology and evolution influence the way humans interact with the world, and how it influences their personality and response style.
I have published extensively within the field of Differential Psychology. My most recent work relates to the application of the psychometric measurement of recovery in mental health and in the field of sport.
I’m a Chartered Psychologist, an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society and have been Chair of the Scottish Branch of the British Psychological Society. I’m also professionally qualified in Psychometric Testing.
I have taught Biological Psychology since 1996, and I currently teach on the following modules:
I also contribute to other modules, where I provide sessions on Psychometrics, Methods etc.
My own research interests are varied but all fall within the umbrella of Differential Psychology and how individual differences influence behaviour in sport, health, mental health and wellbeing. Specific areas of focus include Personality, Handedness, Recovery in Mental Health, Animal Behaviour (primates and other animals), Biological Psychology, Evolutionary Psychology, Stress/anxiety, Emotional Processing, Psychometrics, Zoo Visitor Behaviour (public engagement and understanding), Stress and Job Stress, Laterality and emotional processing, Hormones, Procrastination, Children and their use of computer games.
One major focus revolves around how biology and evolution influences the way that humans interact with the world, how it influences their personality and response style. I am keen to further develop this work in relation to Sport, technology, games, academic attainment and other applications.
I am willing to supervise students in any of these or related areas, and we offer the following research degrees: one-year MSc by Research, two-year MPhil or three-year PhD. For more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01382 308587.
To date I have successfully supervised 8 PhD three MPhil and 4 MSc by Research students.
Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with Penumbra (£87K), 2011-12.
‘Building the Centre for Psychology' (£360K), SRIF, 2002.
Part of SPRG ‘Living Links’ Grant (£1.6M)
'Living Links Public Engagement' (£18K) Darwin-200 Public Engagement Grant, Office of the Chief Scientific Adviser to the Scottish Government
Co-investigator. 'Computer games use in Scottish Schools (£10K). Scottish Screen & LTS.
University Studentship (£45K) for Rafaella Ventura
University Whitespace Studentship (£50K) for Paul Robertson
British Academy (£5K).
Young Carers Research (£ 6.7K ) with Jason Annetts. NHS Tayside, 2012
Memory Box Network (£8K) with Roise Stenhouse and Robin Ion, 2013
External Programme and Subject Examiner for BA Psychology and Sociology, Napier University (2005-2009)
Reviewer: For example, Book for Palgrave Macmillan, Regular Journal reviewer (Personality and Individual Differences, Cognition and Emotion, Laterality, Animal Behaviour, JEP, Cortex, Angle Orthandontics), Grants (ESRC, BBSRC), Welcome Trust
I have completed a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with Robin Ion, working with Penumbra. This involved £87K of funding, ran for 18 months, and has led to a continuation of the research, with the associate (Bridey Monger) having gained her PhD under my supervsion. The KTP was given the highest possible grading of 'Outstanding' by the KTP Grading Panel, for its achievement in meeting KTP's objectives. The scores the partnership in the top 10-12% of all partnerships.
I have completed consultancy work in the past with a games development company,with Learning and Teaching Scotland (LTS) and also worked with a local training and development company.
Along with colleagues we worked on an evaluation for the 'Memory Box Network' - a charity which provides services to increase the quality of life of individuals living with dementia, their families and those close to them through the use of Reminiscence Therapy.
The Hand Stand. Dundee Science Festival. October, 2009.
The Hand Stand. Aberdeen Science Festival. September, 2010.
The Face Base. Dundee Science Festival. October, 2010.
Monkey Business - What can primates tell us about ourselves? Café Science Dundee, March 2010.
Wright, L. & Hardie, S. M. (2008). 'Left out: considering handedness as a variable' KnowFife Research Fair, Dunfermline, November 2008.
Dundee Courier, 11th February 2012. “Abertay University researchers find lefties have a handy advantage when the pressure is on”
BBC News Website, 8th February 2012. Left-handed people 'make better decisions' http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-tayside-central-16943780
Dundeechannel.com, 8th February 2012. Lefties more likely to look before they leap.
BBC Radio Scotland ‘Drivetime’ Interview, 8th February 2012.