I am a developmental psychologist interested in how early interactive patterns in the family (and particularly between child and primary caregiver), as well as wider social influences, interact with our biology to shape our emotional and behavioural development, including mental health.
I'm part of the Social Development Research Group, and the Centre for Women's Mental Health. I collaborate with British Autism Study of Infant Siblings (BASIS) and several international research groups. Those interested in the Manchester Assessment of Caregiver-Infant Interaction (MACI) or Manchester Child Attachment Story Task (MCAST) are directed to the 'Methodological Knowledge' tab at the top of the page.
I teach in clinical and developmental areas on the BSc Psychology and MSc Clinical and Health Psychology programmes. Each year, I supervise a number of student research projects at BSc and MSc level, as well as on the Clinical Psychology doctorate (ClinPsyD). Besides this, I lead the Study Abroad Programme for students on the 4-year BSc Psychology with International Year degree. I am the Area Exchange Adviser for Manchester students doing a year abroad, and the Erasmus coordinator to inbound students.
After completing my degree at Lancaster University in 1997, I completed my MSc then PhD in psychology at the University of Manchester. In 2003, I secured a Research Fellowship in the School of Medicine at the University of Manchester, studying children of mothers with severe mental disorder and depression in the Centre for Women's Mental Health. During this time, I became incredibly interested in mother-infant interactions and attachment and my research evolved into studying parent-child relationships in other at-risk or vulnerable groups. In 2009, I took on a lectureship, contributing to the MBChB degree programme in Medicine and supervising postgraduate research students. Since 2016, I have been based in the Division of Psychology of Mental Health in the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health. I teach psychology at undergraduate and postgraduate level alongside pursuing my research interests.