I started working as a Research Associate in HLS in August 2017. I attained Chartered Membership of the British Psychological Society in 2016, and Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy in 2017. I was awarded my PhD in Psychology in 2013, from the School of Psychology at the University of Glasgow. During this project, I explored the nature of sensory experiences in autistic children and adults using both quantitative and qualitative approaches.
After completing my PhD, I worked as a post-doctoral researcher in the Institute of Health and Wellbeing at the University of Glasgow, where I investigated how anxiety can be better managed in autistic adults. In this role, I worked with clinical psychologists and psychiatrists across NHS Lothian and NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde, academic staff at the University of Edinburgh and the University of Glasgow, as well as charitable organisations (e.g. Autism Initiatives Scotland).
Before joining Coventry University, I worked as a Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Dundee, where I taught a range of modules related to developmental psychology and autism. I also supervised undergraduate and postgraduate dissertation projects in my area of research interest (i.e. sensory sensitivity, mental health and/or suicidality in autism/autistic traits), as well as projects that were more broadly related to mental health or developmental psychology.
My main research interest is in identifying ways that we can improve the quality of life of autistic people. My research, so far, has focused on a) sensory reactivity and b) mental health (specifically, anxiety and suicidality) in autism.
I have focused on measuring atypical sensory reactivity, and its impact in a) people with a diagnosis on the autistic spectrum and b) individuals with different levels of subclinical autistic traits. As part of this program of work, I developed the Glasgow Sensory Questionnaire
Through my research, I aim to identify new ways, and improve established methods, of improving the mental health of those individuals on the autistic spectrum who experience mental ill health. I am interested in exploring why there is an increased prevalence of mental ill health in individuals with autism, what the experience of having mental ill health is like (from a first-hand perspective), and the impact that this can have on each individual (as well as on their wider support network). I am particularly interested in exploring how we can improve mental health, and reduce suicidality, in autism, perhaps using modified or new interventions.