Before coming to Derby, I taught a wide range of courses at undergraduate and postgraduate level, both in Psychology (at Sussex and Derby) and Psycholinguistics (Leipzig).
I am currently Module Leader for Cognitive Psychology, Language and Language Development, and The Psychology of Language Disorders in Children, and Introduction to Cognitive Psychology which is part of our e-learning degree.
I am interested in language in all shapes and forms. My research focuses on the following areas:
- Semantic and contextual processes in language comprehension.
- Cross-linguistic studies of sentence comprehension strategies.
- The role of working memory in language comprehension.
- Rehearsal processes in working memory and synchronisation of brain activity.
I am also keen to apply cognitive research to questions of clinical psychology, looking at the influence of emotion on cognitive processes, and at response biases and possible malingering in clinical assessment.
My research activity contributes to the work of the Centre for Psychological Research in Human Behaviour at Derby University.
I am currently involved in two international collaborations. One project is about working memory and synchronization of brain activity. This is a joint project with Prof Schroeger, Institute for Psychology at the University of Leipzig, and Franziska Kopp, Max Planck Institute for Human and Cognitive Brain Sciences, Leipzig. This work was supported by two grants from the German Research Foundation (DFG = Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft).
Another collaborative project is with a clinical psychologist, Dr Ralf Dohrenbusch, from the Institute of Psychology at the University of Bonn. We are studying response biases and possible malingering in clinical assessment. This work is currently supported by one of the two Visiting Fellowships which the Leverhulme Trust awarded to the University of Derby in 2005
Experience in industry
My first job was as a Research Officer at the MRC Cognitive Development Unit in London. I then worked at the Department of Experimental Psychology at the University of Sussex, initially as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with Gerry Altmann and Alan Garnham, and then as a Teaching Assistant and Temporary Lecturer. I was a Lecturer in Psycholinguistics at the University of Leipzig in Germany for almost six years before I took up my present job as Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Derby in March 2002. I was made University Reader in Psychology in July 2006.
I have a good knowledge of the German university system, having both studied and worked as a lecturer in Germany. I have a particular interest in supporting international students.
Additional interests and activities
Doctoral research supervision and supporting staff development in doctoral research supervision: I delivered the module 7ER002 Research Supervision in Spring 2011 (Academic Practice in Research)
Interview with BBC Radio Derby some years ago.