Personal profile


I am an Associate Professor with a background in Developmental Psychology. I teach Developmental and Health Psychology, Consultation Skills, and Evidence Based Medicine in the undergraduate medical course at UEA (MBBS). I lead the psychology theme and am responsible for the design and delivery of the psychology and well-being curriculum in the MBBS.  

I am also the well-being lead for the MBBS course. I work closely with the school's senior advising team, the faculty's embedded team, and university student services to support students' well-being and increase awareness around student mental health and well-being. I lead UEA's Interprofessional Student Schwartz Rounds, an initiative recently introduced to all health professional undergraduate and postgraduate courses at UEA.

In collaboration with colleagues from the Norwich Medical School, I lead a research project funded by HEE (NICHE) that aims to evaluate the effectiveness of Schwartz Rounds in higher education. 

My developmental psychology research has evolved from the study of children’s conceptual development in the domain of astronomy (the topic of my DPhil) to the study of children’s understanding of biology, the human body, and the concepts of life, health, illness and death. I am interested in how children’s understanding of these concepts develops and how culture and culturally specific experiences influence children’s reasoning in this domain. I am also involved in research around children’s moral development and physical punishment.

Academic Background

DPhil in Developmental Psychology, University of Sussex, Brighton (2003)
MSc in Health Psychology, City University, London (1995)
BSc Hons in Psychology, University of Crete, Greece (1993)


2018 – Associate Professor in Psychology, Norwich Medical School, UEA

2006 – 2018 Lecturer in Psychology, Norwich Medical School, UEA

2003 – 2006 Lecturer in Developmental Psychology, School of Psychology, UEL

2003 – 2003 Post-doctoral Research Fellow, School of Psychology, UEL

2001 – 2002 Visiting lecturer, Department of Psychology, Kingston University

2001 – 2002 Visiting lecturer, Centre for Social Work and Policy, Sussex University

Key Research Interests

Children’s understanding of biology. This research explores children’s ‘naïve theories’ about different biological phenomena and how these emerge and develop during the school years. I am particularly interested in children's understanding of the human body, of the notion that our body works to keep us alive, and of death as a biological process. I am also interested in how culture shapes understanding and how children'sexposure to illness or death, and conversations with adults shape their representations in the domain of biology. For more information see how children understand death.

Children’s understanding of science: this ongoing research concerns the development of children’s scientific ideas, in particular their understanding of the shape of the earth, gravity and the day–night cycle. This research also investigates how different methods of testing (e.g., drawings and model selection tasks, open and closed interviews) influence the way children represent their knowledge. In collaboration with Dr Gavin Nobes at the School of Psychology, UEA, I completed an ESRC funded project that explored the origins of children's knowledge of the earth, the structure of their concepts, and how scientific understanding in the domain of astronomy is acquired.

Children’s moral development: children's understanding of social rules and authority; the factors that influence children's and adults' moral judgements, such as agents' intentions, their level of negligence (carelessness), and their actions' outcomes; the roles of parenting and peer interaction in the development of moral reasoning. More information here moral development.

Well-being and Schwartz Rounds in Higher Education Institutions (HEI). In collaboration with colleagues from the Norwich Medical School, I am leading a research project funded by NICHE that aims to evaluate the effectiveness of interprofessional Schwartz Rounds offered to health care professional students. 


Research keywords

Conceptual development in childhood; Children's theories of biology; Children’s moral development; Children’s understanding of science; Student well-being; Schwartz Rounds in HEIs.

Teaching Interests

Developmental Psychology
Health Psychology
Consultation Skills
Student Select Studies in medicine 

Administrative Posts

  • Well-being Lead (MBBS)
  • Theme Lead for the Psychology curriculum (MBBS)
  • Academic Lead for Y4 Evidence Based Medicine (MBBS)
  • Lead of UEAs' Interprofessional Schwartz Rounds (UEA)
  • Member of ATHENA SWAN group

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

External positions

External examiner, University of East London

1 Sep 201530 Jul 2019

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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