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Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Gender and sexuality in sporting and educational contexts. LGBTQIA+ identities in sport, exercise, health, and education contexts. Mental health and wellbeing in sporting and educational contexts. Role of mindfulness in supporting wellbeing as a pedagogical practice.

Personal profile


I joined the Physical Education degree within the School of Education and Lifelong Learning at UEA in 2015. 

My PhD investigated the development of body satisfaction and identity among women who play rugby, cricket and netball, and the role that context has in its formation. Key to my findings was the notion of the value attached to the body in terms of its functionality to complete a sporting task. My work showed how elastic body satisfaction was between a sporting and social context. 

I previously worked at the universities of Gloucestershire and Coventry delivering a variety of health, exercise and sport related topics including child protection issues, before joining the University of Sydney in 2007 where I trained PE and Health Education teachers.

I am a Chartered Sport and Exercise Psychologist within the British Psychological Society's Division of Sport and Exercise Psychology and I am psychologist for the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme here at UEA. I also have extensive experience in delivering Motivational Interviewing to a variety of health professionals both in Australia and UK. As a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers MINT I am able to provide both bespoke and generalised training in this behavioural change counselling style. I also work with teams and organisations in developing their mission, vision, and values work.

I recieved an MA in Teaching Mindfulness from Bangor university and now deliver mindfulness training to students, staff, and the general public and incorporate this knowledge into a number of research activties.


Key Responsibilities

I am Chair of University Research Ethics Committee.

Key Research Interests

My research focuses on the intersections of gender, sexuality, health, identities, body image, education and sporting issues for both adults and youth populations. My current research interests include the negotiation of gender and sexuality in a range of sporting, leisure, and educational contexts.

I also have experience of working in the Child Protection in Sport and teacher education fields having conducted projects in football in the UK and about teacher training in Aus.

Projects undertaken in Australia investigated the experiences of LGBTQ+ pre-service teachers in New South Wales exploring the ways in which trainee teachers negotiate and mange their sexual identities in preparing to teach in both primary and secondary school settings. 

Another project focused on the 'self-representation of Australian female and male athletes', studying the impact of photographic representations of the sporting body on meanings of sporting identity for adult and youth sport participants. 

Current research focusues on the Mental Health Trainee Teacher project which explores the provision of mental health and wellbeing provision of trainee teachers. An ESRC funded research project explores the potential of mindfulness for supporting teachers  in school contexts, and a Joyce Morris funded project investigating the role of mindfulness based wellbeing programmes in supporting early years literacy.

Teaching Interests

I currently teach on the BSc Physical Education, Sport and Health degrees covering a module on sport advocacy called Sport, Culture and Society. I also co-lead on the undergraduate dissertation module.

I also teach on the MA Educational Practice and Research course delivering the Dissertation module.

I also provide training to our Educational Psychology doctorate candidates on the role of Mindfulness as a therapeutic practice and to Clinical Psychologists around the role of mindfulness for their professional and personal development.

Areas of Expertise

I have specialisms in qualitative research methods and have a growing interest in the use of Photovoice in exploring gender and sexuality.

Other specialisms are in LGBTQIA+ related areas in sport, exercise, health, and education contexts.

I also have a growing specialism in mindfulness as a way to support performance (exercise, sport, eductaion, leadership) as well as wellbeing in general.

Postgraduate Research Opportunities

I am interested in supervising students who have an interest in educational or sporting contexts who wish to take a critical look at mental health, identities, sexuality or gender. 

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


  • Education (General)
  • Gender
  • Sexuality
  • Child Protection

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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