Personal profile

Research Interests

I joined Aston University as a lecturer in 2017, having spent the previous four years working at the Cerebra Centre for Neurodevelopmental Disorders as a research fellow and clinical psychologist.

In 2020, I became the Co-Director of the Cerebra Network for Neurodevelopmental Disorders. The network focuses on key themes that are central to improving the lives of individuals with intellectual disability who have communication difficulties and complex needs, and their families. Research themes within the network include mental health, autism profiles, behaviours that challenge, pain and sleep.

My research focus is understanding the development of mental health difficulties, and improving the identification of these difficulties, in people with intellectual disabilities and neurodevelopmental conditions. My research team are developing clinical assessment tools and interventions for individuals with intellectual disability and autistic individuals who use few or no words. 

I am passionate about dissemination of research findings to families and clinicians, and I am lead for an online resource that facilitates this process for people with rare genetic syndromes ( I am also committed to supporting the next generation of researchers and clinicians with expertise in intellectual disability and our research team aims to prioritise the development of junior researchers and aspiring clinical psychologists.

PhD Supervision

I am currently supervising the following PhD students:

Georgie Edwards (final year). Georgie's PhD is focusing on the correlates of anxiety in people with intellectual disability and autistic individuals who use few or no words.

Lauren Shelley (2nd year). Lauren's PhD is examining the profile of behaviours that challenge in SATB2-associated syndrome and is examining the mechanisms that give rise to these behaviours.

Jess Mingins (1st year). Jess is validating an assessment measure of anxiety in people with rare genetic syndromes and is applying this measure, along with other validated tools, to examine the interacton between anxiety, behaviours that challenge and sleep.

Education/Academic qualification

PG Cert

Sept 2017Dec 2018

Award Date: 11 Dec 2018

Doctorate of Clinical Psychology: Parental Perceptions of Challenging Behaviour

Oct 2010Sept 2013

Award Date: 1 Dec 2013

PhD, The cognitive and behavioural phenotype of Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome, University of Birmingham

Sept 2007Dec 2011

Award Date: 1 Jul 2012

External positions

Clinical Psychologist, University Hospitals Birmingham

1 Oct 2021 → …

Honorary Clinical Psychologist, Birmingham Women's NHS Foundation Trust

20181 Jun 2020


  • BF Psychology
  • genetic syndromes
  • executive function
  • mental health
  • autism
  • intellectual disability
  • sensory processing
  • parental well-being


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