Lecturer in Psychology
Birmingham B4 7ET
Phone: 0121 204 4541
I joined the Psychology Department at Aston in August 2017. Prior to joining Aston I was a Senior Researcher at Coventry University, having worked in the Applied Research Centre for Health & Lifestyle Interventions since 2008, and latterly in the Centre for Applied Biological & Exercise Science. During my time at Coventry I specialised in undertaking research and consultancy in applied settings, particularly community-based behaviour change interventions. I worked closely with a number of local public health teams and health-related charities, and was a member of several committees and special interest groups, including the Midlands Health Psychology Network, Warwickshire obesity forum & Coventry childhood obesity alliance. I also completed a one year secondment as an embedded health psychology specialist within Warwickshire Public Health, and taught on a range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.
While at Coventry I completed my PhD via the publication route with a body of research into women’s engagement with weight management behaviours and services in pregnancy. Alongside my work on maternal weight management and physical activity in pregnancy I also undertook significant research around parental engagement with child & family weight management services, and developed a range of training for health professionals around childhood obesity and related behaviour change.
My most recent work at Coventry included working with Coventry City Council to embed theory- and evidence-based behaviour change techniques into their healthy lifestyle support services and increase staff competences around behaviour change.
In my current post I teach on the MSc Health Psychology programmes (both on campus and online) and provide tutorials and supervision for the BSc Psychology programme.
I am an expert advisor on healthy lifestyles in pregnancy for a national maternal health charity, Tommy’s.
I also undertake a variety of roles within the fitness industry, including devising and delivering education for instructors, delivering group exercise sessions and providing consultancy services to fitness operators.
I also supervise MSc students for their research projects
I also supervise final years students for their research projects
My research is inspired by a desire to understand the complex determinants of human behaviour relating to health, and to develop interventions to empower and enable individuals to live healthier lives. Health behaviour during pregnancy and early childhood has such an influence on lifelong health and wellbeing that I am driven to find ways to support parents and health professionals in their desire to give children a healthy start and develop positive health behaviours for life. Therefore my main research topics are:
Associate supervisor for:
Ian Garner (Aston University): Building Resilience: Malleability of Physical and Cognitive Frailty.
Nadja Willinger (Coventry University): Development and pilot testing of an intervention to increase adoption and adherence to a physical activity programme delivered in UK fitness centres.
Jorge Lopez (Coventry University): Development and pilot testing of an intervention to increase physical activity in inactive members of fitness centres in Spain.
Angela Hands (Coventry University): Parental perception of the built environment and children’s active travel to school.
I am interested in supervising research students in the areas of behaviour change relating to weight management or physical activity before, during or after pregnancy, and parental engagement with their child’s weight management.
I am a member of the Register of Exercise Professionals.
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