Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus
1993 …2023

Research activity per year

Personal profile

Personal profile

I lead the Division of Sport and Exercise Sciences at Abertay.

I’m a Professional Psychologist, with over 25 years of experience in research within Differential Psychology.

I joined Abertay as a lecturer in 1996 -  shortly after completing my PhD in Primate Behaviour at the University of Stirling - and have since held various senior posts including Psychology Division Leader and Director of Research. 

My research interests are varied but all fall within the umbrella of Differential Psychology and how our individual differences influence behaviour in sport, health, mental health and wellbeing. I’m particularly interested in how biology and evolution influence the way humans interact with the world, and how it influences their personality and response style. 

I have published extensively within the field of Differential Psychology. My most recent work relates to the application of the psychometric measurement of recovery in mental health and in the field of sport. 

I’m a Chartered Psychologist, an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society and have been Chair of the Scottish Branch of the British Psychological Society.  I’m also professionally qualified in Psychometric Testing.



 I currently teach on the following modules:



  • SPS414: Performance analysis for elite athletes
  • SPS400: Sport Research Project
  • SPS444: Student Negotiated Learning (including workplace option)



I also contribute to other modules,  where I provide sessions on Psychometrics, Methods etc.

Research interests

My own research interests are varied but all fall within the umbrella of Differential Psychology and how individual differences influence behaviour in sport, health, mental health and wellbeing. Specific areas of focus include Personality, Handedness, Recovery in Mental Health, Animal Behaviour (primates and other animals), Biological Psychology, Evolutionary Psychology, Stress/anxiety, Emotional Processing, Psychometrics, Zoo Visitor Behaviour (public engagement and understanding), Stress and Job Stress, Laterality and emotional processing, Hormones, Procrastination, Children and their use of computer games.

One major focus revolves around how biology and evolution influences the way that humans interact with the world, how it influences their personality and response style. I am keen to further develop this work in relation to Sport, technology, games, academic attainment and other applications.

Research Degree Opportunities

I am willing to supervise students in any of these or related areas, and we offer the following research degrees: one-year MSc by Research, two-year MPhil or three-year PhD.  For more information please email   [email protected]  or telephone 01382 308587.

To date I have successfully supervised 8 PhD  three MPhil and 4 MSc by Research students.


Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with Penumbra (£87K), 2011-12.

‘Building the Centre for Psychology' (£360K), SRIF, 2002. 

Part of SPRG ‘Living Links’ Grant (£1.6M)

'Living Links Public Engagement' (£18K) Darwin-200 Public Engagement Grant, Office of the Chief Scientific Adviser to the Scottish Government

Co-investigator. 'Computer games use in Scottish Schools (£10K). Scottish Screen & LTS.

University Studentship (£45K) for Rafaella Ventura

University Whitespace Studentship (£50K) for Paul Robertson

British Academy (£5K).

Young Carers Research (£ 6.7K ) with Jason Annetts. NHS Tayside, 2012

Memory Box Network (£8K) with Roise Stenhouse and Robin Ion, 2013


  • Chartered Psychologist (CPsychol),
  • Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society (AFBPsS),
  • Member of the Division of Academic, Researchers and Teachers in Psychology.
  • Member, Primate Society of Great Britain,
  • Member, International Primate Society;
  • Core Member, Scottish Primate Research Group (SPRG);
  • Member, Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour (ASAB).
  • Member of Education and Public Engagement Board (EPEB) of the British Psychological Society (2014-19)
  • BPS Scottish Branch Treasurer (2013), Deputy Chair (2014), Chair (2016-18), Past Chair (2018-19)
  • Member of Partnership and Accreditation Committee (PAC) of the British Psychological Society (2014-16)
  • External Examiner for MRes at Queen Margaret University (2014-18)
  • BPS (UK) representative on European Federation of Psychological Association's Board of Educational Affairs (2015-19).


External Programme and Subject Examiner for  BA Psychology and Sociology, Napier University (2005-2009)

Reviewer:  For example, Book for Palgrave Macmillan, Regular Journal reviewer (Personality and Individual Differences, Cognition and Emotion, Laterality, Animal Behaviour, JEP, Cortex, Angle Orthandontics), Grants (ESRC, BBSRC), Welcome Trust

Knowledge Exchange

I have completed a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with Robin Ion, working with Penumbra. This involved £87K of funding, ran for 18 months, and has led to a continuation of the research, with the associate (Bridey Monger) having gained her PhD under my supervsion. The KTP was given the highest possible grading of  'Outstanding'  by the KTP Grading Panel, for its achievement in meeting KTP's objectives. The scores the partnership in the top 10-12% of all partnerships.

I have completed consultancy work in the past with a games development company,with Learning and Teaching Scotland (LTS) and also worked with a local training and development company.

Along with colleagues we worked on an evaluation for the 'Memory Box Network' -  a charity which provides services to increase the quality of life of individuals living with dementia, their families and those close to them through the use of Reminiscence Therapy.


Dissemination Events

The Hand Stand. Dundee Science Festival. October, 2009.

The Hand Stand. Aberdeen Science Festival. September, 2010.

The Face Base.  Dundee Science Festival.  October, 2010.

Monkey Business - What can primates tell us about ourselves? Café Science Dundee, March 2010.

Wright, L. & Hardie, S. M. (2008). 'Left out: considering handedness as a variable' KnowFife Research Fair, Dunfermline, November 2008.

Recent Newspaper reports

Dundee Courier, 11th February 2012. “Abertay University researchers find lefties have a handy advantage when the pressure is on”

Recent Television and Radio

BBC News Website, 8th February 2012. Left-handed people 'make better decisions', 8th February 2012. Lefties more likely to look before they leap.

BBC Radio Scotland ‘Drivetime’ Interview, 8th  February 2012.

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
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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