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  • Associate Professor in Developmental Psychology
  • IOE - Psychology & Human Development
  • UCL Institute of Education
  • Secondment: Associate Professor Educational Maths Apps Project
  • IOE - Learning & Leadership
  • UCL Institute of Education

I completed a degree in linguistics and a masters degree in psycholinguistics at the University of Antwerp. In 2004 I moved to London to work with the late Prof Annette Karmiloff-Smith and completed a MSc in cognitive neuropsychology at Birkbeck College London, before completing a PhD in Education (2010) at King’s College London. 

I am currently Head of Research for IOE Psychology and Human Development (shared role with Prof. Andy Tolmie).

I am Executive Member of European Association for Research in Learning and Instruction (JURE portfolio)

I am co-ordinator for SIG15 Special Education Needs (EARLI)

I am a Member of the British Psychology Society.

Research Summary

My research focuses on improving educational outcomes, especially for students with special educational needs, using evidence from developmental psychology, educational neuroscience, and neurodiverse populations. I examine cognitive development in neurodiverse populations in order to understand what cognitive abilities and strategies relate to successful performance. I also focus on the variability, overlap as well as individual differences in these groups in order to aid the development of effective educational training programmes. To understand how cognitive abilities develop over time, as well as when and how to intervene, I study abilities from infancy onwards. I am an internationally recognised expert on development in Williams syndrome and Down syndrome. Leading from my research on neurodiverse populations, I have focused my expertise to mathematical development in also typical populations and those with learning difficulties such as dyscalculia. I employ a multi-method approach, including observations, questionnaires, focus groups, interviews, systematic reviews, experimental tasks (preferential looking paradigms), standardised assessments (wisdom), and eye tracking methodologies, as a springboard to intervention studies and to obtain a rigorous understanding of development in neurodiverse populations, as well as how teachers and parents can improve learning outcomes for their children at home and in the classroom. 

Teaching Summary

I am currently module leader for Development in typical and atypically developing populations (2021-) as well as Psychology of Special Needs (2021-).  

I am a Senior Fellow of Higher Education Academy.

I am passionate about new and interactive ways of learning, including flipped classroom approaches and educational technologies. I also think it is important for students to have opportunities to develop hands-on and relevant research experience that can help their employment and future careers. As such I started the Researcher Experience Placement Scheme (REPS) for the department of Psychology and Human Development in 2021.

Academic Background
2012   Postgraduate Certificate Kingston University
2010   Doctor of Philosophy King's College London
2005   Master of Science Birkbeck College
2004   Master of Arts (Hons) Universiteit Antwerpen
2002   Bachelor of Arts Universiteit Antwerpen
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