Personal profile


I joined the School of Health in Social Sciences in 2014 and I am currently a Senior Lecturer in Clinical Psychology. I am an HCPC Registered Clinical Psychologist, Chartered Psychologist,  Associate Fellow of the British and an Honorary Consultant Clinical Psychologist in Adult Mental Health with NHS Grampian.

Within the University of Edinburgh I am a member of Edinburgh Neuroscience, Edinburgh Mental Health and the Global Mental Health Research Network.

My research in a nutshell

My research focuses on how risk and resilience can infrom early identification and prevention in mental health. Primarily, my work focuses on intergenerational determinants of mental health, specifically how parental adversity and mental health impact on the next generation's mental health, cognitive, emotional, and developmental outcomes.

I take a lifespan approach to mental health, but focused particularly on the "First 1000 days" from conception through the perinatal period and into infancy. This has the potential to lead to preventative or early intervention paradigms for mental health and wellbeing. In doing so, my research focuses on global health priorities and sustainable development goals, given the growing burden of mental disorder across the world.

I work with a broad range of mental health conditions from common presentations such as depression and anxiety through to complex difficulties such as personality disorder and psychosis.

I use different methods including observational cohort studies, linkage of routine and 'big' data, treatment studies and data synthesis and have worked with cohorts in Scotland/UK, Denmark, Chile and with health providers, UNICEF and NGOs such as Mellow Parenting.

From a clinical perspective, my work is also concerned with how we can better integrate psychological approaches to mental health into health and social care. This spans a broad range of approaches from infant mental health (Mellow Parenting), Digital Mental Health (Togetherall) and adult personality disorder (Metacognitive Interpersonal Therapy).

Research Interests

  1. Intergenerational Mental Health. Improving mental health is a global priority. My primary interest, is in how risk and resilience in one generation impacts on the next, and how we can design assessments, intervention and programming to improve health, social and psychological outcomes. The current focus of this work is using “The First 1000 days” as a window for understanding how risk and resilience applies in pregnancy and early years.  This includes work with pregnancy, the perinatal period and beyond, using a variety of methods. The research uses data linkage, routine data, cohort studies and meta-analysis, reviews work. I am also involved in evaluation of infant and perinatal mental health psychologically-informed interventions and approaches, particularly Mellow Parenting. 
  2. Psychological interventions.  I have a long-standing interest in psychological frameworks, treatment models and the psychological management of complex mental health issues, particularly Personality Disorder. My work uses multiple frameworks, particularly attachment, mentalization and metacognition. I am actively involved in the development of the evidence base for Metacognitive Interpersonal Therapy. 
  3. Evidence-based mental health. I also am interested in applying multiple methodologies to improve the use of research methodologies in the development and evaluation of mental health interventions across the population. Most recently this has involved developing the evidence base for  Togetherall, a digital mental health platform. 

Collaborative Activity

Alongside collaborations within University of Edinburgh I have international external collaborations with University of Finland (Marius Lahti-Pulkkinnen), University of Copenhagen (Katrine Røhder),the Centre for Metacognitive Therapy, Rome (Dr Giancarlo Dimaggio), and Pontifica Unversidad Catolica de Chile.

Within Scotland I have collaborations with University of Glasgow and University of Aberdeen in Scotland. I have a number of NHS collaborations particularly in NHS Lothian and NHS Grampian; and with the Mellow Parenting NGO.

My work has been funded by the MRC, Wellcome Trust, CSO, NIHR, Millar McKenzie Trust and internal funding from the University of Edinburgh.

Administrative Roles

I am the current Director of Research for the School of Health in Social Science. Previously, I have also had academic citizenship roles as School Postgraduate Research Director, and Quality Assurance and Enhancement Director.


Within Clinical Psychology I have been the Director for the MSc Applied Psychology of Children and Young People and the Research Director for the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. I organise the course on Interdisciplinary Approaches to Global Mental Health for the MSc Global Mental Health and Society and contribute to teaching on the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology.

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Clinical Psychology, University of Glasgow

Award Date: 1 Jan 2011

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), The function of attachment theory in First Episode Psychosis: A Theoretical and Clinical Investigation, University of Glasgow

Award Date: 1 Jan 2009

Master of Arts, University of Glasgow

Award Date: 1 Jan 2003

External positions

Honorary Principal Clinical Psychologist, NHS Grampian

1 Dec 2014 → …

Honorary Consultant Clinical Psychologist, NHS Grampian

30 Sept 2001 → …

College Research Themes

  • Health & Wellbeing


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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