I first came to the department in 2015 after having spent three years in Switzerland as a postdoctoral fellow. Before that, I trained in my native USA as an undergraduate at Loyola Marymount University and a postgraduate at Colorado State University.
I was first drawn to psychology because I was interested in a clinical career, but I changed paths after my first experiences of research as an undergraduate working on an intervention for kindergartners who were at risk for literacy problems. That turning point still motivates me today to encourage students to open their minds to all different career options that psychology allows and to foster the same kinds of opportunities for students to get involved in research that my mentors have given to me.
Although I started in research with kids, my work now investigates the other side of development. I am interested in how memory and complex cognition functions across the adult lifespan: The underlying mechanisms that support our memory from moment-to-moment, how these mechanisms change with age, and if there is anything that we can do about it.
Since joining the department, I have followed several of my passions, which generally fall under the umbrella of open scholarship. I want to make our science more open and accessible to other researchers, students, and laypeople outside of psychology. I do this in a number of ways: First, I lead the recruitment events team to give prospective students a taste of what psychology at university is like, especially by making them feel like they too can be psychological scientists. I also am involved in the Open Science Working Group at Essex to facilitate others getting involved in open science, no matter what their prior experience with it is. Finally, I am passionate about science reaching beyond academia in the way of science communication and work with groups outside of the university. I have given over 20 public community talks and work with a fantastic charity, Age Concern Colchester, to ensure that the very relevant work we do in psychology reaches those who stand to benefit the most.
When I am not busy at work, I love travelling all over the world, outdoor activities like hiking and climbing/bouldering, and hibernating at home with some Netflix and delicious snacks at hand!