I started at The Open University in January 2018 as a Senior Lecturer in the School of Psychology. I am a chartered psychologist, fellow of the Higher Education Academy, associate fellow of the British Psychological Society and international affiliate of the American Psychological Association. Before coming to the OU, I worked in government and non-profit as well as in academia. After receiving my qualifications in the USA (BS, MA, PhD in psychology) I worked at the American Psychological Association. There my work centred around policy and informing the public about psychological research and practice. I then worked at the US Department of Justice linking psychology to relevant aspects of justice, national security and crime. Since moving to the UK in 2003, I have worked at Middlesex University and the Institute of Education. Most recently I was programme leader for the BSc forensic psychology at the University of East London. I am a community and social psychologist by background and apply this to criminal psychology and cross-cultural interactions.
My research is centred around applying psychological principles to law enforcement and security services. Within that there are a number of different strands to my work. One programme of research is in detecting deception. Here I assess non-verbal behaviours to see how they may be indicators of those who are engaging in nefarious activities. Another thread of my work looks at the impact of extralegal factors on case outcome. I have run a series of studies to determine whether accent, race, and other seemingly irrelevant factors impact perceptions of witnesses in courtrooms. Also in the courtroom I have studied how lawyers prepare and interact with clients with mental health difficulties. A third aspect of my research is looking at community responses to terrorism and extremism. My investigations into how people feel about extremism are conducted by having people think about those who are different to themselves within their community. I have also looked at how people catastrophise, prepare and think about a terrorist attack affecting them. Most recently, I have started to look at the role of human interaction on cybersecurity.