I joined The Open University in 2016 after lecturing and researching at University College Dublin and Trinity College Dublin. I was previously a journalist and food writer, and gained my PhD in Psychology at University College Dublin in 2011.
My work is interdisciplinary and sits at the intersection of developmental psychology and childhood studies, with a particular interest in children’s experiences. It spans several areas in relation to children and childhoods: food, digital media, experiences of school, mental health, and self-concept/self-esteem.
I have received funding from the World Health Organization, the Wellcome Trust, the Irish Heart Foundation, Department of Children and Youth Affairs (Ireland), the Health Research Board (Ireland), the Children’s Mental Health Coalition, and Safefood (the all-Ireland Food Safety Authority) among others.
At The Open University I co-chair E102 An Introduction to childhood studies and child psychology and am on the module team for DE300 Investigating Psychology as well as E808 Children and Young People’s Worlds (in production). I supervise doctoral students in the areas of digital engagement and experiences of school.
My work on food marketing to children receives widespread media interest in national and international newspapers, television and radio. Most recently (March 2017) I contributed to a Channel 4 Dispatches programme, The Secrets of Coca-Cola. I have also contributed to policy forums on digital food marketing to children in Ireland, the UK and the EU.
I collaborate with colleagues at universities and NGOs in the UK, Ireland and South Africa, including the University of Liverpool, Imperial College London, Ulster University (Coleraine), University College Dublin, and the University of Pretoria, as well as the WHO (European Region).