Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Open to topics within mental health / human-animal interaction

Willing to speak to media

  • Source: Scopus

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Personal profile


Roxy is a Lecturer in Psychology within the School of Education and Social Sciences, based at the Paisley campus. She is a Developmental/Clinical Psychologist interested in the benefits of animals and the human-animal bond for psychological health and development across the lifespan, and the role of animals within adverse environments (e.g. domestic abuse, child, and pet abuse).

Roxy’s ambition is to raise public interest and knowledge in, and academic awareness of, the important roles that animals play within people’s lives and society.

Roxy has recently launched The Science of Pets with the mission of facilitating public engagement with research into human-animal relationships and for sharing the latest research findings (


Roxy's research has been funded by a range of funding bodies including the Carnegie Trust, the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), Nestle Purina, Crucible, and others.

Current research activities

Research interests:

1)      Interdisciplinary work and mixed methodologies

2)      Bio-psycho-social benefits of and interactions/relationships with animals across the lifespan

3)      Attachment to pets and mental health across lifespan

4)      The role of animals in adversity (e.g., domestic violence, exposure to pet cruelty in childhood)

5)      Understanding and preventing childhood animal cruelty

6)      Inter-species emotion processing 

7)      Animal welfare education, evaluation of education programmes for children


Target collaborative organisations

I am always open and keen to form new collaborations, particularly with the following:

Animal welfare / conservation charities

Animal-assisted therapy organisations / health care practitioners

Charities / non-profit organisations / 3rd sector

Zoo’s / wildlife sanctuaries

Video game developers



Current teaching activities and interests

  • Teaching across core BPS domains at both undergraduate and masters primarily within Developmental Psychology and Clinical Psychology (mental health, interventions)
  • Module Co-ordinator of Human-Animal Interactions (L10)
  • Module Moderator for Child Development (L9)
  • Supervision of MSc in Psychology (conversion) students
  • Supervision of BSc Psychology students
  • PhD Supervisor
  • External MRes supervisor
  • Supervisor of research interns
  • Past teaching: Clinical and Health Psychology (MSc), Psychology conversion (MSc), Psychology in Education (MSc and BA). Supervision of MSc students. Module Co-ordinator and moderator. Curriculum design and development.


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

External positions

External Examiner, University of Lincoln

Oct 2020 → …

Guest Lecturer, University of Stirling

2019 → …

Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Edinburgh


Teaching Fellow (maternity cover for Lecturer in Developmental Psychology), University of Edinburgh


Research Assistant, University of Edinburgh


Research Assistant, University of Edinburgh

Jan 2016Sep 2016

Tutor / Lecturer, University of Edinburgh


Doctoral Research Student , University of Edinburgh


Research Assistant, University of Edinburgh

Dec 2014

Research Assistant, University of Edinburgh



  • BF Psychology
  • Psychology
  • Research Methodology
  • Anthrozoology
  • Animal Welfare
  • Child Development
  • Human-animal interactions
  • Mental health
  • Clinical psychology
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Wellbeing
  • Interventions
  • Attachment
  • Emotions


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