keep the questions coming!!
Brimsham Green Secondary School (near Bristol) and University of Bath and University of East London
PhD, BSc (hons) Psychology with Sociology
Worked as research assistant at Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London before starting PhD.
University of East London
Favourite thing to do in my job: I love to ask people questions such as “what colour is Thursday?”, and “if a lemon and a potato had a race who would win?” and “what shape are Snoopy’s ears?”
38 year OLD psychology lecturer who likes to research how our brains make sense of the world
I live with my husband, my toddler and 2 cats (Tia and Maria) in Kent. I love listening to music (90s grunge and britpop from when I was at school and more recent stuff like Jamie XX and CHVRCHES) and watching TV (Scandal, Marvel Agents of SHIELD, and First Dates are my current favourites). I used to love running and going to the gym but now I’m old and lazy. I spend too much time on Facebook.
My work involves teaching and researching the way our senses work together to form our experience of the world around us
I am a psychology lecturer – this means I spend about 2/3 of my time teaching and supervising students, and running my programme (I run a Masters course in Psychology) and about 1/3 of my time doing research.
I teach research methods (lovely statistics!) and also do lectures on perception – so how our senses work, how we can see things with our mind’s eye, what it’s like to lose a sense, and looking at differences in how we percieve the world.
My research focuses on how we percieve the world, and how our senses work with each other to form our perception of the world. I’m really interested in something called synaesthesia, which is when people’s senses join together in some way, so they might see colours when they hear music or have tastes for certain words. And I love doing research looking at mental imagery – how we see things with our mind’s eye.
My Typical Day
Emails, meeting students, lecturing, reading, thinking and if I’m lucky collecting data
I love the fact that no 2 days are ever the same, and other than things like teaching which are timetabled by someone else, I can chose what I want to do and when.
I spend a lot of my time writing emails (to students / colleagues) organising things or providing information. I am currently writing lots of new lectures about our senses so spend a lot of time reading, searching the internet and planning my lectures and preparing powerpoint.
I have regular tutorials with students, and supervision sessions when I help them with their projects. As a psychology student you get to do your own piece of research (which can get published!) and I really enjoy supervising students and seeing them become mini experts in their topic of research.
I tend to do most of my research, where I get participants to take part in my studies, over the summer when I have less teaching and student supervision.
It’s hard to sometimes find enough hours in the day to get it all done, but it’s great fun.
What I'd do with the prize money
work with an animator to produce youtube animation that describes how the brain uses information from all our senses
I love simple animations that help to explain really complicated things – and think it would be great to have one that explains our ‘multisensory processes’ – or in other words how the brain uses information from all our senses, like how what we see influences what we hear.
An example video is here: https://ed.ted.com/lessons/what-is-bipolar-disorder-helen-m-farrell
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
inquisitive, friendly, determind
What's the best thing you've ever done in your career?
Appearing on William Schatner’s Weird or What? tv programme
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
it happened by accident with me realising what I was doing
Were you ever in trouble at school?
No always a good girl
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What's your favourite food?
Pizza – veggie with extra cheese
What is the most fun thing you've done?
holidays with friends during 6th form and when at uni – just glad facebook wasn’t around back then!
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
1) to have a million pounds 2) to be able to fly 3) for my friends and family to have healthy happy lives
Tell us a joke.
What do you call a 3 legged donkey? A wonkey