Dawn Watling is the Director of the Social Development Lab and is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Royal Holloway, University of London. Dawn studied psychology at Mount Allison University (Canada) and took an MSc in Developmental Psychology at University of Sussex, where she also completed a PhD. She previously worked as a post-doctoral researcher on the Children’s Social Behaviour Project at the University of Sussex, which was sponsored by Brighton & Hove City Council. Her research focuses on children’s social and emotional development, including children’s development of an understanding of reputation management and emotion recognition, and how these link to mental health and well-being.


Beatrice Hayes is a third year PhD student at Royal Holloway, University of London under the supervision of Dr Dawn Watling. Beatrice previously completed her BSc (Dual Honours) in Educational Studies and Psychology, followed by her Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) at University of Keele. Beatrice worked in primary education for 3 years before starting her PhD. Beatrice’s research is exploring what primary school children understand about social media (including the risks of social media) with the aim to create a teacher and parent resource on education young children on how to safely use social media.


Current PhD and Clinical Doctorate students 

  • Lara Carr (2019-present)
  • Tai Durojaiye (2019- present)
  • Beatrice Hayes (2017-  present)
  • Harriet Norcott (2019- present)
  • Callum Woods (2017-  present)

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Previous PhD and Clinical Doctorate students

  • Hannah Cox (2016-2018)
  • Lilly Cresswell (2016-2018)
  • Nikoleta Damaskinou (2008-2013)
  • Mandy Dimmer (2014-2016)
  • Eli Doris (2016-2018)
  • Ben Hine (2010-2013)
  • Debbie Jagger (2016-2019)
  • Becca Lewis (2016-2018)
  • Christine Longinotti (2014-2015)
  • Ana Macedo (2008-2011)
  • Rachel Nesbit (2015-2019)
  • Sophia Seltzer-Eade (2015-2017)
  • Nadia Somers (2014-2016)
  • Sarah Tickner (2007-2010)

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Research Assistants

  • Pavan Bains (2019-present)
  • Alice Hitchcock (2017-2018)
  • Sophie Bury (2017- 2018)
  • Natasha Phillips (2017-2018)
  • Louise Vinales (2016-2018)
  • Jessica Di Monaco  (2016-2018)
  • Victoria Newell (2016)
  • Pancy Poon (2016 BPS Undergraduate Summer Placement)
  • Ellie Cordell-Edwards (2016)
  • Neelam Solanki (2015)
  • Isabella Franzini Monteiro (2015 Summer placement)
  • Kathrin Braeuninger-Weimer (2014-2015)
  • Michaela Rea (2013-2014)
  • Rachel Nesbit (2014)
  • Emma Beard (2014)
  • Ramona DaCruz (2014)
  • Keely Pridden (2014)
  • Grace Potter (2013-2014)
  • Caroline Durlik (2011-2012)
  • Selina Nath (2010-2011)

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External collaborators include…

  • Professor Robin Banerjee (University of Sussex)
  • Dr Esther Burkitt (University of Chichester)
  • Dr Tim Homes (Acuity Intelligence Ltd)
  • Dr Alana James (University of Reading)
  • Dr Alice Jones (Goldsmiths, University of London)
  • Dr Rachel Nesbit (University of Reading)
  • Professor Patrick Leman (Kings College, London)
  • Professor Adam Rutland (Goldsmiths, University of London)
  • Dr Yvonne Skipper (Keele University)

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RHUL Collaborators…

  • Dr Joshua Balsters (Psychology)
  • Professor Ravinder Barn (Law)
  • Professor Victoria Bourne (Psychology)
  • Dr Rebecca Brewer (Psychology)
  • Dr Szonya Durant (Psychology)
  • Professor Alan Gange (Biological Sciences)
  • Dr Deborah Harvey (Biological Sciences)
  • Dr Jane Marriott (Law)
  • Dr Konstantinos Mersinas (Information Security Group)
  • Dr Helen Pote (Psychology)
  • Dr Jennifer Storey (Law)

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