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.


Eilidh Cage_

Eilidh Cage is a  Lecturer at Royal Holloway, University of London. Eilidh studied psychology at the University of Dundee and completed her PhD at the UCL Institute of Education. Her research looks at autism spectrum conditions, reputation management, identity, autism acceptance and mental health.



RNWEBSIERachel Nesbit is a third year PhD student at Royal Holloway, University of London under the supervision of Dr Dawn Watling. Rachel previously completed her BSc (Single Honours) in Psychology at Royal Holloway, University of London. Rachel’s research is exploring what factors may influence emotion recognition during adolescence.



Beatrice Hayes is a first 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 

  • Hannah Cox
  • Lilly Cresswell
  • Eli Doris
  • Beatrice Hayes
  • Debbie Jagger
  • Becca Lewis
  • Rachel Nesbit
  • Callum Woods

(back to top)

Previous PhD and Clinical Doctorate students

(back to top)

Research Assistants

  • Alice Hitchcock (2017-present)
  • Sophie Bury (2017- Present)
  • Natasha Phillips (2017-Present)
  • Louise Vinales (2016-Present)
  • Jessica Di Monaco  (2016-Present)
  • 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)

(back to top)

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)
  • Professor Patrick Leman (Kings College, London)
  • Dr Rebecca Lucas (University of Roehampton)
  • Professor Adam Rutland (Goldsmiths, University of London)
  • Dr Yvonne Skipper (Keele University)

(back to top)

RHUL Collaborators…

  • Professor Dan Anderberg (Economics)
  • Professor Ravinder Barn (School of Law)
  • Dr Victoria Bourne (Psychology)
  • Professor Arnaud Chevalier (Economics)
  • Dr Szonya Durant (Psychology)
  • Professor Alan Gange (School of Biological Sciences)
  • Dr Deborah Harvey (School of Biological Sciences)
  • Dr Helen Pote (Psychology)

(back to top)