I am a psychologist interested in how the lived environment can support health and well-being across the lifespan, with a focus on contextual factors of healthy ageing.
I am currently working as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the School of Allied Health, University of Limerick (UL), Ireland, to investigate the contribution of allied health professionals to quality of care for older people in the emergency department (HRB funded project; P.I.: Dr. Rose Galvin).
I completed a B.Sc. in Cognitive Psychology and Psychobiology (2007) and a M.Sc. in Clinical Psychology (2009) at the University of Padua, Italy. My research focused on ageing processes (topics ranging from neurodegenerative disorders to place attachment in older age). I then completed a PhD in Applied Psychology at University College Cork (UCC), Ireland (2013-2017). Here, I explored geographical variations in cognitive health in ageing using data from The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA).
I previously worked as a Postdoctoral researcher in UCC (funded by Liberty Insurance Dac), where I conducted a project exploring of individual and environmental factors of accident risk in young drivers from an ecological perspective (Press release: https://tinyurl.com/ybo63ldp, Publication:
My general research interest is in investigating how individual and contextual factors interact to influence healthy ageing.
Topics of my work include:
- Cognitive Psychology (Neuropsychology of ageing; Cognitive stimulation; Experimental Psychology)
- Environmental Psychology (Place attachment in older age; Age-friendly care environments; Cognitive-friendly places; Ecological models of young drivers' risk);
- Health Geography (Epidemiology of cognitive ageing);
- Social Gerontology (Quality of service delivery for older people).
I have experience with both qualitative, quantitative and mixed-methods approaches.
- Cross-national comparisons on geographical variations in cognitive health. School of Applied Psychology, UCC, and National Institute of Mental Health, Klecany NUDZ (Czech Republic) - 2017-ongoing
- Outdoor Lived Environment as 'Brain Training' (https://www.researchgate.net/project/Outdoor-lived-environment-as-brain-training). School of Applied Psychology, School of Applied Social Studies, UCC, & Department of Psychology, University of Exeter (U.K.) - 2016-ongoing
- The role of nature for health. A cross-disciplinary perspective. School of Applied Psychology, UCC, and School of Natural & Social Sciences, University of Gloucestershire (U.K.)
- Gibson's theory of affordances (https://tinyurl.com/yawkxjd9)
- Bronfenbrenner's ecological systems theory (https://tinyurl.com/mf5r6rg)
- Lawton's environmental press theory (https://tinyurl.com/yd22zdg7)
- Rapoport's model of environmental complexity (http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01944366708977922)
- Models of environmental enrichment and cognitive ageing (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0197458012003193)
During my teaching experience, I have used these models (and the methods required to investigate them) to make students aware of how creating supportive environments enables the promotion of health and wellbeing across the lifespan.
- 2018 School of Allied Health University of Limerick - PostDoctoral Research Fellow
- 2017 Liberty Insurance Ltd. & School of Applied Psychology, University College Cork - PostDoctoral Researcher
- 2017 School of Applied Psychology, University College Cork - Research Assistant
- 2013 School of Applied Psychology, University College Cork - Lecturer/Tutor (Occasional)
- 2017 University College Cork - PhD
- 2009 University of Padua (Italy) - MSc
- 2007 University of Padua (Italy) - BSc
- 2016 - Irish Gerontological Society Presidential Prize
- 2014 Member, Irish Gerontological Society
- INVITED BLOG POSTS: 1) July 2017: Why where you live matters to your health and happiness. Psychreg (http://www.psychreg.org/where-you-live-health-happiness/). 2) June 2017: Finding the best places for growing old. University College Cork blog (http://postgradblog.ucc.ie/finding-best-places-grow-old/)
- SCIENCE COMMUNICATION: 1) 2017: FameLab Ireland Munster Heat, Second prize and qualification for the national final. Talk: A Moka Pot with High Potential (see talk at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u00tf-yoIwQ) 2) 2015: UCC Doctoral Showcase. Talk: It Takes Two to Tango - Person-Environment Interactions Influence Cognitive Ageing (see presentation at https://tinyurl.com/nx8f3o6)
- COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: 1) 2016 Ongoing: Linked with Young at Heart Active Retirement Group Cork, Ireland 2) 2014 2017: Cork Culture Night, organisation of 'Brain Games' for the public.