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Dr. Marica Cassarino

BSc, MSc, PhD

Biography

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:

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.trf.2018.04.003)


Research Interests

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.

I am involved in a number of interdisciplinary collaborations with researchers interested in environment and healthy ageing both in Ireland and abroad:

  • 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.)




Teaching Interests

I have taught modules in Psychology and Research Methods/statistical analysis applied to health.

My theoretical background is informed by models of person-environment interactions:

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.





Professional Activities

Employment

  • 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)

Education

  • 2017 University College Cork - PhD
  • 2009 University of Padua (Italy) - MSc
  • 2007 University of Padua (Italy) - BSc

Award

  • 2016 - Irish Gerontological Society Presidential Prize

Association

  • 2014 Member, Irish Gerontological Society

Language

  • English
  • Italian

Other