ECR Mentoring Biographies

On this page you will find biographies of Early Career Researchers to assist you in selecting a mentor.

NameSubject AreaEmailBiography
Alice ReesLinguistics and English am currently a Leverhulme early career fellow working on my project using structural priming to investigate pragmatic phenomena in children. My research is in experimental pragmatics mainly focusing on pragmatic inferences. My background is in Psychology, I obtained my BSc from the University of Birmingham before moving to Cardiff University for my PhD.
I've spent several months doing internships in The Netherlands and Germany before working back in the UK in a non-academic job and then moving to Edinburgh in November 2019. My route has not been as linear as I had hoped for I am well versed in the challenges of getting an academic job post-PhD. Consequently, I have quite a bit of experience in starting over in new places with new faces along with the practicalities of long distance relationships (romantic and platonic).
Mora MaldonadoLinguistics and English am an experimental semanticist working as a postdoctoral researcher with Jennifer Culbertson at the Centre for Language Evolution. In my research, I use experimental tools to investigate how languages express meaning, and in particular why certain properties of meaning are more common than others across languages.
I am originally from Argentina (and I would probably be considered to be POC in many contexts). I did my BA in Literature in the University of Buenos Aires, and then got a scholarship that allowed me to move to France to do my PhD, which I got in 2018. I have been a postdoc in Edinburgh since then.
In my not-so-long career, I gained some experience dealing with gender, ethnic and linguistic biases in academia, which could be useful for younger researchers. I am also currently dealing with the two-body problem (meaning that I have a partner who is also in academia).
Rebekka PuderbaughLinguistics and English am working as a Teaching Fellow in Phonetics and Laboratory Phonology, a post I have held since 2018. As a phonetician, I am very interested in discovering and developing ways to relate acoustics and other means of capturing speech to phonological categories, and using that to consider implications for phonemic analysis in particular. I am particularly interested in under-documented languages and developing methods for cross-linguistically comparable phonetic descriptions. As a Teaching Fellow, I am also interested in linguistic and phonetic pedagogy, especially standards and skills based grading, experiential and interactive learning, and the power of storytelling to engage students even in large classrooms. I teach both undergraduate and masters courses in phonetics, and have supervised MSc dissertations for the past two years.

Prior to moving to Edinburgh, I lived in Canada for many years where I completed my PhD. I encountered many difficulties along the way to earning my degree, and I believe that my experiences in this regard could be helpful to others who might be in similar situations.
Drew am a British Academy postdoctoral fellow working at the intersection of individual differences, primatology, evolutionary and social psychology. My current project investigates the relationships between human and primate social hierarchies and assertiveness traits, in the context of recent great ape evolution. I experience in a variety of other areas related to psychology, including neuroscience, statistics, epidemiology, public health, sociology, animal behaviour and cognition.
I was a PhD student in psychology at Edinburgh as well; I served as tutor representative for 2 years, so I know the PhD experience here quite well. I have moved countries a few times during my academic career, to pursue fieldwork as well as my degrees. In addition to being a student at different times in different places, I previously worked in academia as a laboratory manager, and have worked outside of academia as well.
Ruth'm Ruth Brown and I'm currently a postdoc research assistant working on projects investigating the mediating role of depressive symptoms in the relationship between adverse childhood experiences and maternal foetal attachment; and the mediating role of emotional lability in the relationship between ADHD symptoms and substance misuse . My overarching research interests include child and adult mental health (alexithymia, depressive and anxiety symptoms), neurodevelopmental disorders (autism and ADHD), as well as the causes and consequences of adverse childhood experiences. I currently have one publication in the Journal of Academic Paediatrics and a further four manuscripts at varying stages of journal submission. In terms of my academic path, I am aiming to gain entry into the Clinical Psychology doctorate in order to pursue a career as a clinical psychologist in the NHS.

During my time as a PhD student I worked as a undergraduate tutor for two years, where I was responsible for holding weekly seminars; engaging the students in critical appraisal of past studies; grading coursework and providing feedback. Furthermore, I was lucky to be given the opportunity to co-supervise both an undergraduate and masters dissertation project in my final PhD year. This allowed me to further gain skills in organisation, communication and research team management. Thus, I believe I have the skills in order to be a PhD mentor.

I am not a member of the BAME group and I identify as female.
Simon've recently begun my role as Director of the Lothian Birth Cohorts group - genearlly speaking we're interested in understanding what happens to brain structure and cognitive functioning as we age, and what sorts of things might be related biomarkers of risk for cognitive decline, or possible determinants. I manage a team of 11 and supervise several postgrad students whose interests are fairly diverse, but are united under the general aegis of understanding why some people do not age as well as others. We work a lot with the Lothian Birth Cohort data ( but also with the likes of UK Biobank, Generation Scotland and others. We often work on international collaborative efforts both with specific groups, and with large worldwide consortia.

I've been at the University of Edinburgh for 12 years, starting in 2008-2009 with the MSc in Human Cognitive Neuropsychology, then as PhD student, as the Lothian Birth Cohort 1936 (LBC1936) Study Coordinator, an MRC Fellow in Brain and Cogntive Ageing, and as Senior Research Fellow and Principal Investigator. I also spent of bit of time out of academia both before and after my undergraduate degree at St Andrews (1999-2003), including a failed attempt at earning a living from music, and roles with Lamborghini (tractors...), a motion control robotics company, and project manager at opinion pollsters MORI.
Kelly, I’m Kelly. I am a cognitive psychologist and currently a postdoctoral research assistant in the Psychology department. I am interested in how healthy ageing affects personality and cognitive processes such as learning and decision-making, as well as making research as open and transparent as possible. I currently investigate collaborative learning in older adults. During my PhD at the University of Essex, I looked at how age-related changes in risk preference and cognitive abilities could account for age differences in risky decision-making.
During my PhD, I was also the chair of the Judgment and Decision-making group in the department, a teaching assistant, statistics tutor, and the postgraduate representative. Before my PhD, I completed a MSc in Psychological Research at the University of Edinburgh and a BSc in Psychology at Leiden University.

There are lots of great ECRs on this website to approach as a mentor. The things that I have specific experience with (that may be helpful to you) are working with older adults, recruitment of a non-student population, Open Science, changes to a supervisory team, the two-body problem (both partners being academics), living in the UK as a foreigner (such as the day-to-day, working in another language, etc), applying for jobs post-PhD, and navigating the PhD without family/while being estranged from family.

If you reach out, please feel free to call me by my first name and use the pronouns she/her/they/them to describe me.