I am a behavioral geneticist in child and adolescent psychiatry. I am currently a postdoc working on the Child and Adolescent Twin Study in Sweden (CATSS) with Paul Lichtenstein.
My background is in psychology. After a degree in psychology at the University of Exeter, I relocated to the UCL Institute of Education to complete a PhD in Behavioural Genetics with Tony Charman and Angelica Ronald in 2013.
2010-2013 PhD Behavioural Genetics, Institute of Education, London, UK
2009-2010 MSc (with Distinction) Psychological Research Methods, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK
2006-2009 BSc (Hons) Psychology, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK
My research falls into two broad areas:
1. Investigating the boundaries between clinical psychiatric disorders and subclinical traits of these disorders: although psychiatric disorders are diagnosed as present or absent, it is still quite common for people without a diagnosis of these disorders to show milder traits of these disorders. My work in this area focuses on the hypothesis that there are no clear boundaries between disorders and characteristic subclinical traits, and uses a variety of behavioral genetic and biostatistical methods to test this hypothesis.
2. Investigating the boundaries between psychiatric disorders themselves: the majority of people with a psychiatric disorder are likely to meet criteria for at least one more psychiatric disorder. This comorbidity has led to considerable challenges in nosology and psychiatric genetics. My research in this area uses behavioral genetic methods, particularly twin methods, to test various hypotheses that attempt to explain comorbidity, such as pleiotropy. My research in this area focuses on neurodevelopmental disorders, particularly autism spectrum disorders (ASD).
I have previously taught on the VetU course in semester 5 of the medical program at KI, and currently offer supervision to undergraduate, Masters, and PhD students. Students who want to work on projects that use genetically informative designs are welcome to contact me to discuss potential projects.
Where are the strongest associations between autistic traits and traits of ADHD? evidence from a community-based twin study
European child & adolescent psychiatry 2015;24(9):1129-38
Language and traits of autism spectrum conditions: evidence of limited phenotypic and etiological overlap
American journal of medical genetics. Part B, Neuropsychiatric genetics : the official publication of the International Society of Psychiatric Genetics 2014;165B(7):587-95
What causes internalising traits and autistic traits to co-occur in adolescence? A community-based twin study
Journal of abnormal child psychology 2014;42(4):601-10
Where do the strongest associations between traits of autism spectrum disorders and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder lie? Results from a multivariate twin study of 12-year-olds
BEHAVIOR GENETICS 2014;44(6):685-685
Developmental associations between traits of autism spectrum disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: a genetically informative, longitudinal twin study
Psychological medicine 2013;43(8):1735-46