I obtained my BA in Psychology, Philosophy, and Physiology at Corpus Christi College in the University of Oxford in 2012, gaining a First Class degree. During my undergraduate I took advanced courses in Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Cognitive Science, Aesthetics, the Social Psychological Basis of Intergroup Conflict, and the Development of Science and Religion. My research dissertation, conducted under the supervision of Miles Hewstone, looked at how Muslim women wearing headscarfs are perceived.
I then completed my MSc in Psychological Research in 2013, again at the University of Oxford, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. I was awarded a Distinction in this, both for my coursework and an extended research dissertation on the role of perceived threat in explaining the relationship between ethnic diversity and negative intergroup attitudes.
I studied for my D.Phil (PhD) in Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford. I was jointly supervised by Molly Crockett and Nadira Faber and completed my thesis in 2017 with a dissertation on ingroup favouritism in prosocial behaviour. Throughout my PhD I held a position as a Research Associate in the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics (Department of Philosophy). During my PhD In 2014 I was lucky enough to spend 2 months as a Visiting Scholar at Yale University, working on human cooperation with David Rand. In 2016 I was aware a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship to spend 6 months as a Research Fellow at Harvard University, working with Fiery Cushman and Mina Cikara.
I am now a PostDoctoral Research Fellow at the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics at the University of Oxford, working with Julian Savulescu and Nadira Faber on moral responsibility and prosociality. In 2018, I shall move to Leiden University to work with Carsten De Dreu as a Marie-Sklodowska-Curie “LEaDing” PostDoctoral Research Fellow.
Sometimes I also like to maintain the illusion that I have a life outside of my research. I was born in 1990, I grew up in Kent (UK) near the historic city of Rochester. Since 2009, I have primarily lived in Oxford, though I still spend a lot of time in the family home with my parents, two younger sisters, a family dog, and three cats. I also have a wonderful dog of my own - Maggie. I am an avid animal-lover and enjoy travelling, reading, taking photographs, walking Maggie, and pub lunches. I'm very interested in politics, justice, and the importance of diversity (including ideological).
One of my favourite things (apart from Maggie) is travelling. Two trips stand out.
The first trip that stands out was back in 2009, when I took a Gap Year after finishing high school and before starting at Oxford. As a wide-eyed 17 year old planning the trip, one day while looking at a map of the world I realized that you could travel overland to Thailand from England. I thought that even though flying was the most common route, perhaps traveling overland would be ultimately a much more fulfilling experience. My mind was set and aged 17 I began organizing and arranging the logistics. As you might imagine, travelling overland from London to Bangkok is a little tricker than just buying a plane ticket online. We had to arrange a number of visas along the way (Belarus; Russia; Mongolia; China; Vietnam; Cambodia; Thailand), and many of the trains we were catching only ran once or twice a week. Navigating changing time zones and planning the correct trains to take was, at times, a headache. But we did it, eventually. Once I had turned 18, I was ready. The visas were completed, and we had a huge stack of train tickets and timetables. On the 1st January 2009 I set off on this trip of a lifetime with my best friend. We travelled overland to Thailand from London, going through Europe, Russia, Mongolia, China, Cambodia and Vietnam. This trip was life-changing. We saw the Siberian winter; experienced the isolation of the Great Wall; saw the splendour of the Forbidden Palace; diced with death crossing the road in Hanoi; met pythons in the Mekong Delta; cried at the killing fields in Cambodia; learnt to dive in Koh Tao; danced all night on the beach at a Full Moon party; hiked through the Thai mountains, saved a hurt puppy by carrying it on one hand while climbing up a waterfall; showered for a week in said waterfall; played alone with baby tigers and lions; worked for a month building a new canteen at a rural Thai orphanage for children whose parents died of HIV; and so many more experiences that I cannot list them all. I still dream about it, and often wish I could go back and do it again (But of course, there are some bits I don’t miss, like being lost in Moscow in the freezing cold; leaning on a cage of pythons when I have a severe snake phobia; only eating Mars Bars and Pot Noodles for a week on the Trans-Siberian, etc).
The second trip was in the summer of 2015 when I spent 3 weeks volunteering at the N/a'an ku sê Wildlife Sanctuary in Namibia. N/a'an ku sê is a San Bushman word meaning "God will protect us," or "God watches over us", and works to support the environment, wildlife, and the local human population. The main project is based near Windhoek, Namibia, on a 10,000 hectare reserve, and it was here I spent the first week. In the second week I went further south into the rocky desert to help purely with animal research at the Neuras site, and in the third I went even deeper south to Kanaan. I mainly worked with the animals, both looking after the animals that were at farm and assisting with the research that tracked the wild population on the reserves. The day typically started for me around 6am, and after the exhausting day's work we would typically be in our rooms (or tents) by about 8pm. For the animal care side, a day's work would typically involve some combination of cleaning the enclosures, preparing the food (and there was a lot of it!), feeding the various animals around the enclosures, bottle-feeding the baby monkeys, taking the baboons for their daily walk, looking after the baby cheetahs, exercising the adult cheetahs, and so many other minor tasks that I couldn't list them all. For the research side, I went on game counts to track the animal populations on the reserve, helped to identify marking trees and set up camera traps, tracked footprints of the large carnivores in the desert, hunted for hyena dens, hiked the new reserves to identify the lay of the land, and - again - many more other tasks. I still remember those special feelings that come when you stare into a baboon's eyes and see the intelligence staring back at you; when you watch the sunrise over the deep red sand dunes; when you pick up a baby cheetah for a cuddle; when a baby Oryx suckles your thumb; when you ride a horse across the endless plains and a herd of zebra gallop past you; and when you look up into the night sky and see more stars than you even knew existed. Now, it's just a case of saving up money to go again.