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PhD Researchers

PhD researchers

Christine Boyd
Profile: My name is Christine Boyd. I am a PhD student under the supervision of Professor Jessica Bramham (School of Psychology) and Professor Aisling Mulligan (School of Medicine). My research is funded by the HSE and aims to establish the efficacy and acceptability of the new National Clinical Programme for Adults with ADHD. This research focuses on both the newly-established adult ADHD clinics in Ireland and ADHD supports in third-level education.
    I completed an MSc in Psychological Science in Queen’s University Belfast in 2018 and have since worked as a research assistant in various fields including empathetic technology, positive psychology, and student satisfaction research. Alongside this, I have spent time working as an assistant psychologist in an educational setting. I am strongly interested in the applied clinical aspects of psychology.
Lab: UCD Behavioural Neuropsychology Laboratory
Supervised by: (opens in a new window)Jessica Bramham
Contact: (opens in a new window)christine.boyd@ucdconnect.ie
Maryanne Brassil
Profile: Maryanne began her postgraduate research studies in September 2020 under the supervision of Associate Professor Ciara Greene at the Attention and Memory Lab. Her research is on the topic of eyewitness memory accuracy following exposure to post-event misinformation. She is currently investigating the contributions of different cognitive abilities in reducing eyewitness misinformation susceptibility, with a particular focus on the contribution of working memory. She is also interested in the mechanisms and strategies underlying these individual differences in susceptibility to misinformation. Her research is currently funded by the Irish Research Council Postgraduate Scholarship. Prior to her PhD studies, Maryanne completed a BA Psychology at UCD.
Lab: Attention & Memory Laboratory
Supervised by: (opens in a new window)Ciara Greene
Contact: (opens in a new window)maryanne.brassil@ucdconnect.ie
Eilín de Paor headshot 
Eilin de Paor

Profile: Eilín de Paor registered as a Postgraduate PhD student with the School of Psychology in January 2021, under the supervision of Prof. Suzanne Guerin. After 25 years spent working in disability and health services, she recently commenced a career break from her role as Clinical Manager with St. Michael’s House in order to focus full-time on her studies. She has a BSc in Occupational Therapy from Trinity College Dublin and a Higher Diploma and MSc in Developmental Disability Studies from UCD. Eilín’s research focus is on exploring the experiences and perspectives of young adults with intellectual disabilities who have recently transitioned from school to adult life, as well as those of family members who support them. Her research interests lie primarily in qualitative and inclusive research methodologies, in service-based research and in PPI (Patient and Public Involvement).

Lab: Centre for Disability Studies
Supervised by: (opens in a new window)Suzanne Guerin

Contact: (opens in a new window)eilin.depaor@ucdconnect.ie

 Clodagh Flinn head & shoulders

Clodagh Flinn

Profile: Clodagh is a PhD candidate funded by the Ad Astra PhD Scholarship. Her doctoral research focuses on mental health and resilience in young people with chronic skin conditions.
Clodagh completed her BA (Hons) in Psychology in 2019 and Master of Psychological Science in 2020, both in UCD
Supervised by: Niki Nearchou

Contact:   (opens in a new window)clodagh.flinn@ucdconnect.ie

Orla Gallagher
Profile: I am currently completing a PhD at the School of Psychology in University College Dublin (UCD), in conjunction with the Irish Prison Service (IPS), who fully fund my research. I am supervised by Prof. Gary O' Reilly (UCD) and Dr Emma Regan (IPS). 
   My PhD research examines how serious violence and disruption is managed in the IPS through multiple studies. It pays particular attention to exploring the experiences of both prisoners and prison officers in the National Violence Reduction Unit (NVRU), located in the Midlands Prison.
   Prior to this I completed a BA. in Psychology and Sociology at the University of Limerick, where I received an award for my thesis titled 'Privacy Concerns on Facebook: The Social and the Institutional'. During my undergraduate degree I spent time studying abroad at McMaster University where I took a class in forensic psychology, igniting my interest in the area. I went on to complete my MSc. in Clinical Forensic Psychology at King's College London, with my thesis exploring the effect s of poor parental supervision and pro-criminal peers on offending outcomes for young people. During this time I also worked as an Assistant Pscyhologist in a low-secure forensic hospital.
   I remain keenly interested in clinical and forensic psychology, and am particularly passionate about applied qualitative research which explores participants' lived experiences in order to inform applied outcomes and recommendations.
Supervised by: (opens in a new window)Gary O'Reilly
Contact: (opens in a new window)orla.gallagher3@ucdconnect.ie
Assim Kalouaz
Profile: My name is Assim, I'm a first-year PhD student at the UCD School of Psychology and part of the d-real programme. My research interests revolve around experiential design, storytelling and virtual reality - I get excited about understanding how different experiences are conceived and that goes from mixology with cocktails to the Guinness Storehouse tour. VR is the perfect space to create powerful experiences but this comes at the cost of users' well-being if human factors are not considered, which is why I'm working on developing our understanding of how emotional experiences are prompted inside VR experiences.
Lab: The Media and Entertainment Psychology Lab
Supervised by: (opens in a new window)Brendan Rooney
Contact: (opens in a new window)assim.kalouaz@ucdconnecit.ie
Shona McGuinness
Profile: Shona McGuinness is a PhD candidate supervised by Professor Suzanne Guerin. Her research looks at understanding interprofessional supervision in the context of systems change within the Irish disability sector. Shona completed a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with The Open University Ireland in 2020 and subsequently completed a Masters in Psychological Science from University College Dublin in 2021. Prior to and over the course of her studies, Shona has held several professional roles within disability settings, and has extensive experience supporting children and young people on the Autism Spectrum. Shona is interested in disability and health services research, with particular interests in neurodevelopmental disorders and the experiences of professionals and multidisciplinary teams within disability and health services.
Supervised by: (opens in a new window)Suzanne Guerin
Contact:  (opens in a new window)shona.mcguinness@ucdconnect.ie
 Amy McInerney head & shoulders shot 
Amy McInerney
Profile: Amy McInerney is a PhD candidate funded by the Ad Astra PhD Scholarship. Her PhD research focuses on the role of health behaviours in the development and progression of mental health comorbidities in people with diabetes. She is interested in the links between mental and physical health, interactive systems of daily behaviour and mood, and the psychosocial determinants of health, particularly the role of childhood adversity. She is also interested in using novel data collection and analysis techniques, such as digital phenotyping and network analysis.
Amy completed a bachelor’s degree in Psychology at NUI Galway in 2015 and an MSc in Psychology of Childhood Adversity at Queen’s University Belfast in 2018.
Amy was a founding member of the PsychoSocial Aspects of Diabetes Early Career Researcher group. Prior to undertaking her PhD, Amy worked as a teacher and in the non-profit sector with child abuse survivors and with young people with additional needs and childhood illnesses.
Lab:  The Psychosocial Approaches to Health (PATH) lab
Supervised by: (opens in a new window)Sonya Deschenes
Contact: (opens in a new window)amy.mcinerney@ucdconnect.ie
Rachel Murphy
Profile: Rachel Murphy is a PhD candidate supervised by Associate Professor Amanda Fitzgerald and Professor Eilis Hennessy. Rachel is a member of the Youth Mental Health Lab and is conducting her research alongside Jigsaw-The National Centre for Youth Mental Health. Her research focuses on peer support interventions for young people aged 12-25 years. More specifically, she is interested in how peer support can improve the mental health of young people and how youth mental health services can successfully implement these interventions. Rachel holds a BA (Hons) in Applied Psychology from University College Cork and an MSc in the Psychology of Childhood Adversity from Queen’s University Belfast. Prior to her PhD, Rachel worked as Research Assistant within the School of Allied Health at the University of Limerick.
Lab: Youth Mental Health Laboratory
Supervised by: (opens in a new window)Amanda Fitzgerald
Contact: (opens in a new window)rachel.murphy12@ucdconnect.ie
Akansha Naraindas
Profile: I am a PhD Candidate funded by the Ad Astra PhD Scholarship. My research interests surround body representation and sensory processes. My current research investigates the components of body image disturbances in individuals with and without eating disorders. I am interested in a wide variety of novel experimental paradigms, but I am particularly fascinated by the use of Virtual Reality (VR) in spatial cognition research and its potential in investigating unique sensory bodily experiences within experimental contexts. I also have a strong interest in neuroscience, specifically the structural and functional neural underpinnings of body perception.
Lab: The Body Cognition Lab
Supervised by: (opens in a new window)Sarah Cooney
Contact: (opens in a new window)akansha.maheshnaraindas@ucdconnect.ie

Christina Seery
Profile: Christina Seery (she/her) is an Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Scholar. Her PhD research involves the development and evaluation of psychological support for adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), supervised by Prof Jessica Bramham and in collaboration with ADHD Ireland and the HSE’s National Clinical Programme for ADHD in Adults. This work includes developing the Understanding and Managing Adult ADHD Programme, an open-access webinar series that draws on psychoeducation and Focused Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, to nurture self-compassion, understanding and psychological flexibility in adults with ADHD. Christina completed her BA in Psychology in UCD in 2020. Christina is broadly interested in applied clinical psychology research. She has worked as a research assistant in projects investigating the prevalence of suicidality in adult ADHDers, health psychology, mental health conceptualisation, and clinical supervision. She is also drawn toward science communication and co-developed The PhTea Podcast, which has been supported by UCD SEEDFunding. This podcast is a series of interviews with graduate researchers about their work, conducting research and the intersection between life beyond and life within research. Her favourite co-authors are her two bichon frise-maltese mixes, Lady and Realtín. Outside of research, she loves yoga, cooking, graphic design, iced coconut lattes and keeping up with the latest Netflix releases (current faves are Stranger Things, the Umbrella Academy and Heartstopper). Christina loves talking to other early career psychologists and researchers and always welcomes questions or emails to connect.
Lab: UCD Neuropsychology Lab
Supervised by: (opens in a new window)Jessica Bramham
Contact: (opens in a new window)christina.seery@ucdconnect.ie


Clara Stein
Profile: Clara Stein (she/her) is an Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholar. Her PhD research investigates the impact of cognitive reserve on cognitive functioning in people with multiple sclerosis. This research is supervised by Professor Jessica Bramham and Dr Fiadhnait O’Keeffe, and conducted in collaboration with St. Vincent’s University Hospital. Clara’s PhD builds on her MSc Behavioural Neuroscience research, which investigated the role of estimated premorbid cognitive functioning in differences between self-reported cognitive difficulties and cognitive assessment in people with multiple sclerosis. In addition to conducting research on brain and cognitive functioning, Clara enjoys communicating science to general audiences via articles, blog posts, and social media. She also volunteers with two science outreach organisations, Letters to a Pre-Scientist and Skype a Scientist, to inspire students, especially those from underserved low income communities, to consider a future in STEM. Outside of research and science communication, Clara loves spending time outdoors, going on hikes, chatting with family and friends over a cup of tea, and doing yoga.
Lab: UCD Neuropsychology Lab
Supervised by: (opens in a new window)Jessica Bramham
Contact: (opens in a new window)clara.stein@ucdconnect.ie


Maria Tibbs
Profile: Maria Tibbs B.A (Hons)., MSc. Maria is a PhD Candidate supervised by Associate Professor Amanda Fitzgerald (UCD) and Dr Aileen O'Reilly (UCD; Jigsaw - National Centre for Youth Mental Health). Maria is currently undertaking her PhD alongside Jigsaw - National Centre for Youth Mental Health under the Irish Research Council Postgraduate Employment Based Scheme. Her project focuses on online chat-based mental health supports for young people aged 12-25. Specifically, she is interested in the profile of young people that present to online chat-based services and the processes and mechanisms that might impact therapeutic change.
Lab: Youth Mental Health Laboratory
Supervised by: (opens in a new window)Amanda Fitzgerald
Contact: (opens in a new window)maria.tibbs@ucdconnect.ie


Samantha Trevaskis
Profile: Samantha Trevaskis is a PhD Candidate supervised by Dr Sonya Deschênes. Samantha’s research focuses on Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD), mental illness and health behaviours associated with the presentation of women’s symptoms. Her research will utilise ecological momentary assessment to investigate the presentation of PMDD symptoms for women over the course of their menstrual cycle and use this methodology to identify which health behaviours are beneficial for women with PMDD. She is particularly interested in Women’s Health Psychology, and the unique health conditions women experience.
Samantha graduated with a BA in Psychology in 2020 from Dublin City University. Following that, she graduated from University College Dublin in 2021 with a master's degree in Psychological Science. Samantha lectures and teaches undergraduate modules such as Introduction to Psychology and Cognitive and Biological Psychology. She has also been a research assistant on several projects, including #OpenTeach and Children’s School Lives.
Lab: The PATH Laboratory
Supervised by: (opens in a new window)Sonya Deschenes
Contact: (opens in a new window)samantha.trevaskis@ucdconnect.ie

Investigating a brief intervention model of youth mental health support
Neil Mac Dhonnagáin
Supervised by: Barbara Dooley

The experience of receiving an autism diagnosis in adulthood
Juwayriyah Nayyar
(opens in a new window)juwayriyah.nayyar@ucdconnect.ie
Supervised by: Cliódhna O'Connor

Parental Help-Seeking for Adolescent Mental Health Concerns.
Daráine Murphy
(opens in a new window)daraine.murphy@ucdconnect.ie
Supervised by: Eilis Hennessy

Working memory training and its effects on executive functions
Jose A. Rodas
Supervised by: Ciara Greene 


Alexandra Afroditi Asimakopoulou
Profile: Afroditi graduated with a BSc in Psychology from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and a MSc in Cognitive Psychology and Neuropsychology from University of Kent. She is currently an MLitt/PhD student at the Attention & Memory Lab within the School of Psychology supervised by Associated Professor Ciara Greene. Afroditi’s research interests are broadly on how people’s emotion may affect their memory abilities. More specifically, her PhD research focuses on how emotional engagement may render people believe and remember fake news. She is currently conducting a scoping review on the role of individual differences in susceptibility to fake news.
Lab: Attention & Memory Laboratory
Supervised by: (opens in a new window)Ciara Greene
Contact: (opens in a new window)alexandra.asimakopoulou@ucdconnect.ie
Áine French
Profile: I am currently conducting a systematic review on the role of third factors in the relationship between sleep and self-injurious thoughts and behaviours in young people as part of my M.Litt. studies. I am hoping to continue on to the Ph.D. programme to further explore modifiable factors in relation to young people’s engagement in self-harm. My research interests are broadly in the areas of youth mental health, modifiable factors (including sleep, social support, and physical activity), self-harm/suicide prevention, and digital technology.
Lab: UCD Resilience and Health Laboratory
Supervised by: (opens in a new window)Niki Nearchou
Contact: (opens in a new window)aine.french@ucdconnect.ie 
Conor McCloskey
Profile: I am completing my thesis on rule-governed behaviour, in accordance with relational frame theory 
Lab: Contextual Behavioural Science Laboratory
Supervised by: (opens in a new window)Louise McHugh
Contact: (opens in a new window)conor.mccloskey@ucdconnect.ie

Evaluating the Effects of Continuum Systems on Stigma Reduction and Information Transfer in General Population
Bhargav Dave
(opens in a new window)bhargav.dave@ucdconnect.ie
Supervised by: Cliódhna O'Connor

Evaluation of the Jigsaw brief intervention service.
Neil Mac Dhonnagáin
(opens in a new window)niall.mac-dhonnagain@ucdconnect.ie(opens in a new window) 
Supervised by: Barbara Dooley

Additions & updates:
The School of Psychology provides a dedicated space on our website to list our past and current Postgraduate Students. If you would like to have your details included on this page or update the details here, please complete the form at (opens in a new window)http://ucdpsychology.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_aborCZu7Ems4gxD

UCD School of Psychology

Newman Building, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.