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I have been privileged to have had opportunities to study at universities in South Africa and in the UK and to use the knowledge and skills gained here in a career in frontline healthcare, life sciences research and medical writing over the past 30 years.

An undergraduate degree in Speech and Hearing Therapy at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa prompted a special interest in cognitive-linguistic processes and broader neurological functioning. I completed a Master’s degree by research in Communication Pathology at the University of Pretoria, South Africa shortly after this, with a focus on central auditory processing and literacy in people with neurodiverse skills.

Together these two degrees shaped my research interests around neurologically-based communication difficulties, augmentative and alternative communication, use of technology as a conduit for interaction and participation in everyday life by people without verbal communication possibilities and empowering patients to tell their own stories.

After relocating to the UK, I had the good fortune to be selected to be part of the inaugural One Planet MBA at the University of Exeter, where innovation, leadership and sustainability were integrated into a first-in-class, full time MBA format with broad international student representation. Exposure to this diverse linguistic and cultural peer-group cemented my research interest in storytelling as a medium for sensemaking, learning and controlling our own life experience.


The next step in my academic journey has now started in Dundee with an interdisciplinary PhD in Psychology and Computing. This unique project brings together my curiosity about the fundamental psycholinguistic processes that allow us to interact with and make sense of our world, my fascination with the possibilities that technology offers for education and healthcare and my passion for putting people in the driving seat of their own lives.