After completing my undergraduate degree in the School of Psychology, University of St. Andrews, I was awarded an MRC studentship to study for a PhD on the topic of developmental dyslexia. I have been conducting research and lecturing in the School of Psychology at the University of Dundee since 1999. In 2009, I held a post as a Visiting Lecturer in the Unité de Recherche sur l’Evolution du Comportement et l’Apprentissage at the Université Charles-de-Gaulle Lille 3 in France.
Lab Website: Language and Learning lab
My current research takes a cross-linguistic perspective on language development in relation to visual word recognition and developmental dyslexia. Recent studies have investigated the influence of speech rhythm on phonological development and the relationship between orthographic depth and rates of reading acquisition in a wide range of European languages including Danish, Finnish, Greek, Icelandic, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian Spanish and Swedish.
A description of this work, including details of the other European research teams that I work with, can be found on the project website: Literacy Acquisition in European Orthographies
I have also been investigating early language development, in particular, the acquisition of knowledge about derivational morphology through collaboration with Prof. Pascale Colé (Université de Provence, France) Prof. Séverine Casalis (Université de Lille 3, France).
I supervise undergraduate and MSc dissertatons and teach on the following modules:
MSc Developmental Theories
MSc Research in Practice
MSc/Level 4 Reading Development and Disability
Level 3 Research Skills
Level 1 Biological Psychology
'Phonemic – Morphemic dissociation in university students with dyslexia: An index of reading compensation?' Annals of Dyslexia, vol 67, no. 1, pp. 63-84. DOI:
'Helex Kids: a word frequency database for Greek and Cypriot primary school children' Behavior Research Methods, vol 49, no. 1, pp. 83-96. DOI:
'Automatic phonological activation during visual word recognition in bilingual children: a cross-language masked priming study in Grades 3 and 5' Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, vol 154, pp. 64-77. DOI:
'Adolescent reading skill and engagement with digital and traditional literacies as predictors of reading comprehension' British Journal of Psychology, vol 107, no. 2, pp. 209-238. DOI:
'Understanding children’s reading activities: reading motivation, skill and child characteristics as predictors' Journal of Research in Reading, vol 39, no. 1, pp. 109-125. DOI:
'Socio-economic deprivation at age 3 affects language and Theory of Mind development' BPS Developmental Section & Social Section Annual Conference, Manchester, United Kingdom, 9/09/15 - 11/09/15, .
'Erratum to: Exploring the relationship between adolescents’ reading skills, reading motivation and reading habits' Reading and Writing, vol 28, no. 5, pp. 745. DOI:
'How language affects children’s use of derivational morphology in visual word and pseudoword processing: evidence from a cross-language study' Frontiers in Psychology, vol 6, pp. 452. DOI:
'Exploring the relationship between adolescent’s reading skills, reading motivation and reading habits' Reading and Writing, vol 28, no. 4, pp. 545-569. DOI:
'Sensitivity to morpheme units in English as L2 word recognition' Writing Systems Research, vol 7, no. 3, pp. 186-201. DOI:
'Atypical phonological processing impairs written word recognition in children with cochlear implants' Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, vol 30, no. 6, pp. 684-699. DOI:
'Grapheme coding in L2: how do L2 learners process new graphemes?' Journal of Cognitive Psychology, vol 26, no. 7, pp. 725-739. DOI:
'Cognitive flexibility predicts early reading skills' Frontiers in Psychology, vol 5, 565. DOI:
'Phonological development in relation to native language and literacy: variations on a theme in six alphabetic orthographies' Cognition, vol 127, no. 3, pp. 398-419. DOI:
'Exploring the role of bases and suffixes when reading familiar and unfamiliar words: evidence from French young readers' Scientific Studies of Reading, vol 16, no. 5, pp. 424-442. DOI:
'Cross-language transfer of orthographic processing skills: a study of French children who learn English at school' Journal of Research in Reading, vol 34, no. 1, pp. 59-76. DOI:
Phonological development from a cross-linguistic perspective. in N Brunswick, S Mc Dougall & P de Mornay Davies (eds), Reading and dyslexia in different orthographies. Psychology Press, Hove, pp. 43-68.
'Do good and poor readers make use of morphemic structure in English word recognition?' Journal of Portuguese Linguistics, vol 9-10, pp. 143-160.
'Early metalinguistic awareness of derivational morphology: Observations from a comparison of English and French' Applied Psycholinguistics, vol 30, no. 3, pp. 405-440. DOI:
Acquiring complex reading skills: an exploration of disyllabic reading. in C Wood & V Connelly (eds), Contemporary perspectives on reading and spelling. New Perspectives on Learning and Instruction, Routledge, Abingdon, Oxon., pp. 42-58.
'Rimes and superrimes: an exploration of children's disyllabic rhyming skills' British Journal of Psychology, vol 98, no. 2, pp. 199-221. DOI:
'Differing sequences of metaphonological development in French and English' Journal of Child Language, vol 33, no. 2, pp. 369-399. DOI:
Influence de l’apprentissage de la lecture et de la langue maternelle sur le développement phonologique: une perspective inter-langues. in S Valdois, P Colé & D David (eds), Apprentissage de la lecture et dyslexies développementales: de la théorie à la pratique orthophonique et pédagogique. Editions Solal, Marseille, pp. 15-41.
'How do children read multisyllabic words? Some preliminary observations' Journal of Research in Reading, vol 26, no. 2, pp. 101-120. DOI:
'A small-to-large unit progression in metaphonological awareness and reading?' Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology. A, Human Experimental Psychology, vol 53, no. 4, pp. 1081-1103. DOI:
'Socio-economic differences in foundation-level literacy' British Journal of Psychology, vol 91, no. 2, pp. 145-166. DOI:
'How does phonological awareness relate to nonword reading skill amongst poor readers?' Reading and Writing, vol 11, no. 5-6, pp. 405-439. DOI:
'Rhymes and phonemes in the common unit task:: replications and implications for beginning reading' Journal of Research in Reading, vol 22, no. 2, pp. 113-130. DOI:
'How important are rhyme and analogy in beginning reading?' Cognition, vol 63, no. 2, pp. 171-208. DOI:
'Small versus large unit theories of reading acquisition' Dyslexia, vol 3, no. 3, pp. 125-134. DOI: