I am a quantitative sociologist with a particular interest in using administrative and birth cohort data to explore various aspects of child development, primarily of children with some sort of vulnerability e.g. they were exposed to opioids during pregnancy, have a neurodevelopmental disorder or were maltreated in the early years. I have a BA (hons.) in Politics and Sociology, and a MA in Research Methods, both from Durham University, and a Ph.D. in Psychological Medicine from the University of Glasgow.
I spent several years working for the National Centre for Social Research, working mostly on the Growing Up in Scotland study (Scotland’s national birth cohort study), as well as working on various other projects including the Scottish Health Survey and the evaluation of the Family Nurse Partnership pilot. Following this I undertook my Ph.D., exploring the impact of schools on the development of early mental health difficulties, using routinely collected data from Glasgow city schools. Alongside this I worked as a Research Assistant on the evaluation of Triple P in Glasgow. Since my PhD I have undertaken a postdoctoral position in the School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Glasgow, investigating patterns of infant growth and obesity, before moving to the University of Edinburgh, firstly to the Farr Institute as a Farr Fellow, and then to the Salvesen Mindroom Research Centre, as Research Fellow. During this period I built my experience in using cohort and administrative data across a range of studies, including an exploration of Adverse Childhood Experiences in Scottish children, evaluating the Enhanced Health Visitor Pathway in Scotland, and developing a cohort of children exposed to opioids during pregnancy.
Since 2020 I have held a position as a Baxter Fellow and Lecturer in the School of Health Sciences, University of Dundee. I hold an ESRC New Investigator award in which I am exploring the impact of exposure to opioids in pregnancy on early child development using Scottish administrative data. Alongside this I am the School of Health Sciences lead for Public Engagement, and I teach on undergraduate and masters level courses around child development, drug harms, and social determinants of health.