Coedcae Comprehensive, Coleg Sir Gar , Keele University 2010-2013, University of Kent 2013-2014
MSc, Dual Honours BSc, MBPsS
Pastoral Manager at Spires Academy, Mental Health Support Worker at Mind
Low Carbon Psychologist
A Low Carbon Psychologist, Bearded Collie Owner, Occasional Runner and Army Cadet Instructor
I live in Cardiff with my Bearded Collie called Eira, who is 17 months old. Eira is the best running buddy and can definitely out-run me! Her favourite toy is a pink pig, that has to go everywhere with her
I am an instructor in the Army Cadet Force, and am the Commanding Officer of the Band and Drums. I have been doing this for over 12 years now (mostly as a cadet myself!) and wouldn’t change it for the world
I work as a Low Carbon Psychologist, which means that I study people’s behaviour in relation to energy consumption and try and discover why they are behaving in a certain way, and see if it can be changed.
So many people think that psychology is all about talking about peoples feelings, or “reading their minds”. This isn’t true – psychologists study people’s behaviours and try and find out why people behave in the way that they do. For a Low Carbon Psychologist, the interest is in why people behave the way that they do with technology. Why do people walk away and leave all of their equipment and lights on? What can we change in people’s environments to make them more energy efficient? These are the questions I’m faced with on a daily basis.
The company I work for measure half-hourly energy data. Where there is a lot of variance in this data (big spikes, or a recurring high usage when certain people are working) despite all processes remaining the same (like in a factory, for example), this is probably caused by human factors – the way that people are behaving. By exploring the behaviour behind the variance, I am able to develop projects and interventions to eliminate or reduce that behaviour.
Human behaviour is made up of clusters of similar behaviours, which we know within psychology as “constructs”. The name comes from the fact that it is something that has been “constructed” – we observe the natural behaviour, make judgements about the common features of that behaviour, and label it according to the commonality of it’s cause. A good example of this is how people behave within an exam, or classroom test. If you see another student in the classroom before a big test biting their nails, fidgetting, sweating and looking pretty scared, you might think that they were nervous about the test. This is known as test anxiety, and is a behavioural construct – the construct here is the summary of the behaviour and a logical explanation of it.
My Typical Day
My typical day would be to visit a site have a look at the human behaviours going on!
The way that people interact with their environment (this could be something like school…) is really interesting, and has a massive impact on their carbon footprint. I’m really interested in these behaviours, and seeing if there’s anything I can do to change them to make the world a greener place
What I'd do with the money
I would visit schools to do psychology workshops with young people
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Calm, focussed and happy
Who is your favourite singer or band?
Ooh this is hard…umm…Coldplay?
What's your favourite food?
I loove tapas! Sharing tapas with friends is a great way to spend an evening
What is the most fun thing you've done?
I recently went scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef!
What did you want to be after you left school?
When I was in secondary school, I wanted to be a primary school teacher…then I realised there was a bit more to it than playing with play-dough
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Nooo I was really quiet!
What was your favourite subject at school?
I really enjoyed cooking. I was so proud of myself taking cake home to my mum
What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?
I got to scan people with an eye tracker to see how they responded to different tasks – very fun!
What or who inspired you to become a scientist?
If you weren't a scientist, what would you be?
I used to work as the Pastoral Manager for a secondary school, so I possibly would have stayed doing that
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
I wish I was a little bit more athletic (and still be able to eat lots of biscuits…), to be a little bit more organised with my ideas and to spend more time with my family
Tell us a joke.
Why was Pavlov’s hair so soft?…..Classical Conditioning (sorry, terrible joke!)