Tell us about your role in PtJA?
I am a co-investigator on the grant, and am responsible for the research involved in examining how audiences respond to the different PtJA performances. Along with Lisa Peschel, I co-supervise Richard Oakes, a PhD student, who also works on this aspect of the research programme.
What were you doing before working on PtJA?
I am a senior lecturer in psychology at the University of York. My research group investigates how we perceive and understand other individuals’ actions and behaviours. We use a range of different techniques to achieve this aim including neurophysiological testing, neuroimaging, and behavioural testing.
What’s the best thing about working on a project like PtJA?
It’s educational! It has stretched me out of my comfort zone, and pushed me to think how my research knowledge and skills can be used to address new questions with colleagues with diverse interests in different, non-lab environments, where it can be extremely hard to control random and confounding factors
What do you get the most satisfaction from professionally?
Solving problems by designing experiments to generate informative data
What’s the biggest challenge for you on this project?
Obtaining good quality data without ruining the audience members’ experience of the performances at our festivals; and dealing with variable and sparse data when we eventually get it
Outside of work, what are your interests and hobbies?
I play polo at the White Rose Polo Club and compete in tournaments across Yorkshire. A lot of my spare time is spent looking after my horses, but also playing with my 2 year old son. The horses are going to get a couple of lambs in with them this spring, so I am becoming a sort of amateur farmer too.
Outside of work, what are the top things on your ‘bucket list’?
Becoming good enough at polo so that I could get paid to play! Climbing all the ‘Munros’; visit more countries than my age.
If you were stranded on a desert island what three things would you want with you?
Knife, fishing equipment, boat