PhD students

Meet our Psychology PhD students and explore their research topics.

To find out more about our PhD students, their Psychology research, and how to contact them, visit their individual profile pages via the links below.

PhD candidate Amanda Wallis

Amanda Wallis

The role of place attachment in increasing resilience to nature’s hazards

PhD Candidate Amy Walsh

Amy Walsh

The effect of motivation on attentional control over emotional information.

PhD Candidate Becky Bloore looking over her shoulder in front of a blue backdrop

Becky Bloore

Creating a General Emotion Regulation Measure.

Cellphone camera viewing network of faces

Ceara Nicolls

Investigating the role of self-concept in triggering transference of feelings and emotions between one's self and a novel other.

PhD candidate Christopher Maymon

Christopher Maymon

The role of motor representations in the efficient processing of mental states.

PhD candidate Claudie Peloquin

Claudie Peloquin

Adults' higher-order mentalizing abilities.

PhD candidate Cong Fan

Cong Fan

Perspective-Taking Cognition in Adults

on location photo of PhD candidate Daniel Wegerhoff

Daniel Wegerhoff

Understanding Gangs: Towards a Comprehensive Theory of Gang Phenomena, Functions, and Processes.

PhD candidate Cong Fan

Emma Ashcroft

Visual deficits in dyslexia: theoretical models and interventions.

PhD candidate Emma Tennent

Emma Tennent

Victimhood and the delivery of telephone-mediated social support.

link wire fence

Ethan Carter

Conceptual issues with our current explanations of psychopathology and offence-related behaviours.

image of PhD candidate Fiona Dempsey looking into the camera

Fiona Dempsey

Exploring the role of power and control in partner aggression.

Image of PhD candidate Gates Hendersen looking into the camera

Gates Henderson

Interactional Analyses of Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

PhD Candidate Gerard Janse van Rensburg

Gerard Janse van Rensburg

Understanding the nature of prejudice: A Multi-level Analysis of the Antecedents of Prejudice and Discrimination

puzzle pieces connecting together

Giovanni Zani

Action Understanding and Theory of Mind

PhD candidate Gloria Fraser

Gloria Fraser

Queer and Trans Experiences of Accessing Mental Health Support.

PhD Candidate Hannah Hawkins Elder standing in front of an academic poster in Easterfield Building

Hannah Hawkins Elder

Sociocultural theories of eating disorders from a feminist perspective

Johannes Karl

Mindfulness: Determinants and Effects.

PhD Candidate John Kerr on location shot on Victoria University grounds

John Kerr

Public attitudes towards scientific controversies.

brain with electrical storm

Justin Murphy

Does mindful attention impact processing of emotional stimuli?

inverse image of text on a stamp

Katherine Fowler

Exploring the Basis of Cognitive Language Difficulties in a Tumour Population.

PhD candidate Katheryn Edwards

Katheryn Edwards

New and Converging Evidence of Two Systems for Mindreading

PhD Candidate Kealagh Robinson looking into the camera with stairwell from VUW on location is in the background

Kealagh Robinson

Understanding the Emotional Response of Adolescents

PhD Candidate Konstantina Vasileva looking into the camera. The image is taken in The Hub on Kelburn Campus.

Konstantina Vasileva

The role of mental imagery in encoding and retrieval and constructive memory

PhD candidate Kris Nielsen

Kristopher Nielsen

Enactive, Embodied, Embedded; 3e/Dynamic Systems Theory, and Implications for our Explanations of Psychopathology.

white and green sneakers worn by someone sitting with their feet on the lawn, close up of the feet

Kylie Sutcliffe

Exploring the mental health needs of adolescents in Aotearoa New Zealand.

A close landscape shot of PhD Candidate Laura Anderson outside Victoria University grounds on a lovely sunny day.

Laura Anderson

Children's Understanding of Shared Knowledge

Brick wall with fractures from earthquake

Lauren Vinnell

Understanding social norms of disaster preparation and assessing their potential for related behaviour change.

PhD Candidate Linda Fatialofa in front of a Samoan cloth.

Linda Fatialofa

Applying the Good Lives Model (GLM) to Youth Offending

locational photo of Linda Wilkin-Krug on the Kelburn Campus

Linda Wilkin-Krug

The effects of environmental enrichment on higher social and cognitive functioning in a rat model of autism spectrum disorders (ASD)

photo album being viewed by three women of different ages

Mary Dewhirst

Parent-adolescent reminiscing and youth rumination.

PhD Candidate Michaela Pettie

Michaela Pettie

Continuous prenatal exposure to Valproic Acid, as an animal model for Autism Spectrum Disorder.

PhD Candidate Nuzha Saleem, in a pink headscarf and white shirt standing infront of foliage on campus

Nuzha Saleem

The effect of identity and belonging on resilience in ethnic minority youth.

hand holding a glowing orb

Pieter Six

Theory of Mind and Motor Cognition.

cocaine powder and rolled money alongside a razor blade for snorting lines

Quenten Highgate

Investigating the Role of Behavioral Flexibility in Drug Addiction


Rana Asgarova

Experiential probability discounting of gains and losses.

bright yellow now/later sign post

Rebecca Olsen

Investigating how episodic future thinking reduces delay discounting rate.

on location photo of PhD Candidate Ririwai Fox

Ririwai Fox

The role of Māori cultural embeddedness in the formation and/or reshaping of personal identity across the life-span.

line up of female suspects

Robbie Taylor

The influence of the number of unanimous eyewitnesses on how jurors evaluate biased evidence from a lineup.

PhD candidate Roisin Whelan

Roisin Whelan

Exploring the autobiographical memories of young people who offend

hands reaching towards pills

Ross van de Wetering

Identification of novel neurochemical systems involved in the development of drug addiction using liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry.

good and evil written across the knuckles of hands

Roxy Heffernan

Towards a Comprehensive Theory of Dynamic Risk and Protective Factors in Forensic and Correctional Practice.

set of empty children's swings

Ruth Glynn

The influence of selective discussion of autobiographical events on children's memory.

PhD candidate Samantha Stanley photographed, head and shoulders, in front of a backdrop of greenery

Samantha Stanley

Clarifying the nature of the association between social dominance orientation and environmentalism.

silhouette of woman looking out of window frame at lovely view

Samuel Clack

The Explanation of Depression.

PhD candidate Schyana Sivanantham

Schyana Maya Sivanantham

Theory of Mind in Adults

police cuffing hands of criminal

Simon Davies

Does Reassessment of Dynamic Risk and Protective Factors Improve the Prediction of Imminent Recidivism?

graffiti artist finishing mural on pavement

Sophie Hedley

Exploring the role of schizotypy in creative cognition.

A Māori

Tahlia Kingi

Understanding Self-Injury with Rangatahi Māori and Whānau.

PhD candidate Tamara Qumseya

Tamara Qumseya

The Role of Contextual Factors in the Identity Negotiation Process and Psychological Well-being of Youth in Multi-cultural Societies.

orchard of apples with a ladder resting against a tree

Taylor Winter

Environmental and nutritional effects on emotion regulation.