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Research areas – Bath Spa University

We welcome postgraduate research enquiries within any of our research areas, or across related topics in health and cognition.

If you are interested in undertaking a research degree with us, we recommend reading through our Research Degrees pages, and contacting a potential supervisor in the first instance. 

We have listed our research specialisms and areas below. If you are interested in exploring an area not listed here, please get in touch with the Centre's directors, Elaine Wainwright and Jermaine Ravalier. 

Staff research interests

Creativity and culture
  • Pete Etchells ( - Behavioural/mental health impacts of playing video games (specifically) and screen-based technology use (more generally); developing more robust experimental techniques to assess causal effects of video game play/screen time; the impact of science communication on public understanding and discourse
  • Agata Vitale ( -  Trauma, resilience and creativity; developing art-based interventions to promote the mental health of vulnerable groups.
Learning, memory and cognition
  • Alexandra de Sousa ( -Comparative crossmodal cognition; origin of the human brain and mind; genomic basis of mammalian brain evolution; bio-inspired technology; psychology and neuroscience of the built environment.
  • Gerry Markopoulos ( - memory from a cognitive psychological perspective; memory encoding and retrieval processes and strategies; environmental context-dependent memory from theoretical, methodological, and applied perspectives.
Pain, stress and fatigue


  • Joe Walsh ( - The impact of pain on cognition; how we communicate pain through nonverbal channels, in particular body posture, and how these forms of communication engage and hold attention of observers; pain as a social-emotional process


  • Jermaine Ravalier ( - stress, mental health and wellbeing at work with a particular emphasis on the public sector (education, health, and social care).
  • Agata Vitale ( - Pre and post-migratory stressors in refugee populations; developing employment interventions to support refugees’ economic integration. 
  • Joe Walsh ( - Stress in teachers and organisations factors which may contribute to stress, and in turn issues around teacher retention and recruitment.


  • Marie Thomas ( - The impact of fatigue across a range of chronic health conditions; managing fatigue in chronic conditions; fatigue in occupational settings; mood and human cognitive performance in health and well-being; developmental disorders (in particular DCD and ADHD). 
Senses and perception
  • Alexandra de Sousa ( - natural history of vision and vision deprivation
  • Agnieszka Janik-McErlean ( Cross-sensory phenomena such as synaesthesia, Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) and misophonia; individual differences in social perception (e.g. facial emotion processing); interoception (ability to monitor one’s physiological signals) and its wider consequences; Alexithymia (reduced ability to understand and identify emotions) – mechanisms and consequences
Work, health and wellbeing
  • Jermaine Ravalier ( - mental health and wellbeing at work, particularly in the public sector (education, health, and social care); how we can develop interventions for the improvement of employee wellbeing. 
  • Paula Wegrzynek ( - Return to work interventions for people in pain; occupational health and wellbeing.

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