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My research interests are in the study of individual differences in life-span development. Specifically, I am interested in the formative antecedents that contribute to variation in adult psychological characteristics and physiological functioning, and the capacity for change within adulthood. During my undergraduate studies at Newcastle University I gained research experience alongside Prof. Daniel Nettle, Prof. Melissa Bateson, and Dr Tom Smulders that emphasised the utility of using comparative and bio-mechanical approaches to achieve an understanding of individual development. After graduating from Newcastle with a degree in Psychology (BSc. Hons., 1st Class) I accepted a funded position at the University of St Andrews to complete my PhD in Psychology (co-supervised by Dr Karen Spencer & Dr Gillian Brown). My thesis refines my aforementioned interests by investigating the potentially long-lasting influence of social stress during adolescence on adult anxiety-like, social, & sexual behaviour, adrenal and gonadal endocrine function, and the neural receptor distribution of hormones implicated in stress sociality and sexuality.

Dr Michael Emmerson

Chris Fit


Leverhulme Trust Independent Research Fellow - Jereon's Research
I studied biology and ecology at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands (1999-2005) and obtained my PhD (behavioural ecology of starlings) from Newcastle University (2005-2009). Since then, I have worked in post-doc positions at the University of Stirling and Newcastle, held a University Impact Research Fellowship at the University of Stirling and I am currently (2015-2018) on a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship at the University of St Andrews. Since 2011 I am an associate editor for the Journal of Applied Ecology and actively contribute to and collaborate with the Stirling Conservation Science group.

Broadly, my interests are in behavioural ecology and conservation biology, and ornithology in particular. Specifically, I am interested in understanding and predicting behavioural responses to environmental change (anthropogenic or otherwise) in a range of species and systems. My current fellowship focuses on linking behavioural responses to different stressors or risks, to physiological stress responses. This involves both field experiments in model systems (Great tits Parus major and Blue tits Cyanistes caeruleus) as attempts to tests the same patterns in more applied contexts, in collaboration with Will Cresswell and Karen Spencer.

Dr Jeroen Minderman

Jasmine Aziz


I did my undergraduate degree at the University of Dundee in Zoology and completed a research MSc at the same University but this time in Cardiovascular & Lung Biology. I've recently been appointed as a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Glasgow, working on cellular responses to DNA-damage in the brain.

I've recently submitted my PhD with the MOB group investigating the long-term effects of developmental stress and its impact on physiological processes during ageing. In my research, I used the Japanese quail and domestic chicken to test the hypothesis that developmental stress can program long-term changes in physiology that allow those individuals to be better equipped, in physiological terms, for their later environment. I've shown that developmental stress can alter long-term activity of the immune system within the brain, neural cell death and survival and oxidative stress defences throughout the body. Furthermore, some of these findings appear to depend on both the age and sex of the animal! 

If I wasn't a researcher I'd be...

Probably still a technician, I can't imagine a career outside science....maybe a sports commentator?

Dr David Walker

Iron Mike

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Dr Camille Duval - Publications

Dr Valeria Marasco - Publications

Dr Cedric Zimmer - Post Doctoral Fellow now at Cornell University

Dr Neeltje Bogart - NWO Research Fellow now at Oxford University

Other past researchers and associated staff and members:

Teresa Abaurrea - Lab Technician and Engagement Officer

Tanvi Vyas - UG Student and Engagement Officer

Ellina Knusden - UG Student

Heather Lyon - UG Student

Marie Bowers - UG Student and Engagement Officer

Zofia Ossowska - Master's Student

Alyssa Chafee - UG Student

Helen Grant - UG Student

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