Meet the people behind the screen

The Scottish Developmental Psychology Network for Graduates (ScotDPN) is an initiative by a group of doctoral students of the Centre of Applied Developmental Psychology (CADP) at the University of Edinburgh and our collaborators, currently, from the University of St Andrews, Stirling, and Dundee.

Here is a closer look at the people behind the screen:


KiyoshiKiyoshi Bhuiyan, a final year PhD student at the University of Edinburgh. My research is mainly focusing on technology-based interventions and the effect it has on peer communication in children with autism. I am extremely interested in changing the perspectives of the public and their understanding of autism. I want to bridge the gap between research and practice and have written newspaper articles on raising more awareness about misconceptions on autism. I am a huge fan of translating complex research findings into more understandable chunks. I also think it is critical that we foster discussion between members of the public and individuals who work in more practice-based institutions so we all work together in providing the best environment for children with autism to express themselves. I mostly do observational qualitative data analysis in my research. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions regarding autism, research-practice methods and school interventions with children. Contact me on

thumbnail_fullsizeoutput_d9a (1)Somia Imran, a PhD in Clinical Psychology (2015-2018) from the University of Edinburgh. My PhD research was focused on attachment relationships particularly secondary attachment, adolescent mental health / wellbeing across cultures, and scale development and validation. Further, during my clinical experience as an Assistant Clinical Psychologist (2017-present), I have developed an interest in culturally adapted assessments and interventions. Previously, in my MSc in Applied Psychology (2012-2014), I examined the association of grandparent-grandchild relationship with empathy and depression in adolescent grandchildren in a mixed-methods study. Also, I have contributed to two exciting research projects: 1) Father Friendly Schools: A collaboration between the Fathers Network Scotland and the University of Edinburgh and 2) Youth Art View: A qualitative exploration of youth perception of violence and terrorism through art. I am enthusiastic about establishing research collaboration locally, nationally and internationally. In my free time, I do yoga, listen to music or spend time with my family.

JoshJoshua March. I’m a developmental psychologist focusing on imitation, social cognition and cognitive development. I began my PhD in 2014 at the University of Stirling, looking at imitation in young children. Since completing my studies in 2017 I have worked as a teacher at the University of Dundee, which has been brilliant. I get to show students why children are never boring, and neither is learning how their minds develop.

One of the best things about studying imitation is the variety of research areas you come into contact with. I look at goal inference mechanisms (what children think people are doing), social cognition (what children think people want them to do), and executive functions (how children control their actions in order to imitate). Outside of psychology, I have recently been reading up on phenomenology to understand what goes on when children observe other people. This has given me a new-found respect for philosophers and challenged the assumptions I associated with psychology as a science. In a nutshell, I love social learning research, teaching, and working with people from different fields. ScotDPN has been a fantastic way of connecting with peers who share these interests, and we hope to support more and more early-career researchers as time goes on!

HeatherHeather Branigan. You can ask me about… metacognition, cognitive development, qualitative research methods and the transition of theory into practice. I’m a Teaching Fellow at the University of Aberdeen, having completed a PhD in Psychology from the University of Stirling. In my thesis, I explored the transition of ideas from cognitive developmental theory into the applied primary school setting. Specifically, I explored how children think about and manage their own thinking (AKA metacognition), and the role that teachers play in this process. More generally, I’m particularly interested in exploring systems of collaboration between academic researchers, policy and practice. I believe a lot could be achieved if we talked to each other a little more, and thought of more creative, fun ways to share ideas. I’m based in Aberdeen but travel regularly throughout Scotland and would love to hear from you if you have a query or to chat more generally!

I can be contacted through: Twitter: @HeatherBranigan Email: or check out my website:

Gideon headshot.jpgGideon Salter. My areas of interest are: social cognition, communication, joint attention, social development in infancy.

I’m currently working on my PhD the University of St Andrews. My research focuses on the development of joint attention and communication- in other words, the ability to share experiences with others about the world. My main project is a longitudinal study with infants from the age of 6 months to 10 months, looking at a range of social abilities (e.g. sharing attention, imitation, communication) and their development during this time. I’m also keen at looking at how looking more carefully at the development of these abilities can inform theoretical approaches, both on the topic of joint attention but also for theories of child development in general. Finally, I also have an interest in the psychology of religion and ritual, and I’m interested in how joint attention connects to these topics. When I’m not working on PhD, I like to go swimming, and enjoy reading in coffee shops with my fiancée, Becky. Feel free to get in touch with me about any of the areas I’ve listed above at!

rahaat-1 Raahat Manrai, a PhD student in Clinical Psychology at the University of Edinburgh.







82176913_2739652956092147_6492709972692959232_oCatarina Gaglianone, a PhD student in Clinical Psychology at the University of Edinburgh.





image-1Laura Wauthier, a PhD student in Clinical Psychology at the University of Edinburgh.


Rita Kanevski, a PhD student in Clinical Brain Sciences at the University of Edinburgh. My research focuses on the relationship between cognition,  behaviour,  and maths in children with ADHD and other co-occurring neurodevelopmental conditions. My research interests predominantly relate to children’s development and psychological well-being, including factors that affect cognitive, behavioural and educational development.  I’m also the editor for Research the Headlines , a blog aimed at addressing media coverage of research. If I’m not working on my PhD I’m probably out for a jog or playing video games. Feel free to drop me an email ( or follow me on Twitter (@mkanevski), I’ll be happy to chat to you about ADHD, Executive Functions, or anything else you might be interested in!

HHAHasan Huseyin Ates. I am a PhD student in Clinical Psychology at the University of Edinburgh. I am particularly interested in disordered eating behaviours and psychological correlates in people with Neurodevelopmental Disorders. The goal of my thesis is to explore to what extend disordered eating behaviours are associated with ADHD and/or ASD in children, adolescents, and adults and potential factors that cause and/or contribute to disordered eating such as age, gender, symptoms profiles, comorbid problems (depression, anxiety, sleeping), screen time and physical activity level. My methodological expertise crosses systematic review and quantitative data. I believe an academician and a clinician of psychology can explore his field more acutely and succeed in his endeavours if he has a solid grasp of developmental psychopathology. Thus, ScotDPN has been an effective collaborative network place for sharing these interests in my perspective. When I am outside of my PhD, I like to taste and cook different cuisines and watch sci-fi, fantasy, and horror films. If you would like to get in touch with me for chatting about those areas that I have listed, please follow me on Twitter (@ateshasanh) or send me an email (!

MCAMerve Cemile Ates. I design ScotDPN social media materials, including pictures, logos, and advertisement videos. I graduated in Business Administration in Ankara. I obtained a Master’s degree in Finance in 2019 from Gazi University. I am specifically interested in creating social media marketing campaigns and designing social media content for marketing. I enjoy sketching, drawing, and painting and I also love to visit art galleries. You can contact me at


Huong Le. I’m a second-year PhD student in Clinical Psychology at the University of Edinburgh. I am particularly interested in different cultural factors that influence our current psychological models of mental disorders. My PhD looks at the relationship between attachment, emotion regulation and depression in adolescents living in Vietnam and in the UK. For my research, I work with both non-clinically and clinically depressed adolescents in both Vietnam and the UK. ScotDPN has been a great part of my PhD so far. Through all the events that we organised, I’ve met many great minds with fascinating research and ideas. I hope that this network will continue to grow, connect more people, and generate many more collaborations. Outside of my PhD, I enjoy playing volleyball, having board game nights with my friends and travelling!! Please get in touch if you want to know more about my role in ScotDPN or simply to discuss any common interest that we share at 🙂

Aigli Raouna, a Clinical Psychology PhD student at the University of Edinburgh. My research focuses on transition to parenthood in the context of bipolar disorder using a mixed methods approach. At the moment, I am also a research assistant at Mellow Parenting, a charity that provides early parenting interventions for mothers and fathers with additional and complex needs and a research fellow at the WARM Study (“Wellbeing And Resilience: Mechanisms of transmission of health and risk in parents with complex mental health problems and their offspring”).

I am particularly interested in prevention and early intervention strategies and in bringing the voices of people with lived experiences in mental health research and policy in order to enable services to develop more effective and partner-inclusive services. I would be really happy to hear from you and I am always open to new collaborations! You can contact me at or follow me @aiglir

Lu Wang. I am from an island of South China. I am a first year PhD student in clinical psychology in University of Edinburgh. My research interest is aggressive behaviours in adolescents. Now I am focusing on my systematic review, which is looking for the psychological and social risk factors contributing aggressive behaviours in Chinese adolescents. My field work will be in the secondary and high schools in China. My bachelor is in primary education mathematics in Inner Mongolia normal University China, and my Master is in psychology and education in University of Sheffield, which is transdisciplinary. I like films, traveling, drawing, reading and animation. I am glad to share and talk with everyone! Email: Twitter: @HitagiHikari