People

Group Leaders

Claire Haworth

Dr Claire Haworth

Claire is Reader in Behavioural Genetics at the MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit, the School of Social and Community Medicine and the School of Experimental Psychology, University of Bristol. She read Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford before studying for an MSc and PhD in statistical behavioural genetics at the MRC Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, King’s College London. After her PhD, she was awarded an Interdisciplinary Fellowship by the MRC and ESRC, followed by a British Academy Research Fellowship. She established her half of the Dynamic Genetics Lab at the University of Warwick in 2013, before moving to Bristol in 2015.  In 2017 she was awarded the Spearman Medal by the British Psychological Society.

More information, including a list of Claire’s publications, is on her University staff page.

Oliver Davis

Dr Oliver Davis

Oliver is Reader in Statistical Genetics at the MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit and the School of Social and Community Medicine, University of Bristol. He read Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge before studying for an MSc and PhD in statistical behavioural genetics at the MRC Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, King’s College London. After his PhD, he was awarded a Sir Henry Wellcome Fellowship by the Wellcome Trust, spending time at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics at the University of Oxford and the EMBL European Bioinformatics Institute near Cambridge. In 2013 he established his half of the Dynamic Genetics Lab at UCL Genetics Institute in London, before moving to Bristol in 2015.

More information, including a list of Oliver’s publications, is on his University staff page.

PhD Students

Abigail Mottershaw

Abigail Mottershaw

Abigail gained a first class honours degree in Psychology from Nottingham Trent University, and then spent time working in a secondary school, specialising in supporting the high achievers. Having been awarded a Masters scholarship by the Nottingham Trent School of Social Sciences Scholarship Scheme for academic excellence, Abigail achieved a distinction in an MSc of Psychological Research Methods. Funded by an ESRC PhD studentship, her work focuses on the environmental and genetic influences on adolescent wellbeing, using various wellbeing indicators that have been assessed as part of the Twins Early Development Study (TEDS). It is anticipated that her research will establish the roles of genetic and environmental influences on wellbeing, assess the stability of this influence across time, and identify how these measures relate to mental illness and cognitive and academic success.

Adele Wang

Adele Wang

Adele graduated from the University of Cambridge in 2013, specialising in Experimental Psychology within the Natural Sciences Tripos. She is interested in the individual differences between people in their levels of wellbeing. She is now undertaking a PhD looking at the role of genes and environment in determining how adolescents respond to a wellbeing intervention (the Twins Wellbeing Intervention Study, TWIST). Her ESRC PhD studentship is in collaboration with the Department of Health, with the hope that her research will have direct implications on policy recommendations, and help to bridge the gap between research and policy making.

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Robyn Wootton

Robyn gained a first class honours degree in Psychology from the University of Warwick. Her interest in the biological model led her to extend her degree with a range of outside modules and pursuits in biology, the main focus of which being genetics. Following this she was awarded funding to study for a PhD in Positive Genetics using the TEDS dataset.

The focus of her PhD will be finding specific genes that contribute to wellbeing. Her investigation will begin with an in depth look at the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) and its effects on the wellbeing measures taken at age 16. She eventually hopes to find out whether the same genes underlie all measures of wellbeing or if they have distinct genetic predictors.

Zoe Reed

Zoe Reed

Zoe graduated from King’s College London with a First Class Honours BSc in Neuroscience in 2014. She then spent a year as a research assistant in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Oxford, where she helped research into self-monitoring in both Bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder, amongst other areas.

Her interest in genetics and mental health and wellbeing grew from her BSc and has developed as a result of personal interest in the area. Her Wellcome-Trust-funded 4-year PhD studentship in Molecular, Genetic and Lifecourse Epidemiology at the University of Bristol will enable her to explore these interests further. In particular she will research the effects of the urban environment and genetics on human psychiatric health and wellbeing. This will build on current spACE analyses using data from TEDS and other samples and will incorporate new findings from Twitter data, SNP data and the urban environment to predict phenotypes such as sleep quality and psychiatric disorders.

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