People

 

Principal Investigator

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Deirdre Brown, PhD

Deirdre completed her BA, PhD, and Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Psychology at the University of Otago under the supervision of Professor Margaret-Ellen Pipe. After completing her education in 2003, she took a postdoctoral fellowship funded by the Foundation for Research Science and Technology, New Zealand, at Lancaster University in the UK. Upon returning to New Zealand, she worked as a clinical psychologist in the Children’s Outpatients department at Dunedin Hospital. She joined VUW in 2009, and became a Senior Lecturer in 2013.

You can view Deirdre’s staff profile on the Victoria University of Wellington website.

Research Assistants

Helen Helen Pierce

Helen is completing her MSc in Psychology at Victoria University. She is also a Research Assistant working on the MARCIE project. She is a point-of-contact for queries from schools that are involved in the project. Her work involves visiting primary schools in the Wellington region and interviewing children who are participating in the research. Helen completed her Post Graduate Diploma in Psychology at Massey University.
Helen can be contacted at helen.pierce@vuw.ac.nz

Steph Steph McNamee

Steph is a Research Assistant working on the MARCIE project. She is a point-of-contact for queries from schools that are involved in the project. Her work involves visiting primary schools in the Wellington region and interviewing children who are participating in the research. Steph completed her Masters in Educational Psychology at Victoria University.
Steph can be contacted at steph.mcnamee@vuw.ac.nz

Research Nurse

Mel Mel Gaffaney

Mel is a Research Nurse working on the MARCIE project. Her work involves visiting primary schools in the Wellington region and giving check-ups to the children who are participating in the research. Mel was one of only ten young nurses selected for the inaugural Wellington Hospital New Graduate Program, and went on to have a ten year career as a paediatric nurse. She spent time working in intensive care units in Wellington and London. Mel is now a busy mum and runs an art business. She jumped at the chance to be involved in the MARCIE project and once again work with ‘tiny humans’.

Postgraduate Students

Lynley Lynley McLay, PhD student

Lynley completed her BA at Victoria University of Wellington in 2011, majoring in Psychology and Education. She has since completed her Honours degree in Psychology and her first year in the Clinical Psychology Program. Integrating both psychology and education, Lynley is currently working on her PhD which examines the potential benefits of observing hand gestures while children are learning about scientific concepts.

Helen Helen Pierce

Helen is completing her MSc by thesis, in Psychology, at Victoria University. She is also a Research Assistant working on the MARCIE project. Helen completed her Post Graduate Diploma in Psychology at Massey University. Helen is interested in talkativeness of child witnesses and whether talkativeness influences how credible jurors perceive child witnesses to be.

Honours Students

Josie Sherriff

Emma Weir

Recent Postgraduate students

Alex Alex Hill, MSc student

Alex is currently completing her MSc in Forensic Psychology and training as a clinical psychologist. She completed her BA at Victoria University in 2014, majoring in Psychology, Criminology and Sociology. Her research interests center on forensic interviewing practice, how these practices affect investigations of child maltreatment, and whether these practices relate and are integrated with the evidence base. Hence, her MSc thesis will focus on the use of visual aids in child witness interviews, and understanding the interviewer’s perspectives on the use of these aids and how their practice relates to the research and protocol recommendations.

Missy Missy Wolfman, PhD student

Missy recently completed her PhD and her training as a clinical psychologist. Her research interests focused on forensic interviewing practice investigating maltreatment with children, and the factors affecting interviewers’ adherence to evidence-based recommendations. This included an examination of current practice of forensic interviewing in New Zealand, access to supervision and professional development, and evaluation of a potential self-supervision tool for maintaining best-practice.

Paula Paula O’Connor, MSc student

Paula started at Victoria University in 2011 and has since completed her BSc in Psychology and the MSc Forensic programme. During her first year in the MSc Forensic programme, she learnt a lot about forensic interviewing with children, and how interviewer strategies can influence what children report. Therefore, her MSc thesis focused on the use of sketch-plan drawings during interviews with children, and whether such drawings actually increase the amount of accurate information reported from the child. She is also interested in offender risk assessment and rehabilitation, so will hopefully have a career in either of these areas in the future.

Recent Honours Students

Tasmin Jury: The effect of repeated interviews on the narrative coherence of children with intellectual disabilities.

Catherine Pihema: Doing the ground work on ground rules: The effects of an early interview, age and cognitive ability on children’s performance and use of ground rules.

Amanda Wallis: Impact of intellectual disability on children’s narrative coherence over repeated and delayed interviews.

Collaborators

Prof Michael Lamb, Cambridge, UK

Prof Charles Brainerd, Cornell University, USA

Prof Margaret-Ellen Pipe, CUNY, USA

Prof Charlie Lewis, Lancaster University, UK

Prof Maryanne Garry, University of Waikato, New Zealand

Assoc Prof Rachael Taylor, University of Otago, New Zealand

Assoc Prof Rachel Zajac, University of Otago, New Zealand

Assoc Prof Karen Salmon, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

Dr Clare-Ann Fortune, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

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