Belinda is a Psychobiology Lecturer and teaches across a range of subjects in Neuroscience, and Psychology within the School of Psychology and Computer Science . Belinda’s expertise includes the study of behaviour including experimental models of anxiety, psychophysiology, psychopharmacology (including natural products), the psychological effects of diseases, such as MND on informal family caregivers. Belinda is a Chartered Psychologist and Scientist, an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society and an Associate Teaching Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Belinda has experience of teaching and researching in HE and also of research in the industrial immunodiagnostic sector, she also has a wealth of technical expertise in setting up laboratories. Belinda has published in the areas of both anxiety and natural product research within the areas of behavioural neuroscience and psychobiology and has collaborated in a number of different research areas within Psychology and Biochemistry. She has an on-going collaboration with the Lancashire and South Cumbria MND Care and Research Centre and its director Professor Chhetri investigating the impact of MND on informal family caregivers and evaluating the services that they provide for these carers. Most recently Belinda has been involved in the setting up and using for both teaching and research a translational behavioural neuroscience suite of laboratories within the School of Psychology and Computer Science and Computer Sciences to measure aspects behaviour and their neural correlates in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. Belinda supervises several under-graduate and post-graduate research students in all of these areas of research
Following graduation in Biochemistry from Newcastle University in 1986 Belinda joined Immunodiagnostics Ltd. in Tyne and Wear as a Senior Research Biochemist, her work involved the design and development of commercial clinical immunoassay kits including Radioimmunoassay and ELISA with novel detection systems. Following this and alongside having a young family Belinda began part-time work at UCLan as a Biochemistry Technician as well as an ad-hoc demonstrator and marker of student practicals when not at work as a technician. She was also a part-time research assistant to Dr Peter Robinson investigating biochemical methods (GC-MS) for measurement of essential oils in the headspace above Juniperus spp. During this time Belinda also gained a qualification in C++ and Visual Basic computer programming and program design. In 1998 Belinda moved over to Psychology to a full-time Senior Technician position responsible for research and teaching support in the psychobiology and neuroscience laboratories within Psychology.
In 2001, alongside her technical role Belinda enrolled on a part-time PhD investigating the effects of essential oils in laboratory models of anxiety in both animals and humans. She completed this in November 2008 and graduated in June 2009. She has also completed and passed with distinction the Graduate Diploma conversion to Psychology course in 2011- which gave her a broad understanding of all the disciplines of Psychology. Alongside working and studying Belinda has also collaborated with a number of researchers the most recent and on-going is with Consultant Neurologist Professor Chhetri to investigate the Psychological effects of MND in particular on informal MND family caregivers and the psychological benefits of the services that the MND Care and Research Centre Provides these patients and their informal family caregivers. Since, 2008 Belinda has also been involved in teaching and marking psychology and neuroscience students work when not working as a senior technician and since 2017 has transferred to a full-time academic role as a Psychobiology Lecturer were her work still involves teaching neuroscience and psychology (UG and PG) and supervising research at both undergraduate and post-graduate level in a range of disciplines within her area of expertise. She is also building on the already established collaboration with Professor Chhetri.
- BSc (Hons) in Biochemistry Newcastle University, 1986
- Graduate Diploma (Conversion) Psychology, UCLan, 2011
- PhD Psychology: The effects of Essential oils in animal and human models of anxiety, UCLan, 2009.
- Travel Grant to attend Planta Medica conference, Graz. (2007).
- UCLAN annual post graduate conference (2006). Best overall oral presentation. (Talk entitled: The effects of Rosa damascena in the gerbil black-white box, an experimental model of anxiety.)
- Travel Grant to attend Planta Medica conference, Helsinki.(2006).
- Travel Grant to attend British Neuroscience Association Conference, Harrogate.(2003).
- Belinda's research interests include stress and anxiety, end of life care and carer burden. Research is currently centered around new and novel pharmacological treatments for anxiety including medicinal plant extracts, such as essential oils in paradigms designed to elicit anxiety. Measures include both psychological and physiological, with particular interest in effects on the autonomic nervous system. Alongside this, work investigating carer support and end of life care in Motor Neuron Disease carers and their patients is on-going.
- Chartered member of the British Psychological Society and a Chartered Scientist
- Member of the British Neuroscience Association
- Member of the Federation of European Neurosciences
- Member of the Society for Psychophysiological Research
- Member of the Royal Society of Biology
- Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Association
- Member of the Association of Technicians in Psychology
- Microsoft Innovator Educator (MIE)
- Digilearn Practitioner
- Reviewer for various journals