Dr Sarita Robinson
Deputy Head of School (Students and Teaching)
School of Psychology and Computer Science
Sarita is the Deputy Head for the School of Psychology and Computer Science, leading on student experience and teaching strategies. Sarita’s research interests mainly focus on cognitive neuropsychology and psychobiology in relation to people in survival situations. Sarita is also interested in the link between dental health and Alzheimer’s disease, the health benefits of Green space and Post-Traumatic Growth after trauma. Sarita is also passionate about science communication and undertakes extensive public engagement work.
Sarita is passionate about enhancing the student experience and making sure that all students succeed, regardless of their backgrounds. She provides strategic leadership across the School to ensure that all students are able to benefit from the opportunities that Higher Education offers. Sarita also provides leadership regarding curriculum design and teaching for the School and works closely with colleagues to implement appropriate pedagogic strategies. Sarita has oversight of the School’s Early Interventions Strategy and Retention Programme and works closely with the Year Leads and Student Coaches. Sarita also chairs the School’s Teaching and Learning group, and co-leads on the implementation of Athena Swan strategies. Working across the university Sarita is the co-chair of the Women’s Network and contributes to the REF Equality Impact Assessment group as well as leading on trans awareness initiatives. Sarita maintains an active research portfolio with her research interests broadly located within the domain of health and cognitive psychology, looking at the impact of acute environmental events on health and well-being. Specifically Sarita is interested in human responses to life-threatening events. Sarita also undertakes a wide range of public engagement activities and frequently comments on news stories in the press and on TV.
Sarita joined the University in September 2005 as a Lecturer after completing her PhD in Cognitive and Neuroimmune Responses to Threat at Lancaster University. Sarita has made an active contribution to the School and across the University, taking on leadership roles such as Course Leader for the Psychology BSc programme, chairing a university-wide ethics board and contributing to the University’s Athena Swan application. In August 2020 Sarita was promoted to her current role as Deputy Head of School, leading on teaching and student experience. Sarita also plays an active role as a committee member for the British Psychological Society’s Crisis, Disaster and Trauma Section and for the Institute of Civil Protection and Emergency Management. Both of these roles allow Sarita to contribute, at a national level, to policy and practice relating to dealing with emergency responses and trauma treatment.
Sarita is currently contributing to a number of Covid-19 related research and consultancy projects. Sarita is also passionate about public engagement and promoting the public understanding of science. Sarita can often be found giving talks to the public at all types of events (such as Science Fiction conventions, Nerd Nite) and summer festivals (such as The Bushcraft Show, Burning Women Festival, Lancashire Science Festival). In addition, Sarita is frequently asked to appear on both national and international news programmes to comment on psychological responses to disaster situations. Sarita has also made frequent TV appearances acting as a psychology expert on shows such Channel 4’s “From Hell” series and the Dave TV show “Comedians Giving Lectures”. Sarita is a frequent contributor to The Conversation website, with her most recent article on tiredness during lockdown being read by over half a million people. Most recently Sarita has contributed to a science textbook- Science of Superheroes - which aims to engage young adults with STEM subjects.
- Ph.D. Psychology - Cognitive and Neuroimmune Factors in Human Survival, Lancaster University, 2005
- MSc. Cognitive Science, Manchester University, 1998
- BSc. (Hons.) Psychology with Globalisation Studies, Lancaster University, 1996
- Human behaviour during life-threatening emergencies
- Wellbeing and Covid-19
- Wellbeing and Green Space
- British Psychological Society – Crisis, Disaster and Trauma Section
- Institute of Civil Protection and Emergency Management.
Sarita has developed an impressive research record working with both military and civilian organisations to improve our understanding of human performance during life-threatening emergencies. | Taking a psychobiological approach Sarita has focus on examining how people cope during emergency situations. In the past Sarita has worked closely with Fleetwood Nautical College to gain a better understanding of human behaviour during helicopter ditching events. | Over the last 5 years Sarita has focused on two main research themes contributing to a research group exploring post-traumatic growth following trauma and a interdisciplinary research group researching the link gum health with the development of Alzheimer’s disease. | More recently Sarita has been working with Lancashire Fire Service to develop cutting-edge training to enhance decision-making in high pressure situations as well as undertaking several Covid-19 related research projects. Sarita has shared her expertise of working in the Disaster Research field both nationally and internationally.
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- Aligned with the Centre for Sustainable Transitions
- The impact on wellbeing of lockdown measures due to Covid-19 in the UK
- Funding for Covid-19 related work has been provided by the Centre for Sustainable Transitions.
- Sarita is also in receipt of several grants from the UCLan Engage for public engagement work.
- Selected Presentations:
- Psychological Resilience in Survivors of Natural Disasters. The International Conference on Building Resilience, Bali, 2020.
- Keynote: Providing Mental Health Services and Support for Firefighters. The Changing Landscape of UK Fire and Rescue Services conference, London, 2019.
- Selected Public Engagement Activities:
- Covid-19 media coverage March, April & May 2020 -- 174 cuttings in the UK and globally (Including The Guardian, Independent, Daily Mail, MSN, Yahoo, Metro, BBC Radio Scotland, News.com Australia, News 24 South Africa, ScienceAlert, Jakarta Post and Lancashire Post) with a reach of 237.4 million people.
- Publication of the Science of Superheroes - STEM textbook for young adults, March 2020.
- Channel 4 (2018, 2019). Expert psychologist on the “From Hell” TV series.
Email: Email:Dr Sarita Robinson
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