PhD students

PhD Students

Lenka Janik Blaskova

Lenka is exploring the friendship, social play, and wellbeing of children with primary difficulties in language development. In a series of case studies, Lenka promotes participatory research with children and collects data via multiple methods: observations, video recordings, school mapping, one-on-one meetings using art-based methods.

Before starting her PhD, Lenka trained as a guidance counsellor at the University College Cork in Ireland.

PhD supervisor: Dr Jenny Gibson

PhD advisor: Dr Sara Baker

Emily Goodacre

Emily's work uses data from the Children’s Relationships with Peers through Play (ChiRPP) study to examine children's communication with their friends and peers, exploring how they make decisions together about the ongoing play, and to consider how this communication may be related to characteristics of the children

PhD supervisors: Dr Jenny Gibson and Prof Paul Ramchandani

Julie Bailey

Following a career as a teacher and leader in secondary schools, Julie began doctoral research exploring barriers to inclusion for autistic pupils in mainstream secondary school. Alongside her research, Julie is a school governor, working with The Morris Education Trust on the design of The Cavendish School, opening in September 2021 to provide specialist provision for children with autism.

PhD supervisor: Dr Sara Baker

PhD advisor: Dr Jenny Gibson

Mélanie Gréaux

Mélanie investigates Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) provision for autistic children in linguistically and culturally diverse contexts. Using principles of action and participatory research, she collaborates with SLTs practising in India and the UK to design and evaluate cross-cultural and evidence-based learning activities to support their continuing professional development.

PhD supervisors: Dr Jenny Gibson and Dr Napoleon Katsos

Vicky Yiran Zhao

Vicky is currently exploring the effect of parent-child play and peer play over language and psychosocial development of children with developmental language disorder. She is interested in using longitudinal analyses to study children’s developmental trajectories and identify protective factors in early years to inform timely interventions.

PhD supervisor: Dr Jenny Gibson

PhD Advisor: Dr Sonia Ilie

Ana Laura Trigo Clapés

Ana is studying how autistic students in mainstream primary classrooms in the UK participate in class activities that require interacting with others, and how teachers can support their participation in class activities.

Her PhD project aims to develop adjusted teaching strategies to support autistic students’ participation in classroom dialogue. These strategies are based on Dialogic Teaching and consider autistic students’ communication characteristics and preferences.

Ana graduated as a psychologist, from the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

PhD supervisors: Dr Jenny Gibson and Dr Sara Hennessy

PhD advisor: Prof Rupert Wegerif