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People

Research Staff

Dusana Dorjee, Ph.D.
Lecturer, School of Psychology, Bangor University

01248-388842
d.dorjee@bangor.ac.uk

Dusana Dorjee, PhD is a cognitive neuroscientist leading research at the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice. She received her PhD in Psychology (Cognitive Neural Systems) from the University of Arizona and holds two master’s degrees, one in clinical psychology (Comenius University) and the other in cognitive psychology and cognitive science (University of Arizona).

Her research combines basic with intervention research in investigating how mindfulness practice impacts on the mind and brain across the life-span. She particularly focuses on neurodevelopmental modulations resulting from mindfulness training with children and adolescents in the context of mental health prevention and well-being enhancement within education. Dusana has received several awards in support of her research, including a Mind and Life Contemplative Studies Fellowship. Her book titled ‘Mind, Brain, and the Path to Happiness’ has been published by Routledge in 2013.


Kevanne Sanger
Ph.D. Student

01248-382663
psp038@bangor.ac.uk

Kevanne previously studied her BSc and MSc at Bangor University, before spending 1.5 years as a Research Assistant with the NHS Mental Health Foundation Trust in Gloucestershire studying personal recovery in people living with psychosis. Her personal interest in developing the well-being of young people stems from her work with 'young and talented' athletes in karate and fencing, whilst also assisting to teach stress and mood management courses with the Swindon Primary Care Psychology Trust. She believes that prevention is the best form of treatment, and that integrating skills of mental resilience and self-awareness into the school curriculum would be advantageous across the board.

Her Ph.D. project is titled “A physiological investigation of mindfulness training in secondary schools: Modifications in emotion regulation and cognitive control in adolescents practicing mindfulness”.


Rebekah Kaunhoven
Ph.D. Student

psp233@bangor.ac.uk

Rebekah completed both a B.Sc. in Psychology and an M.Sc. in Foundations of Clinical Neuropsychology at Bangor University. During the Masters Rebekah developed a keen interest in the neuropsychological impact of mindfulness on emotion regulation and her Masters research project used electrophysiological methods to investigate the effects of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) on emotion regulation and rumination.

This research interest has carried forward into a PhD where Rebekah is in the first year of investigating the impact of mindfulness training on emotion regulation in primary school children. Her PhD project is titled, “Neurocognitive evaluation of mindfulness training in primary schools”.

This PhD project aims to provide an insight into how mindfulness impacts upon attention and emotion regulation processes in children from key stage 2 (7-11 years). This longitudinal non randomised study involves the implementation of a mindfulness curriculum developed for children called paws.b, (a curriculum developed by Sarah Silverton, Tabitha Sawyer and Rhian Roxburgh in collaboration with MiSP) into four primary schools in North Wales (two schools delivered the curriculum in March and two schools will deliver the curriculum after completion of the study).

The curriculum was delivered over twelve weeks by school teachers in their classrooms with support from a mindfulness trainer. Along with self-report measures of attention and emotion regulation, the physiological changes in brain and body arising from mindfulness training was assessed using event related potentials and a heart rate measure called respiratory sinus arrhythmia. These measures were taken before and after delivery of the curriculum and a three-month follow up will be conducted in September 2015. Data analysis is currently underway and the results are expected to be available in 2016.


Laura Perry
Research Project Support Officer

p.laura@bangor.ac.uk

Laura studied for her undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Psychology at Bangor University whilst working as a support worker for children with autism and adolescents in care. She became interested in mindfulness in her first year of undergraduate study, and went on to undertake research into its dissemination, and complete the 8 week course in mindfulness based approaches.

Laura is interested in the wider applications of mindfulness, supporting its general health benefits. She hopes to continue her studies to a doctorate level.


Shelby DeMeulenaere
Ph.D. Student

psp242@bangor.ac.uk

Originally from the U.S., Shelby completed her B.A. in Psychology with a Philosophy Minor at Central College in Pella, Iowa. While completing her undergraduate degree, Shelby was afforded the opportunity to study abroad at Bangor University for a semester. In Bangor she recognized the excellent research being conducted by the Bangor Psychology Department and decided to complete her M.Sc in Clinical Psychology at Bangor. During her Masters degree, Shelby researched how mindfulness impacts electrophysiological markers of emotion regulation in adults. With an increasing interest in mindfulness research, she recognized the potential for mindfulness as a preventive tool for age-related cognitive decline.

As such, she commenced a PhD, supervised by Dr. Dusana Dorjee, on mindfulness with older adults. Her Ph.D. project aims to examine the effects of Mindfulness-Based Interventions on markers of dementia progression in older adults, age 60 and above. Using questionnaires, neuropsychological assessments, and brain measures, this pseudo-randomised longitudinal study will examine changes in self-regulation of stress, cognitive performance, brain connectivity, and brain structure. Testing will commence in January 2016.


Charlotte Vickery
D.Clin. Student

psp0c1@bangor.ac.uk

I completed a three year post graduate Diploma in Mindfulness, following a degree in Psychology. I am currently working towards a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (DClin) at Bangor University which involves research into the effects of mindfulness on wellbeing for primary aged children; in particular, psychological and emotional wellbeing. This is a very new and exciting area of research, and I am privileged to be working with local schools, communities and my colleagues in this area.

I have taught a number of mindfulness courses to the general public and within the NHS, including Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). I have a personal practice of mindfulness extending 8 years, and as a qualified Yoga teacher, I have also taught mindful yoga for 10 years. My professional interests in Psychology include mindfulness and wellbeing, and self-compassion and mental health.

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