Personal profile


Fiona is a Lecturer in Sport & Exercise Psychology. She completed her BSc in Psychology at Royal Holloway College (University of London), Master in Sport & Exercise Psychology at University of Queensland and PhD at The University of Hong Kong. Before joining Northumbria University in 2018, Fiona undertook postdoctoral work at Victoria University (Melbourne) and University of Limerick, and was a Lecturer at Bournemouth University. While completing her Master’s study, Fiona primarily worked with state and national athletes and artistic performers as a Sport Psychologist in Australia, and her expertise extended to Exercise Psychology (physical activity behaviour and health) while she was embarking on her PhD. Fiona is a Chartered Psychologist under the Division of Sport & Exercise Psychology and the Division of Health Psychology (British Psychological Society).

Fiona has been involved in education at various levels, from kindergarten to higher education, and had been a Teacher of English to children for more than a decade prior to her teaching at universities. She has taught Sport & Exercise Psychology, physical activity and health and research methods at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.  She is also a qualified Children Fitness Instructor (Institute of Medicine, Australia), Strength & Conditioning Coach (Australia) and Exercise to Music Instructor (UK). She provided consultancy on a physical activity programme to the Child Obesity Clinic at a local hospital, as well as adapted and modified a fundamental movement skill assessment for a kindergarten group (Hong Kong). She has also been active in engaging the public with her research work, through delivering talks and coordinating activities on children’s heart health at local schools (Hong Kong/UK) and local/national events such as Pint of Science and Festival of Learning (Bournemouth).

Research interests

Fiona has longstanding interests in the self-regulatory mechanisms and implicit processes that underpin physical activity behaviour and the development of metabolic health in youth. Her research interests span from psychosocial to psychophysiological factors that govern behaviour change, specifically, stress responses, emotion coping, inhibitory control and motivation. These focuses have uniquely placed her works within the translational realms of physical activity/exercise participation and public health domain. Through interdisciplinary enquiries, Fiona seeks to design and implement psychological/physical activity interventions that promote long-term health behaviour change, psychological well-being and metabolic health in youth.

Fiona has coordinated and conducted small-scale to Pan European cross-sectional studies involving 13 EU countries (Determinants of Diet and Physical Activity Knowledge Hub; DEDIPAC KH) as well as territory-wide randomized controlled physical activity interventions. Her research also extends to factors that impact motor learning and performance applicable to coaching and rehabilitation, e.g. conscious control of body movements (termed ‘movement reinvestment’) and teaching games for understanding. Fiona’s expertise also includes psychometric scale development, mixed-method research and cross-cultural psychology in young children. 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

Psychology, BSc (Hons), Royal Holloway University of London

Psychology, PhD, The University of Hong Kong

Psychology, MSc, University of Queensland


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