The Team


Academic Staff

Professor Amanda Kirby
Professor Kirby has a chair in developmental disorders in education at the University of South Wales. She founded The Dyscovery Centre in 1997. Her background as a GP and also working in community paediatrics and psychiatry has provided a good understanding of developmental disorders in both child- and adulthood. She is also the parent of an adult with developmental disorders so has personal as well as professional experience of living with the difficulties. Her PhD has focused on the stage of emerging adulthood in DCD. She has lectured internationally and spoken to over 30,000 teachers, health professionals and parents. She is currently patron of the Dyspraxia Association in New Zealand, Advisor to the Dyspraxia Association in Ireland and Medical Advisor to the Dyspraxia Foundation in the UK.

Dr Catherine Purcell
Dr Catherine Purcell specialises in research that explores the link between perception and action in natural contexts in typical and neurodiverse populations. Prior to joining the University of South Wales in August 2012, Catherine was a research fellow at Royal Holloway, University of London, where she developed virtual reality demonstrations aimed at enhancing drivers’ awareness of the perceptual errors in judging vehicle approach speeds. She also completed her PhD at Royal Holloway where she measured the perceptual errors in predicting vehicle approach in typical and atypical children and adults.


Senior Research Assistants

Elizabeth Pugh
Elizabeth Pugh joined the Research Dyscovery team in April 2018. She is a Chartered Occupational Psychologist and has facilitated courses such as Stress Management and Team Building for organisations such as Wolverhampton County Council, Virgin Trains and GNER. Elizabeth also assesses adults for neuro-developmental disorders and is currently completing a PhD focusing on organisational health and well-being; and the communication of sensitive issues within the workplace.

Hayley Gibbon
Hayley Gibbon started working as a Senior Research Assistant for the Dyscovery Centre research team in July 2016. Alongside her role with Research Dyscovery, Hayley is completing her PhD within the field of Occupational Psychology. Her thesis explores the health and well-being implications of telecommuting/telework as a 21st century work style arrangement. Working with the team Hayley is keen to expand her knowledge and expertise within the field of neurodiversity. Over forthcoming years she would like to merge her PhD interest with neurodevelopmental research, exploring the possible relationships between neurodiverse profiles and work patterns. Going forward Hayley will be active in all components of research, including grant submissions, data collection/analysis, and publication writing.