Meet the team

Currently we are a small number of enthusiastic researchers interested in a wide range of autism research. If you are interested in joining the Stirling Autism Research Group as a researcher, volunteer or student, please feel free to email us ( or use the contact form. One of our main aims is to encourage inter-disciplinary collaboration, between individuals across different disciplines and academic/non-academic settings, and we are always happy to hear from people interested in becoming involved in our research. We also welcome enquiries from students interested in applying to study for a PhD within our research areas.

team member

Dr Catherine Grainger

Lecturer in Psychology

Catherine's research uses cognitive approaches to understand typical and atypical development. She is particularly interested in understanding aspects of self-awareness in autism (e.g., awareness of one’s own mental states, awareness of one’s own bodily actions). Her research also looks more broadly at episodic memory, prospective memory, theory-of-mind, and alexithymia in autism.

team member

Professor Peter Hancock

Professor in Psychology

Dr Hancock is a Professor in Psychology. He is principally interested in the perception of faces and what kind of representations we might use. His research has explored face processing and scene perception in individuals with Autism and Williams syndrome.

team member

Dr Catherine Best

Lecturer in Health Sciences

Dr Best is a health researcher, and works on a range of research topics in health care settings. She completed a PhD at the University of Edinburgh, Division of Psychiatry focussing on the neuropsychology of autistic traits in young people with additional learning support needs.

team member

Miss Catherine Pemble

PhD Student in Sociology

Catherine Pemble is a PhD researcher in Social Science, with an MSc in Psychology. Catherine’s interest in autism spectrum disorders began during her 3 years as a support worker as she noticed that the autism she’d learned about as an Psychology undergraduate represented only a tiny section of the experience. Today Catherine’s research focuses on metacognition (how people think about what they think), participant experiences and exploring barriers to accessibility.

team member

Mr Craig Docherty

PhD Student in Computing Science and Mathematics

Craig is a current PhD student in Computer science and Mathematics, and has been working in collaboration with Stirling and Clackmannanshire councils to develop a Mobile App, ‘KnowingMe', to help support individuals with autism cope with life changes/transitions.

team member

Miss Shubhanna Hussain-Ahmed

PhD Student in Psychology

Shubhanna is interested in the impact of caregiving on the health behaviours of carers. Her PhD focuses specifically on the physical activity behaviours of mothers who are the primary carers for their autistic son or daughter. Her project aims to develop a theory based understanding of the barriers to physical activity for mothers of autistic children, with a view to developing a physical activity behaviour change intervention for this group of carers.