Our lab featured in the APS 2019 Summer Newsletter, for more please see http://www.psychosomatic.org/NewsSummer2019/Summer2019NL.pdf

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Dr. Stephen Gallagher 


After graduating from the University of Liverpool with a BSc in Psychology and Health Sciences, Stephen then completed an MSc in Health Psychology at Staffordshire University. Following this, he then went on to do a PhD in psychoneuroimmunology at the University of Birmingham which he completed in October 2008. Stephen started a lectureship in Psychology at Staffordshire University in January 2009 where he obtained a Post Graduate Certificate in Higher and Professional Education in 2010. He started his current lecturing position at the University of Limerick in September 2010. 


Stephen's work has attracted numerous awards both nationally and internationally. He has and continues to supervise MSc and PhD level students who have published their work in international peer-reviewed journals. They have also presented their work both nationally and internationally.


For a complete list of Stephen's publications and to connect with him on researchgate please click here.

Dr. Ann-Marie Creaven 


Following my undergraduate degree in Psychology at NUI Galway, I undertook my doctorate in the School of Psychology and the Centre for Research on Occupational and Life Stress. Funded by NUI Galway and by IRCHSS, my doctoral research tested social and health psychology theories of giving and receiving support on well-being and physiological responses to stress, in young adult and parent-child populations. During this time I also collaborated on an NIH-funded study of at-risk parents and children, based in Pennsylvania State University. After my PhD I joined the Educational Research Centre in Drumcondra. Here I worked on several projects including large-scale international assessments of reading, mathematics, and science achievement (PIRLS, TIMSS, and PISA), the evaluation of the DEIS intervention at primary and post-primary level, and the on-going census of ICT infrastructure in schools, on behalf of the National Centre for Technology in Education (NCTE).

I joined the Department of Psychology at the University of Limerick as a Lecturer in September 2013. My research interests are in biological, social, health, and developmental psychology, and the application of psychology to policy issues in health and education. My teaching interests are in these areas, and also in the development of research methods competency and scientific literacy in social science.

Education: PhD (NUI) BA Psychology (NUI) Dip. Gaeilge (NUI)


​Contact click here

Dr Eoin Brown

Eoin was a psychology PhD student here in UL. Eoin's thesis examined how loneliness influences physiology in both younger and older adults and is funded by the Irish Research Council.


Education: PhD, B.A. Psychology & Sociology (UL, First Class) 

Contact via email: Eoin.Brown@ul.ie

Grace McMahon


Currently a PhD researcher within the Department of Psychology. My research area focuses on social relationships and health; investigating the impact of social support and attachment on the psychological and physiological well-being of young adults.




Contact: Grace mcMahon@ul.ie


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Adam O' Riordan

Email: Adam.ORiordan@ul.ie


Role: PhD Student


Qualifications: Bachelor of Arts (1st Hons) in Psychology and Sociology.


After graduating from the University of Limerick with a BA in Psychology and Sociology, Adam was employed as a research assistant at the Department of Psychology for several months. Adam is currently undertaking a PhD at the University of Limerick. His research primarily examines how individuals with Type D personality physiologically respond to acute psychological stressors. More specifically, Adam’s research investigates negative social relationships and perceived social support as potential mediators, facilitating the relationship between Type D personality and physiological responses to stress.

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Dr Siobhán Griffin

Email: Siobhan.Griffin@ul.ie

Qualifications:  PhD, B.Ed (1st Hons) in Education and Psychology


Siobhán is a lecturer in the Department of Psychology since September 2019. She completed the B.Ed in Education and Psychology in Mary Immaculate College (MIC; 2011-2015) and subsequently began a PhD under the supervision of Dr Siobhán Howard in UL.

Siobhán is particularly interested in how psychological factors, such as emotion regulation style, affect physical health. Her research focuses on individual differences in emotion regulation and how this may influence cardiovascular reactivity to stress.

Bottom to top:


Inside row: Dr. Stephen Gallagher, Dr Ann-Marie Creaven, Katie Andrews (PhD Student), Grace McMahon (PhD Student), Dr Eoin Brown, Dr Páraic O'Súilleabháin

Outside row: Dr Siobhán Howard, Dr Siobhán Griffin (middle), Aisling Costello (PhD Student, Tracey Keogh (PhD student), & Adam O'Riordan (PhD student).

Top left to right:


Eoin Brown (PhD student), Joanne Cantwell (PhD student), Alanagh Hunt (graduate student), Dr. Stephen Gallagher (Health psychologist), Sarah O’Connor (graduate student), Jessica McGrath (graduate student), Marese Heffernan (graduate student), and Zacchary Theriault (research intern).


Bottom left to right: Sarah Walsh (graduate student),Dr Ann-Marie Creaven (Psychologist), Dr Siobhan Howard (Psychologist), Aimee Walsh (graduate student), and Grace McMahon (research assistant).


Brenda O’Connell

Current lecturer in Psychology NUI Maynooth, previously at the University of Limerick 


She is interested in how psychologically positive concepts can serve to optimize health and well-being. Her current research seeks to identify how practicing gratitude can be fostered and targeted to improve relationships, and subsequently life satisfaction and measures of physical health.

Education:  PhD (UL), BA Psychology & Sociology (UL, First Class)


Contact click here

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Alumni Members


























































Sarah O’ Connor


Jessica McGrath


Aimee Walsh







Dr Susan Coote, Clinical Therapies, UL 


Dr Owen Doody, Nursing & Midwifery, UL


Prof Ailish Hannigan, Graduate Entry Medical School, UL


Dr Norelee Kennedy, Clinical Therapies, UL 


Dr Jennifer McMahon, Education and Professional Studies, UL


Prof Orla Muldoon, Centre for Social Issues Research, UL


Dr Kieran O’ Sullivan, Clinical Therapies, UL


Dr Helen Purtill, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, UL


Dr Katie Robinson, Clinical Therapies, UL


Dr Nancy Salmon, Clinical Therapies, UL




Dr Kate Bennett, University of Liverpool, UK


Dr Barbara Bucki, University of Luxemburg


Professor Douglas Carroll, Behavioural Medicine Group, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK


Dr Samantha Dockray, Applied Psychology, University College Cork, Ireland


Prof Sarah Grogan, Manchester Metropolitan University , UK


Dr. Siobhán Howard - Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick


Prof Brian Hughes, Centre for Occupation and Life Stress, National University of Ireland Galway, Galway, Ireland


Dr Eimear Lee, Department of Psychology, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, U.K.


Dr Helen Lee, Psychology and Health, Staffordshire University, Stoke-on-Trent, UK


Páraic Ó Súilleabháin - School of Psychology, National University of Ireland, Galway, Galway, Ireland


Dr Anna Phillips, Behavioural Medicine Group, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK


Professor Virginia Richardson, University of Ohio State, USA 


Professor David Sheffield, University of Derby, UK.




Marese Heffernan (Graduate Student)


Education: MSc. Applied Psychology, Trinity College Dublin, B.A. Psychology & Sociology, University of Limerick;  


Research Interests: I completed my research project in the area of stress and social support provision, entitled 'The Influence of Intimacy and Support Type on the Cardiovascular Reactions of Social Support Providers'. 


​Contact click here

Sarah Walsh (Graduate Student)


Education: M.Sc. Psychological Sciences & B.A. in Psychology and Sociology, University of Limerick. 


Research Interests: My main research interests lie in health psychology, and particularly in the area of cardiovascular response to stress. Current research examines the influence of ambivalent relationships on cardiovascular response at varying stages.


Contact click here

Dr. Rachel Sumner (Project Manager - UL Spit Study)


Rachel completed her BSc in Psychology and MSc in Health Psychology at Staffordshire University before completing her PhD in Psychoneuroimmunology at Brunel University in 2012. Her thesis examined the relationship between Hemispheric Lateralisation and immunity, with her research project focused on HIV patients. She started her current postdoctoral position at the University of Limerick in October 2014 to work as project manager on the Irish Research Council funded SASH Lab project, looking at stress and employment status.


Rachel’s work has been published in international peer-reviewed journals and has been presented at international conferences. She also reviews for one of the leading international journals of psychoneuroimmunology (Journal of Neuroimmunology).


For a complete list of Rachel's publications and to connect with her on researchgate please click here.

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