May 2022

Esther K. Papies, PhD, lab director

Esther studied Social Sciences at University College Utrecht, The Netherlands, where she received a Bachelor’s degree (cum laude) in 2002.  She completed her MSc in Social Psychology in 2003, and received her PhD in 2008 at Utrecht University, working with Prof. Wolfgang Stroebe and Prof. Henk Aarts.  She received the Best Dissertation Award of the Dutch Association of Social Psychological Researchers, the Early Career Award (Jaspars Award) of the European Association for Social Psychology, and a VENI-grant from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research. 

Esther worked as an Assistant and then as an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Utrecht University, before joining the University of Glasgow as a Senior Lecturer in September 2015.  Esther’s work is currently funded by an ESRC-grant on “The Psychology of Sugary Drinks” and an ESRC-grant on creating desire for plant-baesd foods.  Her research has been published in, for example, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Appetite, and the International Journal of Obesity. She serves on the editorial boards of Social Cognition, Appetite, and Social Psychology, and is Associate Editor at the European Journal of Social Psychology. 

Contact Esther at Esther.Papies -at –

Google Scholar Profile


Stephanie Farrar, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Assistant

Stephanie graduated from the University of Stirling with a BSc in Psychology and MSc in Health Psychology in 2011 and 2012 respectively. She recently completed her PhD at City, University of London (2020) which examined the effect of priming and mindfulness on food choice and decision making. She is now working in collaboration with the Better Buying Lab on an ESRC-funded project examining how consumption and reward simulations can be used to increase desire for plant-based foods.



Tess Davis, PhD Student


Tess completed her Bachelors MA in Philosophy and Psychology in 2017, and more recently her MSc in Social Psychology in 2019, at the University of Edinburgh. Both her undergraduate dissertation and masters thesis explored the link between meat-eating and masculinity. For her ESRC-funded PhD in collaboration with the Better Buying Lab at the World Resources Institute, Tess is studying how language can be used to encourage sustainable eating choices.

If you have questions, contact Tess via email t.davis.3 – at –


Amy Rodger, PhD Student


Amy completed both her BSc in Psychology (2019) and her MSc in Research Methods of Psychological Science (2020) at the University of Glasgow. Her undergraduate dissertation studied the impact of eustress on wellbeing. Her MSc was funded as part of her ESRC-funded PhD, in collaboration with Danone, France. The focus of this research is to better understand the motivational processes that drive daily water drinking behaviour and use these insights to inform water intake interventions. 

If you have any questions for Amy you can contact her via email


Lara Wehbe, PhD student

Lara earned her Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics at the American University of Beirut (2005) and has extensive teaching experience. She recently completed her Master’s degree in Psychological Science Conversion Program with Distinction at the University of Glasgow (2019). Her research tackled the aspects of implicit bias in gender inequality from a social-cognitive perspective.  She previously worked as an intern in our lab, assisting our research on water consumption. In October 2020, and she started her PhD in our lab on a fully funded scholarship from the College of Science and Engineering, examining the psychological processes involved in the transition to plant-based diets.

Aleksandra Wruk, PhD student

Aleks  graduated  from BSc in Interactive Media Design at Edinburgh Napier University and her undergraduate research explored the role of motivation and trust in the use of blended (online/offline) systems. Following her graduation, she worked  in Tech  industry as an experience researcher. Currently, Aleks is working towards her PHD funded by UKRI council that is collaboration between Social AI CDT and Healthy cognition lab. Her research is focused on understanding how  belief and expectation, in the context of placebo effect,  can be used to improve  the efficacy of  mobile apps for mental health.

Maddie Sinclair, PhD student

Maddie is researching the role of dietary guidelines in the transition to plant-based diets, in a collaboration with Prof. Emilie Combet, Human Nutrition, University of Glasgow.

Student members

Yi Sun, MSc Dissertation Student

Li Tan, MSc Dissertation Student

Sophie Duncan, Psychology Honours Dissertation Project Student

Lara Silberhorn, Psychology Honours Dissertation Project Student


None at the moment.  


None at the moment.


If you are interested in doing a PhD on the psychology of health behaviour in our lab, please get in touch!

Lab alumni

Betul Tatar, PhD student

Maria Almudena Claassen, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Assistant; now at Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin

Elodie Gauthier, MSc, Research Technician

Xiaoting Ma, MSc Dissertation Student

Marleen Lomann, MSc Dissertation Student

Karis Caton, Psychology Honours Dissertation Project Student

Libby Harkins, Psychology Honours Dissertation Project Student

Rebeka Pazmanyova, Psychology Honours Dissertation Project Student

Alberto Romano, Psychology Honours Dissertation Project Student

Dorottya Rusz, PhD, postdoctoral research assistant

Niklas Johannes, PhD, Radboud University – postgraduate research visitor and postdoctoral research assistant

Fridtjof Petersen, visiting undergraduate Psychology student from the University of Groningen, The Netherlands

Teya Daneva, Carnegie Vacation Scholar, UofG Neuroscience

Gintare Semyte, Carnegie Vacation Scholar, UofG Psychology

Madeleine Stork, MSc dissertation student

Natalia Ciranova, MSc dissertation student

Xiaojing Li, MSc dissertation student

Holly Miller, Psychology Honours Dissertation Project Student

Lina-Lotta Kauhanen, Psychology Honours Dissertation Project Student

Pavla Baarova, Psychology Honours Dissertation Project Student

Maisy Best, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Assistant (now Senior Researcher in the Equality and Poverty Analysis Unit of the Scottish Government)

Anna Tavoulari, MSc Dissertation Student

Lucy Grant, Psychology Honours Dissertation Project Student

Katerina Manoli, Psychology Honours Dissertation Project Student

Christopher Henshaw, Psychology Honours Dissertation Project Student

Johanna Werner, BSc, visiting researcher from Dresden University, Germany

Mike Keesman, PhD student

Katharina Lindner, PhD student

Caroline Jordan, lab intern

Ani Lazarova, summer intern, Wellcome Biomedical Vacation Scholarship

Kasia Mojescik, summer intern, Glasgow Science Centre Scholarship

Iris Versluis, MSc, PhD student

Our team in May 2019.