Research staff

Susana Castro

Dr Susana Castro has been a Senior Lecturer in Education Studies (Psychology) at The University of Roehampton since 2013. She is a Chartered Psychologist (British Psychological Society) and has expertise in Child, Educational and Developmental Psychology. She has also worked in Early Childhood Intervention for a number of years, as a psychologist and as a researcher. Susana has particular expertise in Special Educational Needs assessment, classification and provision. She has been awarded various research grants, including a British Academy/Leverhulme Trust grant aiming to evaluate the quality of the recently introduced Education Health and Care plans in the SEND system for England and Wales. Currently she is leading a Froebel Trust funded project to look at the quality of the Education Health and Care Plans for children with special needs in deprived areas; she also represents the UK in an Erasmus+ funded country partnership developing a web application that will support training in multi-agency service provision for children with special educational needs.

Debbie Epstein

Debbie Epstein is Professor of Cultural Studies in Education. After a career in school teaching she gained her doctorate in Cultural Studies at the University of Birmingham in 1991. Since then she has worked in the Department of Sociology at the University of Central England, at the Institute of Education from September 1994 to May 2001, Goldsmiths College London and Cardiff University School of Social Sciences before moving to Roehampton in 2013. In 2007 she went part time to pursue her interest in psychotherapy alongside her academic work. Debbie works at the nexus of cultural studies and sociology of education, gender, childhood and youth. Her research interests are led by her theoretical focus on the dominant and how it is held in place; this often involves investigating the experiences of those in subordinated, marginalised and/or stigmatised groups as well as those in more dominant groups. 

Angeliki Kallitsoglou

Dr Angeliki Kallitsoglou is a Senior Lecturer in Child Special Education and Psychology. She was previously a research fellow at the Dartington Social Research Unit (DSRU) working on two randomised controlled trials (RCT) to evaluate a parenting intervention and the CHANCE UK youth-mentoring programme, respectively. Prior to joining DSRU, she was a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London working on a large RCT to evaluate the Incredible Years Parenting Intervention and the Supporting Parents on Kids' Education programme. Angeliki holds a PhD in Special Education and Psychology from the Institute of Education, UCL and a BA in Educational and Social Policy (Major in Special Education) from the University of Macedonia, Greece.  Angeliki is interested in the factors that lead children to developing behaviour problems and poor academic achievement with a focus on the effects of parenting. She is also interested in intervention implementation in the school setting with a focus on the teacher factors that may influence the implementation of evidence-based practices to tackle behaviour problems in schools.

Wolfgang Mann

Dr Wolfgang Mann, the director of CIRSIE, is a Reader in Special and Inclusive Education, specializing in (sign) language development and assessment. Wolfgang received his PhD in Special Education from the University of California, Berkeley. His key interests include the wider impacts of experiencing a language problem, specifically language development and language difficulties in deaf children, bilingualism, (sign-) language acquisition & assessment, and computer-and mobile-assisted language testing. Wolfgang is an associate at the Deafness Cognition and Language Research Centre (DCAL).

Alison Murray

Alison Murray has been a senior lecturer in Primary Education (ITE: Physical Education) at the University of Roehampton since 2012 having taught at primary, secondary and university levels in North America. She enjoys contributing across several programmes (undergraduate to doctorate) through teaching and academic supervision. Alison facilitates our online Masters programmes quality assurance team. Alison completed her Doctorate in Curriculum & Instruction and Educational Psychology with the University of New Mexico in 2008. Alison specialises in designing motor based challenges to support and enhance cognitive development. Her work explores potential opportunities for children to flourish through developmentally appropriate movement-based learning experiences through PE and associated settings.

Olympia Palikara

Dr Olympia Palikara is a Senior Lecturer in Educational Psychology in the University of Roehampton, London.  Olympia trained as an educational psychologist completing a BSc Hons in Psychology (University of Athens) and an MSc in Educational Psychology (UCL Institute of Education, London), before then completing a PhD in Psychology (UCL Institute of Education, London). Her main research interests are in the educational and psychosocial outcomes of children and young people with a history of Developmental Language Disorder. She is also interested in the effect of education transitions on the well-being of typical and atypical populations. Recent research projects were funded by the British Academy, the Williams Syndrome Foundation and the Baily Thomas Charitable Fund. She is an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society, Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Fellow of Royal Society of Arts.

Emily Rotchell

Emily Rotchell has been a Senior Lecturer in Primary Education (ITE: Geography) at the University of Roehampton since 2007. Prior to this, Emily worked as a primary school teacher for 10 years, including 4 years as a Deputy Headteacher of an Infant School. Emily completed her Masters with the Open University. In 2018 Emily has started a PhD, investigating if there are any links with the use of maps in primary schools and inclusion.

Elena Soukakou

Dr Elena Soukakou has been working in the field of early childhood inclusion and special education for over 10 years. She has worked as a researcher, early intervention specialist, and consultant in the USA (Teachers College, Columbia University; FPG Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina), United Kingdom (Oxford University), and her home country, Greece (National University of Athens). Dr Soukakou is interested in research related to early childhood inclusion; quality assessment in early years inclusive settings; high quality professional development in early childhood; and effectiveness of early childhood interventions. Dr Soukakou enjoys working collaboratively with students, researchers, practitioners, and leaders in the field to improve the quality of education and care for young children with disabilities and their families. Elena’s current project is entitled Using the Inclusive Classroom Profile (ICP) with Proficiency, which is in collaboration with FPG Child Development Institute Professional Development Center.