About Us

Professor Carmel Houston-Price

Carmel Houston-Price is Professor of Language & Cognitive Development and Head of the School of Psychology & Clinical Language Sciences at the University of Reading. Her research examines how infants and young children learn about the world around them, and how the environment in which they are raised shapes what and how they learn. One strand of Carmel’s research has established the powerful role of familiarity in determining children’s food preferences – not only familiarity with a food’s taste, but also with its appearance, its smell and feel, and its origins. Studies by her research group that have found that pre-schoolers eat more vegetables at mealtimes if they have had opportunities to look at and learn about the foods through picture books or hands-on activities beforehand. Carmel leads the EIT Food-funded See & Eat project, which makes evidence-based resources available to parents and professionals who are seeking to encourage healthy eating in young children.

Professor Kate Harvey

Kate Harvey is a Professor of Health Psychology in the School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences at the University of Reading.

Dr Natalie Masento

Natalie Masento is a Chartered Psychologist and Senior Research Fellow based in the School of Psychology & Clinical Language Sciences at the University of Reading. Natalie’s research examines the intersection between psychology, food, nutrition and health. Her doctoral research investigated how hydration state can impact cognition and mood in young and older adults. Recent EU projects Natalie has worked on and led have examined behaviour around food and nutrition choices particularly with the influence of novel interventions including games, apps and technology. Natalie is an experienced systematic reviewer having worked for the British Medical Journal and consulted for NIHR and NICE on the effectiveness of health technologies. She is a public engagement/ science communication practitioner and strong advocate for public involvement and collaboration in research.

Dr Sarah Snuggs

Sarah Snuggs is a Chartered Health Psychologist and Lecturer in the School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences. She is interested in eating behaviours across the life span, with a particular focus on children’s eating behaviours and family mealtimes. Her doctoral research examined strategies to create more enjoyable and less stressful family mealtimes. She is experienced in intervention development and systematic reviewing.

Other Group Members

Dr Sunae Kim, Visiting Researcher 2021-2022

MSc & BSc Project Students:

Lily Clark – MSc Placement Student 2021 -2022

Claire Cornick & Clare Dando – MSc project students 2021 -2022

Fatima Shab – MSc Placement Student 2020 -2021

Marie Taylor – MSc Placement Student – 2019-2020

Charlotte Reynolds -Visiting BSc Placement Student – 2020

Past Group Members

Dr Kay Dulay, Postdoctoral Research Assistant, Jan- Dec 2019, Now at Department of Education- University of Oxford

Dr Stella Rendall, Postdoctoral Research Assistant

Dr Alan Roberts, Postdoctoral Research Assistant