Research Degree Students
PhD Project title: “Exploring the relationship between children’s social media exposure, cognitive, social, motor and emotional profile and associations with nutritional status and buccal cell fatty acid profile”
Samantha is a full-time MPhil/PhD candidate and a member of the Worcester Biomedical Research Group. Samantha started her full-time MPhil/PhD in October 2019 under the directorship of Dr Allain Bueno.
Samantha’s PhD research focuses on understanding the effects of exposure to social networking sites (SNS) and non-educational gaming (NEG) upon neurocognitive development in children and adolescents aged between 9 to 16 years. Samantha aims to investigate any possible correlation between time spent on SNS and NEG with biomarkers such as psychometric tests and indexes of anxiety, depression and stress. She will also investigate food diaries to assess macro and micronutrient intake, including essential fatty acid intake, alongside buccal cell fatty acid profile, to check the incorporation of essential fatty acids into cell membranes. In the lab Samantha will investigate animal models of cell culture and tissue dissection. Understanding how SNS and NEG may influence neurocognitive development and overall mental health may contribute to the understanding of what limitations to exposure, if any, could be implemented at such a developmentally vulnerable age. Samantha will also investigate whether nutrition influences, or is influenced by, SNS and NEG.
Samantha has completed a BSc Hons degree in Human Biology at the University of Worcester. Samantha's PhD team comprises Dr Allain Bueno, Dr Steven Coles and Dr Sarah Davis.
In addition to her PhD project Samantha is also a student researcher for the School of Science and the Environment at the University of Worcester. During her undergraduate degree Samantha began presenting her dissertation research project to other undergraduates and assisted students who required further information or assistance with laboratory methods.
BSc (Hons) Human Biology, University of Worcester (2019)