Dr Zoe Darwin


I am currently Reader in the School of Human & Health Sciences in the University of Huddersfield, I have held this position since June 2020.

I joined the University of Leeds in 2014, having held previous Research Fellow posts at the University of York and been awarded my PhD from the University of Manchester. My background is in Psychology and Applied Health Research. I am strongly committed to applied research that has the potential to impact policy and practice. Leading the final year dissertation in the pre-registration Midwifery programme has enabled me to work with our future midwives as they develop knowledge and skills in evidence-based practice and undertake their own systematic reviews.

I am proud to be involved with several external roles including being Deputy Chair of the International Society for Reproductive and Infant Psychology and sitting on the Editorial Board for Baby Buddy and for Birth. These enable me to help publicise research in reproductive psychology and to make research findings accessible and meaningful to members of the public.

Research interests

I was a member of the School of Healthcare's Maternal Family and Child Health research group. My primary area of research is psychosocial aspects of reproductive health, with special interests in perinatal mental health, engaging partners, and behaviour change. I have worked with a range of methodologies and methods including randomised controlled trials, primary qualitative research, mixed methods evaluations, quantitative systematic reviews and qualitative evidence syntheses.

One of the most rewarding parts of my role was supervising doctoral researchers. Current and past projects include midwife-father communication in birth (Debbie Garrod), weight management in pregnancy (Hannah Hartley) post-traumatic growth following traumatic birth (Rhianna Ketley), perinatal mental health in co-mothers (Alex Howat), and pre-martial education for couples in Indonesia (Winarsih Nur Ambarwati).


  • PhD Assessing and Responding to Maternal Stress
  • MSc Health Psychology
  • BSc (Hons) Psychology

Research groups and institutes

  • Maternal, child and family health
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