Dr Amanda Waterman

Dr Amanda Waterman


Having obtained my BSc and PhD at the University of Sheffield, I joined the University of Leeds in 2007 and am currently an Associate Professor in Developmental Psychology.

I sit on the Steering Committee for the Centre for Applied Education Research (CAER), and Chair the Committee for the Action Project on Cognitive Health within CAER. I also sit on the Steering Committee for the Born in Bradford study, a longitidinal cohort study following the lives of over 13,500 children and their families.





  • Chair: University Postgraduate Programmes & Quality Committee
  • Chair: Cognitive Health Action Project, CAER
  • Director Postgraduate Research Studies (Psychology)

Research interests

My research is on children’s memory, metamemory, and learning, and the interaction between memory and motor development. I have a particular interest in linking my reserach to applied contexts such as the education sector, and to broader outcomes relating to health and wellbeing. 

Current projects include:

  • Following instructions in working memory: investigating how type of encoding and retrieval (e.g., verbal vs. action) affects accuracy in reproducing instructions.
  • Directing attention in working memory: understanding how, and when, adults and children prioritise information in working memory.
  • Supporting children with poor working memory in the classoom.
  • Exploring links between health and wellbeing, sensorimotor and cognitive development, and educational attainment.
  • Copy number variance and cognitive phenotype: how different types of genetic variance impact on children's cognitive & motoric skills.
  • Visual Motor Memory: exploring children's performance on a task that requires both visual memory and fine motor skills (using sophisticated kinematic data collected on tablet laptops), and investigating the relationship between visual-motor memory and children’s reading and handwriting skills.
  • Metamemory: in particular, children's ability to identify and communicate a lack of knowledge. When children are asked a question, are they aware when they do not have the relevant information in memory, and can they respond appropriately.

Current PhD students include:

  • Amy Atkinson (ESRC). Directing attention in working memory.
  • Joyti Panesar (Departmental Scholarship/BIHR). Copy number variance and cognitive/motoric phenotype.
  • Kate Mooney (ESRC). How health & social inequalities affect children's cognitive development
  • Megan Wood (ESRC). Relationshipts between sensorimotor and cognitive development, and health and wellbeing, within the Born in Bradford longitudinal cohort study.
  • Asiyah Alzahrani (Saud University). Following instructions in working memory.

Selected recent grants:

  • Mon-Williams, M, Waterman, A. H., Hill, L., Clarke, P., & Sugden, D. (2018 - 2020). Helping Handwriting Shine. Education Endowment Foundation. £167,500.
  • Wright, J., Pickett, K., Small, N., Mon-Williams, M., Chambers, B., Waterman, A. H., Parslow, R., Bloor, K., Croudace, T., McEachan, R. (2014 - 2019). Healthy Children, Healthy Families. NIHR CLAHRC. £10M.
  • Hardie & Greenwood (Waterman: External Advisor). Iodine status and associated health outcomes in British women during pregnancy. Dept of Health. 2016-2019. £1.4M.


  • PhD Psychology
  • BSc Psychology
  • BSc Chemistry

Professional memberships

  • Psychonomic Society
  • Experimental Psychology Society

Student education

I teach across all three years of the Undergraduate programme, as well as on the Masters programme. I act as a Personal Tutor, and supervise final year dissertation projects.

Research groups and institutes

  • Perception, action, cognition

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>