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 am an advisor on the NIHR CLAHRC committee for 'Healthy Children, Healthy Families', and am part of the Born in Bradford study, a longitiducanl cohort study following the lives of over 13,500 children and their families.





  • Director Postgraduate Research Studies

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. Part of my research is done within the context of the Born in Bradford study, a longitudinal cohort study following the lives of over 13,500 children and their families.

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, within the Born in Bradford study.
  • 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.

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.

Current postgraduate research students

<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://medicinehealth.leeds.ac.uk/research-opportunities">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>