Research at Leeds Beckett
Dr Maria Zammit
About Dr Maria Zammit
After completing her PhD, at the University of Reading in 2005, Maria obtained lectureships at University of Bradford (2005-2006) and Manchester Metropolitan University (2006-2009) before joining our University in 2009.
In general, Maria is interested in all aspects of development, particularly the development of preschool children. Following her undergraduate degree in Psychology at University of Portsmouth, in 2005 Maria completed a PhD at the University of Reading, supervised by Dr Graham Schafer, titled 'Maternal gesture patterns and linguistic development in infants'.
Maria then went on to her first lectureship at the University of Bradford, where she taught Developmental Psychology to undergraduate psychology and social work students until 2006.
Maria then moved to another lectureship at Manchester Metropolitan University, again teaching developmental psychology to undergraduate psychology students and speech and language students.
Maria left Manchester Metropolitan to join our University in 2009. She continues to teach developmental psychology to undergraduate psychology and speech and language therapy students, which dovetails her interests in developmental psychology and language development.
Within these roles, alongside her teaching, she has continued to maintain and develop research active research collaborations.
Module leader for (including teaching on these modules):
- Thinking and learning psychologically
- Developmental psychology 1
- Explorations in developmental psychology 1
- Level five: Developmental psychology 2
- Level six: Advanced developmental psychology
- Master: Mastering developmental psychology
Teaching on the following modules:
- Level six: Negotiated learning contract
- Final year project supervision
- Speech therapy input: Lifespan human development
Maria's research interests include the nature and role of naturalistic maternal gesture in linguistic development, and the development of the development of the gesture-speech system. Maria has worked on a number of projects in these areas, from identifying the style of gestures used in mother-child communication (in collaboration with Dr Kim Bard, Dr Maggie Linnell & Dr Mike Fluck) to investigating the impact of maternal gesture on children's language development (in collaboration with Dr Graham Schafer).
While at Bradford University Maria became involved in a project considering educational transitions and identity, collaborating with Dr Jane Tobbell, Dr Vicki O'Donnell and Dr Rebecca Lawtham.
Maria has also worked on two projects considering the social, emotional and communicative effects of using babysign with hearing infants, collaborating with Dr Liz Kirk & Prof Karen Pine. This project closely relates to ongoing research she is conducting with Dr Susan Atkinson considering the relationship between maternal mind-mindedness and parent-child activity selection.