Past Members

Associated HAC Lab Members

Aleksandras Izotovas - Erasmus Mundus PhD Student


I obtained my Bachelors (2008) and Masters (2010) degrees from Vilnius University in Lithuania. During my bachelor studies I took part in the research project (which also evolved into successful bachelor thesis) which aimed at adapting violence risk assessment tool HCR-20 in the Lithuanian forensic settings. As for my master thesis, I analysed psychological aspects of experts' (namely, judges and prosecutors) parole decision making. I also obtained second master's degree in Maastricht University (2012). During this period my research for the master thesis was on malingering of dissociative amnesia and its' association with psychopathic personality traits and how coaching through the internet websites affects the ability of certain tests to detect fabricated symptoms. My research was supervised by Professor Harald Merckelbach and Doctor Maarten Peters.

In 2012-2015 I was working as a psychologist within the Lithuanian police system (Lithuanian Police School and Lithuanian Criminal Police Bureau). It gave me an invaluable practical experience in training police officers, psychological screening of candidates for intelligence officers' positions, investigative interviewing and working with the best Lithuanian criminal police professionals, in general.

I started my Phd in the University of Portsmouth in September 2015 offered by the Erasmus-Mundus

Joint Doctorate program in Legal Psychology (the House of Legal Psychology). The University of Gothenburg is the second university of my Phd project. I'm supervised by Professor Aldert Vrij and Professor Lorraine Hope, and my Phd research topic is related to memory based lie detection. My core research interests are verbal lie detection and investigative interviewing.

Shiri Portnoy - Erasmus Mundus PhD Student


I hold a Bachelor degree (BA; 2011) in Psychology and a Masters degree in Cognitive Psychology (MA - Summa Cum Laude; 2014) from the University of Haifa, Israel. My masters’ research project was conducted at The Institute of Information Processing and Decision Making (IIPDM), University of Haifa. As part of my Masters' research I studied the metacognitive effects of initial question difficulty on subsequent eyewitness memory performance.

As of September 2015, I am a PhD candidate at the University of Portsmouth, UK, as part of the Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctoral Programme in Legal Psychology. My direct supervisors at the University of Portsmouth are Professor Lorraine Hope and Professor Aldert Vrij. I am also supervised by Professor Pär-Anders Granhag, Doctor Karl Ask and Doctor Sara Landström from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden; I spent six months (March – August 2017) at the University of Gothenburg as part of my research.In my doctoral research, I study the strategic regulation and reporting in the alibis of innocent suspects. That is, I examine factors that may affect, and more specifically, enhance, the informativeness and accuracy of the information reported by innocent suspects when they provide an alibi to convince an interviewer of their innocence.


I am highly fascinated by the cognitive and metacognitive processes that suspects and eyewitnesses go through before and while reporting from memory, as well as the products of such reporting. Furthermore, I am very interested in the strategies that underlie these reporting processes, and the ability of such strategies to assist with distinguishing between truth-tellers and liars.

I look forward to elaborating my research as part of the beginning of a hopefully fruitful and challenging academic career.

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Irena Boskovic - Erasmus Mundus PhD Student


I obtained my Bachelor (2011) and Master (2013) degree in clinical psychology from University of Novi Sad, in Serbia. During my master studies, I took part in a research project aimed at exploring vulnerability factors for depression and anxiety.

For my master thesis, I investigated the utility of Rorschach Inkblot test in the assessment of aggression in male offenders. From 2011 until 2015 I volunteered in War trauma center, working as a psychological counsellor with people suffering from traumatization.


In 2015 I started my Ph.D. as part of Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorate program in Legal Psychology. My home university is Maastricht University and my host university is at Portsmouth, where I am currently doing my six months mobility period. I am supervised by professor Harald Merckelbach (UM) and professor Marko Jelicic (UM), and by professor Lorraine Hope (UoP) and Dr James Ost (UoP). My research is focused on investigating different methods in the detection of malingering of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and malingering in the medico-legal context in general.

Max Kinninger - Erasmus Mundus UG Programme


I joined the HAC lab in March 2015 as an Erasmus exchange student at the University of Portsmouth (UK), completing my third year’s project under the supervision of Prof Lorraine Hope. During this period, I have become quite interested in interviewing, memory research, and basic cognitive mechanisms thereof. In July 2016, I obtained my BSc (Psychology) from my alma mater, the University of Wuerzburg (Germany). Afterwards, I enrolled at the University of Freiburg (Germany) to study law. Presently, I continue to do research under the supervision of Prof Hope, my main areas of interest being interviewing with the timeline technique, exploring the underlying principles of temporal cognition, and, together with colleagues from the University of Wuerzburg, current trends in psychoanalysis. Past and present scholarships include the Max Weber Programme (Bavarian State Ministry of Education and Research), the German National Academic Foundation, and the Erasmus UG Programme (EU).

Jeanira Molina- Visiting MSc Student


In 2016, I obtained my Bachelor in Psychology at VU University Amsterdam. During my Bachelor, I decided to study abroad at the University of Georgia (USA). My curriculum at UGA consisted of a variety of courses such as: “Drug and Alcohol Abuse”, “Social Control of Crime”, and “Abnormal Psychology”. In 2017, I was accepted into the master programme ‘Forensic Psychology’ at Maastricht University.

I joined the HAC lab in 2017 as a Masters student doing my research internship at the University of Portsmouth. Supervised by Prof. Lorraine Hope and co-supervised by final year PhD student, Aleksandras Izotovas, I am conducting research on fantasy proneness and verbal lie detection tools. In specific, I am investigating whether verbal lie detection tools can accurately detect deception in highly fantasy prone individuals. Other areas within Forensic Psychology I am interested in are: eyewitnesses, young, and female offenders.

Koen Baltussen- Visiting MSc Student


In 2016, I received my BA (Hons) in Liberal Arts and Sciences at University College Roosevelt in Middelburg, the Netherlands. I majored in Psychology and in Law, and I did a minor in Statistics. During my time in Middelburg, I have been involved in many different fields of research. My most memorable project included researching coping skills of high-risk psychiatric ward nurses. For my Bachelor's thesis, I developed an assessment tool for cognitive decline in elderly people, in the form of an interactive board game.

In 2016, I started a Master's degree in Forensic Psychology at the University of Maastricht. My main interests in the field of forensic psychology are interpersonal violence on wards, as well as violence risk assessment and management. I am also interested in psychodiagnostics, and (diagnostic) interviewing techniques. I am currently involved with HAC as a visiting research intern, as a part of the Master's degree. At HAC, I conduct research into the dimensional composition of investigative interviewers' attitudes, and the relationship between interviewer attitude and interviewer behaviour. For this study, I am supervised by Prof. Lorraine Hope at the University of Portsmouth, and Prof. Marko Jelicic at the University of Maastricht.

Maren Lennartz - Visiting MSc Student


In 2016, I graduated from Maastricht University (The Netherlands) with a BSc in Psychology and started the Master’s program in Forensic Psychology in Maastricht the same year. I am now in my second year of the Masters and as part of the program, I am a visiting research intern at the University of Portsmouth from September to February. My supervisors are Prof Lorraine Hope in Portsmouth and Dr Melanie Sauerland in Maastricht. I collaborate with Renan Benigno (PhD candidate) on a study on the influence of individual differences (i.e. metamemory realism and need for cognition) on susceptibility to co-witness’ misinformation. Before the current internship, I was an intern in the secured ward of a psychiatric hospital and a prison with focus on cognitive behavioural and schema therapy.

Nina Tupper - Erasmus Mundus PhD Student


I obtained my BA in Psychology from Bates College (Maine, USA) in 2014. While at Bates, I worked as a research assistant with Prof. Amy Bradfield Douglass and completed an empirical thesis on eyewitness memory and the Post-Identification Feedback Effect. 

I started my PhD in September 2014 on the Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorate program of Legal Psychology. While I am based primarily at Maastricht University in the Netherlands (supervised by Dr. Melanie Sauerland and Prof. Harald Merckelbach), I also work in collaboration with the University of Portsmouth (supervised by Prof. Lorraine Hope, Prof. Aldert Vrij, and Dr. James Sauer [now University of Tasmania]). In my second year, I visited UoP for six months, during which time I continued my research with HAC lab.

I am interested in examining factors that influence eyewitness memory, recognition, and identification decisions. I am currently conducting research on identification in the context of multiple perpetrator crimes.

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Deeb - Erasmus Mundus PhD Student


I hold BA (2005) and MA (2012) degrees in Psychology from the American University of Beirut, Lebanon. My MA project addressed the impact of interviewers’ feedback on eyewitness identification decisions. In September 2014, I joined the Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorate Programme (EMJD) in Legal Psychology. I am based at the University of Portsmouth where I am supervised by Prof. Aldert Vrij, Prof. Lorraine Hope, and Dr. Samantha Mann. As part of the Programme, I am also hosted by the University of Gothenburg (Sweden) where I work with Prof. Pär-Anders Granhag and Prof. Leif Strömwall. My thesis project examines various interviewing techniques that may be employed in forensic contexts to detect deceptive suspects. I am particularly interested in how different statement consistencies (within-statement, between-statement, within-pair, and statement-evidence consistencies) may be used as cues to deceit.

Shannan Greaney - Forensic MSc Student


I obtained my Bachelor of Science in Forensic Psychology in 2014 at the University of Portsmouth, UK. During that time I conducted research under the supervision of Dr James Sauer (University of Tasmania, Australia) investigating the role of divided attention on eyewitness memory and confidence. Since then I have been volunteering as a Special Constable in Hertfordshire, UK, and I returned to the University of Portsmouth, UK in 2015 to start my Masters in Forensic Psychology. I am highly interested in a variety of areas within Forensic Psychology, but my main research focus is within eyewitness memory. My current research is investigating the effect of divided attention on the memory of operational witnesses such as Police Officers. I am conducting this research under the supervision of Professor Lorraine Hope (University of Portsmouth, UK) and Dr James Sauer (University of Tasmania, Australia) as an external supervisor.

Andrew Clark - Erasmus Mundus PhD Student

I obtained both my Bachelors (2010) and Masters (2012) Degrees from the University of Hull in the UK. During these studies I worked with Professor Giuliana Mazzoni on a number of research projects which included research on false memories and nonbelieved memories. As a research assistant with Professor Mazzoni (2012-2013) I worked on research which focused on Hyperthymesia. More recently (2013) I worked in with Professor Amina Memon at Royal Holloway, University of London. Together with Dr Alan Scoboria (University of Windsor, Canada) we worked on a number of research projects examining nonbelieved memories.

I joined the Hope Applied Cognition Lab in September 2013 when I started my PhD on the Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctoral programme in Legal Psychology. The main focus of my research is on the consequences of nonbelieved memories. I am currently examining whether nonbeliveved memories result in memory omissions.  I am supervised by Professor Lorraine Hope and Dr James Ost at the University of Portsmouth, and Dr James Sauer (University of Tasmania, Australia) as an external supervisor. I am also supervised by Dr Henry Otgaar at Maastricht University where I spent six months (September 2014-February 2015).   

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Joanne Rechdan - Erasmus Mundus PhD Student


I hold a BA in Psychology with distinction from the American University of Beirut (2009), with minors in Cognitive Science and Creative Writing. In 2011, I was awarded an Mphil in Social & Developmental Psychology from the University of Cambridge. Subsequently, I returned to Beirut (LB) to teach Psychology at my alma-mater, before my yearning for student life eventually caught up with me. Presently, I am part of the Erasmus-Mundus Joint Doctorate in Legal Psychology program at the University of Portsmouth (UK), Maastricht University (NL), and the University of Gothenburg (SWE) [House of Legal Psychology Consortium]. The program is an idyllic combination of my two greatest passions: Psychology and travel.

I am fascinated by many areas of Psychology, and hope to have a career coloured by varied explorations within the discipline. The focus of my doctoral thesis is the Effect of Social Influence on Metacognitive Monitoring and Control Processes in Eyewitness Memory Reports.   I am supervised by Professor Lorraine Hope and Dr James Ost at the University of Portsmouth, and also by Dr James Sauer (University of Tasmania) as an external supervisor. I also have supervisors at Maastricht University where I am currently spending six months (September 2014-February 2015) working with Professor Harald Merckelbach and Dr Melanie Sauerland.

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Rosa Pedrero Núñez - Visiting MSc, The Netherlands

In July 2014 I graduated in Psychology from the University of Seville, Spain. During my fourth year of my Bachelors, I studied at the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium) for 10 months as an Erasmus exchange student. Currently, I am taking part in a 2-year Masters programme in Forensic Psychology at Maastricht University, The Netherlands. As part of my second year of the programme, I am a visiting research intern for six months at the University of Portsmouth under the supervision of Prof. Lorraine Hope. I collaborate with Andrew Clark on a project that evaluates whether people can be induced to stop believing in memories for true experiences and its consequences on memory report.

Luciano Haussen Pinto - Visiting PhD Student, PUCRS Brazil

I am Psychologist and graduated from Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS).  I also hold a Maste

of Human Cognition  from PUCRS and a Specialization in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy from WP in Brazil.

Currently, I am doing my PhD investigating the subject Eyewitness Testimony in PUCRS as well under the

supervision of Prof. Lilian Stein. At the moment I am a visitor student in the University of Porstmouth for six

months under the supervision of Prof. Lorraine Hope. In Brazil I am Professor in the Faculty of Development of Rio Grande do Sul – FADERGS (belonging to the Laureate International Universities). I have some experience as a Psychotherapist (private practice). Before Psychology, I obtained a degree in Advertising. I have interest in the fields of Cognitive Processes (mainly Memory and False Memories), Forensic Psychology, Cognitive Therapies, Psychopathologies and Neurosciences.

Ailsa Millen - PhD Student, Departmental Bursary

In 2003 I graduated from The University of Stirling with a First Class Bsc (Hons) in Psychology and The Alan Baddeley Award for best final year project. My doctoral research explores the development of novel approaches to the detecting ‘concealed face recognition’ (CFR), with a particular focus on eye movements when lying about recognition.  Using an Eye Movement-based Concealed Knowledge Test (EM-CKT), I study changes in eye movement behaviour when both lying and telling the truth about recognising different types of familiar faces. My research is framed around cognitive load theory of deception (Vrij et al, 2006) and the role of meta-cognitive processes when attempting to strategically monitor and control our behaviour when lying (Koriat & Goldsmith, 1996). It also incorporates research on involuntary and memory-based eye movements to familiar/relevant faces (Hannula and Ranganath, 2009).

Maria Andrea Ramirez Tobon - Visiting Intern

I am a final year Psychology student from Eafit University in Medellin, Colombia.  I am enrolled on an internship in the Hope Applied Cognition Lab at the University of Portsmouth (February-July 2015) working as a research assistant, and supervised by Professor Lorraine Hope. Currently I am working with Andrew Clark on a project examining the consequences of nonbelieved memories, examining if nonbelieved memories result in memory omissions. I am also working with Joanne Rechdan examining the effect of social influence on metacognitive monitoring and control processes in eyewitness memory reports.

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