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Dr Ailsa Strathie

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Profile summary

Professional biography

I am a Senior Lecturer in the School of Psychology and Counselling at the Open University. I took up a lectureship in 2016, after joining the school as a researcher to work with other members of the Forensic Cognition Research Group (FCRG) on a Centre for Policing Research and Learning project. Prior to this I was based at Heriot-Watt University, where I worked on a number of interdisciplinary research projects.


Research interests

My research interests lie mainly in the application of psychology to 'real world' issues at the interface of psychology and law. Much of my work focuses on theoretical and applied aspects of face recognition (CCTV identification, familiarity, face learning), and I am conducting research on these topics in collaboration with Dr Sarah Laurence.

Other areas of interest are forensic facial image comparison, the communication of expert evidence in court, cybercrime, the role of human factors in transportation accidents, and synaesthesia.

I am a member of the Forensic Cognition Research Group and, with Lara Frumkin, represent the group as a strand lead within the Open Psychology Research Centre.

Teaching interests

Module Production

I am currently co-chair of production for the new level 1 module, D120 Encountering Psychology in Context, which will launch in 2023. I was previously part of the production team for the PG module, DD802 Investigating Forensic Psychology, and chaired the midlife update for the level 2 module, DD210 Living Psychology: from the Everyday to the extraordinary.


From 2019 - 2021 I was chair of presentation and midlife production for DD210, as well as qualification lead for Q82 Forensic Psychology. Prior to this I chaired presentation of the level 1 module DE100 Investigating Psychology 1.




Recognising Newly Learned Faces Across Changes in Age (2024)
Sexton, Laura; Mileva, Mila; Hole, Graham; Strathie, Ailsa and Laurence, Sarah
Visual Cognition ((Early Access))

From witness to web sleuth: Does citizen enquiry using social media affect formal eyewitness identification procedures? (2023)
Havard, C.; Strathie, A.; Pike, G.; Walkington, Z.; Ness, H. and Harrison, V.
Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology, 38 (pp. 309-317)

The sibling familiarity effect: Is within-person facial variability shared across siblings? (2022)
Strathie, Ailsa; Hughes-White, Naomi and Laurence, Sarah
British Journal of Psychology, 113(1) (pp. 327-345)

An international survey of applied face-matching training courses (2021-10)
Moreton, Reuben; Havard, Catriona; Strathie, Ailsa and Pike, Graham
Forensic Science International, 327, Article 110947

Digital detectives: websleuthing reduces eyewitness identification accuracy in police lineups (2021-04)
Elphick, Camilla; Philpot, Richard; Zhang, Min; Stuart, Avelie; Pike, Graham; Strathie, Ailsa; Havard, Catriona; Walkington, Zoe; Frumkin, Lara; Levine, Mark; Price, Blaine; Bandara, Arosha and Nuseibeh, Bashar
Frontiers in Psychology, 12, Article 640513

Recognising familiar faces out of context (2021)
Laurence, Sarah; Eyre, Jordyn and Strathie, Ailsa
Perception, 50(2) (pp. 132-139)

Entitlement to Tell on Police Facebook Sites (2019-05-01)
Walkington, Zoe; Pike, Graham; Strathie, Ailsa; Havard, Catriona; Harrison, Virginia and Ness, Hayley
Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, 22(5) (pp. 355-357)

Are you talking to me? How identity is constructed on police-owned Facebook sites (2018-10)
Walkington, Zoe; Pike, Graham; Strathie, Ailsa; Havard, Catriona; Ness, Hayley and Harrison, Virginia
Narrative Inquiry, 28(2) (pp. 280-300)

How presentation format affects the interpretation of probabilistic flood risk information (2017-03-31)
Strathie, A.; Netto, G.; Walker, G. H. and Pender, G.
Journal of Flood Risk Management, 10(1) (pp. 87-96)

Facial Wipes don't Wash: Facial Image Comparison by Video Superimposition Reduces the Accuracy of Face Matching Decisions (2016-07-31)
Strathie, Ailsa and McNeill, Allan
Applied Cognitive Psychology, 30(4) (pp. 504-513)

Can Link Analysis Be Applied to Identify Behavioral Patterns in Train Recorder Data? (2016-03-31)
Strathie, Ailsa and Walker, Guy H.
Human Factors: The Journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 58(2) (pp. 205-217)

Big data and ergonomics methods: A new paradigm for tackling strategic transport safety risks (2016-03)
Walker, Guy and Strathie, Ailsa
Applied Ergonomics, 53(Part B) (pp. 298-311)

A systems approach to flood vulnerability (2016)
Beevers, Lindsay; Walker, Guy and Strathie, Ailsa
Civil Engineering and Environmental Systems, 33(3) (pp. 199-213)

Leading indicators of operational risk on the railway: A novel use for underutilised data recordings (2015-04-30)
Walker, Guy and Strathie, Ailsa
Safety Science, 74 (pp. 93-101)

In the Dock: Chimeric Image Composites Reduce Identification Accuracy (2012-02)
Strathie, Ailsa; McNeill, Allan and White, David
Applied Cognitive Psychology, 26(1) (pp. 140-148)

Using CWA to Understand and Enhance Infrastructure Resilience (2017-06)
Walker, Guy H.; Beevers, Lindsay and Strathie, Ailsa
In: Stanton, Neville A.; Salmon, Paul M.; Walker, Guy H. and Jenkins, Daniel P. eds. Cognitive Work Analysis: Applications, Extensions and Future Directions (pp. 403-418)
ISBN : 978-1-4724-4392-2 | Publisher : CRC Press

Leading Indicators of Operational Risk on the Railway: A Novel Use for Underutilized Data Recordings (2017)
Walker, Guy and Strathie, Ailsa
In: Bucchianico, Giuseppe Di; Vallicelli, Andrea; Stanton, Neville A. and Landry, Steven J. eds. Human Factors in Transportation: Social and Technological Evolution Across Maritime, Road, Rail, and Aviation Domains. Industrial and Systems Engineering Series (pp. 103-119)
ISBN : 9781498726177 | Publisher : Taylor & Francis | Published : Boca Raton

The use of Facebook in creating police identity (2018-03-01)
Walkington, Zoe; Pike, Graham; Strathie, Ailsa; Havard, Catriona; Ness, Hayley and Harrison, Virginia
In : 2018 Conference of the Society of Evidence Based Policing (1-2 Mar 2018)

Person Identification in a Legal Setting (2010-12-16)
Strathie, Ailsa
PhD thesis Glasgow Caledonian University

Review of the Scottish Welfare Fund Interim Scheme (2014-05)
Sosenko, Filip; Littlewood, Mandy; Strathie, Ailsa and Fitzpatrick, Suzanne
Scottish Government Social Research