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About Kyla Pennington

I have been a Lecturer at the University of Lincoln within the School of Psychology since April 2013.  I studied for my PhD in the psychopathology of schizophrenia at the Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London, my PGDip in Psychology (Distinction) was from York St John University and my BSc in Neuroscience was from Glasgow University.  The overarching aim of my research is to investigate cognitive processes associated with mental health disorders and see what influences individual variability.  More specifically, my research group focusses on investigating the effects of genotypic variation on cognitive processes known to be affected in mental health disorders and the role of stress.  I am also involved in researching potential biomarkers of chronic stress and mental health endophenotypes such as the cortisol awakening response and investigating their influence on cognitive processes. 

Department Responsibilities

Module Coordinator for: PSY2173M Mental Health and Disorder PSY3021M Psychopharmacology: Drugs, Brain and Behaviour Also teach: Genetics content for the core Brain, Behaviour and Cognition (First year)module. I am a personal tutor to first and second year undergraduate students and have supervised undergraduate and post-graduate dissertation projects investigating a range of mental health related issues. Lab Director for the Molecular Psychology Lab in the Sarah Swift Building (SSB1207). Member of the Human Tissue Oversight Group. Member of the Postgraduate Research Committee. PhD students: Kristel Klaus 2014-2017 Thesis title: Schizophrenia-related gene variants and early life stress: Effects on cognitive and biological endophenotypes Marcus Harrington 2014-2017 Thesis title: REM sleep and emotional memory in depression vulnerability Sam Cooke 2016- ongoing. Thesis title: Investigating the effect of exercise, cognitive and dual-task interventions on cognitive function in type 2 diabetes mellitus

Subject Specialism

Psychopathology; Molecular psychology; Executive function; Mental health; Stress


  • Post-graduate diploma in Psychology — York St John University, 2011
  • PhD Neuroscience — Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London, 2006
  • BSc Neuroscience — Glasgow University, 2001

Orcid ID


Research Groups Memberships

Research Projects

  • Stress reactivity and executive function — awarded £1600 by British Psychological Society in 2017
  • The effects of genotypic variation on cognition and the interaction and association of stress — awarded £10000 by R2F Academic Returner’s Research, University of Lincoln in 2016

Research in the Lincoln Repository

Professional Affiliations