Elizabeth graduated from University of Central Lancashire (Preston Poly) in 1993 with a traditional psychology degree. She then completed three years PhD research at Nene College (Leicester University) with Dr Eunice Fisher. Her PhD was a conversation analysis of university tutorial interaction, where she examined topics like gender and language, and student identity. Elizabeth developed these and other interests whilst working at the Institute of Behavioural Sciences (University of Derby, 1997-2000) and University College Worcester (2000-2002).

Elizabeth joined the previous Department of Social Sciences, now Communication and Media subject area, in October 2002, teaching on the BSc Social Psychology programme. She was promoted to Reader (2007) and Chair (2009). She was Associate Dean (Research) between 2013-18 and Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor (REF) between 2019-2021. She has been a visiting Professor at many universities around the world, is currently Professor II at University of Southeast Norway (2017-2022). She was an Industry Fellow at Typeform (2018-19) and is currently undertaking a similar fellowship at Deployed.

During the COVID19 pandemic, she has been a participant in one of SAGE’s behavioural science ‘SPI-B’ subgroup and a member of Independent SAGE’s behaviour group. She is a Wired Innovation Fellow and in 2021 was awarded Honorary Fellowship of the British Psychological Society.

Elizabeth's research interests are in social interaction: conversation analysis and membership categorisation analysis of interaction in a variety of contexts including healthcare settings, police interviews and hostage negotiation, mediation, dating, education, commercial sales encounters, and communication training. She was an Associate Editor of the British Journal of Social Psychology and Co-Editor of Gender and Language (2011-2014), and was the founding Editor of Mediation Theory and Practice. Her research has been funded by the ESRC, Research Council of Norway, several charities (e.g., Wellbeing of Women) and by income generated by industry and organizational partners to underpin CARM - the 'Conversation Analytic Role-play Method', a technique for communication training that she has developed.  

Elizabeth has run hundreds of CARM workshops with service providers across public, third and commercial sectors. She also trains other conversation analysts to create (pathways to) impact with their research and become CARM Affiliates. She is co-founder of CARMeggs, a CARM research enterprise with brand and design company A Dozen Eggs. CARM won Loughborough University's Social Enterprise award. Elizabeth won a British Psychological Society mid-career award and a Wired Innovation Fellowship.

Elizabeth is passionate about science communication. Her research and biography were the subject of BBC Radio 4’s ‘The Life Scientific. She has given talks at TEDx, the Royal Institution Friday Evening Discourse, at Latitude Festival 2016 on the Wellcome Trust/British Psychological Society stage, at New Scientist Live, at Microsoft, and at Cheltenham Science Festival. She has been interviewed many times for radio and podcasts (e.g., Tableau Software  ‘If Data Could Talk’). Elizabeth was interviewed about her popular science book (Talk: The Science of Conversation) in The Observer and appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Word of Mouth.


Elizabeth has taught interpersonal relationships, qualitative research methods, and forensic psychology to undergraduate students on various psychology and social science degree programmes. Here are some nice things said about her teaching, including from ex-students (via LinkedIn):

"You were such an influential and inspirational lecturer for me whilst I was at Loughborough whose lectures were the highlight of my week"

"It has been a complete privilege to be lectured by someone who is so distinguished in the field. I have gained so much knowledge from your module and you have most definitely inspired me to continue to pursue a career in psychology"

"This is one of the most interesting and engaging modules I have ever taken! Thank you also for the coursework help and the assessment seminars; assessment criteria was made clear in advance"

"Just to let you know I loved the module, personally it was one of the best modules I've taken in my time at Loughborough. I love the way you vary your assessments and the topics are so interesting"

PhD supervision

Elizabeth has supervised many PhD students on diverse topics in human communication. She interested in supervising research in conversation analysis and discursive psychology, in ordinary and institutional settings.

Elizabeth has published over 130 articles and book chapters. Below is a list of her books.

See Elizabeth's Google Scholar Profile for a complete list.