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Personal profile

Scholarly biography

Having no history of higher education in my family, I consider myself extremely fortunate to have begun my academic career doing a BSc in Sociology at the University of Plymouth, 1997-2000. Three years later, I started to train as an Occupational Therapist here at the University of Brighton. In 2005 I graduated with my MSc in Health Through Occupation. I then worked in various occupatonal therapy practice settings. In 2010, I started as a Lecturer at the University of Plymouth where I completed a PostGraduate Diploma in Academic Practice. In 2016 I was (again) so fortunate to be awarded a PhD in Health Science. In January 2020, I joined the team here at the University of Brighton as a Senior Lecturer, where I continue to enjoy my academic career in the School of Health Sciences.   

Research interests


The Dark Side of Occupation is a concept I created and am working on developing. This means I aim to continue to research aspects of occupation, and of people's subjective experiences of occupation, that have previoulsy been ignored or extremely under-explored.

My PhD was an endeavour to do just this, as I researched the impact of woman-to-woman rape. This is a complex form of sexual offending; victim/survivors are invisible and silenced and, as I found, often cope alone or with very little support. 

My interests are based upon my belief that it is no longer acceptable to ignore all of the occupations that people subjectively experience and that can impact upon their health and/or their well-being - be it in a helpful or a detrimental way. The range of occupations we should consider range from the everyday, mundane right through to the more extreme, perhaps risky and illegal. 

My doctoral work has really ignited an interest in further exploring the impact of trauma and the associated ways in which people can action resilience, survival, and identity renegotiation through a range of occupations that could be considered as 'adaptive' or 'maladaptive'. Though, occupation is more complex than any such binary distinction, as the subjective experience can alter or transform in response to, or because of, various factors that impact upon human occupation. 

In line with this aim to gain a more authentic understanding of human occupation, I identify as a Feminist Auto/Biographical researcher, meaning I concur with Letherby (2014, p. 45) that "research is informed by auto/biographical experience and is an intellectual activity that involves a consideration of power, emotion and P/politics". 

Supervisory Interests

I thoroughly enjoy the experience of supervising student research projects and have done so since working in academia in 2010. I am open to a variety of topics, including those that would fall under the umbrella of the Dark Side of Occupation. 

I have supervised and co-supervised BSc (OT) and preregistration and Advanced Professional Practice MSc (OT, Physiotherapy, and Paramedic) level research projects, with topics including: Smoking as an occupation; Occupations during ‘Freshers’; Student’s timeuse of Facebook; Initial scoping review of literature re: the dark side of occupation; Impact of trauma amongst firefighters; Childhood occupations during bereavement; Student’s exploration of maladaptive occupations, such as substance use; Sex as work; a systematic review of literature exploring the links between occupation, identity, and well-being.

I have exmained a ProfDoc and I am keen to also supervise doctoral students and feel my experience of the doctoral journey and supervisory relationship, coupled with externally examining a professional doctorate and also editing a text regarding the doctoral journey has well-prepared me for this.

This range of experience is something I can bring to the supervisor-supervisee/s relationship, which is a critical relationship that depends on realistic expectations being clearly stated, and mutual respect.

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, University of Plymouth

1 Oct 20124 May 2016

Award Date: 4 May 2016

University of Plymouth

Award Date: 26 Aug 2011

Master, University of Brighton

Award Date: 26 Aug 2005

Bachelor, University of Plymouth

Award Date: 25 Aug 2000

External positions

External Examiner, Teesside University

2019 → …

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Research Output

A Scoping Review Protocol to Map Empirical Evidence that Illuminates the Dark Side of Occupations Among Adults

Twinley, R., Boland, L., Letherby, G. & Bunn, L., 24 Mar 2020, In : Social Science Protocols . p. 1-13 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
  • Illuminating The Dark Side of Occupation: International Perspectives from Occupational Therapy and Occupational Science

    Twinley, R. (ed.), 19 Oct 2020, Routledge. 222 p. (Routledge Advances in Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy )

    Research output: Book/ReportBook - edited

  • Neurodiversity: Together, we are all kinds of minds

    Twinley, R., Hitch, D., Wong, B., Perryman-Fox, M., Sheridan, D., Selvaggi Hernandez, S. & Keogh, C. A., Aug 2020, 6 p. London

    Research output: Other contribution

    Open Access