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PEDAL: Who We Are

soft building blocks

Director and Lead Researchers

image of staff memberPaul Ramchandani
LEGO Professor of Play in Education, Development and Learning and Director of PEDAL. Leading the research area 'Play in Early Life'. View profile

image of staff member Sara Baker
Leading 'Stepping Stones in Science'
Play-based learning; scientific reasoning in early childhood; executive functions; development of social cognition; belief formation and belief revision. View profile

image of staff member Marisol Basilio
Research Associate on 'Play in Early Life'.
Play and learning in education; development of self-regulation and metacognition; early communication and literacy. View profile

image of staff memberElian Fink
Senior Research Associate on 'Social Play: Social Lives'. Social competence and friendship; social cognition; emotion management. View profile

image of staff memberJenny Gibson
Leading 'Social Play: Social Lives'.
Play as a context for development; peer relationships; developmental language impairments; autism; outdoor play; friendships and emotional development View profile

PEDAL Researchers 

Research Assistants Carmen de Lemos and Emma Pritchard are working with Jenny and Elian on 'Social Play: Social Lives' (

Research Assistant Kayleigh Skene and Research Associate Eloise Stevens are working with Paul and Christine 'Play in Early Life' (

Research Assistant Janina Eberhart  is working with Sara on 'Stepping Stones in Science' (

PEDAL Policy

Sally Hogg is PEDAL's consulting Policy Fellow communicating our research to shape policy within national and local governments and not-for-profit organisations. 


Beth Barker is a Research Assistant working on PEDAL Hub - a website with current and credible play research, resources and information.

PEDAL Administration

Helen Morgan is the PEDAL Administrator overseeing the operational aspects of running a research centre, and Lisa Zwierzanski is the Projects Assistant supporting the research team.

Current PEDAL PhD Students

Gill Francis
Lenka Janik Blaskova
Vicky Yiran Zhao
Janina Eberhart
Soizic Le Courtois
Stephen Bayley
Krishna Kulkarni
Emily Goodacre
Kelsey Graber

PEDAL Alumni

As one of our objectives is to grow capacity in the field of play research, we'd like to celebrate the progress and achievements of former PEDAL students and colleagues:

Dr Ciara Laverty, a former Research Associate working with Prof Ramchandani is now a Research Specialist at the LEGO Foundation in Billund, Denmark.

Elaine Gray, a former PhD student, is now a Research Associate at the University of Edinburgh working on a project looking at the factors that influence adolescent depression. 

Dave Neale is an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow working with PEDAL for one year on parent-infant play research.

Contact us

For any enquiries about PEDAL,  email us, or call 01223 767548

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