Centre for Behaviour and Evolution

Staff Profile

Dr Gareth Richards



I am a Lecturer in the School of Psychology, and a member of the Centre for Behaviour and Evolution (CBE) at Newcastle University.  I completed a BSc in Psychology and MSc in Research Methods in Psychology at Swansea University, and a PhD in Psychology at Cardiff University.  After this, I held two postdoctoral positions at the University of Cambridge where I was also a member of the Trinity College Postdoctoral Society.


  • BSc Psychology (First Class Honours), Swansea University (2008-2011)

  • MSc Research Methods in Psychology (Distinction), Swansea University (2011-2012)

  • PhD Psychology, Cardiff University (2012-2017)


  • Centre for Behaviour and Evolution, Newcastle University
  • European Human Behaviour and Evolution Association (Full Member)
  • Advance HE (Fellow)


My research aims to explore human mind and behaviour and is at the intersection of evolutionary psychology and biology. I apply aspects of developmental psychology, evolutionary biology, endocrinology, and behavioural genetics to the following broad topic areas:

  • The effects of prenatal testosterone exposure on phenotypic outcomes (e.g., autistic traits, play preferences, handedness, gender identity, motor skill).
  • The role of self-compassion as a mediator between autism and mental health outcomes.
  • Exploring influences of genetics and environment by studying twins reared apart since infancy.


I teach on the BSc (Hons) Psychology and MSc Forensic Psychology and MSc Sport & Exercise Psychology programmes, and supervises undergraduate and Masters projects. I am always happy to hear from students who are interested in working with me.

Module Lead:

  • PSY3042: Sex Differences and the Brain
  • PSY3097: Empirical Project
  • PSY8061: Advanced Research Methods for Applied Psychology A


  • PSY1001: Psychological Enquiry 1 - Psychological Literacy and Academic Skills
  • PSY2008: Psychological Enquiry 2: Principles of Psychology
  • PSY2020: Evolution, Behaviour & Comparative Cognition
  • PSY3048: Advanced Statistics for Empirical Psychology