Prof. Elisabeth Hill, Goldsmiths University London, Department of Psychology, UK

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Elisabeth Hill is Professor of Neurodevelopmental Disorders at Goldsmiths, University of London. Her PhD research focused on the movement difficulties of children with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) or specific language impairment (SLI), supervised by Professor Dorothy Bishop at the MRC’s Applied Psychology Unit, Cambridge. Following this Elisabeth worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Cambridge University investigating executive functions in autism with Professor Jim Russell, and at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London investigating the cognitive experiences of children and adults with autism with Professor Uta Frith. In recent years Elisabeth’s research has focused on the importance of motor development and its impact across the lifespan. In particular, her work focuses on the causes and impacts of motor and cognitive difficulties in neurodevelopmental disorders, particularly DCD and ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder).


Dr. Caterina Pesce, Rome University “Foro Italico”, Department of Education in Sport and Human Motion, Italy


Caterina Pesce is graduate in Physical Education, degree in Movement and Sport Sciences, master of Psychology (Universities “Foro Italico” and ”La Sapienza” of Rome), and PhD in Philosophy (Free University of Berlin). Currently associate professor in Methods and Techniques in Movement and Sport, member of the Department of Movement, Human and Health Sciences of the University “Foro Italico” of Rome, and founding member of the Italian Society of Movement and Sports Sciences. Her main teaching focus is on physical activity for children and older adults, her main research focus on exercise and cognition across the lifespan, rise and fall of motor coordination and enhanced physical education. She has over 70 international and over 30 national published peer-reviewed articles, over 1300 citations, and is co-author of 3 international authored or edited books on exercise and cognition and 4 physical education and quality physical activity for educational achievement. She is the editor of the handbook “Joy of Moving – Playing with variability to promote motor, cognitive, and citizenship development”, awarded by the Italian Olympic Committee, and mind behind the innovative “Joy of Moving” method for holistic child development promotion through physical activity games. The method is actually in the replication phase at national level prompted by the Ministry of Education within a multisectoral co-responsibility agreement.   She is on the editorial board of the JSEP and associate editor of the JAPA.


Dr. Kate Wilmut, Oxford Brooks University, Department of Psychology, Health and Professional Development, UK

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Kate Wilmut completed her PhD at the University of Reading, UK under the supervision of Prof John Wann and Dr. Janice Brown. Her thesis focused on the coordination between the eye and the hand in both young typically developing children and in children with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD). Following the PhD she continued to work at Reading as a post-doctoral researcher before moving to Oxford Brookes University, UK in 2007. Her main research focus has always been with individuals with DCD and, in particular, with a focus on measuring movement using 3D motion tracking technology. The research projects have widened since her PhD to include teenagers and adults with movement difficulties and also to include whole body movements such as walking and navigating the environment. One of her research strands focuses on the role of perception within an action context and the role perception may play in the movement difficulties experienced by individuals with DCD. Most recently she started a project in collaboration with Prof Anna Barnett to consider how children with DCD coordinate movements of their entire body whilst performing a novel task. They will be extending this work in order to also determine how this control changes with practice.  She is a chair of DCD UK which organises biennial conferences to bring together researchers, clinicians and other individuals with an interest in DCD.



Prof. Anna-Maija Poikkeus, University of Jyväskylä, Faculty of Education, Finland

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Anna-Maija Poikkeus is Professor of Early and Primary Education, at University of Jyväskylä, Department of Teacher Education. She was appointed as Dean of the Faculty of Educational and Psychology in 2018. She completed her Master’s degree in Developmental Psychology at the University of Jyväskylä, and her PhD thesis at the University of Minnesota, US, focusing on social competence and peer relations of school-age children with learning disabilities, supervised by Professor Willard Hartup.  Her current research foci include individual, interactional, and classroom factors contributing to children’s learning, especially early language development, reading and math achievement, motivation, engagement and peer relations. She is the founding member and  senior researcher in the Finnish Academy funded First Steps Study, a large-scale follow-up study of a population based sample of 2000 children from pre-primary year to lower and upper secondary school, and she lead the Finnish Academy funded Skidi-Kids II focusing on dialogic teaching interventions fostering student engagement and motivation. Prior to these projects she participated as a founding member and senior researcher in the Center of Excellence on Human risk factors and the Jyväskylä longitudinal study of dyslexia, a long-term follow-up of 200 children from birth to adulthood (1997-1999, 2000-2005, Lyytinen et al.). Most recently she has been interested in research focusing on dialogue and student engagement in new learning environments.



Prof. Cheryl Missiuna, McMaster University, the School of Rehabilitation Science, Canada


Cheryl Missiuna, Ph.D., OTReg (Ont) is a Professor in the School of Rehabilitation Science and a Scientist with CanChild and the Infant and Child Health (InCH) Lab. She also holds the John & Margaret Lillie Chair in Childhood Disability Research. Cheryl's teaching and research interests focus on children and youth with special needs.
Cheryl researches models of health service delivery, including Partnering for Change, that encourage health promotion, early identification, the creation of supportive environments and prevention of secondary physical and mental health consequences for children with developmental coordination disorder.
Cheryl’s interest in knowledge translation has led to the development of educational materials that facilitate knowledge transfer and uptake by different audiences including children and youth, families, teachers, primary care physicians, health professionals, policy and decision-makers.


Dr. Sean Deoni, Brown University, Director of MRI Research, Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island, USA 

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Having received my PhD in MRI physics, my early research focused on the development of new imaging techniques for exploring the brain’s microstructure and architecture at increasing levels of detail.  With these methods in hand, the Advanced Baby Imaging (ABI) Laboratory has, in turn, sought to examine how the brain grows and changes throughout infancy and early childhood.  Two primary goals of the (ABI) lab are to characterise the patterns of early brain development, understand how these patterns link to cognitive and behavioral outcomes, and investigate how various environmental and genetic influences can shape these brain growth - cognitive relationships.  The ABI lab currently explores the role of maternal and infant nutrition, genetics, environmental exposures including air quality and lead, and sociodemographic factors such as sleep, activity, stress, and child-parent interaction on early brain growth and childhood outcomes.