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Georgina Donati


Georgie is a Birkbeck PhD student looking at genetic affects on the cognitive regulation of emotion. 

Georgie initially studied Philosophy at Undergraduate level and focused on the development of reasoning ability. Consequently she became a Philosophy specialist, developing reasoning and conceptual thinking in schools from nursery up to university.  A curiosity in the brain mechanisms underlying reasoning ability led her to complete a Masters in Educational Neuroscience at Birkbeck.

Georgie was awarded the Birkbeck Anniversary Studentship for a PhD under the supervision of Dr Emma Meaburn and Dr Iroise Dumontheil.  The project explores the biological factors that interact in influence our cognitive systems including genes and emotion systems.  The aim is to develop measures for cognitive emotion regulation which relate to executive function.  These will be used to asses heritability and look for any specific genetic variants which may be responsible for individual differences in emotion regulation.  We will then look to see if they have any predictive value for educational achievement.

Scholarships and awards

Birkbeck Anniversary PhD Studentship (2015-2018)

Genetics Society: Communicating Your Science Workshop (2016)

Genetics Society Junior Scientist Travel Grant (2017)

Birkbeck Travel award (2016, 2017)

Courses attended

  • Introduction to Statistics with R, Institute of Child Health, London (2015)
  • Introduction to the Statistical Analysis of Genome-Wide Association Studies’ Imperial College London, European Society of Human Genetics (July 2016)
  • Visceral Mind VII’: Neuroanatomy of Cognition, Bangor, University of Wales, UK (September 2016)
  • International Workshop on Statistical Genetic Methods for Complex Human Traits, Boulder Colorado, US (March, 2017)


MA (Distinction), Educational Neuroscience, Birkbeck (2014)

Cert HE (Distinction) Psychology, Birkbeck (2013)

Level 4 specialist and teacher trainer, The Philosophy Foundation (2009)

BA international (2:1) Philosophy major, University of Leeds (2008)

Conference presentations

  •  2016 Bloomsbury Centre for Genetic Epidemiology and Statistics Annual PhD conference: Emotion Regulation across Adolescence’ Bloomsbury Centre for Genetic Epidemiology and Statistics Annual PhD conference.  University College London, UK (oral presentation)
  • 2017 CNEF conference 2017, Italy: Characterising the relationship between executive functions and academic performance in adolescence (poster presentation)
  • 2017 Behavioural Genetics Association Annual Meeting, Oslo: Characterising the relationship between cognitive functions and academic subjects in adolescence: Implications for genetic research (poster presentation).

Seminars and Lectures

  • Centre for Educational Neuroscience, University of London Institute of Education, UK (2016): Developing reasoning in the classroom through philosophical enquiry. 
  • Centre for Educational Neuroscience, Birkbeck, UK (2016): Executive functions and academic performance during adolescence: implications for genetic research. 
  • Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development, Birkbeck College, UK (2016): Genetic architecture of adolescent emotion regulation profiles
  • Guest Lecture on MSc Pediatric Neuropsychology, Institute of Child Health, University College London, UK (2016): Development of Executive Function during Adolescence.