Taylor Coffey

Taylor Coffey
Taylor tells us about his move from his native Chicago to Aberdeen and that you will often find him wandering around used bookstores and record shops


Tell us about your role at HSRU

​​​​​​I am a PhD student working with Katie Gillies, Heather Morgan, and Eilidh Duncan.

Tell us a bit about your background and what you do now

I have a Masters’ in psychology and neuroscience, so I’ve always had a personal and academic interest in people, why they behave the way they do, understanding how they think, that sort of thing. Professionally, I was working in clinical trials in neurology and neurological surgery for a number of years in my native Chicago. My PhD effectively blends those areas as I’m applying behavioural psychology to understand challenges in clinical trials and how to overcome them through behavioural techniques. 

How do you usually start your day?

By snoozing 2-3 alarms and then trying to make a halfway decent cup of coffee whilst still in a thick fog of drowsiness. 

What is your favourite thing about your role at HSRU?

I would say the people I work with. Getting to know not just my supervisors but also other students and those in the unit has really been a positive experience. I wasn’t sure how well I would fit in when I moved to the UK but everyone’s been so genuinely welcoming and collaborative that those fears subsided fairly quickly.

How do you relax outside of work?

I try to get outside and have a walk around, try to find some friendly neighbourhood cats to bother. I also like to wander around used bookstores and record shops

What was the last book you read?

“Entangled Life” by Merlin Sheldrake. A really fascinating look at the world of fungi and how they’re connected to so many aspects of our daily lives and human experience in general. He writes with such an approachable enthusiasm, I’d recommend anyone with even a fleeting interest in mushrooms, ecology, or biology in general to give it a read.

Taylor's answers were provided in February 2022 and he has now completed his PhD and is now a Research Fellow