Management Team

Prof. J. Carl Hughes


Professor Carl Hughes, BCBA-D, is a senior lecturer and consultant behavioural psychologist at the School of Psychology, Bangor University, Wales. He is director of the Collaborative Institute for Education Research, Evidence and Impact (CIEREI), and deputy head of the College for Health and Behavioural Science. Prof. Hughes is the chairperson of the Experimental Analysis of Behaviour Group, UK and Europe (EABG), a founder member of the European Association of Behaviour Analysis, and a board member of the UK-Society for Behaviour Analysis.

His research interests include evidence-based educational interventions with children; the educational application of behavioural science; and the broad application of behavioural psychology, in areas such as health. Prof. Hughes is an elected advisor for the Cambridge Centre for Behavioural Studies, which is an international organisation, devoted to the dissemination and promotion of behavioural psychology to the improvement of people’s lives. Prof. Hughes has recently been honoured as the first European to be given the Distinguished Contribution to Behaviour Analysis award from the international Society for the Advancement of Behaviour Analysis (SABA).

Prof. Hughes has 53 peer-reviewed publications, of which many of the leading international journals are in both behavioural psychology and the field of education and disability.

Active research strands

Prof. Hughes has a number of active research strands applicable to the work of CIEREI, which are:

Behavioural interventions and evidence-based practice for children with Autism and developmental disabilities: The main theme of this research has been building on the evidence base for early educational and behavioural interventions for children with autism, developmental disabilities, and behavioural disorders.

The Bangor Headsprout Reading Research Group (BHRG): In 2004 we began a research programme investigating the effectiveness of an Internet based reading programme Headsprout Early Reading with diverse populations of children across North Wales with the aim of providing schools with practical, cost effective and evidenced-based tools for teaching reading.

The Bangor Precision Teaching Research Group (BPTRG): The group began researching precision teaching (PT) in 2002, and since then has been evaluating the use of PT in a number of different settings with diverse populations of both children and adult learners.

Dr Maggie Hoerger


Marguerite (Maggie) Hoerger is a Senior Lecturer (Teaching and Research) in the School of Education. She graduated magna cum laude with a BA in Psychology from Cornell University in 1996. She went on to work with schools in the Greater Boston area to deliver early intervention for young children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and other learning disabilities.

Maggie moved to Bangor in 2000, and completed her PhD in 2003 on the topic of self-control in children with ADHD. In 2004 she was among the first practitioners in Europe to qualify as a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst (BCBA). Maggie and her family chose to remain in North Wales, and after graduation she began lecturing in the School of Psychology at Bangor University on the topic of Applied Behaviour Analysis.

She also consulted with local authorities in North Wales and England to establish teaching and behavioural interventions for young children with special education needs. Her primary research interests involve designing and evaluating evidence based teaching and behavioural interventions for use in maintained special needs schools.

Maggie collaborates with schools to adapt technologies based on behaviour analysis in a way that is affordable and consistent with the culture of each school. She has published extensively in peer- reviewed journals showing that the children who participate in these programmes make significant gains on measures of academic, adaptive behaviours, and communication skills. Her work has been recognised as “Best Practice” by Estyn and as “An Area of Strength” by the National Autistic Society. She is currently running a large-scale research project to determine if an early years curriculum based on behaviour analysis can improve outcomes for children with special needs in schools across England and Wales.

Maggie holds dual appointments in the Schools of Education and Psychology at Bangor University.

Maggie’s research groups applicable to the work of CIEREI, are:

  • Inclusion/Special Educational Needs
  • Behaviour Change in Schools

Dr Richard Watkins


Dr Richard Watkins is a school improvement adviser for the Regional School Effectiveness and Improvement Service for North Wales (GwE). Richard’s work and research interests include science education and the application of evidence-based teaching strategies in schools. He has published a variety of articles on science education and reading interventions, together with curriculum and assessment resources for Welsh Government. Richard coordinates several research projects focused on the application and impact of evidence-based reading and numeracy interventions in schools across North Wales.

Prof. Enlli Thomas


Enlli Thomas is the Head of the School of Education. Her main research interests and expertise span psycholinguistic approaches to the study of bilingual language acquisition, including children’s acquisition of complex structures under conditions of minimal language input, bilingual assessment, and education approaches to language transmission, acquisition and use. She has conducted research and published widely in many areas of language study, including papers on aspects of bilingual acquisition, including impact factors influencing successful L1-L2 acquisition; bilingual transfer; bilingual assessment; bilingual literacy; Executive Function and bilingualism; socio-economic status and language abilities; and factors influencing language use. She gives regular invited lectures to practitioners and child-care workers both in the education and in the mental health sector on topics relating to language development and bilingualism, and has made regular appearances on TV and radio as an expert informant.

She graduated with a degree in Psychology from Bangor University in 1996 and went on to receive a PhD in Psychology in 2001, which looked at Welsh-speaking children’s acquisition of grammatical gender in Welsh. After completing her PhD, she remained at Bangor to work as a post-doctoral researcher on an ESRC-funded study looking at Welsh-speaking children’s acquisition of mutation, gender, and grammatical categories. During her subsequent years working as a Teaching Associate in the School of Psychology, she was involved as a co-author on a number of successful large-scale research grants, looking at language transmission practices in the home (Welsh Language Board), cognitive effects of bilingualism across the lifespan (ESRC), developing Welsh language assessment tools (Welsh Assembly Government), neuropsychological assessment of bilingual Welsh-English speakers (North Wales Research Committee & West Wales NHS Trust Research and Development Grants Awarding Committee) and bilingualism and dementia (North Wales Research Committee).

Since joining to the School of Education in 2007, she has been a core member of the Executive of the ESRC Centre for Research on Education in Theory and Practice and has been actively applying her expertise in the education context. Enlli has led on a number of research projects, including those looking at developing children’s social use of Welsh both within and outside the classroom (Hunaniaith and Welsh Language Board), those exploring the opportunities afforded to L2 children to use Welsh within the classroom (Welsh Government), developing Welsh-language adaptations of standardised measures of linguistic and non-linguistic measures widely used in schools (GL Assessment), evaluating the Premier League Reading Stars Cymru reading programme (National Literacy Trust), and evaluating a family-based programme – The Family Learning Signature – in helping education authorities to improve attainment, attendance and behaviour, particularly with hard to reach families and disengaged learners (Widening Access Funds). She recently co-led on a project funded by the Gwynedd and Anglesey Post-16 Consortia to evaluate the various types of ‘bilingual’ teaching employed across the region and to develop new software to equip institutions to track the use of Welsh and English across the curriculum annually as part of their language planning strategy. The software is now used in all institutions in Gwynedd and Anglesey, which provide for post-16 pupils. She is recently co-author of a large-scale ESRC grant (£1.8 million), which is a multi-institution project to develop the first mass corpus to capture and inform the past, present and future use of the Welsh language. She will co-lead on the development and evaluation of a dedicated resource for teachers and learners of Welsh that will result from Corpus as part of the research.

She is also the author and co-author of a number of articles and book chapters, and co-author of a standardized tool for measuring children’s receptive vocabulary in Welsh. She recently co-edited a volume entitled “Advances in the Study of Bilingualism”.