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Sociology, Social Policy and CriminologyPart of Economic, Social and Political Science

Dr Michelle Newberry BSc (Hons), MSc, PgCTHE, FHEA, PhD

Associate Professor | Programme Director, BSc Hons Criminology and Psychology | Head of Work Planning | Academic Integrity Lead

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Dr Michelle Newberry is based in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Southampton.

I joined the University of Southampton in 2018 after working for nine years as a Senior Lecturer in Forensic Psychology at Sheffield Hallam University and the University of Portsmouth. Prior to my posts in academia I worked in prisons and psychiatric hospitals with violent offenders.

My research primarily seeks to understand offenders’ motivations for criminal behaviour as well as attitudinal change and desistance from offending. I am particularly interested in violent crime, including murder, domestic violence, and animal cruelty, and the interrelations between these.

I have conducted various projects which have investigated how domestic violence perpetrators abuse companion animals as a way to manipulate and coerce human victims. I am also interested in perpetrators' motivations for engaging in wildlife crime and am currently carrying out research that is investigating the poaching of rhino horn and pangolin scales in East Africa (funded by the UK Government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; DEFRA).

Research interests

My research interests encompass the following topics:

  • Motivations for criminal behaviour
  • Criminal thinking styles
  • Negative interpersonal relating
  • 'Dark Triad’ personality traits (psychopathy, machiavellianism, and narcissism)
  • Violent offending
  • Murder
  • Domestic violence/intimate partner violence
  • Animal cruelty
  • Wildlife crime (especially poaching)
  • Attitudinal change
  • Offenders’ experiences in prison and during resettlement
  • Desistance from offending

PhD supervision

Current PhD Students:

  • Female criminality and incarceration: Experiences, before, during and after imprisonment (Ijeoma Uamai, 2022-2025)
  • Motivations driving consumption of illegally-traded wildlife products (Arjun Awasthi, 2021-2024).
  • The impact of anti-domestic violence law in China (Shaoai Zhong, 2020-2023).
  • The ecological consequences of marine wildlife crime (Kim Hadfield, 2019-2022).
  • The reintegration of sex-trafficked victims in Indonesia (Sasie Rekha, 2018-2022).

Previous PhD Students:

  • Male sexual assault in UK prisons (Jo Wilkinson, 2017-2020).
  • Utilising recovery capital to support offender treatment (Zeddy Chaudry, 2017-2020).
  • Transnational child sex offending: Understanding threat to disrupt and target (Sarah Wefers, 2017-2020).
  • Child grooming: Predicting level of risk to prioritise offenders (Oliver Merry, 2016-2019).
  • Female offenders' experiences of supported resettlement (Jennifer Hardy, 2013-2018).
  • Dark Triad traits and justification of immoral behaviour (Sara Hughes, 2015-2018).
  • Introducing risk assessment to the Maltese Probation Service (Chantal Avellino, 2010-2014).
  • Maladaptive personality traits and their influence on violent and sexual aggression (Louise Maxwell, 2010-2013).

Research group

Institute of Criminal Justice Research (ICJR)

Research project(s)

Offenders’ motivations for wildlife crime

Attitudinal change among prisoners

Responsibilities at the University of Southampton

  • Programme Director, BSc Hons Criminology and Psychology (BPS-accredited)
  • Head of Work Planning
  • Academic Integrity Lead
  • Member of the Teaching Programme Team 
  • Member of the Teaching, Learning and Assessment Working Party 
  • Member of the Research Strategy Steering Group 
  • Faculty Ethics Committee Reviewer
  • Member of the Faculty Academic Integrity Officer Consortium
  • Member of the Faculty Academic Validation Panel
  • Member of the Institute of Criminal Justice Research

External Affiliations & Responsibilities:

  • External Programme Approval Assessor, University of Leicester (2020-2021)
  • Book Review Editor, SAGE Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice (CCJ) (since 2020)
  • Registered Scientific Expert, European Co-operation in Science and Technology (since 2019) 
  • UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Grant Reviewer (since 2018)
  • Academic Member of the Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute (since 2018)
  • Fellow, Sheffield Institute of Policy Studies (2017-2018)
  • Expert Reviewer for the Royal College of Psychiatrists (2015-2018)
  • Programme Director, MSc Forensic Psychology, Sheffield Hallam University (2015-2018)
  • Academic member of the Domestic Abuse Team, Sheffield City Council (2013-2018)
  • External Examiner, The Open University  (2016-2017)
  • Member of the Scientific Committee, Athens Institute of Education and Research (since 2015)
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (since 2014)
  • Editorial Board Member, Journal of Criminal Psychology (since 2013)
  • Chartered Psychologist (since 2009)
  • HM Prison Research Advisory Group Ethics Reviewer (since 2007)
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Book Chapters



Working Paper

I lead and/or teach on the following modules:

  • Penology
  • Criminological Psychology
  • Perspectives in Criminology
  • Violent and Sexual Offenders

I have previously led and/or taught on the following modules:

  • The Psychology of Criminal Behaviour
  • Forensic Psychology
  • Witnesses and Victims: Forensic Psychology in Practice
  • Psychology for Criminologists
  • Forensic Mental Health
  • Individual Differences and Abnormal Behaviour
  • Living with Justice
  • Research Methods and Statistics
  • Advanced Quantitative Statistics
  • Offender Assessment and Formulation
  • Offender Treatment and Interventions

I have received the following awards:

  • Employee Dedication Award (University of Southampton, 2021) 
  • Faculty Inspirational Teaching Award (Sheffield Hallam University, 2017) 
  • Faculty Inspirational Teaching Award (Sheffield Hallam University, Malaysia Campus, 2017) 
  • Exceptional Contribution Award (Sheffield Hallam University, 2015) 
  • Performance Recognition Award  (HM Prison Service, 2009)


I have been nominated for the following awards:

  • Faculty Inspirational Teaching Award (Sheffield Hallam University, 2016). 
  • Faculty Inspirational Teaching Award (Sheffield Hallam University, Malaysia Campus, 2015).
Dr Michelle Newberry
Highfield Campus
SO17 1BJ

Dr Michelle Newberry's personal home page
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