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Dr Rachel Sumner

Senior Lecturer in Psychology

I'm a psychobiologist interested in ways that psychological experiences can change immunity and health. My research focuses on chronic stress, and the environmental and psychosocial determinants of hormonal and immune health. Chevron icon


I am involved in research on how psychological changes can influence health and wellbeing. I have published in the areas of Psychoneuroimmunology and Psychoneuroendocrinology, and am involved in several interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary health research projects at UoG and beyond. I am particularly interested in how aspects of our environment (like stress, or interactions with nature) can influence our health.


  • BSc (Hons): Psychology, Staffordshire University, 2006
  • MSc: Health Psychology, Staffordshire University, 2007
  • PhD: Health Science, Brunel University, London, 2012
  • PGCert: Academic Practice, University of Gloucestershire, 2019


Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Membership of professional bodies

Associate Member of the Royal Society for Public Health

Member of the Behavioural Science and Public Health Network

Member of the Stress and Anxiety Research Society

Chartered member of the British Psychological Society, Division of Health Psychology

Teaching & Research


I focus on biological aspects of psychology; looking at physical health, the physical working of the brain, how the brain and body communicate, and psychopharmacology. I also have an interest in political and social psychology that is reflected in my teaching. My teaching is research informed, providing demonstrable links from theory to practical application.


My research primarily concerns the intersection of psychology and biology. I carry out research that evaluates psychosocial factors such as chronic stress and contact with nature; and how these translate to changes in physical health. I also supervise postgraduate researchers in psychological aspects of health and wellbeing.


More publications from Dr Rachel Sumner can be found in the Research Repository.