Dr Heather D. Flowe PhD

Dr Heather D. Flowe

Senior Lecturer in Psychology

Contact details

School of Psychology
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Heather Flowe’s research is centered on understanding episodic memory, particularly memory for criminal events, using both experimental and applied approaches. She is developing new methods for increasing memory retrieval accuracy in the legal system. Her work focuses on memory retrieval in lineup procedures and police interviews. Ultimately, she seeks to develop theoretically driven, memory enhancing, broad reach, low-cost procedures that can be integrated into legal systems and solve global challenges.

Heather is the Co-Director of the Centre for Crime Justice and Policing (Victims and Trauma) and Impact Lead for the School of Psychology


PhD in Experimental Psychology, University of California, San Diego


Dr Heather Flowe did graduate work on false and true rape allegations and then completed a PhD on the effects of simultaneous and sequential lineups on eyewitness identification accuracy. She subsequently completed a UC Faculty Fellowship on the role of witness testimony on felony case processing. She then worked at the University of Leicester and Loughborough University before taking up the post of Senior Lecturer at Birmingham.


Forensic Doctorate

Postgraduate supervision

Dr Heather Flowe supervises projects on applied cognition. Past and present projects include risk taking in women, hormones and behavior, eyewitness identification, and trauma interventions and metacognition. She is also pleased to work with undergraduate students and have lab visitors. Her external website can be found here.


Research interests

Sexual Violence

Heather is investigating the effects of alcohol on memory reporting, testing methods of preserving and protecting the memory evidence of rape complainants. She also evaluates the role of victim and eyewitness testimony in case investigations and prosecutions. In addition to projects in the UK and the US, Heather also has projects in the global south, innovating solutions to gathering survivor testimony in documenting and investigating sexual violence cases in low resource environments. 

ID Parades

Heather and her colleagues are innovating new criminal identification procedures, such as 3D interactive lineups to improve the accuracy and reliability of eyewitness identification. This work seeks to address fundamental questions such as how faces are represented in long-term memory and effective cues for enhancing memory retrieval. This line of research also considers the effects of own race bias, alcohol intoxication, and development on identifications. 

Research Funding

Heather has attracted 750K for her research. Current research projects are supported by the ESRC IAA, the Humanitarian Innovation Fund, and the Laura and John Arnold Foundation. 

Find out more


Takarangi, M. K. T., Smith, R. A., Strange, D. & Flowe, H. D. (2016). Metacognitive and Meta-Memory Beliefs in the Development and Maintenance of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Clinical Psychological Science. doi:10.1177/2167702616649348

Colloff, M. F., & Flowe, H. D. (2016). The effects of acute alcohol intoxication on the cognitive mechanisms underlying false facial recognition. Psychopharmacology, 233, 2139-2149.  doi: 10.1007/s00213-016-4263-4

Ryder, H., Maltby, J., Rai, L., Jones, P., & Flowe, H. D.  (2016). Women's fear of crime and preference for formidable mates: How specific are the underlying psychological mechanisms? Evolution and Human Behavior, 37, 293-302.  doi: 10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2016.01.005

Flowe, H. D., Takarangi, M. K. T., Humphries, J. E., & Wright, D. S. (2016). Alcohol and remembering a hypothetical sexual assault: Can people who were under the influence of alcohol during the event provide accurate testimony? Memory, 24, 1042-1061. doi: 10.1080/09658211.2015.1064536

Humphries, J. E., & Flowe, H. D. (2015). Receiver operating characteristic analysis of age-related changes in lineup performance. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 132, 189-204. Doi: 10.1016/j.jecp.2014.12.009