Dr Melissa Colloff BSc, MSc, PhD

Dr Melissa Colloff

School of Psychology
Assistant Professor in Forensic Psychology

Contact details

School of Psychology
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr Melissa Colloff conducts research on applied memory and cognition. Melissa mainly uses research and statistical modelling techniques from basic psychology to investigate memory and decision-making in the legal system. Melissa is interested in both theoretical and applied aspects.



  • PhD Psychology, University of Warwick
  • MSc Forensic Psychology, University of Leicester
  • BSc Psychology, University of Bath


Dr Melissa Colloff conducted postgraduate research on the influence of alcohol intoxication on face recognition and completed a PhD examining how police lineup techniques for distinctive suspects influence eyewitness identification accuracy. During her education, Melissa worked on applied and theoretical research projects at Edith Cowan University, Western Australia, The University of Leicester, UK and University of California, San Diego. Following her PhD, Melissa worked with Dr Heather on a funded project which examined whether a novel identification procedure can improve face recognition accuracy. Melissa has been a Lecturer in Forensic Psychology at Birmingham since 2018.


Postgraduate supervision

Melissa welcomes applications from first-rate graduate students wishing to pursue postgraduate research degrees on applied memory and cognition topics. Undergraduate students are also encouraged to contact Melissa directly if they are interested in contributing to research in the Applied Memory and Cognition Lab.


Melissa’s research interests include:

  • Face recognition and police lineup procedures
  • Signal detection theory and recognition memory
  • Eyewitness memory and memory distortions
  • The effects of alcohol intoxication on memory

Research identifiers

ORC ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6401-4872


Colloff, M. F., Wilson, B. M., Seale-Carlisle, T. M., & Wixted, J. T. (2021). Optimizing the Selection of Fillers in Police Lineups. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 118, 8, e2017292118 

*Winsor, A., Flowe, H. D., *Seale-Carlisle, T. M., *Killeen, I. M., *Hett, D., *Jores, T., *Ingham, M., *Lee, B., *Stevens, L., & Colloff, M. F. (2021). Children’s expressions of certainty are informative. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 50(11), 2387-2407. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/xge0001049

Colloff, MF., Flowe, H. D., Smith, H. J., *Seale-Carlisle, T. M., Meissner, C. A., Rockey, J. C., Pande, B., Kujur, P., Parveen, N., Chandel, P., Singh, M. M., Pradhan, & S., Parganiha, A. (2021). Active exploration of faces in police lineups increases discrimination accuracy. The American Psychologist. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1037/amp0000832

Colloff, M. F., Wade, K. A., & Strange, D. (2016). Unfair lineups make witnesses more likely to confuse innocent and guilty suspects. Psychological Science, 27, 1227–1239. http://doi.org/10.1177/0956797616655789

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