Dr Juliane Kloess

Dr Juliane Kloess

Assistant Professor in Forensic Psychology

Contact details

School of Psychology
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT


  • BSc (Hons) Forensic Psychology, University of Central Lancashire
  • MSc Forensic Psychology, University of Central Lancashire
  • PhD Forensic Psychology, University of Birmingham


Juliane completed her undergraduate and postgraduate studies at the University of Central Lancashire. During this time, she worked as a Healthcare Support Worker in various mental health settings, including medium- and low-secure units and a hospital for patients with dementia. Following her graduation, she worked as a research assistant at Broadmoor Hospital for 12 months. The research project explored the nature and extent of both direct and indirect aggressive behaviours, as well as the role of environmental factors.

In 2014, Juliane completed her PhD at the Centre for Forensic and Criminological Psychology under the supervision of Professor Anthony Beech, Dr. Catherine Hamilton-Giachritsis (University of Bath) and Dr. Leigh Harkins (University of Ontario Institute of Technology). The title of her PhD thesis is: 'An investigation into online sexual grooming and abuse of children via Internet technologies'.

From January 2015 until July 2017, Juliane was seconded to West Midlands Police as a postdoctoral research fellow to work on a research collaboration between the police and the University of Birmingham, the University of Bath and Aston University.

In March 2018, Juliane joined the Centre for Applied Psychology as a Lecturer in Forensic Psychology. She is the research coordinator on the Forensic Clinical Psychology Practice Doctorate, and research lead for the forensic doctorate programmes.

Juliane is a Co-Investigator on a large collaborative research project between the University of Birmingham, the University of Bath, Aston University and Imperial College London. The research project is funded by the Home Office, and led by Professor Jessica Woodhams. It looks at the design and development of approaches to policing child sexual offences, specifically the development of decision-support for the prioritisation of individuals who are suspected of engaging in child sexual abuse.


  • UG and PG teaching on child sexual exploitation and abuse via Internet technologies, including child sexual abuse material
  • (Co-)Supervision of Forensic Psychology Practice trainees 
  • (Co-)Supervision of Forensic Clinical Psychology Practice trainees
  • Qualitative Research Tutor on the Forensic Psychology Practice Doctorate and the Forensic Clinical Psychology Practice Doctorate


Research interests

Internet sexual offending, sexual exploitation and abuse of children via Internet technologies, (online) sexual grooming, child sexual abuse material, digital forensics (computer)


June 2019: Early Career Researcher Prize for Use of Qualitative Methods in Exceptional Ways; Qualitative Methods in Psychology Section, British Psychological Society

June 2016: Junior Award in Forensic Psychology for Work of Outstanding Quality and Innovation; Division of Forensic Psychology, British Psychological Society


Published/in press peer-reviewed journal articles:

Kloess, J. A. & van der Bruggen, M. (2021). Trust and relationship development in Dark Web child sexual exploitation and abuse networks: A literature review from a psychological and criminological perspective. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse. Advance online publication: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/15248380211057274

Faghel-Soubeyrand, S., Kloess, J. A., Gosselin, F., Charest, I., & Woodhams, J. (2021). Diagnostic features for human categorization of adult vs. child faces. Frontiers in Psychology. Advance online publication: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.775338/full

Kloess, J. A., Woodhams, J., & Hamilton-Giachritsis, C. E. (2021). The challenges of identifying and classifying child sexual exploitation material: Moving towards a more ecologically valid pilot study with digital forensics analysts. Child Abuse & Neglect. Advance online publication: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213421002398

Woodhams, J., Kloess, J. A., & Hamilton-Giachritsis, C. E. (2021). Characteristics and behaviors of anonymous users of Dark Web platforms suspected of child sexual offenses. Frontiers in Psychology, 12:623668. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.623668/full

Seymour-Smith, S. & Kloess, J. A. (2020). A discursive analysis of compliance, resistance and escalation to threats in sexually exploitative interactions between offenders and male children. British Journal of Social Psychology, 60(3), 988-1011. https://bpspsychub.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bjso.12437

Richardson, H. & Kloess, J. A. (2020). How do young people who have experienced parental intimate partner abuse make sense of romantic relationships? A qualitative analysis. Child Abuse & Neglect, 113(104942). https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213421000156?via%3Dihub

Brown, K. M. & Kloess, J. A. (2020). The motivations of female child sexual offenders: A systematic review of the literature. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 50(101361). https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1359178918303586?via%3Dihub

May, H., Kloess, J. A., Davies, K., & Hamilton-Giachritsis, C. E. (2020). Young people’s experiences of attending a theatre-in-education program on child sexual exploitation. Frontiers in Psychology, 11:609958. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.609958/full

Kloess, J. A., Larkin, M., Beech, A. R., & Hamilton-Giachritsis, C. E. (2019). Case studies of men’s lived experiences of their online sexual interactions with young people: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 31(8), 867-885. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1079063218769031

Kloess, J. A., Woodhams, J., Whittle, H., Grant, T., & Hamilton-Giachritsis, C. E. (2019). The challenges of identifying and classifying child sexual abuse material. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 31(2) 173-196. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1079063217724768

Kloess, J. A., Hamilton-Giachritsis, C. E. & Beech, A. R. (2019). Offense processes of online sexual grooming and abuse of children via Internet communication platforms. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 31(1), 73-96. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1079063217720927

Kloess, J. A., Hamilton-Giachritsis, C. E., & Beech, A. R. (2017). Descriptive account of victims’ behaviour and responses in sexually exploitative interactions with offenders. Psychology, Crime & Law, 23(7), 621-632. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1068316X.2017.1293052

Kloess, J. A., Seymour-Smith, S., Hamilton-Giachritsis, C. E., Long, M. L., Shipley, D., & Beech, A. R. (2015). A qualitative analysis of offenders’ modus operandi in sexually exploitative interactions with children online. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 29(6), 563-591. https://doi.org/10.1177/1079063215612442

Kloess, J. A., Beech, A. R., & Harkins, L. (2014). Online child sexual exploitation: Prevalence, process and offender characteristics. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 15(2), 126-139. https://doi.org/10.1177/1524838013511543

Journalistic articles:

Kloess, J. A., Hamilton-Giachritsis, C. E., & Wade, M. L. (2019, October 23). Technology-facilitated child sexual exploitation and abuse (CSEA): the ‘flaw in the law’. Retrieved from: https://www.in-mind.org/blog/post/technology-facilitated-child-sexual-exploitation-and-abuse-csea-the-flaw-in-the-law

Kloess, J. A. & Woodhams, J. (2018, November 2). Manipulation online and in person – two worlds not so far apart. Retrieved from: https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/news/thebirminghambrief/items/2018/11/manipulation-online-and-in-person-two-worlds-not-so-far-apart.aspx

Kloess, J. A. (2018, June). Research Highlight 131: Case Studies of Men’s Perceptions of Their Online Sexual Interactions with Young People: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Retrieved from: https://www.saferinternet.org.uk/research/research-highlight-series/131-case-studies-men%E2%80%99s-perceptions-their-online-sexual

Kloess, J. A. (2018, March). Research Highlight 124: Offence Processes of Online Sexual Grooming and Abuse of Children via Internet Communication Platforms. Retrieved from: https://www.saferinternet.org.uk/research/research-highlight-series/124-offence-processes-online-sexual-grooming-and-abuse-children

Kloess, J. A. (2018, January 3). Life skills are key to safety online for young people. Retrieved from: https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/views/analysis/life-skills-are-key-to-safety-online-for-young-people-821029.htm

Kloess, J. A. (2017, December). Understanding the Dark Web. Garda Review. Retrieved from:  https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/Documents/college-social-sciences/business/research/crime-justice-policing/Garda-Review-article-December-2017.pdf

Kloess, J. A. (2017, November 23). Study looking at the online sexual grooming and abuse of children. Retrieved from: https://openforest.net/study-looks-online-sexual-grooming-abuse-children/

Kloess, J. A. (2017, October 23). Preventing online sexual abuse: Understanding the problem as a first step to informing prevention. Retrieved from: http://www.powertopersuade.org.au/blog/preventing-online-sexual-abuse-understanding-the-problem-as-a-first-step-to-informing-prevention/23/10/2017

Kloess, J. A. (2017, March 1). Why teaching children about porn and sexting is a step in the right direction. Retrieved from: https://theconversation.com/why-teaching-children-about-porn-and-sexting-is-a-step-in-the-right-direction-73001

Request for commentary from national media:

Pozniak, H. (2020, July 15). The child safety protocol. Retrieved from: https://eandt.theiet.org/content/articles/2020/07/the-child-safety-protocol/

Bulman, M. (2017, March 23). Child sex offences recorded across UK hits all-time high amid growing concerns over online grooming. Retrieved from: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/child-sex-offences-record-level-online-grooming-a7643421.html

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