Alice Towler
Research Staff



My research background is in applied cognition and decision-making, with particular focus on facial image comparison and the forensic sciences. My undergraduate research at the University of Queensland in Australia investigated how the presentation of fingerprint evidence in court affects juror decision making. During my PhD at UNSW Australia, I investigated the effectiveness of techniques used to train forensic facial examiners, and engaged with the forensic science community to highlight the need for evidence-based forensic practices. In my research at York I will investigate the processes involved in face learning.


  • Bachelor of Psychological Science (Hons. I), University of Queensland, Australia (2011)
  • PhD in Forensic Psychology, UNSW Australia, Australia (2016)
  • Post-doctoral Research Associate, University of York, UK (2016 – present)



Variability as a route to understanding face recognition

Research group(s)

York FaceVar Lab


  • Mike Burton (University of York)
  • Richard Kemp (UNSW Australia)
  • David White (UNSW Australia)
  • Gary Edmond (UNSW Australia)
  • Kristy Martire (UNSW Australia)
  • Jason Tangen (University of Queensland)


Selected publications

  • Towler, A., White, D., & Kemp, R. I. (2014). Evaluating training methods for facial image comparison: The face shape strategy does not work. Perception, 43, 214-218. doi: 10.1068/p7676
  • Edmond, G., Found, B., Martire, K., Ballantyne, K., Hamer, D., Searston, R., . . . Towler, A., Roberts, A. (2016). Model forensic science. Australian Journal of Forensic Sciences.

Contact details

Dr Alice Towler
Department of Psychology
The University of York
YO10 5DD

Tel: 1904 32 3177