Natalie Mestry

Dr Natalie Mestry

  • Principal Academic
  • Poole House P259, Talbot Campus, Fern Barrow, Poole, BH12 5BB
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I am a cognitive researcher with expertise in face processing and visual search. I graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Psychology from the University of Southampton in 2008. I was awarded a 1 + 3 ESRC studentship to continue my studies at the University of Southampton and completed my MSc Research Methods in Psychology in 2009 and my PhD in 2013. The research conducted during my PhD investigated sources of configural face processing. I was a Research Fellow within the Centre for Vision and Cognition at the University of Southampton from 2013 – 2017 working on projects about face processing and visual search. I was also a Teaching Fellow for the department from 2015 -2017. I joined Bournemouth University in 2017 as a Lecturer.


My main research interests are in the field of vision and cognition, specifically face processing and visual search. My recent research has examined the dual-target cost, guidance and capacity in visual search for multiple unfamiliar faces using eye-tracking. I am also working on projects about individual differences in face processing and relationships between face processing measures.

My research on unfamiliar face processing is applied to real world problems for the criminal justice system and I am currently working on grant funded projects that address challenges for visual search tasks in security domains. One project I am involved in examines ways to train the public and security personnel to improve their search for threats in crowded environments. Another is examining how long airport security officers should spend searching X-ray images of bags between breaks.


  • Bate, S., Portch, E., Mestry, N. and Bennetts, R.J., 2019. Redefining super recognition in the real world: Skilled face or person identity recognizers? British Journal of Psychology, 110 (3), 480-482.
  • Mestry, N., Menneer, T., Cave, K.R., Godwin, H.J. and Donnelly, N., 2017. Dual-target cost in visual search for multiple unfamiliar faces. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 43 (8), 1504-1519.
  • Donnelly, N., Harland, B., Mestry, N., Thompson, N., Trawiński, T. and Liversedge, S.P., 2017. The influence of pupil alignment on spectator address in Manet's portraiture. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 11 (2), 167-178.
  • Mestry, N., Donnelly, N., Menneer, T. and McCarthy, R.A., 2012. Discriminating Thatcherised from typical faces in a case of prosopagnosia. Neuropsychologia, 50 (14), 3410-3418.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person's work contributes towards the following SDGs:

Quality education

"Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all"

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Peace, justice and strong institutions

"Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels"

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Journal Articles


Internet Publications


  • Donnelly, N., Hillstrom, A. and Mestry, N., 2017. Just another face in the crowd – what makes spotting unfamiliar faces difficult?. Centre for Research and Evidence on Security Threats. Published.

Profile of Teaching PG

  • Research Project Supervision

Profile of Teaching UG

  • Forensic Applications for Face Processing
  • Psychology Project Supervision and Teaching
  • Academic Advisor


  • 3D CT Airport Cabin Baggage Screening: Time on Task (Defence Science Technology Laboratory, 02 Dec 2021). In Progress
  • X-ray baggage screening time on task (Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, 04 Oct 2018). In Progress
  • We’re in this together: Using evidence-based visual perception to enhance crowd resilience. (Phase 2). (Defence and Security Accelerator, 01 Sep 2018). Completed
  • We’re in this together: Using evidence-based visual perception research to enhance the crowd’s ability to detect threats in the environment. (Defence and Security Accelerator, 15 Nov 2017). Completed
  • Costs in Search for More Than One Face and Detection of Repeating Faces (Experimental Psychology Society, 01 Sep 2017). Completed

Internal Responsibilities

  • Programme Leader for BSc Psychology with Forensic Investigation, Department of Psychology

Public Engagement & Outreach Activities

  • Careers Talk (07 Mar 2022-11 Mar 2022)
  • Eye tracking as a window to the mind
  • Work Experience in Psychology
  • Summer Breaks
  • Bournemouth Air Festival Science Tent

Conference Presentations

  • Vision Sciences Society Conference, The influence of training with one or two faces on dual-target face search, 18 May 2018, St Pete Beach, Florida
  • Vision Sciences Society Conference, The Effects of Familiarity and Orientation when Correcting Spatially Distorted Faces, 19 May 2017, St Pete Beach, Florida


  • PhD in The Nature of Configural Processing (University of Southampton, 2013)
  • MSc in Research Methods in Psychology (University of Southampton, 2009)
  • BSc (Hons) in Psychology (University of Southampton, 2008)


  • Higher Education Academy, Senior Fellow (2020-),
  • Experimental Psychology Society, Member (2015-),
  • Vision Sciences Society, Member (2009-),