Josh Davis

Dr Josh Davis BSc Hons, PGCertHE, MSc, PhD

Josh Davis

Dr Josh Davis
BSc Hons, PGCertHE, MSc, PhD

Reader, Applied Psychology

Department of Psychology, Social Work & Counselling

Education & Health

Dr Josh Davis is a Reader, Applied Psychology in the Department of Psychology, Social Work & Counselling at the University of Greenwich.

Josh joined the university in 2008 and is course coordinator for Criminal Investigation Psychology (Level 7), Social Forensic Psychology (Level 6), and Investigative Forensic Psychology (Level 6). He is also link tutor for Psychology on the MSc and BSc Criminology and Criminal Psychology programmes and supervises PhD, MSc and undergraduate research projects.

His PhD was on 'Forensic Identification of Unfamiliar Faces in CCTV Images' (2007) and he has published research on human face recognition and eyewitness identification; reliability of facial composite systems (e.g. E-FIT, EFIT-V); and methods used by expert witnesses to provide evidence of identification in court.

Josh has presented his research worldwide, with latest research on "super-recognisers", attracting international media interest including television appearances on the BBC, ITV and other worldwide stations. He has written extensively about this in his research titled 'I never forget a face!.

He works closely with London's Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) as part of the European Commission funded LASIE (2014) consortium, with the primary aim of ensuring that police forces can identify and optimally deploy officers possessing super-recognition ability. He has also acted as a consultant to other police forces and for business (e.g. Yoti) on identification verification issues.

In 2012, he was awarded a University of Greenwich Early Career Research Excellence Award, as well as a University of Greenwich Early Career Research Communicator Award (runner-up). In 2016, he was shortlisted for a Students' Union: University of Greenwich Student-Led 'Extra Mile' Teaching Award.

Posts held previously:

  • 2008-16, Senior Lecturer, Psychology, Department of Psychology, Social Work & Counselling, University of Greenwich
  • 2006-08, Postdoctoral Research Officer, Department of Psychology, Goldsmiths, University of London (funded by Nuffield Foundation)
  • 2005-06, Postdoctoral Research Officer, Department of Psychology, Goldsmiths, University of London (funded by ESPRC)
  • 2001-08, Visiting Tutor (p/t), Department of Psychology, Goldsmiths, University of London 
  • 1999-2004, Visiting Lecturer (p/t), Department of Psychology, Royal Holloway, University of London 
  • 1999-2000, President, Students' Union, Royal Holloway, University of London (elected sabbatical position)
  • Reader, Applied Psychology, Department of Psychology, Social Work & Counselling
  • Programme Leader for MSc Psychology (Conversion)
  • Course coordinator for Criminal Investigation Psychology (Level 7), Social Forensic Psychology (Level 6 and Level 7), and Investigative Forensic Psychology (Level 6)
  • Supervises BSc/MSc/PhD research projects
  • Member of the British Psychological Society
  • Member of the Experimental Psychology Society
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Joint Instigator: South East Eyewitness Network
  • Research Council Peer Reviewer: ESRC
  • External Examiner: PhDs, MScs by Research
  • External Examiner: University of Chester: BSc Forensic Psychology

Josh's primary research interests are in cognitive and investigative forensic psychology, in particular face, voice and person recognition and applied legal implications.

Recent research examines the cognitive abilities of Metropolitan Police Service officers who have made a large number of identifications of suspects from CCTV images –"super-recognisers" and also consults international police forces and business organisations on identity verification issues. Other recent work includes the use of E-FIT and EFIT-V facial composite systems for the identification of suspects.

Funded research projects

  • Davis, J.P., Monks, C., & van Zalk, N. (2017). The developmental trajectory of individual differences in voice and face recognition ability. University of Greenwich Vice Chancellor's Studentship PhD Award, April 2017.
  • Davis, J.P., Monks, C., & van Zalk, N. (2016). Family relationships in 'super' face recognition ability, shyness and personality. University of Greenwich, Research Excellence Framework Funds 2016/17. October 2016.
  • Davis, J.P. (2016). Development of a face database for future research and enterprise projects. University of Greenwich, Seedling Fund, April 2016.
  • Foster, J., Davis, J.P., & Thompson, S. (2015). Student drinking: Cross-sectional investigation of drinking trajectory and risky behaviours in students across academic year groups. University of Greenwich, Research Excellence Framework Funds 2015/16, October 2015.
  • Davis, J.P., & Jolliffe, D. (2014). Evaluating and enhancing the eyewitness identification performance of older adults. University of Greenwich Research & Enterprise Investment Programme 2014/15 – RAE Competitive Round, RAE-EH-03/14, August 2014, 
  • Davis, J.P., Thompson, T., & Monks, C. (2014). A neuroscientific and cognitive examination of individual differences in face recognition ability. University of Greenwich Vice Chancellor's Studentship PhD Award, June 2014.  Davis, J.P. & LASIE Partners (2014-2017). LArge Scale Information Exploitation of Forensic Data (LASIE). European Commission 7th Framework Programme. SEC-2013.1.6-1: 607480 May 2014. http://www.lasie-project.eu/
  • Durova, M.D., Dimou, A., Litos, G., Daras, P., & Davis, J.P. (in press). TooManyEyes: Super-recogniser directed identification of target individuals on CCTV. Proceedings of the 8th IET International Conference on Imaging for Crime Detection and Prevention (ICDP-17).
  • Davis, J.P., & Tamonytė, D. (2017). Masters of disguise: Super-recognisers' superior memory for concealed unfamiliar faces. Proceedings of the 2017 Seventh International Conference on Emerging Security Technologies (EST), 6-8 September 2017, Canterbury, UK. DOI: 10.1109/EST.2017.8090397
  • Davis, J.P., Lander, K., Evans, R., & Jansari, A. (2016). Investigating predictors of superior face recognition ability in police super-recognisers. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 30(6), 827–840. DOI: 10.1002/acp.3260
  • Davis, J.P., Thorniley, S., Gibson, S, & Solomon, C. (2016). Holistic facial composite construction and subsequent lineup identification accuracy: Comparing adults and children. Journal of Psychology: Interdisciplinary and Applied, 150(1), 102-118. doi: 10.1080/00223980.2015.1009867
  • Davis, J.P., Maigut, A.C., Jolliffe, D., Gibson, S, & Solomon, C. (2015). Holistic facial composite creation and subsequent video line-up eyewitness identification paradigm. Journal of Visualized Experiments, 106, e53298. doi:10.3791/53298
  • Davis, J.P., Simmons, S., Sulley, L., Solomon, C.J., & Gibson, S.J. (2015). An evaluation of post-production facial composite enhancement techniques. Journal of Forensic Practice, 17(4), 1-12. DOI 10.1108/JFP-08-2015-0042
  • Davis, J.P., Valentine, T., Memon, A., & Roberts, A.J. (2015). Identification on the street: a field comparison of police street identifications and video line-ups in England. Psychology, Crime and Law, 1, 9-27.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1068316X.2014.915322
  • Davis, J.P., Gibson, S, & Solomon, C. (2014). The positive influence of creating a holistic facial composite on video lineup identification. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 28, 634–639. DOI: 10.1002/acp.3045
    Roberts, A.J., Davis, J.P. Valentine, T., & Memon, A. (2014). Should we worry about street identifications? Criminal Law Review, 9, 633-653.
  • Valentine, T., Davis, J.P., Memon, A., & Roberts, A. (2012). Showups and their influence on a subsequent video lineup. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 26(1), 1-23. DOI: 10.1002/acp.1796

Browse our publications database

  • Davis, J.P. (2017). The deployment of police super-recognisers. Netherlands Forensic Institute, Den Haag, Netherlands, 16 November 2017.
  • Davis, J.P. (2017). Super-face processors: Consistently exceptional at a range of face recognition and matching tasks? Face Recognition at its Best Workshop, University of Notre Dame (USA), London, 19 October 2017. 
  • Davis, J.P. (2017). The deployment of police super-recognisers. Munich Police Headquarters, Munich, Germany, 29 August, 2017.
  • Davis, J.P. (2017).  Identification from CCTV and Super-recognisers. Staff Training Institute (Civil Service College), Heng Mui Keng Terrace, Kent Ridge, Singapore, 13 February, 2017.
  • Davis, J.P. (2016). Facial composites: A successful collaboration between technology and psychology. SIBGRAPI 2016: Workshop on Face Processing Applications: Biometrics and Beyond, São José dos Campos, São Paulo, Brazil, 6 October 2016.
  • Davis, J.P. (2016). Super-recognisers in London's Metropolitan Police Service. Bangladesh Police Bureau of Investigation, Dhaka, Bangladesh. 22 February 2016. 
  • Davis, J.P. (2015). The empirical examination of superior face recognisers. IEEE International Conference on Advanced Video and Signal-based Surveillance (AVSS), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany, 25-28 August, 2015.  
  • Davis, J.P. & Battenti, K. (2015). The influence of clothing change on solo and group street identifications. Society for Applied Research in Memory and Cognition (SARMAC), Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, 24-27 June 2015.
  • Davis, J.P., Kaldi, M., Albay, S., Kandemir, B., Heckert, D., Don, C., Dhillon, H., Richards, H., Durin, I., Dreczkowska, M., & Crossman, T. (2014). The 'Brady Bunch' lineup: Comparing video and photographic simultaneous and sequential lineups. European Association of Psychology & Law, St Petersburg, Russia, June 2014.
  • Davis, J.P. (2012). Super-recognition and prosopagnosia: The extremes of face recognition ability? International Workshop on Image Processing and Inverse Problems, Fuzhou University, China, December, 2012.

Browse our publications database