Dr Josh Davis BSc, MSc, PhD, PGCertHE, FHEA, AFBPsS, CPsychol

Reader in Applied Psychology

Key details

Josh Davis

Dr Josh Davis
BSc, MSc, PhD, PGCertHE, FHEA, AFBPsS, CPsychol

Reader in Applied Psychology

Dr Josh P Davis is a Chartered Psychologist, and an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society. He has worked at the University of Greenwich since 2008, since 2016 as a Reader in Applied Psychology. His PhD was on the "Forensic Identification of Unfamiliar Faces in CCTV Images" (2007) and he has since published research on human face recognition and eyewitness identification, the reliability of facial composite systems (e.g., E-FIT, EFIT-V), and methods used by expert witnesses to provide evidence of identification in court ('facial comparison evidence'). 

He is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, a member of the Experimental Psychology Society and the European Association of Psychology and law. Since April 2011, his research has mainly focussed on so called 'super-recognisers' with exceptional face recognition abilities. This led to changes in the management and distribution of CCTV images by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) – substantially enhancing suspect identification rates. In May 2014, he received European Commission funding as part of the €8,406,523 LASIE (2014), with the primary aim of developing a test of superior face recognition. He has also advised other international police forces and Government agencies (e.g., Australia, Germany, Netherlands, Singapore), consulted with business (e.g., Super-Recognisers International, Yoti), and presented his research worldwide (e.g., Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China, Russia, USA). 

He is regularly interviewed by the international media and his first co-edited book "Forensic Facial Identification: Theory and Practice of Identification from Eyewitnesses, Composites and CCTV" (Wiley Blackwell) was published in 2015. In 2019 a collaboration with VisionMetric to examine human and computer face processing was awarded £300,000 by Innovate UK. For his work he has recently been awarded University of Greenwich: Outstanding Achievement in Enterprise Award Winner (November 2019); and Students' Union: University of Greenwich Student-Led Teaching Awards: Supervisor of the Year (May 2018).

Posts held previously:

  • 2008-16, Senior Lecturer, Psychology, School of Human Sciences, 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)

Responsibilities within the university

  • Programme Leader: MSc Psychology (Conversion)
  • Ambassador: Faculty of Education, Health and Human Sciences, Early Career Researchers (ECR)
  • Grants Lead: School of Human Sciences - Psychology, Social Work and Counselling Research Executive
  • Module Leader: PSYC1072: Criminal Investigative Psychology (Level 7)
  • Module Leader: PSYC1104: Social Forensic Psychology (Level 7)
  • Module Leader: PSYH1035: Investigative Forensic Psychology (Level 6)
  • Module Leader: PSYC1073: Social Forensic Psychology (Level 6)


  • 2020-2023External examiner: BSc Forensic Psychology. University of Coventry
  • 2018-2021External Examiner: MSc Psychology (Conversion), MSc in Psychology. University of Reading
  • 2017-2020External examiner: BSc Forensic Psychology. University of Chester,
  • PhD Examiner: Goldsmiths, University of London (2017), Liverpool Hope University (2018), Nottingham Trent University (2018), University of Kent (2020), University of Central Lancashire (2020)
  • European Commission: Secure Societies: Pool of expert evaluators (2019)
  • Reviewer: ESRC

Research / Scholarly interests

  • Legal psychology
  • Eyewitness identification
  • Individual differences in face recognition
  • Super-recognisers
  • Facial composites
  • Jury decision making

Key funded projects

  • 2019-2021 Deep learning strategies for accurate identification from facial composite images (E2ID). Innovate UK. £371,490.
  • 2014-2017 LArge scale information exploitation of forensic data (LASIE). European Commission 7th Framework Programme. SEC-2013.1.6-1: 607480, €8,406,523.35
  • May 2018-July 2021 Stuttgart Police, Germany
  • August 2015-July 2020 Yoti
  • August 2017-February 2020 Super-Recognisers International
  • December 2018-July 2019 Queensland Police Service, Australia
  • February 2018-September 2018 TJX Europe
  • February 2018-June 2018 Netherlands Government Agency
  • February 2018-January 2019 Seequestor Ltd.
  • November 2017-September 2018 Munich Police, Germany
  • December 2016-May 2017 Singapore Government Agency
  • October 2016-June 2017 Greater Manchester Police
  • October 2015-May 2016 Essex Police
  • May 2015-August 2015 Hertfordshire Constabulary
  • September 2014 Greater Manchester Police