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20102024

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Personal profile

Biography

I am a Associate Professor and registered Clinical Psychologist in the School of Psychological Sciences, and currently hold an NHMRC Emerging Leader Fellowship. I am the Deputy Director of Research in the newly established Macquarie University Lifespan Health & Wellbeing Research Centre (website under development). This centre brings together two established centres; the Centre for Ageing, Cognition and Wellbeing  https://www.mq.edu.au/research/research-centres-groups-and-facilities/healthy-people/centres/centre-for-ageing-cognition-and-wellbeing and the Centre for Emotional Health https://www.mq.edu.au/research/research-centres-groups-and-facilities/healthy-people/centres/centre-for-emotional-health-ceh to join with colleagues from Psychology, Law, Business, Medicine, Education, Linguistics and others. 

My research examines the mechanisms underlying anxiety (and related) disorders in children, adolescents and older adults, and uses those mechanisms to optimise treatment. These interests include how fear extinction learning, cognitive abilities, attention, memory and family influences can impact the development, maintenance and treatment of anxiety problems.

I completed my PhD and Masters of Clinical Psychology at Macquarie University in 2014, followed by postdoctoral fellowship positions at the University of South Florida (USA; 2014-2015) then at Macquarie University (2016). I completed a Macquarie University Research Fellowship (2017-2022) before starting my NHMRC Emerging Leader Fellowship (2023-2027).

I am a registered Clinical Psychologist and board-approved supervisor for Clinical Psychology registrars. 

Research interests

  • Cognitive and learning mechanisms underpinning anxiety and related disorders, including fear extinction learning, neuropsychological functioning, and attentional, memory and cognitive and biases.
  • Psychosocial impacts of anxiety and related disorders
  • Treatment of anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive and tic disorders.
  • Family responses to mental health problems in youth and older adults, including family accommodation, mental health literacy and stigma.
  • Optimising age-appropriate assessment of mental health symptoms, and assessment of treatment outcome.

Research student supervision

I supervise research students with interests in the following areas:

Anxiety; Depression; Children; Adolescents; Youth; Older adults; Cognitive Behaviour Therapy; Treatment; Fear conditioning; Fear Learning; Attention bias; Cognitive bias; Memory; Neuropsychological functioning; Cognition; Family accommodation; Avoidance; Optimising treatment; Novel treatment approaches; Assessment.

Community engagement

I am the elected Secretary for the Australian Psychological Society Psychology and Ageing Interest Group (PAIG; 2020-current), and have been Chair of the biannual PAIG conference committee since 2020.

I regularly provide talks on anxiety disorders in youth and older adults to parents, teachers, early childhood workers, aged care workers, health professionals and members of the community. I also engage in a range of media interviews (television, radio and newspaper) about childhood and late-life anxiety disorders.

I have served on the Low-risk Human Research Ethics Committee at Macquarie University (2019-Current).

Research engagement

I am the Deputy Director of Research for the Macquarie University Lifespan Health & Wellbeing Research Centre, and former Deputy Director of the Centre for Ageing, Cognition and Wellbeing, Faculty of Medicine, Health & Human Sciences, Macquarie University.

I have served in several roles for the National Health & Medical Research Council (NHMRC) including the review panel for Investigator Grants (2022, 2023) and as an external grant reviewer (2018). 

I hold a number of editorial roles for peer-reviewed scientific journals. I am Associate Editor for Australian Psychologist (2022-ongoing) and Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic (2016-ongoing), and Section Editor for Geriatric Psychiatry for Volumes 2-4 of Advances in Psychiatry and Behavioral Health (2021-ongoing). I also serve on the editorial boards for Research on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology (formerly Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology), Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy, and Cognitive and Behavioral Practice.

Research student supervision

Completions

HDR

Trudy Green (2019-2020), Masters of Research. Thesis: "Age Differences in Peritraumatic and Posttraumatic Processing using a Trauma Film Paradigm"

Catherine Shipley (2021-2022), Masters of Research. Thesis: "Cognitive Functioning in Abstinent Cannabis Users: A Neuropsychological and MEG Investigation"

Masters of Clinical Psychology

Christopher Stalley (2022). Thesis: "Flexible Thinking and Cognitive Restructuring in Young Adults With Anxiety and Depression."

Tara Fassen (2019-2020). Thesis: "Family Accommodation Behaviours in Older Adults."

Bachelor of Psychology (Honours)

Teegan Gardner-Harrex. Thesis: "You are Better than You Think: Mechanisms Behind the Under-Estimation of Performance in Social Anxiety Disorder"

Kyle McIndoe (2021-2022). Thesis: "Exploring the Effect of Exercise on the Doctoral Candidature Experience"

Courtney Muir (2021). Thesis: "The Role of Family Accommodation in Later-Life Anxiety"

Candour Hu (2019). Thesis: "Autobiographical Memory Biases In Social Anxiety"

Aswathi Neelakandan (2018). Thesis: "The Impact of Cognitive Resources Across the Memory Process. Will the Positivity Effect Persist?"

 

Current students

HDR

Tam Pham, Combined PhD/Masters of Clinical Psychology

Katherine Ko, Combined PhD/Masters of Clinical Neuropsychology  

Alana Jones, PhD

Masters of Clinical Psychology

Courtney Muir

Emily Daniel

June Lee

Teaching

I provide guest lectures on the Masters of Clinical Psychology, Masters of Clinical Neuropsychology, Honours and undergraduate psychology programs.

External positions

Secretary, APS Special Interest Group on Psychology and Ageing

1 Jan 2020 → …

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