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Personal profile


I am an Associate Professor in Psychology at Macquarie University.  I gained my Masters and PhD in Psychology from Vanderbilt University in the USA. After completing my PhD, I did a post-doctoral research fellowship at Yale University. I then accepted a position as an Assistant Professor at Temple University in Philadelphia where I remained until I moved to Macquarie University in 2012. I currently serve as the Deputy Director of the University Centre of Elite Performance, Expertise, and Training (CEPET) and I am also a Deputy Director of the Faculty Perception and Action Research Centre (PARC).

Research interests

My research aims to 1) to investigate the extent to which effects of visual learning and/or perceptual expertise permeate even the most basic cognitive functions, 2) to elucidate the cognitive and neural mechanisms of successful learning in the visual domain, and 3) to apply insights about successful visual learning towards understanding how and why it can sometimes fail to develop normally.  I am currently extending this line of research towards questions of applied interest.  Ultimately, my research is geared towards contributing to improved engineering of training environments, whether geared for professionals, such as pathologists, radiologists or lifeguards, or for individuals who fail to develop critical every day visual expertise, such as that which supports face recognition. My research is currently supported by two Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Project grants as well as an ARC Linkage Project grant.

Research student supervision

I supervise undergraduate interns as well as honours, Masters and PhD students in my research lab. Students that I supervise typically conduct research in the area of visual cognition, with a focus on how learning and experience impacts the way we perceive and process visual information. This may be in the case of everyday expertise, such as face recognition, or cases of specialised visual skills, such as in real-word experts like Pathologists or Radiologists.


I am actively involved in teaching in the areas of cognition and perception at all levels of learning. I have taught in the following units at Macquarie University:

  • PSYC105/PSYX105:Introduction to Psychology II
  • PSY246: Cognition I
  • PSY247: Perception I
  • PSY335: Cognition II
  • PSY342: Perception II
  • PSYN811: Cognitive Neuropsychology

Community engagement

I have served on a number of editorial boards, including those of the journals Psychological Science and Attention, Perception and Psychophysics. I also currently serve on the editorial boards of the Journal of Expertise and Psychonomic Bulletin and Review.

I have also contributed to a number of outreach activities.  For example, I served as a scientific advisor on the ‘other race face recognition effect’ in a documentary on racism produced by Mindful Media which aired on SBS in April 2017.

I also currently serve on the Macquarie University High Risk Research Ethics Committee.

Education/Academic qualification

Psychology, PhD, Vanderbilt University


Psychology, MA, Vanderbilt University



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