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1985 …2024

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Personal profile


I trained as a biostatistician and have worked in epidemiology and public health for almost forty years in variety of settings including universities, research institutions and in industry. I am professionally accredited as a statistician by the Statistical Society of Australia and the Royal Statistical Society (UK). During my career I have spent almost twenty years working in universities, a further ten years working in research institutions, including eight years at the Royal North Shore Hospital in clinical research, and the remainder working in research consulting activities.

In addition to my substantive position at Macquarie I hold an honorary professorial appoint as a Conjoint Professor in the School of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Newcastle (NSW), am affiliated with the Stress Research Institute in the Psychology Department of Stockholm University and on two occasions have held honorary appointments at the Mayo Clinic.


Research interests

My dominant stream of research is in understanding the mechanisms by which a number of psychological traits and processes are strongly associated with functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs) in which I have a history spanning over 35 years. Recent papers include those studying potential causal psychological pathways in FGIDs and a study of how cognitive behaviour therapy operates on gastrointestinal symptoms. More recently I have expanded this interest to include the functional somatic syndromes, of which FGIDs are just one group.


I currently teach on a unit in statistics and research methods for psychologists:

PSYC8863: A unit designed for students in our three clinical programs and is also auditted by 2nd year MRes students. I chair and teach this unit alone.


Research student supervision

I currently supervise students at Honours, Masters and PhD level. I am actively seeking students interested in a range of topics around mind-body interactions, particularly trying to understand how psychological traits and processes are involved in somatic sensations. While my primary area is mind-gut interactions I am also interested in somatisation and other psychosomatic topics.

Community engagement

I currently sit on the advisory board of General Practice Australia Plus, which provides accreditation of Australian general practices and have previously sat on other advisory boards. I regularly review for several scientific journals including Quality-of-life Research, BMC Gastroenterology, Neurogastroenterology & Motility and the Medical Journal of Australia (MJA). Along with Professor John Attia from the University of Newcastle I was previously co-editor of a special series for the MJA on statistics and epidemiology.

I am currently an Associate Editor for the journal Neurogastroenterology & Motility. I am a member of the editorial board of and Frontiers in Pharmacology and was a founding member of the founding editorial board of United European Gastroenterolgy Journal.

Within the university I have held these positions:

Head of Psychology Department: November 2007-March 2010

Associate Dean (International): March 2013-September 2015 (Faculty of Human Sciences)

Associate Dean (Research): September 2015-May 2018 (Faculty of Human Sciences)

Deputy Head of Psychology Department (Research): March 2020 - October 2021

Associate Dean (Research Partnerships & Integration): November 2021 - present (Faculty of Medicine, Health & Human Sciences)

Research engagement

I am currently engaged in several industry collaborations investigating topics in the brain-gut axis.


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