CEPET People

CEPET People

Members of Centre for Elite Performance, Expertise and Training (CEPET) have a combined record of productivity that is exceptional, with complementary strengths in psychology, cognitive science, philosophy, music, sports science, methodology, applied practice, and analysis. They are distinguished by top tier publications, HDR supervisors, community engagement, and research funding success.

Core Members

Professor Bill ThompsonProfessor Bill Thompson
Centre Director
Department of Psychology

Bill is Professor in psychology at the Department of Psychology and Chief Investigator of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders. He is also the Director of the Music, Sound and Performance Lab. His research interests include music perception and cognition, music and emotion, violence and music, music and language, disorders of music, and music-based treatments. Click here to find out more.

Professor Mark WigginsProfessor Mark Wiggins
Centre Deputy Director
Department of Psychology

Mark is a registered psychologist with an endorsed area of practice in organisational psychology. His research and teaching interests lie in the assessment and development of expert performance, particularly in the context of cognitive skills such as diagnosis and decision-making. Click here to find out more.

Professor John SuttonProfessor John Sutton
Department of Cognitive Science

John is Professor in cognitive science and Associate Investigator of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders. His research covers memory, skill, and distributed cognition, seeking to integrate philosophical, psychological, and historical ideas and methods in areas such as autobiographical and social memory, point of view in personal memory, and mindful bodies in action. Click here to find out more.

Prof. Mark WilliamsProfessor Mark Williams
Department of Cognitive Science

Mark is Professor in psychology and Associate Investigator of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders. Mark investigates the way the brain generates the perceptual reality we ‘see’. He uses both novel objects and more familiar stimuli such as faces and scenes to examine areas of the brain involved in perception. He  implements novel analysis techniques such as multi-voxel pattern analysis to 'read-out' how the brain perceives the world. Click here to find out more.

Associate Professor Barbara GriffinAssociate Professor Barbara Griffin
Department of Psychology

Barbara is an organisational psychologist and Program Director of Organisational Psychology. She has led a substantial research program investigating adaptive processes across the employee career cycle, including projects on selection, incivility, career transition, and organisational culture, with research conducted in many Australian and multinational companies across the public and private sectors. Click here to find out more.

Associate Professor Greg DowneyAssociate Professor Greg Downey
Department of Anthropology

Greg is Head of Department in Anthropology and his research focuses on studying the effects of skill acquisition, especially on cognitive and sensory learning, from a biocultural and neuroanthropological perspective. He has significant secondary research projects in areas like service-based learning, human rights, and evolutionary theory. Click here to find out more.

A/Prof. Catherine McMahonAssociate Professor Catherine McMahon
Department of Linguistics

Catherine is a researcher, clinical audiologist, Head of Audiology and Associate Investigator of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders. Catherine's research has a strong clinical focus that aims to better understand the effects of adult-onset hearing loss and its associations (such as tinnitus) on the individual, the family and community. It focuses on older adults, where sensory disorders, such as hearing loss, and cognitive decline is highly prevalent. Click here to find out more.

A/Prof. Anina RichAssociate Professor Anina Rich
Department of Cognitive Science

Anina is an Associate Professor in cognitive science and Associate Investigator of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders. Anina's research focuses primarily on two different aspects of sensory processing: the mechanisms and influences of selective attention, and the way in which the brain integrates information, including unusual occurrences of integration such as Synaesthesia. An additional interest lies in the way in which the brain changes and adapts to injury or modified input. Click here to find out more.

Dr. Manolya KavakliAssociate Professor Manolya Kavakli
Department of Computing

Associate Professor Manolya Kavakli is currently the Director of Postgraduate Coursework Program at the Department of Computing and the Director of Virtual Reality Lab at the Simulation Hub. Manolya has been working on Human Computer Interaction for 25 years. She is currently using virtual reality hardware and software, focusing on gesture recognition, and designing ubiquitous systems to improve learning outcomes, as well as motion tracking in the field of computer games and training simulations to contribute to expertise building. Click here to find out more.

Dr. Kim CurbyDr. Kim Curby
Department of Psychology

Dr. Kim Curby is an ARC (DECRA) Research Fellow in psychology. Kim's research focuses on questions such as: How does visual learning alter the way we see and remember? What happens to the brain when we become perceptual experts? And how can understanding such processes inform us about why people can sometimes fail to develop the kinds of perceptual expertise that most of us take for granted (for example, face recognition)? Click here to find out more.

Dr. Melanie TaylorDr. Melanie Taylor
Department of Psychology

Melanie has worked in the areas of psychosocial impacts of disasters and emergencies and related preparedness and response behaviour. She has also specialised in the optimization of human performance. For example, the assessment of human performance and human error in safety-critical systems, e.g. aviation, military operations, and she has experience in using a wide range of research methodologies. Many projects have investigated human performance and limitations in stressful environments, or in the presence of stressors.

Mr. Glenn Warry
Sport and Recreation

Glenn is a consultant with Sport and Recreation at Macquarie University.

Associate Members

Dr. Kirk OlsenDr. Kirk Olsen
CEPET Centre Manager: Research and Engagement
Department of Psychology

Kirk is CEPET Centre Manager and postdoctoral researcher in psychology. Kirk's research investigates cognitive and sensory mechanisms that underpin perception of complex and dynamic real-world acoustic stimuli such as music. He has a particular interest in using behavioural and computational methods to investigate loudness in normal-hearing listeners and those who experience age-related hearing-impairment. Click here to find out more.

Dr. Waldo GarridoDr. Waldo Garrido
Department of Media, Music, Communications and Cultural Studies

Waldo is Associate Lecturer in music in the Department of Media, Music, Communications and Cultural Studies. Waldo's research interests include: music psychology (cultural memory and nostalgia), music performance (improvisation, guitar, bass and jazz), music production (digital technologies), music industry (publishing and independent musicians), and world popular music (cross cultural music making). Click here to find out more.

Doctoral Student Members

Ms. Sue Brouwers
Department of Psychology
Supervisor: Prof. Mark Wiggins

Sue Brouwers is an Organisational Psychology PhD candidate at Macquarie University. Her research has incorporated the use of EXPERTise (Driving: V. 1.0 and 2.0) to examine how cue utilisation reduces the demands on cognitive resources (cognitive load) and impacts the performance of individuals in learning-related contexts. The performance-related impacts of cue utilisation have been examined with the use of aircraft and rail control simulations.

Ms. Eva Gacasan
Department of Psychology
Supervisor: Prof. Mark Wiggins

Eva Marie Gacasan's PhD project examines sensemaking as a cognitive construct in project management, in particular, focusing on the disaster recovery context. The aim of her research is to understand how project managers make sense of complex situations by examining the key features that they acquire from the environment, and the way they acquire them, or the cue utilisation process involved. Her research methodology included cognitive task analysis/ critical incident technique, cross-sectional survey, and experimental study using EXPERTise, a diagnostic software. The outcomes of this research are intended to provide an empirical basis of cue-based training and assessment systems in both the project management and the disaster management fields.  Her research is under the supervision of Prof. Mark Wiggins.

Mr. Peter Renshaw
Department of Psychology
Supervisor: Prof. Mark Wiggins

Peter Renshaw is a Registered Psychologist and Member of the Australian Psychological Society. He also holds conventional pilot licences for fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft with various ratings and endorsements, including a helicopter flight instructor rating. He is undertaking a PhD examining technical skill acquisition and performance within the context of remotely-piloted aircraft operations. He has extensive experience as an aircraft accident investigator and airline safety manager.

Mr. Daniel Yee
Department of Psychology
Supervisor: Prof. Mark Wiggins

Previous research has focused on the role of cue utilisation in technical environments which involve highly domain-specific cues and environments. Daniel's program of research seeks to examine whether the utilisation of more broad social cues predicts performance in transient and dynamic settings, and whether social cue utilisation provides incremental validity over more traditional, technical forms of cue utilisation.

Ms. Ann Carrigan
Department of Cognitive Science
Supervisor: A/Prof. Anina Rich

Visual search and attention are required to attain our goals in all aspects of life. Previous studies including those investigating participants who have an expertise in a specific domain, such as medical imaging, show that these tasks are prone to error. If one has a cancer screening scan, somebody “searches” that image for an abnormality. Ann’s project focuses on how this attentionally-demanding visual search process works, and the features that separate naive observers and experienced radiologists. Ann studies factors such as attentional bias and the effect of visual clutter on error rates using psychophysical experiments. The outcomes will make a contribution by providing new insights into visual search and attention, within an applied setting, along with strategies to reduce errors in diagnosis and informing training of radiologists.

Sarah Pini (Supervised by Prof. John Sutton): PhD topic is on expert dance cognition.

Dorothea O’Conor & James Wood (Supervised by Prof. Mark Wiggins)

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