News and events

News and events


A Message from the Head of Department: COVID-19

March, 2020. In light of the ongoing difficulties being caused by the COVID-19 virus, my colleagues and I in the Department of Psychology would like to take the opportunity to provide a brief word of personal reassurance to you, our students. Although this is clearly a challenging time for everyone, it’s important that we keep our wits about us and continue taking those actions that are necessary to ensure that we remain safe and continue our daily lives to be the fullest extent possible.

With those ends in mind, our department will be changing how we will be delivering our courses, moving towards online delivery of all of our units and proactively taking steps to ensure that, when the situation returns to normal, you will be able to resume your on-campus studies as seamlessly as possible. But until that happens, it is important to remain safe. This means taking personal responsibility to comply with all government and university health policies (e.g., social distancing). And perhaps most importantly, this means remembering that we are all experiencing this crisis together.

So please remember that, although it is important to take steps to physically distance ourselves from each other, there are many ways to remain socially engaged, and that it is imperative to do so.  Indeed, staying connected is vital for maintaining our well-being during and getting through this crisis will minimal disruption to our lives.

- Professor Erik Reichle

Department of Psychology receives three 2019 Academic Staff Awards

Staff Awards 2019November, 2019. Congratulations to Department of Psychology winners at the 2019 Macquarie University Academic Staff Awards! More details about the awards ceremony can be found here and photos of our staff are available on the @PsyMQ Facebook page.

  • Lauren Ehrenfeld won the Vice-Chancellor’s Learning and Teaching Sessional Staff Award.
  • Nicholas Everett won the Excellence in Higher Degree Research Award (Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences).
  • Prof. Jennie Hudson won the Excellence in Higher Degree Research Supervisor of the Year Award.

Psychology academics receive APS early-career researcher awards

Carly JohncoMilena GandyNovember, 2019. Congratulations to Dr Carly Johnco and Dr Milena Gandy from the Department of Psychology for both receiving a prestigious 2019 Australian Psychological Society (APS) Early Career Researcher Award!

The APS Early Career Research Award recognises excellence in scientific achievement in psychology among psychologists who are at early stages of their research careers in Australia. The award is intended for candidates whose achievements are outstanding and place them significantly ahead of their peers.

In 2019 three Early Career Research Awards were conferred Australia-wide and Macquarie University's Department of Psychology received two! Well done Carly and Milena!

Understanding mental health in the context of chronic physical health

Blake DearAugust, 2019. Associate Professor Blake Dear has received a prestigious five-year NHMRC Investigator Grant worth $950,000. Chronic physical health condition can impact almost all areas of life, and poor mental health is a common consequence. Numerous barriers mean that most people are unable to access effective psychological care, and little is known about the factors most critical for maintaining good mental health. This research program aims to address these critical knowledge and service gaps, and significantly improve our ability to support the mental health of Australians with chronic health conditions. Congratulations Blake!

Department of Psychology Ranked in World's top 100

Department Staff PhotoJune, 2019. Macquarie University's Department of Psychology is ranked in the top 100 worldwide and 5th highest in Australia, according to the 2019 Academic Ranking of World Universities. The ranking system uses six objective measures of research excellence including metrics based upon publication numbers, normalised citations, journal quality and international collaboration.

This is an outstanding result for the department and well-deserved recognition of the exceptional quality of their research. Congratulations!

In Relationships, 'Trust Your Sense of Smell, it's Often Right'

Amee BairdJune, 2019. Senior Lecturer and researcher Dr Mehmet Mahmut has appeared on ABC Radio Sydney Breakfast and The Sydney Morning Herald speaking about his research on humans' sense of smell, and how it can affect the entire life of a romantic partnership.

The research has been published in the peer-reviewed journal Physiology and Behavior.

Dr Fardouly Speaks to ABC News About Healthy Bodies

Jasmine FardoulyJune, 2019. Postdoctoral researcher Dr Jasmine Fardouly examines the links between social media use and mental health at Macquarie University. In a recent ABC News interview, Dr Fardouly provides expert opinion on a controversy sparked by Niké's use of plus-sized mannequins in their London store.

"Statistically, larger body sizes are normal within our society, so having a plus-size mannequin is perhaps more representative of the general population than the very thin mannequins often used in stores."

A/Prof Sachiko Kinoshita gives Ross Day Plenary Lecture at EPC 2019

Sachiko EPC 2019April, 2018. A/Prof. Sachiko Kinoshita from the Department of Psychology gave the Ross Day Plenary Lecture on April 26th at the most recent Experimental Psychology Conference, held in Wellington, New Zealand. The title of Sachiko’s talk was: “Reconsidering the automaticity of reading: Insights from the Bayesian reader.” Congratulations Sachiko on this prestigious accolade!

On a related note, we are proud to announce that the 2021 Experimental Psychology Conference will be hosted by the Macquarie University Department of Psychology.

Prof Mark Wiggins Speaks to 2SER About Drowning Prevention

Mark WigginsMarch, 2019. The last few summers have been horrible for drownings and near-drownings in Australian waterways. Foreign visitors and international students are over-represented in these tragic statistics. Often visitors to our shores are unable to read the cues and signs of dangerous water conditions that come with an upbringing around pools, the beach, and rivers. Research out of Macquarie University, recently published in The Lighthouse, is seeking to reduce risks and educate visitors using software originally designed for industry management.

Radio station 2SER spoke to Professor Mark Wiggins of the Department of Psychology and Centre for Elite Performance, Expertise, and Training at Macquarie University to find out more.


4th Annual Conference of the Centre for Elite Performance, Expertise, and Training (CEPET)

CEPET Conference 2019Expertise is essential to the performance of many activities. But what are the best practices for developing and maintaining expertise? How can a scientific understanding of human cognitive and perceptual functioning inform these practices? What modern training methods and technologies, including artificial intelligence technologies, can help advance expertise training in the future? How do communities of practice, in specific cultural settings, sustain performance over time?

Macquarie University’s 4th Annual Conference of the Centre for Elite Performance, Expertise and Training explores these questions across a wide range of behavioural contexts. More details on the CEPET website.

When & Where: November 7-8, 2019, MGSM Executive Hotel and Conference Centre, 1 Management Drive, Macquarie University, NSW, Australia.

1st Conference of the FHS Research Centre for Ageing, Cognition, and Wellbeing

FHS Ageing Conference 2019The new Faculty of Human Sciences Research Centre for Ageing, Cognition, and Wellbeing at Macquarie University is a collaborative group of multidisciplinary researchers with interest in the normal and abnormal aspects of ageing.

The Centre held its first annual conference on Nov 5 at Macquarie University. More details can be found on the Centre website.

When & Where: Nov 5, Conference Room D, Level 3, MUSE Building, 18WW, Macquarie University

Sex in the brain: In conversation with Dr Amee Baird

Amee BairdClinical neuropsychologist Dr Amee Baird joins Dr Karl Kruszelnicki to discuss her new book, Sex in the Brain. In this much-anticipated release, Dr Baird takes readers on an entertaining and informative tour of the sexiest bits of the human brain. Spiced with real case studies, the book reveals pathologies no longer hidden in medical journals or the bedrooms of people whose sex lives are undergoing dramatic change, for better and worse.

When & Where: Thursday, September 12, 2019. 6pm, Gleebooks, 49 Glebe Point Rd, Glebe, NSW.

More details and bookings here.

The science of hoarding

Melissa NorbergWhat is hoarding disorder, why does it develop and how can it be treated? Join Associate Professor Melissa Norberg, Deputy Director for the Centre of Emotional Health at Macquarie University, at the State Library on August 8 to learn why we can be motivated to acquire possessions we do not need.

When & Where: Thursday, August 8 2019. 11:00am-12:00pm, Metcalfe Auditorium, State Library of NSW, Macquarie Street, Sydney, NSW, 2000

More details including free booking.

PsychMAD: Making behaviour change research useful

Charles AbrahamProfessor Charles Abraham from the University of Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences joined us in May to talk about how scientists can optimise behaviour change research so as to maximise practice relevance and health impact.

When & Where: Thursday May 23, 3-4pm, Hearing Hub Building, Level 3, Room 3.610, Macquarie University.

More details including a biography and abstract of the talk.

3rd Annual Workshop of the Centre for Elite Performance, Expertise, and Training (CEPET)

CEPET WorkshopThe Centre for Elite Performance, Expertise, and Training (CEPET) held its third annual research workshop on April 29, 2019. This year's workshop focused on the theme of ‘Attention and Distraction in Expertise’. The workshop was a huge success with nine fascinating and engaging talks and over 60 participants throughout the course of the day.

Visit the workshop website for more details.

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