The Appleton Institute combines excellence in research, teaching and community engagement across a range of basic and applied research areas including behavioural health (sleep, physical activity, sedentary behaviour and nutrition), human factors and operational readiness (occupational health and safety, risk management, complex systems, rostering and shiftwork), and resilience and wellbeing, particularly in the regions.
Our researchers work from a number of campuses across our national footprint. Research teams are concentrated in Adelaide, Rockhampton and Brisbane, with colleagues also working in Bundaberg, Sydney, and Townsville.
The Institute hosts a state-of-the-art, six-bed sleep research facility in Adelaide, one of the largest in the world. We conduct cognitive, physical and physiological testing as well as simulated driving protocols. Also in Adelaide is an interactive rail simulator.
Research and facilities
- Human Factors
- Sleep and Circadian Biology
- Operational Readiness
- Health Behaviours: Physical Activity, Sedentary Behaviour, Sleep and Diet
- e- and m- Health Interventions
- Clinical, Cognitive, Social, Comparative and Positive Psychology
- Workplace Health and Safety
- Shift Work and Fatigue Risk Management
- Resilience, Wellbeing and Mental Health
- Disaster Management
- Health Economics
- Equity at Work
- Systems Thinking
- Paediatric Sleep
- Wearable Technologies
- Sleep and Sports Performance
The Sleep, Fatigue and Circadian Rhythms research group conducts a range of basic and applied research projects related to the sleep/wake and circadian systems of children and adults.
In particular, we examine the effects of sleep loss and circadian disruption on cognitive function, accident risk, physical health, and mental well-being; we develop, implement, and evaluate tools, procedures, and systems to minimise fatigue risk in safety-critical workplaces; and we collaborate with industry and government stakeholders to inform policy and practice regarding safe hours of work.
Key research personnel
The Human Factors and Operational Readiness group has a focus on safety and performance in the workplace, to support and optimise the wellbeing, safety, and productivity of individuals, industries and communities.
We provide practical solutions to our partners, based on scientific evidence. Our program of work conducts leading-edge research to understand the relationship between people and technologies, tools, environments, and systems, and practically translating these to have real-world benefit and impact.
Utilising innovative research methods in both the laboratory and the field, we aim to improve our understanding of the factors that impact operational readiness, and through effective translation of research into practice, develop evidence-based, usable strategies for workers, their families and their communities.
We have specific interest in the interactions of sleep, work, health and safety, and the behavioural impact of these on ways of working across various sectors. In close partnership with industry and community groups, our program of work considers short, mid and long-term physical and psychological health, as well as social, occupational and domestic impacts of nonstandard patterns of work.
We also have a key interest in developing a broader understanding of how decisions are made, and skills and knowledge are applied by individuals and within teams in highly safety-critical complex systems and environments.
Key research personnel
- Professor Sally Ferguson
- Associate Professor Matthew Thomas
- Associate Professor Anjum Naweed
- Associate Professor Chris Bearman
- Dr Danielle Every
- Professor Trudy Dwyer
- Dr Charlotte Gupta
- Dr Helen Keen-Dyer
- Dr Jessica Paterson
- Mr Kevin Perry
- Dr Amy Reynolds
- Dr Gabrielle Rigney
- Dr Madeline Sprajcer
- Professor Carolyn Unsworth
- Dr Grace Vincent
Our Physical Activity Research Group investigates the science of physical activity and health behaviours. Focussed on developing innovative intervention strategies, the group attracts significant research funding and is home to the world-renowned 10,000 Steps program.
Our Cluster for Resilience and Wellbeing (CReW) was formed to provide leadership and expertise in resilience and wellbeing research from the individual, occupational, and community levels, with a focus on regional and rural issues.
Our goal is to undertake research within the communities we serve, to improve the resilience and well-being of all Australians. We will achieve this through extensive stakeholder consultation with industry, government and non-government agencies, communities, and individuals. This holistic approach will ensure the activities of the CReW meet the needs and expectations of our partners.
CReW will achieve more than simply measuring resilience and well-being. We will proactively work with our partners to undertake applied and translational research in different settings which results in practical solutions to the challenges facing Australian communities.
CReW’s work will support the strategic plan developed by the Appleton Institute and the University to create knowledge for the benefit of our communities that will be embedded in the education and training of our students.
Who we are
CReW is co-led by Professor Chris Doran and Associate Professor Robert Stanton. CReW members pride themselves on conducting their research where it matters most by living and working in the communities they serve.
CReW members have specialist research skills in:
- Physical activity
- Mental health
- Health economics
- Public health
- Healthcare systems
- Health psychology
- Behaviour change
- Indigenous health
- Suicide prevention
- Mental health literacy
Key research personnel
Focused on increasing knowledge and practical competence in health behaviour motivation, the Motivation of Health Behaviours Lab is a connected network of students and academics across the University.
The Appleton Institute is well equipped with a state-of-the-art sleep laboratory with six bedrooms and time-isolation capabilities and an interactive rail simulator. We are also very well supported by our industry contacts and partners in terms of access to facilities.
Read about the full breadth of facilities and engagement on our Adelaide region page.
44 Greenhill Road, Wayville SA 5034
Phone enquiries: +61 8 8378 4523
Professor Sally Ferguson
Director, Appleton Institute
Phone: +61 (08) 8378 4508
For all enquiries regarding the Appleton Institute, please email: email@example.com
The Appleton Institute boasts around 40 professional researchers, research students and support staff across a broad range of talents, skills and specialist areas.
Enquiries to the Institute are welcome from all prospective partners, including Australian and international universities, government departments, corporate entities and industry groups.
Sleep and Circadian Biology; Operational Readiness; Workplace Health and Safety; Shift work and Fatigue Risk Management (Director; Human Factors and Operational Readiness co-lead)
Health Behaviours: Physical Activity, Sedentary Behaviour, Sleep and Diet; e- and m- Health Interventions; Wearable Technologies (Physical Activity Research Group Lead).
Human Factors; Health behaviours: Sedentary Behaviour, Diet; Cognitive, Social and Psychology; Workplace Health and Safety; Resilience, well-being and Mental Health; Systems thinking (Human Factors and Operational Readiness co-lead).
Human Factors; Operational Readiness; Disaster Management; Clinical, Cognitive, Social and Positive Psychology; Workplace Health and Safety; Resilience, Wellbeing and Mental Health.
Health Behaviours: Physical Activity, Sleep; Sleep and Circadian Biology; Clinical, Cognitive, Social and Positive Psychology; Resilience, Well-being and Mental Health.
Operational Readiness; Health Behaviours - Physical Activity, Sedentary Behaviour, Sleep.
Sleep and Circadian Biology; Health behaviours: Physical Activity, Sedentary Behaviour, Sleep and Diet; Sleep and Sport Performance; Wearable Technologies.
Clinical, Cognitive, Social and Positive Psychology; Operational readiness, Resilience, Well-being and Mental Health; Health behaviours: Sleep; Workplace Health and Safety.
Operational Readiness; Epidemiology; Workplace Health and Safety; Sleep and Circadian Biology; Health Behaviours: Physical Activity, Sedentary Behaviour, Sleep and Diet.
Sleep and Circadian Biology; Operational Readiness; Health Behaviours: Sleep; e- and m- Health Interventions; Workplace Health and Safety; Paediatric Sleep – School-based/Youth sleep education.
Sleep and Circadian Biology; Health Behaviours: Physical Activity, Sedentary Behaviour, Sleep and Diet; Workplace Health and Safety; Wearable Technologies; Shiftwork: Health, Safety and Performance; Sleep and Elite Sport.
Sleep and Circadian Biology; Operational readiness; Workplace Health and Safety; Human Factors and Safety Science.
Health Behaviours: Physical Activity, Sedentary Behaviour, Sleep and Diet; e- and m- Health Interventions; Epidemiology.
Operational Readiness; Health Behaviours - Physical Activity, Sedentary Behaviour, Sleep and Diet; Workplace Health and Safety; Sleep and Circadian Biology; e- and m- Health Interventions; Shift work and Fatigue Risk Management.