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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.

Professor Drew Dawson - Director, Appleton Institute

Professor Drew Dawson
Director, Appleton Institute and Associate Vice-Chancellor (South Australia)
08 8378 4507

Professor Drew Dawson is nationally and internationally recognised for his contributions to the scientific community and to industry in the areas of sleep and fatigue research, organisational psychology and human behaviour, industrial relations negotiations, and the human implications of hours of work. Drew established the sleep research group at the University of Adelaide in 1992, which since then has grown to become the largest behavioural sleep research group in Australia.

Professor Dawson has worked extensively with the aviation, manufacturing, retail, entertainment, transportation and mining sectors in Australia, and is a world-renowned expert on fatigue in the workplace. He has instigated fatigue management programs, developed shiftwork and fatigue policy, undertaken pre-employment assessments, and facilitated shiftwork education sessions. Prof Dawson also regularly presents at national and international conferences and has provided expert witness testimony in many fatigue-related court cases.

Having built a broad multidisciplinary team Drew formed the Appleton Institute in January 2012. As director of the internationally recognised Appleton Institute, he oversees basic and applied research into the effects of shift work and sleep loss on the health and well-being of employees. Basic research programs are focused on the interactions of the sleep and circadian systems, the effects of sleep loss and the ways people protect themselves against fatigue-related errors.


The Appleton Institute - Associate Professor Matthew Thomas

Associate Professor Matthew Thomas
Deputy Director, Appleton Institute
Human Factors and Safety Systems
08 8378 4526

Matthew has a background in Human Factors, having completed his PhD in the area of training system design in 2000. His research interests focus on human error, non-technical skills, and the design of error tolerant systems. He has an established consultancy and publication record in these areas and is currently involved in a range of projects with industry partners in aviation, healthcare, and rail. He has been developing innovative approaches to simulation-based training and assessment and specialises in the area of Non-Technical Skill development and Threat and Error Management. He has taught in the area of Safety Science and Human Factors in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.

Professor Sally Ferguson

Professor Sally Ferguson
Deputy Dean - Research, School of Human, Health and Social Sciences  
08 8378 4508

Sally's research has focussed on circadian rhythms and how they are influenced by the environment, particularly light. Basic research projects supported by the NHMRC and ARC have focused on the relationship between the temperature system and sleep, and the effects of naps on performance. Sally has  also  conducted a number of government and industry-driven research and consultancy projects. The majority of these have investigated the effects of hours of work (specifically shiftwork patterns) on sleep and performance, and methods for reducing the fatigue-related risk associated with shiftwork.


The Appleton Institute - Associate Professor Greg Roach

Professor Greg Roach
Sleep & Circadian Physiology
08 8378 4510

Greg is interested in the effects of sleep deprivation on recovery sleep and circadian physiology. He is involved in conducting forced desynchrony protocols whereby participants are removed from any external time cues (such as watches, television and the day/night cycle). Greg has also been involved in the mathematical modelling of fatigue during shiftwork, particularly in the aviation industry where multiple time zones add complexity to the circadian rhythm. Recently Greg has also become involved in investigating the effects of sleep on exercise physiology, working with elite athletes such as the Australian Cricket team. View Greg's research profile/publications by following these links:

Dr. Charli Sargent

Associate Professor Charli Sargent
Senior Research Fellow in Sleep & Circadian Physiology
08 8378 4516

Associate Professor Charli Sargent is a Senior Research Fellow at the Appleton Institute. Since completing her PhD in August 2006, Dr Sargent has been involved in two major areas of research (i) field-based studies examining the sleep/wake behaviour of elite athletes, and (ii) laboratory-based studies examining the relative impacts of sleep, wake and body clock on metabolic function, eating behaviour and neurobehavioural performance.

Dr Michele Lastella
Senior Lecturer - Psychology
08 8378 4536

Dr Michele Lastella completed an Honours degree in Psychology in 2009 at the University of the Sunshine Coast and a PhD in Psychology in 2015 at the Appleton Institute for Behavioural Sciences. During this time he has taught various psychology courses and been active in his research area of sleep research. Michele's research interests involves examining the sleep/wake behaviours of elite athletes and how various stressors may impact their psychological state and performance. In 2016, he took up a full-time teaching and research position at the Appleton Institute for Behavioural Science. Michele currently work in this position teaching Applied Sports Psychology and continues conducting research in the area of pre-sleep behaviours, sleep, mood and performance.


The Appleton Institute - Dr Anjum Naweed

Associate Professor Anjum Naweed
Senior Research Fellow in Human Factors and Safety Systems
08 8378 4520

Anjum is an Associate Professor and Certified Professional Ergonomist at the Appleton Institute for Behavioural Science at CQUniversity. Anjum’s current research interests include complex decision-making and knowledge representation in skilled work, transportation human factors, accident analysis and prevention, story-telling and narrative, creative and cultural applications of simulation, serious games & gaming concepts, and rail safety science. More generally, Anjum is interested in understanding the relationship between people and technologies, tools, environments, and systems, and practically translating this across the safety critical domains.

Associate Professor Chris Bearman
Associate Professor - Cognitive Psychology
08 8378 4514

Chris Bearman is an Associate Professor of Cognitive Psychology, a Lead Researcher in the Bushfire & Natural Hazards CRC and a Volunteer Fire Fighter in the South Australian Country Fire Service. His research consists of industry-focused studies in the areas of occupational health and safety, human factors and applied cognitive psychology. Chris works closely with industry partners and government organisations around the world to produce research that has both a strong theoretical underpinning and a robust application to industry. Some highlights of his research are working with small commercial aviation operators to determine pressures that lead to sub-optimal flight-related decisions, identifying high risk tasks and mitigating strategies in the volunteer incident commander role, helping rail operators to develop an evidence-based approach to evaluating new technology, identifying reasons why breakdowns in coordination occur during large-scale bushfires and working with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration on projects that sought to redesign the US airspace system. Chris is currently leading a project funded through the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC on team management, decision making and organisational learning. Chris also supervises a number of PhD, Masters & Honours students in the Safety Science and Human Factors areas.


Dr Sarah Jay
Senior Postdoctoral Research Fellow
08 8378 4528

Dr Sarah Jay is a Senior Postdoctoral Researcher at the Appleton Institute for Behavioural Science in Adelaide. She completed her undergraduate honours degree in Social Science at the University of Adelaide in 2003 and then began her PhD at the University of South Australia in 2004. For her PhD, she investigated the time course of recovery in both laboratory and field settings. Specifically, her interest was to investigate the recovery of sleep, physiological sleepiness and waking function following sleep loss. Since completing her PhD in 2007, Sarah's research interests and publications have largely focused on understanding the impact of shift-work on sleep, performance, safety and the management of fatigue related risk in the workplace. Sarah has experience in conducting laboratory research and also working with the mining, aviation, healthcare and rail industries.

Dr Grace Vincent
Senior Postdoctoral Research Fellow
08 8378 4518

Dr Grace Vincent is currently a Senior Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Appleton Institute for Behavioural Sciences in Adelaide, Australia. Her research interests include sleep, physical activity, exercise, sport, and worker health and safety. Grace completed her Honours degree in Exercise Science and Physiology in 2010 at the University of Auckland, and a PhD at Deakin University in 2015. Her PhD research explored the interplay between firefighters’ sleep, physical activity, and physical task performance during multi-day wildfire suppression. Grace has experience conducting both laboratory and longitudinal field studies, in collaboration with a variety of industry partners in fire and emergency services, telecommunications, and healthcare. Grace has worked as a researcher at CQUniversity, Washington State University, Monash University, Deakin University, and the University of Auckland.

Appleton Institute Researcher, Dr Jessica Paterson

Dr Jessica Paterson
Senior Lecturer - Psychology
08 8378 4519

Jess completed her PhD in Psychology in 2010 investigating the consequences of sleep loss and shift work for mood regulation. Since then, she has conducted multiple research and consulting projects with the healthcare, transport and manufacturing industries. Jess is interested in the experience of fatigue, workplace culture and psychosocial wellbeing for health care workers and in the relationship between sleep and mental illness. Jess is also a Science Communication writer and contributes a monthly piece for the Adelaide Review.

Dr Amy Reynolds
Lecturer - Psychology and Public Health
08 8378 4511

Amy is a lecturer in Psychology and Public Health, and Emergency and Disaster Management. Based at the Appleton Institute at CQUniversity Australia's Adelaide Campus, Amy's research interests include:

  • Shift work, sleep and health
  • Microbiota changes with insufficient sleep
  • Broader sleep health awareness for the general public
  • Developing education and awareness of the impact of shift work on health
  • Psychological preparedness for natural disaster.

Amy's PhD was conferred in February 2015, and was entitled 'The Impact of Insufficient Sleep on Healthy Functioning in Men'. She focussed on the effects on insufficient sleep and shift work on men's health, with a particular emphasis on the metabolic consequences of poor sleep. Her PhD work involved sleep laboratory manipulation of sleep duration, and working on the large community-dwelling cohort study MAILES: Men, Androgens, Inflammation, Lifestyle, Environment and Stress based in Adelaide.

Amy's current interests are the role of intestinal microbiota on health, and how shift work (particularly sleep loss, circadian misalignment) alters profiles in the gut. She is particularly passionate about applied research, and translating findings from the laboratory into real-world changes for shift workers and other members of society who experience insufficient sleep. This has driven her interest in working with Emergency Services personnel to ensure best outcomes for workers and society as a whole.

Amy has worked at the University of Western Australia on the WA pregnancy cohort study (RAINE), and during her time in WA secured industry funding within the mining sector looking at fatigue interventions for FIFO workers.

Appleton Institute - Dr. Danielle Every

Dr Danielle Every
Senior Lecturer - Psychology
08 8378 4521

Danielle a social psychologist in the areas of social change, social inclusion and social justice. She specialises in research on the language of advocacy and anti-racism, the social impacts of immigration, and work, education and health for refugees and asylum seekers. Her work has been published internationally in journals such as the Journal of Refugee Studies, Nations and Nationalism, Discourse and Society, and in edited books, including Language Discourse and Social Psychology, published by Palgrave MacMillan.

Dr. Bradley Smith

Dr Bradley Smith
Senior Lecturer/Head of Course - Psychology
08 8378 4561

Bradley obtained a PhD in animal behaviour from the University of South Australia. His research focused on the behaviour and cognition in captive dingoes. Bradley remains actively involved in research projects concerning animal behaviour. Bradley is a comparative psychologist with a specialisation in canine cognition and behaviour. His field of research has covered various topics such as dingo cognition, the history of dingoes and their relationship with Indigenous Australians, the behaviour and enrichment of zoo animals, dingo conservation, and strategies of non-lethal control. He is also interested in all things relating to human-animal interactions, including conflict with wildlife, human-animal co-sleeping, animal assisted therapy, naming animals, and the management of animals during natural disasters.

Bradley currently work as a Senior Lecturer and Head of Course/Program (psychology) at CQUniversity (Adelaide campus), where he lectures in psychology and researchs dingoes and the human-animal relationship.


Professor Corneel Vandelanotte
Professorial Research Fellow
07 4923 2183

Professor Vandelanotte is a Professorial Research Fellow and NHF-funded Future Leader Fellow, who leads the Physical Activity Research Group (PARG) at the Appleton Institute. He also holds an Adjunct Professor position at Curtin University and the University of Southern Queensland. His research focuses on web-, app- and tracker-delivered and computer-tailored interventions for increasing physical activity. Professor Vandelanotte’s research takes a population health approach to behaviour change, through the development and evaluation of innovative, affordable and effective health behaviour change interventions that can reach large numbers of people. He has mostly worked in the area of physical activity, but also in the areas of sedentary behaviour, diet/nutrition and sleep. Professor Vandelanotte has secured over $7.5 million of competitive research funds (e.g., NHMRC, NHF, Queensland Health) and published over 150 peer reviewed publications. He recently also took up the Leadership position of Academic Lead – External Funding and Engagement within the School of Health, Medical and Applied Sciences at CQUniversity.

Dr Amanda Rebar
Senior Lecturer
07 4923 2182

Dr Amanda Rebar is a senior lecturer, National Health and Medical Research Council research fellow and the Director of the Motivation of Health Behaviour Lab. Dr Rebar’s research focuses on the psychology of behaviour change and health behaviour motivation, with particular emphasis on dual process models and non-conscious, automatic processes (e.g., habits, implicit attitudes, approach/avoidance tendencies) that influence health behaviours. Additionally, she is interested in understanding the mental health outcomes of physical activity and how mental health issues impact health behaviour motivation. While her work draws on a range of methodologies, she is a strong advocate for longitudinal repeated assessment designs and multi-level analysis for testing predictive relationships in real-world contexts.

Dr Stephanie Schoeppe
Senior Lecturer - Public Health
07 4923 2271

Dr Stephanie Schoeppe is a Senior Postdoctoral Research Fellow at CQUniversity, School of Health, Medical and Applied Sciences, Physical Activity Research Group. Her research areas includes measurement, correlates and interventions relating to physical activity and sedentary behaviour in children and adults. My recent research interest is on family-based interventions that actively involve parents through parental social support and modelling, and the use of wearable activity trackers and smartphone apps. She is an author on 34 peer-reviewed publications in physical activity and public health research (ResearchGate h-index: 10). Moreover, she has produced 13 commissioned research reports (including 6 for the World Health Organization and 3 for the Australian Federal Government). She has delivered 42 presentations and been awarded over $960,000 in research funds. In 2016, Dr Schoeppe  received two prestigious early career research fellowships from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and the National Heart Foundation (NHF) of Australia.

Dr Susan Williams
Senior Lecturer - Public Health
07 4923 2213

Dr Sue Williams is a Public Health Nutritionist and senior lecturer at CQUniversity. She has extensive experience in project and information management with a long standing career in health care and academia. She commenced her research career in 2009 and her population based research of health and health behaviours is underpinned by her beliefs in the need for translational research which bridges the gap between research and practice in ‘real-world’ settings.

Dr Williams has experience in developing and implementing preventive health and health promotion programs in schools and communities in regional Queensland and expertise in quantitative and qualitative research methods. She is particularly interested in using systems approaches to create healthy settings in communities.

Dr Williams is highly regarded for her engagement with communities and in addition to research presentations, she frequently presents workshops and education sessions on health and healthy behaviours to community groups. Dr Williams has published 15 journal articles and 2 book chapters (Scopus h-index 6).

Dr Saman Khalesi
Lecturer - Medical Science (Nutrition)
07 4930 6970

Dr Saman Khalesi is a Lecturer in Nutrition at the School of Health Medical and Applied Sciences. He is a Registered Nutritionist with research interests in chronic diseases (including hypertension and CVD), dietary patterns, health behaviour, gut health and probiotics. He has published 22+ papers in peer-reviewed journals and attracted 200+ citations. He has earned a total of $194,334 in research funds and presented at national and international conferences. He has served as a reviewer for international funding bodies and peer-review journals. His research findings have been translated into policy and reproduced in international magazines. He collaborates with industry, research institutes and universities nationally and internationally.

Dr Stephanie Alley
Senior Postdoctoral Research Fellow
07 4923 2263

Dr Stephanie Alley is a Senior Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Physical Activity Research Group at CQUniversity. Dr Alley holds a Bachelor of Psychological Science and a PhD in Health Psychology. Her research focuses on developing and evaluating physical activity interventions using new technology including computer-tailored websites and activity trackers. She is also interested in active aging and conducts research on the correlates of physical activity and the effectiveness of technology-based physical activity interventions in older adults. Dr Alley has over 30 peer reviewed publications and has secured over $250,000 in research funding.

Dr Melanie Hayman
Lecturer/Head of Course for Health Science (Allied Health)
07 4930 6912

Dr Melanie Hayman is an early career researcher (graduated from her PhD in December 2016) and currently works with the Physical Activity Research Group, and also as the Head of Course for Health Science (Allied Health), School of Human, Health and Social Sciences, CQUniversity Australia. Her research focuses on the promotion of physical activity during pregnancy among pregnant women and practitioners, as well as the integration of e- and mHealth interventions into clinical practice. My expertise includes web- and app-based interventions to improve physical activity in women during pregnancy.

Dr Hayman's research focuses on innovative ways to improve the health and well-being of pregnant women in Australia. She is particularly interested in how technology can be utilised to better promote physical activity and nutritional behaviours among the 70 percent of pregnant women who do not meet physical activity or nutritional recommendations in Australia. Accordingly, Dr Hayman developed Fit4Two, a web-based program that has successfully improved health behaviours among pregnant women thus contributing to a reduced risk of obesity and other chronic diseases in the mother and her child.

Associate Members

Dr. Sarah Blunden

Professor Sarah Blunden
Director - Masters of Clinical Psychology and Head of Paediatric Sleep Research
08 8378 4513

Sarah Blunden is a Professor at the Appleton Institute, specialising in Paediatric sleep. She has spent the past 10 years researching, treating and lecturing on children's sleep both nationally and internationally, as well as delivering education and information sessions to the community, educators and health care professionals. Sarah is recognised as an authority on children's sleep and is widely published in the field.

Professor Carolyn Unsworth
Professor - Occupational Therapy
03 9616 0504

Professor Carolyn Unsworth received her BAppSci(OccTher) (Bachelor of Occupational Therapy) (1989) and PhD (1994) from La Trobe University Australia, and is a registered occupational therapist in the USA (OTR) since (1994).

Dr Unsworth is an internationally respected researcher and educator, having provided undergraduate and post-graduate seminars, lectures and courses in Australia, USA, UK, Sweden and Singaopre in her specialty areas of community transport mobility and driving, cognitive and perceptual problems following acquired brain damage, and evidence-based practice.  Carolyn is currently Professor of Occupational Therapy at Central Queensland University and holds Adjunct Professorial appointments at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Jönköping University, Sweden, and Curtin University in Perth, Australia.  She also held the position of Visiting Professor at London South Bank University for the term 2010- 2011.

Carolyn has authored over 120 journal articles and book chapters as well as developing two published assessments.  She has presented over 100 conference papers and keynote presentations internationally. Carolyn currently serves on the editorial boards of the British Journal of Occupational Therapy and Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy, and was on the Editorial Board of the American Journal of Occupational Therapy for eight years.  She has served as guest editor for Special Issues on Community Mobility for the Australian Occupational Therapy Journal (2012) and British Journal of Occupational Therapy (2015).

Carolyn’s research interests focus on the occupation of community transport mobility. This includes her work on driver assessment and rehabilitation, and scooter and powered wheelchair use and access on public transport. Carolyn also researches and publishes in the related fields of clinical reasoning and decision making, outcomes measurement research, rehabilitation following acquired brain injury and evidence-based practice.  Her research has included the development of two published assessments.  The first was published by LaTrobe University in 2004 (with further editions in 2007 and 2014) and is a global outcome measure called the AusTOMs-OT (Australian Therapy Outcome Measures for Occupational Therapy), which is used internationally and has been translated into Swedish and Arabic. The second assessment was published by the American Occupational Therapy Association in 2011 and is a standardised off-road assessment that occupational therapy driver assessors can use with clients called the OT-DORA (Occupational therapy- Driver Off-Road Assessment).


Associate Professor Karena Burke
Head of Department - Psychology & Public Health
08 8378 4566

Karena completed her doctoral studies at the University of Tasmania in Launceston where she also held positions as an Associate Lecturer and Junior Research Fellow within the School of Psychology. Her PhD project examined the adjustments made by police officers when they enter the police profession. Karena's primary research interests are in the areas of preventive health, adjustment, and well-being at both individual and organisational levels and the development of health concepts in children. Karena has a keen interest in the role of food and food choices in health, well-being and development, and is currently conducting a range of projects examining the factors that influence food choices, and the difficulties faced by those with food intolerances and food allergies.

Karena started as a Senior Lecturer in Psychology in August 2011, and is currently Head of Department of Psychology and Public Health.

Professor Tania Signal
Professor - Psychology
07 4923 2303

Professor Tania Signal is originally from New Zealand where she received her PhD in Psychology from Waikato University working within the Animal Behaviour and Welfare Research Centre. In 2003 she moved to Australia and took up a Lectureship at CQUniversity. Now a Professor, she has developed a comprehensive research program broadly investigating Human-Animal Interaction covering topics such as potential links between personality factors (especially empathy), interpersonal violence and the treatment of animals through to community attitudes regarding farm animal welfare and suitable penalties for individuals convicted of animal cruelty offenses. As well as publishing in academic outlets, Tania is committed to delivering 'real world' outcomes from her research and regularly speaks at community events for the RSPCA (Qld) and is part of the 'Voices of Influence' campaign for WSPA (Aus).

Dr Lynette Browning
Executive Officer to the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) and Manager, Early Career Research Development
08 8378 4509

Dr Lynette Browning is Executive Officer to the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research), and Manager of Early Career Researcher Development, at CQUniversity. She holds a Bachelor of Adult and Vocational Education (Honours) from the University of South Australia (UniSA) and a PhD from CQUniversity. Lynette has a strong background in organisational development, early career researcher development, research management, human resources, and equity. She has worked in the higher education sector since 1998 in roles which have included Executive Officer, Senior Consultant in Organisational Development, Manager of the Hawke Research Institute, and Senior Equity Officer. Lynette designed, implemented, and managed the ECR Program at UniSA from 2002 to 2008, and since 2012 has managed CQUniversity’s Early Career Researcher (ECR) program which equips early career academics with the skills to build their research portfolios. The ECR program is now playing a crucial role in shaping the next generation of academic and research leaders. The success of the ECR program is evidenced by a recent Association for Tertiary Education Management award which recognises the program’s 'Excellence in Organisational Development'.

Affiliate Members

Affiliate Members of the Appleton Institute are:

  • Dr David Darwent
  • Kirsty McCulloch
  • Verna Blewett
  • Kevin Purse
Administrative Staff

Daxine Waterman

Daxine Waterman
Business Development Manager
08 8378 4517

Monique Stewart

Monique Stewart
Executive Assistant - Appleton Institute
08 8378 4523

Fiona Dennis

Fiona Dennis
School Administration Officer - Research
08 8378 4524