Operational Readiness and Resilience

The Operational Readiness and Resilience group at the Appleton Institute addresses the operational readiness of Australian workers and the implications for resilience of both individuals and communities. Operational readiness describes the capacity of workers to effectively and safely perform their duties. We are particularly interested in the interaction of sleep, work, health and safety across a wide range of industries.

In partnership with industry and community groups, our program of work considers short and long-term physical and psychological health, as well as social, occupational and domestic impacts of nonstandard patterns of work. Utilising quantitative and qualitative research methods in both the laboratory and the field, our aim is to improve our understanding of the factors that impact operational readiness and to develop evidence-based, usable strategies for workers, their families and their communities.

Dr. Sarah Jay

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

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

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

Recent funding sources include:

  • Australian Research Council
  • SafeWorkSA
  • National Disaster Resilience Program
  • Australasian Sleep Association.

Our recent collaborators include:

  • SA Ambulance
  • Country Fire Service
  • Metropolitan Fire Service
  • Victoria Police
  • Victoria State Emergency Service.

Research projects include:

  • Fatigue Risk Management Systems (FRMS) – design and implementation
  • Optimal roster design and roster risk evaluation
  • The impact of on-call on anxiety, sleep and next day performance
  • Countermeasures for sleep inertia
  • Resilience emergency services workers
  • Epidemiology of working time arrangements and health
  • Paramedics’ first responses to shift work
  • Physical activity and exercise for shift workers
  • Emotional preparedness for disaster response in the community
  • Specific impacts of non-standard working hours for women.
The Dual Curse of the Modern Workforce - Sleepiness and Sitting

Over 10 million working Australians experience both prolonged sitting and inadequate sleep. Now, research will examine the effects of being sleepy and sitting on the health and performance of workers.

CQUni Sleep Researcher Wins National 5 Minute Research Pitch

Showing she's awake to the potential of sleep research, CQUniversity's Dr Grace Vincent has won the national 5 Minute Research Pitch Competition, known as 5RP. The 2018 competition was hosted in Toowoomba by the University of Southern Queensland. CQUniversity now has the chance to stage the 2019 national 5RP finals. Dr Vincent’s research involves introducing 30 seconds of intense exercise for waking emergency services workers to initiate alertness and preparedness for work.

Sleep is Key to Help Firefighters Avoid Safety Risks During Bushfires

Elevated and unsustainable levels of firefighter fatigue and/or degradation of firefighters’ work performance could increase their individual risk of injury, increase demand on other crew members, and compromise the overall bushfire suppression operation. Knowing what happens when you don’t get enough sleep, and how much is enough can place fire agencies in a strong position to improve aspects of sleep that are in their control.