Dr Michelle Lim, Senior Lecturer and Clinical Psychologist
Dr Lim is a Senior Lecturer in Clinical Psychology and leads the SHAW Laboratory. Dr Lim is interested in how subjective loneliness can negatively impact social functioning and exacerbate mental health symptoms (e.g., social anxiety, depression and paranoia). Her research has focused on reducing loneliness in young people with first episode psychosis and, or social anxiety disorder, as well as older adults. Dr Lim’s interest extend to the development and implementation of personalised mental health, cognitive biases in psychopathology, sub-clinical psychotic symptoms, decision-making and emotion regulation processes.
Dr Lim is a registered clinical psychologist and a board approved supervisor for the Psychology Board of Australia. She currently holds multiple research collaborations with Washington University in St Louis, University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill), the University of Melbourne, and Australian Catholic University.
Dr Lim is the chair of the Australian Coalition to End Loneliness scientific advisory committee, which guides Australian charities and government agencies and not-for-profit organisations to deliver evidence-based community messaging and interventions in loneliness.
Professor Julianne Holt-Lunstad, Adjunct Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience
Professor. Julianne Holt-Lunstad is a Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, and the Director of the Social Neuroscience lab, at Brigham Young University. Prof Holt-Lunstad is also an Adjunct Professor in the Iverson Health Innovation Research Institute at Swinburne University of Technology. Her program of research examines the influence of both the quantity and the quality of social relationships on long-term health and on risk for mortality, and the biological pathways (e.g., cardiovascular, neuroendocrine, genetic) by which such associations may occur. She also considers the potentially detrimental influence of negativity in close relationships (e.g., ambivalence, marital distress). Her work is interdisciplinary and takes a multimethod approach including experimental, naturalistic, meta-analytic, and intervention studies. She is currently evaluating the effectiveness of social interventions aimed at reducing risk. Professor Holt-Lunstad has appeared as an expert in a US Congressional Hearing and provided expert recommendations for the US Surgeon General Emotional Well-Being in America Initiative. She has been awarded the George A. Miller Award from the American Psychological Association, the Mary Lou Fulton Young Scholar Award, the Marjorie Pay Hinkley Endowed Chair Research Award from Brigham Young University, is a Fellow for the Association of Psychological Science, and her work has received considerable national and international media attention.
Dr Robert Eres, Post Doctoral Research Fellow
Dr Eres is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the SHAW lab. During his doctoral training at The University of Queensland and Monash University, Dr Eres used neuroimaging techniques to understand how group membership influences the neurobiological mechanisms underlying empathy and moral judgement and decision-making. Primarily Dr Eres has expertise in functional and structural MRI (f/MRI) and electroencephalography (EEG) brain imaging techniques.
Dr Eres is working on projects aimed at reducing loneliness in young people with first episode psychosis. His current research interests involve understanding the role of emotion regulation in chronic mental ill health populations, as well as the influence of loneliness on physical and mental health indicators.
Ms Karra Harrington, Research Fellow
Ms Harrington is a Clinical Psychology Registrar and current doctoral candidate at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health. Ms Harrington has experience in quantitative research in clinical psychology and neuropsychology. Her doctoral research explored the nature of age-related cognitive decline in older adults and used neuroimaging techniques to differentiate normal age-related changes in cognitive performance from those associated with the early stage neurodegenerative disease.
Ms Harrington is working on a randomised control trial of the Uprise online program for university students. Her research interests include mental health, wellbeing, and loneliness in older adults, as well as psychological and social interventions to support wellbeing in university students.
Ms Katrina Long, Senior Research Assistant
Katrina Long is a current doctoral candidate in the Department of Psychiatry at Monash University, having previously earned her BSc(Psyc)(Hons) at the Australian National University in 2012. She has qualitative and quantitative research experience in organisational and social psychology, with a particular interest in mental models, social networks ,and organisational identification. She has previously worked as a research assistant with NDARC, RDNS and the University of Melbourne, conducting research interviews and data analysis. Katrina also has experience work with university students, as a Teaching Associate at Monash University and the ANU, and as a senior residential scholar at the ANU. Katrina is an associate member of the Australian Psychological Society.
Ms Kit Casey, Senior Research Assistant
Kit completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in 2013 at the University of Melbourne, majoring in Psychology. During this time Kit studied at the University of Connecticut (USA) for an exchange semester and in 2014 she went on to complete the Postgraduate Diploma of Psychology at Monash University. Kit’s research interests include the application of mindfulness theory and practice to parenting, adolescent psychopathology and cultural stigma surrounding mental illness. Kit also regularly volunteers at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and Royal Children’s Hospital, recruiting participants and conducting assessments for a major child neuropsychology study.
Ms Claire Peck, Doctor of Psychology Candidate
Claire is a provisionally registered psychologist completing her Doctor of Psychology (Clinical Psychology) at the Centre for Mental Health, Swinburne University of Technology. Ms Peck has extensive experience across a series of mental health services including inpatient, outpatient, and community health. Prior to commencing her doctoral studies, Ms Peck was awarded Honours Class I for her thesis titled “Understanding interpretations of the experience of hearing voices using a simulation task: Experimental tasks in a student population”. Currently Ms Peck’s research interests surrounds the employment of a digitally assisted peer support program to help support young people with psychosis. This research is being conducted under the supervision of Associate Professor Neil Thomas and Dr Michelle Lim.
Ms Carla McEnery, PhD Candidate
Carla is a provisional psychologist and PhD candidate (Clinical Psychology) in the Centre for Mental Health, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia. Her particular research areas of interest and expertise include; schizophrenia-spectrum disorders (first-episode psychosis specifically); assessment and treatment of social anxiety disorder and social anxiety symptomatology. Other areas of interest include the assessment and treatment of anxiety and mood disorders; addressing shame and stigma; mindfulness and the use of media in psychosocial interventions. Carla’s current PhD project examines the presentation and treatment of social anxiety symptoms in first-episode psychosis under the supervision of Dr Michelle Lim, Associate Professor Mario Alvarez-Jimenez and Associate Professor Ann Knowles.
Ms Julia Cheah, PhD Candidate
Julia is a clinical psychology PhD Candidate in the Faculty of Health, Arts & Design at Swinburne University. Her research interests include qualitative methodologies and youth participation, both of which are relevant to her PhD entitled ‘One size does not fit all: how we can better meet the needs of young people in early psychosis’. Julia’s clinical interests lie in working with, and empowering people from vulnerable communities. Prior to commencing her PhD she lived and studied in London where she worked in research in the academic and criminal justice sectors. A commitment to social justice is present across all of her work.
Ms Shradha Vasan, Honours Student
Ms Vasan completed her Graduate Diploma in Psychology from Monash University in 2017. She is currently undertaking her Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) degree in Swinburne University. Her current research interests include investigating the impact of positive emotions in reducing loneliness and increasing prosocial behaviour. She is also interested in understanding the influence of emotion regulation in loneliness and positive emotions. Ms Vasan is currently working as a Behaviour therapist with children who have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Ms Isabella (Bella) Bolton, Honours Student
Isabella Bolton graduated from Swinburne University of Technology with a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) in 2017. Previously, she completed a Summer Scholarship Program at Swinburne, with a focus on Emotional Intelligence in young people. For this project, she created a program for Grade 1s to help improve their ability to perceive emotion in artwork, music and facial expressions. Later, she participated in Swinburne’s Industry Based Learning program, and interned at Evolve Intelligence for a year, working across a diverse range of research projects for Evolve’s clients.
Currently, Isabella is an Honours student at Swinburne in the SHAW lab. Her research interest is the role of emotion regulation in loneliness and social exclusion, and this influencing physical health. She is also a volunteer Youth Advisory Group member for headspace.
Ms Ceara Nelson, Honours Student
Ceara Nelson completed her degree in Psychology at Swinburne in 2017 and has returned in 2018 to complete her psychology honours year. Ceara enjoys contributing to her community and currently volunteers for Compeer Vic. The Compeer program promotes social inclusion of people diagnosed with a mental illness and aims to reduce stigma through community friendships. Ceara has joined a project examining social behaviours of young adults. Ceara’s thesis will focus on the individual difference of Fear of Missing Out and will examine if it contributes to a possible relationship between social media use and loneliness.
Ms Kylie Philips, Honours Student
Kylie Phillips finished her Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology) last year at Swinburne University and currently works as a crisis support worker.
Kylie Phillips is now completing her Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) at Swinburne University. Under the supervision of Dr Michelle Lim, Kylie will examine the relationship between loneliness in young people and social internet use, with an interest in online gaming communities.
Alyssa Pascual, SHAW/Medibank Intern
Currently studying a Bachelor of Media and Communications, majoring in Digital Advertising Technology at Swinburne University, I am very excited to be working as a Marketing and Communications Intern at the SHAW Lab and Medibank. My main passion is creating marketing content with a positive message that inspires others to do their best and what is more important than promoting good health and well-being, in particular for university students. As many young people are still forming their identities and choosing their life path, I definitely want to contribute my knowledge and enthusiasm to help raise awareness and encourage young people to actively engage in strengthening their mental health and make their overall well being much more robust.