Dr Michelle H Lim, Senior Lecturer and Clinical Psychologist
Dr Michelle Lim is a Senior Lecturer in Clinical Psychology and leads the SHAW Laboratory. Dr Lim is interested in how loneliness can negatively impact social functioning and lead to poorer health outcomes. Her research has focused on addressing loneliness in different vulnerable age groups. Dr Lim’s interests 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 also 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.
Dr Lim is a registered clinical psychologist and a board approved supervisor for the Psychology Board of Australia. Her multiple research collaborations with Washington University in St Louis, University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill), the University of Melbourne, Australian Catholic University, University College of London, University of California Berkeley and Brigham Young University.
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, Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Dr Robert 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.
Dr Karra Harrington, Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Dr Karra Harrington is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the SHAW lab and a clinical psychology registrar. During her doctoral research at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Dr Harrington developed 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.
Dr 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 Lily Thurston, Research Assistant
Lily Thurston completed a Bachelor of Arts in 2016 at the University of Melbourne, majoring in Psychology. Lily then completed an Honours year in 2017 at Australian Catholic University investigating the role of intranasal oxytocin on trust behaviours in older adults. Lily’s research interests include the psychopathology of children and adolescents, mood and anxiety disorders and the role of neuromodulators in mental illness.
Ms Kit Casey, Casual Senior Research Assistant
Kit Casey 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.
Ms Claire Peck, Clinical Trainer
Claire Peck is the clinical trainer for mental health related projects. She is also a provisionally registered psychologist completing her Doctor of Psychology (Clinical Psychology) at the Centre for Mental Health, Swinburne University. Ms Peck has extensive experience across a series of mental health services including inpatient, outpatient, and community health.
Currently Ms Peck’s research interests surrounds the employment of a digitally assisted peer support program to help support young people with psychosis. She is completing a Doctor of Psychology under the supervision of Associate Professor Neil Thomas and Dr Michelle Lim.
Ms Carla McEnery, PhD Candidate
Carla McEnery is a provisional psychologist and PhD candidate (Clinical Psychology) in the Centre for Mental Health, Swinburne University. 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, Professor Mario Alvarez-Jimenez and Associate Professor Ann Knowles.
Ms Julia Cheah, PhD Candidate
Julia Cheah is a clinical psychology PhD Candidate at the Centre for Mental Health 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, PhD Candidate
Shradha Vasan completed her Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) degree at Swinburne University in 2018. She is is currently a PhD candidate and supervised by Professor Elisabeth Lambert, Dr Lim, and Dr Nina Elkelis. Her PhD is focused on cardiovascular risk factors associated with loneliness. She has also completed research on the impact of positive affect and loneliness in young people.
Ms Kylie Philips, Honours Student
Kylie Phillips finished her Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology) in 2017 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 and Professor Lisa Brophy.
Mr Petros Boubis, Honours Student
Petros Boubis finished his Bachelor of Business in 2013 from the University of New South Wales and is currently working as a duty manager for a residential retirement company. Peter is now completing his Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) at Swinburne University under the supervision of Dr Karra Harrington. His thesis is on understanding attitudes to ageing, social connections, and loneliness among older adults living in purpose built retirement facilities. He is interested in understanding why older adults choose to move into such establishments and whether this influences quality of life.
Ms Natasha Postolovski, Honours Student
Natasha Postolovski is completing her Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) at Swinburne University under the supervision of Dr Robert Eres. Her thesis will investigate how members of the LGBTQI+ community experience loneliness, as well as the unique factors that contribute to loneliness in LGTBQI+ people. Natasha is specifically interested in understanding whether internalised homophobia predicts loneliness in young Australians who identify as LGBTQI+.
2018-2019: Ms Katrina Long
Past Honours Students
2018: Ms Shradha Vasan, Ms Isabella Bolton, Ms Ceara Nelson
Past Interns and Professional Placement Students
2018: Ms Elizabeth Todio, Ms Alyssa Pascual
2019: Ms Serah Rose