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Personal profile

Monash teaching commitment

Theme III and Assessment (0.8 FTE)

Graduate Entry Medicine Program, Monash Rural Health-Gippsland

Monash Rural Health


Community service

2015-2016- Secretary, Society for Claustrum Research

2014- Director, Society for Claustrum Research (501-3(c) corporation, USA)

2014-2015 President, Society for Claustrum Research

2012- : Academic Editor- PeerJ

2010- : Faculty of 1000 Biology- Associate Faculty Member

2011-2016: CSIRO Scientists in Schools- Partner Scientist




I completed my PhD at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, USA. After working in in pharmaceutical R&D, I returned to academic research in 2006, in the Sensory Systems and Cognitive Neuroscience laboratory in the Department of Physiology at Monash University. I currently hold a combined teaching and research appointment in the graduate entry medicine program at the Gippsland campus.

in late 2021, I transitioned my research focus from Neuroscience to studies of the health impacts of climate change, with special attention to the understanding of health effects and preparedness for climate related disasters among Victorian health care providers. Current projects include studies of how doctors and nurses obtain information about climate change effects on health, as well as strategies for training, adaptation, and mitigation of the effects of major climate events (heat waves, bush fires, floods, etc.) on health care delivery in reural and regional communities.

Prior to this redirection, my research interests  spanned a wide variety of model systems and topics surrounding the primary question of how the brain combines external sensory information with stored representations and emotional information to form a coherent picture of the outside world. Since 2011, I have been studying the functional organization of the claustrum, a brain nucleus which has dense connections to most of the other areas of the brain, and seems to be involved in large-scale changes in activity across brain regions when an organism needs to redirect attention or identify salient features in the environment, although this remains controversial.

Interest in the claustrum has blossomed in recent years, as evidence builds that it is a key component of the organization of normal mental activity, and may even play a role in the formation of consciousness itself. This burst of activity has resulted in publication of special editions devoted to the claustrum in several major journals, including the Journal of Comparative Neurology- Claustrum and Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience (available as an E-Book at Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience-Claustrum). 

In 2013, I co-founded the Society for Claustrum Research, an international scientific organization devoted to study of the structure and function of the claustrum. 

Community service

Review Editor: Frontiers in Neuroanatomy

Review Editor: Frontiers in Mammal Science; Board Member-Nervous System and Cognate Behaviors section

Academic Editor: PeerJ

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action

Education/Academic qualification

Neuroscience, PhD, Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Award Date: 1 Jun 2000

Research area keywords

  • claustrum
  • functional networks
  • sensory systems
  • Climate Change and Health
  • Rural and Remote Health
  • medical education

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or