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Personal profile

Biography

Career to Date

Dr Tracey Sletten completed her PhD at the University of South Australia examining the effects of shift work and fatigue in the field operations of aviation and rail. Her primary research incorporated large-scale investigations of the sleep/wake behaviour and occupational fatigue of several hundred commercial flight crew working long-haul flight patterns from Australia. Further to research, Dr Sletten held a consultative role, conducting training and education, analysing work shifts and conducting fatigue assessments for numerous transportation and emergency services operations within Australia and internationally.

Between 2005 and 2008 Dr Sletten held a post-doctoral position with the Centre for Chronobiology at the University of Surrey (United Kingdom) where some of the groundbreaking work in circadian photoreception has been conducted. She examined the effectiveness of different wavelengths of light to improve alertness and mood and shift the phase of human circadian rhythms. During this period Dr Sletten was also a Visiting Fellow in Chronobiology and Sleep Research at the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Zurich, Switzerland. Dr Sletten has also held a Research Fellow position with the Division of Sleep Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston.

Dr Sletten was the former Chair of the European Sleep Research Society Forum for Women in Sleep Research and co-Chair of the Australasian Sleep Association Chronobiology Council.

Research Focus

Dr Sletten’s current research focus is in the role of sleep and the circadian system on waking function. Core topics include the impact of sleep loss and circadian misalignment on sleepiness and neurobehavioural performance, phenotyping and treatment of circadian rhythm sleep disorders, applications of lighting to enhance alertness, and the alertness and mental health outcomes associated with shiftwork. Dr Sletten has worked with numerous sectors employing shift workers including healthcare, heavy vehicle transport and international aviation. Dr Sletten has conducted large-scale field assessments of sleep, circadian phase, cognitive functioning and psychological health in expeditioners over-wintering in Antarctica.

Honours and Distinctions

2012 – Australasian Sleep Association Helen Bearpark Scholarship for Visiting Fellow position at Brigham & Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston.

Research area keywords

  • Sleep
  • Sleep loss
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Circadian rhythms
  • Light
  • Shift work
  • Fatigue
  • Sleep disorders

Network

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