A lifetime of sleep

 The work of sleep expert, Professor John Trinder, was celebrated recently at a Festschrift commending his contribution to science and his impact on the lives and careers of his students and colleagues.

Current and past PhD students, researchers, colleagues, and domestic and international collaborators convened at Queen's College, Melbourne to celebrate the career of Professor John Trinder, as he retired from the directorship of the sleep laboratory in the School of Psychological Sciences. Professor Trinder's work in respiratory and cardiovascular function of sleep, child and adolescent mental health, and the importance of sleep on physical and cognitive health, is globally renowned.

Chaired by Professor Ian Colrain from Stanford Research Institute (a former student of Professor Trinder and an Honorary Professor at the University of Melbourne), the event showcased the research that stemmed from Professor Trinder's long standing career in sleep and what his former students and collaborators are working on now.

A highlight of the Festschrift was the unveiling of a family tree showing the scores of PhD students supervised by Professor Trinder, and the PhD students they in turn have supervised. Many of these researchers are now international experts in sleep psychology and physiology. The tree also looked backwards from his own PhD supervisors to those who came before, revealing a lineage to the early giants of psychology: William James, author of the 1890 influential textbook The Principles of Psychology; and Wilhelm Wundt who established the first psychology laboratory in 1879 demarcating it as a separate field of science.

Head of School, Professor Nick Haslam said, "John has been a towering figure in the national and international sleep research community, publishing prolifically, taking on major leadership roles in the field, and training many key figures in sleep research, psychophysiology and respiratory medicine".

Professor Trinder had spent time working in the United States and across Australia. He has been with the University of Melbourne for more than twenty years and served as head of department of psychology. Collaborators and friends from Harvard, Stanford, the University of Oregon, Rush University, the Austin Hospital, Monash University, La Trobe University, Swinburne University, Queensland University of Technology, Australian Catholic University and the University of Tasmania were present to acknowledge the impact Professor Trinder had on their research.

The University has recognised Professor Trinder's contribution to science by granting him Professor Emeritus status taking effect from 1 November, 2015.