Introducing Julia Adams

Meet Julia Adams, a Master of Philosophy student whose research topic is Differential predictors of engagement in meditation app use.

Originally from New Zealand, Julia Adams joins the Contemplative Studies Centre to commence a Master of Philosophy. Her academic interests lie in the variations of conscious experience, and engagement with alternative consciousness practices. This includes states such as meditation and sleep, as well as the similarities and differences in conscious experience across species. Julia’s thesis will attempt to identify predictors of engagement for new meditators in use of various meditation apps.

Julia wishes to contribute to research that has practical implications for as many people as possible. Today, contemplative practices are tools that are accessible by virtually everyone and by researching them, she hopes to help provide evidence-based information about these practices and what they can do for people.

Julia has had a lifelong interest in yoga and meditation and recently became interested in the tech space in Australia, particularly the exploding market of wellness applications. While this is beneficial for resource accessibility, sustained engagement remains low. Researching engagement across apps is a way to cut through the noise and figure out what predicts sustained engagement, both on the app side and user side.

While Julia is only just getting started, she is most excited about the opportunity to work with and learn from the academic team at the Centre. She and her supervisors, Associate Professor Nicholas Van Dam and Dr Julieta Galante, are workshopping the study plan, which has already helped Julia sharpen her analysis of research rigour and suitability. She looks forward to collaborating with Medito and Google Research Australia, and discussing her work with other meditation apps in Australia and worldwide. On completion, Julia hopes to continue her academic journey in clinical psychology or psychological research for technology solutions. Her advice to prospective students is to focus on the fit between research questions and supervisors, rather than university name.

Most days, Julia spends her free time reading, yoga, bouldering, running or playing piano. While she left her family cat, Rio, back in New Zealand, she hopes to have another pet in Melbourne soon. Julia also enjoys travelling, having recently returned from a ten-month backpacking trip where hiking Patagonia was a clear highlight.