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The Melbourne Centre for Behaviour Change is one of the few Centres in the world that provides an integrated approach to all aspects of behaviour change. We study a wide range of behaviours related to human health and wellbeing, as well as social and environmental sustainability.
We are specialists in the development, implementation, and evaluation of cutting-edge, evidence-based interventions, including those delivered via digital means or groups. We adopt a person-centred approach to assist individuals in self-managing their health, and work with professionals and organisations to co-design health-enhancing policies and practices. Our comprehensive process models incorporate cognitive, emotional and interpersonal regulation. Combined with our versatile methodological capabilities, they allow us to approach any behaviour change challenge.
This short animation features more information about behaviour change and who we are.
The Melbourne Centre for Behaviour Change is a highly active, collaborative, and networked group of researchers and clinicians who foster and lead rewarding partnerships worldwide.
Members of our team are recognised internationally for their expertise in behaviour change and contributions to understanding the individual, social, organisational and environmental factors that affect behavioural patterns.
The Centre has also attracted local and international collaborators from a variety of disciplines and with a range of different skills and expertise including (but not limited to) cognitive neuroscience, clinical informatics, health information law, record linkage, allied health, tele-rehabilitation and criminology.
- Professor Iain Walker
Professor Iain Walker
Professor Iain Walker is a social psychologist with broad interests in social and environmental sustainability and in social justice. His research spans many different domains, including understanding public perceptions of climate change and policy support for different climate policies, promoting pro-environmental behaviours and sustainable consumption, understanding changes in health-relevant behaviours in response to the 2019-20 bushfires, and promoting organ donor registration.Find An Expert Google Scholar
Much of Iain's research happens in multi-disciplinary teams. Iain has led and been engaged in major projects on public understandings of climate change, integrating human wellbeing into ecosystem assessments, social forestry and livelihoods of small outgrowth farmers in Indonesia, water security, energy demand management, and psychosocial issues in biosecurity. Iain currently leads an MRFF-funded project tracking the effects of the 2019-20 bushfires on mental health, wellbeing, and community cohesion. He is also a co-lead of the Science Communication theme in the national Healthy Environments and Lives research network.
- Associate Professor Michelle Jongenelis
Associate Professor Michelle Jongenelis
Associate Professor Michelle Jongenelis has expertise in health promotion, intervention development and evaluation, behavioural psychology, and clinical psychology. She works across multiple and diverse health-related behaviours including alcohol and tobacco control (including use of e-cigarettes), nutrition, physical activity, and sun protection. Michelle works as a researcher and consultant for a broad range of organisations covering the not-for-profit and government sectors. She sits on the Australian Council of Smoking and Health, and the World Federation of Public Health Associations’ Tobacco Control Working Group. She is an accredited Clinical Psychologist and has been a committee member of the Australian Association for Cognitive and Behaviour Therapy since 2008.Find An Expert Google Scholar
- Professor Ron Borland
Professor Ron Borland
Professor Ron Borland joined MCBC in July 2019. Prior to that he was the Nigel Gray Distinguished Fellow in Cancer Prevention at Cancer Council Victoria where he worked for over 30 years. He has published more than 400 peer-reviewed papers and has a Google Scholar h-index of 80. He is recipient of the 2020 John Slade Award, honoring members of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco who have made outstanding contributions to public health and tobacco control through science-based public policy and public advocacy. Ron is listed in the Web of Science list of the World's most influential scientists. He is one of the Principal Investigators of the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project, an international collaboration that is analysing the impact of policies on smoking. This project has led to better understanding of the challenges of preventing relapse. He has developed a range of mass-disseminable, smoking-cessation interventions, including the automated-online QuitCoach, which he has shown to be effective in randomized trials. He has a special interest in harm minimisation strategies and strategies to assist highly disadvantaged, high risk prevalence groups. He has a special interest in systems approaches and in theorising that integrates factors influencing individual level change and population focussed change. He is the developer of CEOS theory: a comprehensive theory of Hard to Maintain Behaviour Change.Find An Expert Google Scholar
- Associate Professor Camille Short
Associate Professor Camille Short
Associate Professor Camille Short is a senior behavioural scientist with experience and training in health psychology, digital, and public health. Her research focuses on the use of technology for improving access to high quality, personalised, and multidisciplinary health services, especially for behaviour change and improved mental health among individuals with chronic and complex health issues. She was recruited to the University of Melbourne in 2019 to drive cross-disciplinary research in digital health and cancer control. She has an affiliate position in the cancer experiences research group at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, the School of Medicine at the University of Adelaide, and the NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in Prostate Cancer Survivorship. She is the current chair of the International Society of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity's e-&mHealth special interest group, an ambassador for Open Digital Health, and serves on the scientific advisory committee for PoCoG, the psycho-oncology clinical trials group funded by Cancer Australia. Her research is highly cited internationally, including in clinical guidelines, with significant contributions to understanding engagement in digital behaviour change interventions, the role of personalisation in effective behaviour change support, and the development and evaluation of several digital behaviour change interventions for chronic disease control, including cancer.Find An Expert Google Scholar
- Associate Professor Stefan Bode
Associate Professor Stefan Bode
Associate Professor Stefan Bode studied psychology at the University of Göttingen and the University of Zurich, followed by a PhD at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig. In 2010, he moved to Australia and he is currently Associate Professor for Experimental Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience at the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences at the University of Melbourne, where he is heading the Decision Neuroscience Lab. His main research interests are decision-making, volition, unconscious biases in decision formation, information sampling, and metacognitive processes such as confidence and change-of-mind. He is further interested in health decisions and sustainability.Hub Website Find An Expert
- Dr John Cook
Dr John Cook
John Cook is a senior research fellow with the Melbourne Centre for Behaviour Change at the University of Melbourne. His research focus is understanding and countering misinformation on scientific issues such as climate change and vaccination. To address the complex, societal problem of misinformation, he developed the interdisciplinary 4D framework. This involves Detection (training machine learning models to detect and categorise climate misinformation in real-time), Deconstruction (using critical thinking to analyse and identify reasoning fallacies in misinformation), Debunking (developing and testing interventions that neutralise the influence of misinformation), and Deployment (applying the theoretical insights from the first three themes in collaboration with communication practitioners).
John created the Cranky Uncle game, combining critical thinking, cartoons, and gamification to build resilience against misinformation. In 2007, he founded Skeptical Science, a website that won the 2011 Australia Museum Eureka Prize for the Advancement of Climate Change Knowledge. In 2013, he published a paper quantifying the 97% scientific consensus on climate change which was highlighted by President Obama and UK Prime Minister David Cameron. He currently works with organisations like Facebook, NASA, and UNICEF to develop evidence-based responses to misinformation.Find An Expert
- Associate Professor Cassie Hayward
Associate Professor Cassie Hayward
Associate Professor Cassie Hayward is the Convenor of the Master of Applied Psychology.Her expertise is in the field of communications and advertising development, and she teaches the graduate subjects of Influence and Persuasion and The Psychology of Advertising.
Her research, teaching, and consulting activities have focused on advertising development, behaviour change, social issues, and attitudes. Her research has also covered topics such as negotiation, ostracism, juror decision-making, and the framing of inequity.Find An Expert
- Dr Isla Carboon
Dr Isla Carboon
Dr Isla Carboon is a specialist in public policy, industry-academia partnering and work-integrated learning. She teaches applied research with a focus on qualitative methods.Find An Expert
Post-Doctoral Research Fellows
- Dr Tamara Jones
Dr Tamara Jones
Dr Tamara Jones is a postdoctoral research fellow specialising in exercise oncology and digital exercise delivery. The aim of her research is to improve health outcomes and quality of life for people with cancer through physical activity and exercise. Her current research focuses on behaviour change techniques to support physical activity and exercise levels, and on implementing and evaluating digital exercise interventions. Tamara also has clinical experience as an accredited exercise physiologist, specialising in advanced and complex cancer types.Find An Expert
- Dr Karlijn Thoonen
Dr Karlijn Thoonen
Dr Karlijn Thoonen is a postdoctoral researcher with a background in clinical psychology and health promotion. Her PhD research focused on understanding the sun protection behaviours of parents and children and providing guidance for future sun safety interventions. After her PhD, Karlijn worked at the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, advising a public health campaign on skin cancer in the Netherlands. Since joining the Melbourne Centre for Behaviour Change in 2022, Karlijn has worked on research projects regarding e-cigarette use and recovery from the 2019-2020 Black Summer bushfires.Google Scholar
- Dr Mary-Ellen Brierley
Dr Mary-Ellen Brierley
Dr Mary-Ellen Brierley is a postdoctoral research fellow with a background in clinical psychology and health behaviours in mental health and cancer. Her PhD research focused on assessing the relationship between lifestyle factors and obsessive-compulsive and related disorders, and investigating the effectiveness and acceptability of lifestyle interventions in this area. She also has clinical experience as a psychologist in mental health and medical settings. At the Melbourne Centre for Behaviour Change, Mary-Ellen works on research projects focused on minimising the uptake of e-cigarettes and encouraging cessation.
Dr Ashlee Thomas
Our research focuses on the individual, social, environmental, and organisational psychology of behaviour change. We investigate the various processes that direct individual behaviour and study evidence-based techniques capable of changing behaviour patterns. We are expert at developing, implementing, and evaluating behaviour-change interventions, including digital interventions.
Our research themes are organised around six challenges. In dealing with any specific behaviour change problem, we draw on insights from these research themes as appropriate.
Click on the pages below to learn more about our different research themes.
Advancing behaviour change theory
Developing and evaluating individual-level behaviour change interventions
Developing and evaluating population-level interventions
Developing and implementing behaviour change technology
Adapting and improving interventions for vulnerable populations
Translating research into policy and legislative change
We welcome community and industry participation and offer consultancy services to organisations in both the profit and not-for profit sectors. Our consultancy model is designed to build partnerships and capacity, and we seek to enable our partners to leverage our expertise in behaviour change. Whether you are interested in sponsoring a research project or forging a long-term strategic alliance, we will help you launch a successful and rewarding collaboration with researchers who are leaders in their fields.
Our services include (but are not limited to):
- Designing projects or programs focusing on behaviour change
- Developing, refining, implementing and evaluating behaviour change interventions
- Translating available evidence into service improvement
- Developing implications for health policy
If you would like to access our consultancy service, please complete the consultancy inquiry form.
Need some advice? We offer ‘drop-in sessions’ with our experts. Submit this registration form and we will be in touch.
Study with us
The Melbourne Centre for Behaviour Change welcomes interest from prospective Honours or PhD students who would like to conduct research with our team. Students must satisfy program eligibility requirements and prospective PhD students must be competitive for a scholarship.
To learn more about the research interests of our team, please visit the Our People page.
For more information about the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences' Honours specialisation and Doctor of Philosophy programs, please refer to the links below.
If you satisfy the eligibility requirements for entry to the University of Melbourne, please send us an email to express your interest in studying with us. All expressions of interest should include:
- Academic Transcript (with WAM or GPA).
Please note that prospective PhD students must nominate two supervisors, who can be from different schools.
Behaviour change resources
Resources for health professionals
These resources cover key techniques and strategies that can be applied to increase the likelihood of successful behaviour change. The resources have been designed for practitioners working with clients to change their behaviour (eg social workers, exercise physiologists, physiotherapists, psychologists, dietitians).
Education and training
- MicroCert - six-week online course for behaviour change.
Webinars and podcasts
- Associate Professor Camille Short discusses Behaviour change: Theory, applications and technology on episode 63 of Reach podcast.
Listen on Apple
- Associate Professor Cassie Hayward discusses How scary ads can change our behaviour on PsychTalks.
- Australian Government Behavioural Economics Team (BETA)
- Cambridge University Behaviour and Health Research Unit (BHRU)
- Rare Centre for Behaviour and the Environment
- Stanford University SPARQ
- United Nations (UN) Behavioural Science Group
- University College London Centre for Behaviour Change
- University College Dublin Behavioural Science and Policy Group
- Victorian Government Behavioural Insights
- World Health Organization (WHO) Behavioural Insights