Dr Cassandra Pattinson

Research Fellow

Institute for Social Science Research
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Overview

Dr Cassandra Pattinson has strong research interests in exploring the effects of sleep and circadian rhythms on health, wellbeing, and recovery across the lifespan. Dr Pattinson completed her PhD through Queensland University of Technology, Faculty of Health in 2017. Her thesis explored the effects of sleep and light exposure on child health, specifically childhood obesity, in preschool children, aged 3 to 5 years. Prior to joining UQ's Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR), Dr Pattinson worked as a postdoctoral research fellow at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, USA. In this role Dr Pattinson examined the effect of traumatic brain injury (TBI) on health, including the effects of TBI on protein and gene expression, as well as exploring the role of sleep on TBI-related symptom perturbation, maintenance, and recovery.

Her research has involved a range of populations from children and adolescents, through to military personnel and athletes. Dr Pattinson's research spans a range of study designs and methodologies, including longitudinal studies tracking large child cohorts (>2000 children), standard observation techniques, survey and individualised standard child assessment, as well as studies employing physiological (actigraphy, heart rate variability) and biological (hormones, proteomic, genomic) designs. Dr Pattinson also has a strong track record in research translation, these have included manuscripts in top scientific journals, reports for government and non-government organisations, development of professional development programs, as well as designing and presenting vodcasts and resources (e.g. fact sheets, workshops) to parent groups, young adults, government departments and the early childhood sector.

Dr Pattinson also prioritises research mentorship and leadership. When mentoring, she aims to create an engaging learning environment which promotes critical analysis and reflection. She has co-supervised, two PhD students (NIH). eight Masters of Developmental and Education Psychology Students (QUT), and four NIH Postbaccalaureate students (equivalent of honours) to completion. She currently supervisors two honours of Psychology students, one honours of Biomedical Science student and one PhD candidate.

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Queensland University of Technology

Publications

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Grants

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Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

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Available Projects

  • Climate change can have a negative impact on mental health, wellbeing, and potentially even sleep. Direct exposures to climate change, such as experiencing a bush fire or hurricane, can result in increased levels of post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression. Climate change can also impact mental health through indirect exposures such as observing or thinking about climate change. Climate anxiety refers to the feelings of anxiety, distress, or loss one may experience when thinking about or perceiving climate change. It is important to understand how emotional responses to climate change, such as climate anxiety, relate to mental health and sleep. In particular, there is a need to understand the risk and protective factors that may position an individual as being more vulnerable or resilient to experiencing mental health conditions in response to climate anxiety. The role of sleep health in the relationship between climate anxiety and mental health is under explored. This research will explore the role of sleep health in mediating the impact of climate anxiety on mental health. This PhD will be supervised by Dr Anne Cleary and Dr Cassandra Pattinson, Institute for Social Science Research.

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Publications

Featured Publications

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.

  • Climate change can have a negative impact on mental health, wellbeing, and potentially even sleep. Direct exposures to climate change, such as experiencing a bush fire or hurricane, can result in increased levels of post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression. Climate change can also impact mental health through indirect exposures such as observing or thinking about climate change. Climate anxiety refers to the feelings of anxiety, distress, or loss one may experience when thinking about or perceiving climate change. It is important to understand how emotional responses to climate change, such as climate anxiety, relate to mental health and sleep. In particular, there is a need to understand the risk and protective factors that may position an individual as being more vulnerable or resilient to experiencing mental health conditions in response to climate anxiety. The role of sleep health in the relationship between climate anxiety and mental health is under explored. This research will explore the role of sleep health in mediating the impact of climate anxiety on mental health. This PhD will be supervised by Dr Anne Cleary and Dr Cassandra Pattinson, Institute for Social Science Research.