Personal details

Dr Melanie White
Senior Lecturer
Faculty of Health,
School - Psychology and Counselling
IHBI Membership
Institute of Health Biomedical Innovation (IHBI),
IHBI Health Projects,
IHBI Psych and Counc - HDHS
Discipline *
Cognitive Sciences, Other Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
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+61 7 3138 0486
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Identifiers and profiles

PhD (Queensland University of Technology)


cognitive, executive function, impulsivity, reward sensitivity, reinforcement, behaviour, substance use, alcohol, gene, stress

* Field of Research code, Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC), 2008


Dr Melanie White is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Psychology & Counselling. Previous appointments include the University of Southern Queensland (Lecturer in Psychology) and the Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety-Queensland (CARRS-Q, Postdoctoral Research Fellow). Her teaching areas incude psychology units related to introductory psychology, physiological psychology, applied cognitive psychology, research design and data analysis, and addictive behaviours.
Melanie holds a PhD from QUT in the field of behaviour genetics, where she examined molecular genetic and psychosocial stress interactions on impulsivity in young adults. Melanie’s research program is broadly focused on cognitive function, its development and impairment in young adults and contribution to risky behaviours. In particular, she is interested in the interplay between physiological and psychosocial (particularly stress) influences on impulsivity, executive function, personality, and complex behaviour. Her current studies are investigating these factors with risk perceptions, risky behaviours (including substance use and addiction), message effectiveness, emotional processing, learning, and driving behaviour, in both non-clinical and clinical (e.g., ADHD) populations.

Research Grants & Awards

2013   Churchill Fellowship awarded by the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust. White, M.J.  Genetic Markers of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Substance Abuse – Brazil.

2012: Wishlist Sunshine Coast Health Foundation grant: Benton, E., Mulgrew, K., Sharman, R., White, M.J. Effectiveness of an Attention Bias Modification program in reducing pain-related attentional biases and improving clinical outcomes in patients with persistent pain ($19,976)

2012: IHBI Centre for Youth Substance Abuse Research (CYSAR) Research Development Grant Scheme: White, M.J. & Voisey, J. Young adults’ cannabis use and mental health: Identifying and quantifying gene-gene-environment risk and protective influences ($14,940)

2011: Queensland Injury Prevention Council (PhD scholarship for student Sherrie-Anne Kaye) Individual differences in processing and accepting persuasive safe driving messages ($30,000)

2010: NRMA-ACT Road Safety Trust project grant: White, M.J. & Titchener, K. Reducing optimism bias in young novice drivers: the potential of accountability or insight experience interventions ($40,000)

2010: VicRoads industry funds to supplement NRMA-ACT Road Safety Trust grant: White, M.J. & Titchener, K. Reducing optimism bias in young novice drivers: the potential of accountability or insight experience interventions ($29,000)

2009: QUT Early Career Researcher Seeding Grant: White, M.J. Physiological, psychosocial and cognitive influences on driving: A simulator-based pilot study of executive function and stress effects in young adults ($9,927)

2008: QUT Institution of Health and Biomedical Innovation (IHBI) Injury Prevention & Rehabilitation seeding grant: White, M.J.  Young adults with ADHD at risk: parent observations of road behaviour and related risky behaviour contexts ($5,000)

2008: QUT Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety-Queensland (CARRS-Q) seeding grant: White, M.J. Young adults with ADHD on the road: a qualitative analysis of driving and motorcycle riding incident narratives($3,620)

This information has been contributed by Dr Melanie White.


For publications by this staff member, visit QUT ePrints, the University's research repository.


Awards and recognition

Academic Honours, Prestigious Awards or Prizes
Reference year
Vice-Chancellor's Performance Award for Supervision Excellence
Academic Honours, Prestigious Awards or Prizes
Reference year
Vice-Chancellor's Performance Award


Current supervisions

  • Gamified Web-based Attentional Bias Modification for the Treatment of Chronic Pain
    PhD, Principal Supervisor
    Other supervisors: Professor Daniel Johnson
  • Smartphone Apps and Virtual Reality as Road Safety Interventions: Examining their Real World Effects for Young Drivers
    PhD, Associate Supervisor
    Other supervisors: Dr Ronald Schroeter, Professor Andry Rakotonirainy

Completed supervisions (Doctorate)