Rebecca is the most recent recipient of the Burnet Institute Invergowrie Public Health Research Fellowship. This Fellowship aims to provide a postdoctoral female researcher greater freedom or resources in research in the field of population health to improve the educational benefits or outcomes of her research.
Rebecca has extensive experience in public health research with strong skills and expertise in the design, development and conduct of cross-sectional, longitudinal and mixed-methods studies related to young people’s health behaviours. Building on her PhD work, Rebecca’s Postdoctoral Research Fellowship has used this significant opportunity to focus on improving our knowledge and understanding of young people’s engagement in alcohol and other drug use and related risk-taking behaviours in Melbourne, in order to provide an evidence base for tailored and targeted policy and practice responses to reduce harm.
Rebecca is also involved in a number of research projects related to young women’s health behaviours, including a study exploring how individuals engage with fitness inspiration (‘fitspo’) on social media and whether fitspo engagement is associated with negative impacts on body image and eating and exercise behaviours. She is also working on a study designed to build the capacity of the sexual assault and alcohol and other drug sectors to respond more effectively to the needs of women and families affected by co-occuring sexual assault trauma and substance use issues. Alongside this, Rebecca is a champion of women working in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths). She has mentored and supervised a number of female research assistants and post-graduate students, spoken at secondary schools and sits on the Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs (APSAD) Early Career Researchers Committee.
This Invergowrie Fellowship has enabled Rebecca to investigate unique research datasets, build upon her publication and grant track record, disseminate her research to national and international audiences, to network and learn from her colleagues and other leading researchers in the field, and to exchange ideas about ongoing research and potential collaborations. The Fellowship is helping to facilitate Rebecca’s development into an independent, successful public health researcher and provides an opportunity for her to develop her niche area of expertise. Rebecca and Burnet Institute are grateful for the support of the Invergowrie Foundation and its commitment to women in science.