Currently, I am a postdoctoral researcher at UNSW on an ARC-funded grant investigating how the stress associated with experiencing weight stigma may lead to negative psychological and physical consequences, such as reduced motivation to engage in health behaviours.
Prior to moving to UNSW, I undertook my postgraduate studies at The University of Queensland in Brisbane under the expert supervision of Dr Fiona Kate Barlow and Professor Matthew Hornsey, and in collaboration with Professor Linda Tropp from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. My project focused on interracial contact, with the aim to gain a more comprehensive understanding of how positive and negative contact with other racial groups predicts prejudice, intergroup emotions, collective action, and perceptions of current intergroup conflict. I consistently found that negative contact was the stronger predictor of prejudice, for both advantaged and disadvantaged group members. I found that intergroup anger was a key mediator of the relationships between both negative and positive contact and prejudice. Interestingly, although negative contact may increase prejudice towards outgroups, I found that it may also be a driver of collective action to redress inequality among disadvantaged group members. Finally, I found that Black and White Americans' past positive and negative experiences with the other group predicts how they perceive instances of racially-charged police violence.
During my PhD, I also collaborated on a project investigating the influence of negative and positive contact with people who are overweight and obese on weight bias and individual body-checking behaviours.