Dr Michael Kendig
Adjunct Lecturer

Dr Michael Kendig

BA (Psych) (Hons) 2011

MSc (University of Sydney) 2013

PhD (University of Sydney) 2017

Medicine & Health
School of Biomedical Sciences

My work examines how dietary factors impact cognition, metabolism and the gut microbiota. Major research streams include the cognitive effects of diets high in sugar; how environmental cues can prolong food intake beyond satiety; the effects of diet cycling; and the behavioural effects of maternal obesity.

Level 3 East, Wallace Wurth Building School of Medical Sciences
  • Journal articles | 2023
    Kendig MD; Hasebe K; Tajaddini A; Kaakoush NO; Westbrook RF; Morris MJ, 2023, 'The Benefits of Switching to a Healthy Diet on Metabolic, Cognitive, and Gut Microbiome Parameters Are Preserved in Adult Rat Offspring of Mothers Fed a High-Fat, High-Sugar Diet', Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, vol. 67, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mnfr.202200318
    Journal articles | 2022
    Becchi S; Hood J; Kendig M; Mohammadkhani A; Shipman M; Balleine B; Borgland S; Corbit L, 2022, 'Food for thought: Diet-induced impairments to decision-making and amelioration by N-acetylcysteine in male rats', Psychopharmachology
    Journal articles | 2022
    Fam J; Clemens KJ; Westbrook RF; Morris MJ; Kendig MD, 2022, 'Chronic exposure to cafeteria-style diet in rats alters sweet taste preference and reduces motivation for, but not ‘liking’ of sucrose', Appetite, vol. 168, pp. 105742 - 105742, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2021.105742
    Journal articles | 2022
    Hasebe K; Kendig MD; Kaakoush NO; Tajaddini A; Westbrook RF; Morris MJ, 2022, 'The influence of maternal unhealthy diet on maturation of offspring gut microbiota in rat', Animal Microbiome, vol. 4, http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s42523-022-00185-w
    Journal articles | 2022
    Hossain MJ; Kendig MD; Letton ME; Morris MJ; Arnold R, 2022, 'Peripheral Neuropathy Phenotyping in Rat Models of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: Evaluating Uptake of the Neurodiab Guidelines and Identifying Future Directions', Diabetes and Metabolism Journal, vol. 46, pp. 198 - 221, http://dx.doi.org/10.4093/dmj.2021.0347
    Journal articles | 2022
    Kendig MD; Bradfield LA, 2022, 'Association learning: Dopamine and the formation of backward associations', Current Biology, vol. 32, pp. R769 - R771, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2022.06.007
    Journal articles | 2022
    Kendig MD; Hasebe K; McCague R; Lee F; Leigh SJ; Arnold R; Morris MJ, 2022, 'Adolescent exposure to a solid high-fat, high-sugar ‘cafeteria’ diet leads to more pronounced changes in metabolic measures and gut microbiome composition than liquid sugar in female rats', Appetite, vol. 172, pp. 105973, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2022.105973
    Journal articles | 2022
    Khoo SY-S; Kendig MD; Bradfield LA, 2022, 'Animal research is saving lives, but funding is needed to improve welfare: Submission to the New South Wales parliamentary inquiry', Neuroanatomy and Behaviour, vol. 4, pp. e45 - e45, http://dx.doi.org/10.35430/nab.2022.e45
    Journal articles | 2022
    Tajaddini A; Kendig MD; Prates KV; Frederick Westbrook R; Morris MJ, 2022, 'Male Rat Offspring Are More Impacted by Maternal Obesity Induced by Cafeteria Diet Than Females—Additive Effect of Postweaning Diet', International Journal of Molecular Sciences, vol. 23, http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms23031442
    Journal articles | 2021
    Dowla R; Murnion B; Hung C; Currell K; Kendig M; Freeston J; Rooney K, 2021, 'Exercise Capacity and Acute Effect of Exercise on Affect in a Substance Use Disorder Population', Journal of Clinical Exercise Physiology, vol. 10, pp. 142 - 149, http://dx.doi.org/10.31189/2165-6193-10.4.142
    Journal articles | 2021
    Hasebe K; Kendig MD; Morris MJ, 2021, 'Mechanisms underlying the cognitive and behavioural effects of maternal obesity', Nutrients, vol. 13, pp. 1 - 24, http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu13010240
    Journal articles | 2021
    Kendig MD; Leigh SJ; Morris MJ, 2021, 'Unravelling the impacts of western-style diets on brain, gut microbiota and cognition', Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, vol. 128, pp. 233 - 243, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neubiorev.2021.05.031
    Journal articles | 2021
    Kendig MD; Martire SI; Boakes RA; Rooney KB, 2021, 'Comparable metabolic effects of isocaloric sucrose and glucose solutions in rats', Physiology and Behavior, vol. 229, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.physbeh.2020.113239
    Journal articles | 2021
    Kendig MD; Morris MJ; Samaras K, 2021, 'Mendacity: The Tendency to Lie or Deceive. A Cautionary Tale in Obesity Research, Stigma, and Headlining', Frontiers in Endocrinology, vol. 11, http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fendo.2020.598713
    Journal articles | 2020
    Hossain MJ; Kendig MD; Wild BM; Issar T; Krishnan AV; Morris MJ; Arnold R, 2020, 'Evidence of altered peripheral nerve function in a rodent model of diet-induced prediabetes', Biomedicines, vol. 8, http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines8090313
    Journal articles | 2019
    Boakes RA; Fu MX; Kendig MD; Martire SI; Rooney KB, 2019, 'Recovery from sucrose-induced metabolic and cognitive impairments in male rats', Obesity Research & Clinical Practice, vol. 13, pp. 279 - 279, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.orcp.2018.11.127
    Journal articles | 2019
    Corbit L; Becchi S; Kendig M, 2019, 'Experience-based changes to decision-making circuits and implications for behavioural control', IBRO Reports, vol. 6, pp. S35 - S35, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ibror.2019.07.104
    Journal articles | 2019
    Corbit L; Kendig M; Moul C, 2019, 'The role of serotonin 1B in the representation of outcomes', Scientific Reports, vol. 9, pp. 2497, http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-38938-4
    Journal articles | 2019
    Deng F; Li Y; Hossain MJ; Kendig MD; Arnold R; Goldys EM; Morris MJ; Liu G, 2019, 'Polymer brush based fluorescent immunosensor for direct monitoring of interleukin-1β in rat blood', Analyst, vol. 144, pp. 5682 - 5690, http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c9an01300h
    Journal articles | 2019
    Gemikonakli G; Keay KA; Kendig MD; Kang JWM; Corbit LH; Mor D, 2019, 'Altered monoamine levels in the dorsal striatum of the rat are associated with alterations in behavioural selection and motivation following peripheral nerve injury and acute stress', European Journal of Neuroscience, vol. 50, pp. 2786 - 2800, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ejn.14518
    Journal articles | 2019
    Kendig MD; Martire SI; Boakes RA; Rooney KB, 2019, 'Metabolic improvement from switching to saccharin or water following chronic consumption by rats of 10% sucrose solution', Obesity Research & Clinical Practice, vol. 13, pp. 89 - 90, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.orcp.2016.10.244
    Journal articles | 2019
    Kendig MD; Morris MJ, 2019, 'Fizzing out: No effect of acute carbohydrate consumption on mood', Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, vol. 104, pp. 56 - 57, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neubiorev.2019.06.028
    Journal articles | 2019
    Kendig MD; Morris MJ, 2019, 'Reviewing the effects of dietary salt on cognition:mechanisms and future directions', Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vol. 28, pp. 6 - 14, http://dx.doi.org/10.6133/apjcn.201903_28(1).0002
    Journal articles | 2019
    Kendig MD; Westbrook RF; Morris MJ, 2019, 'Pattern of access to cafeteria-style diet determines fat mass and degree of spatial memory impairments in rats', Scientific Reports, vol. 9, pp. 13516, http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-50113-3
    Journal articles | 2019
    Leigh SJ; Kendig MD; Morris MJ, 2019, 'Palatable western-style cafeteria diet as a reliable method for modeling diet-induced obesity in rodents', Journal of Visualized Experiments, vol. 2019, http://dx.doi.org/10.3791/60262
    Journal articles | 2018
    Boakes RA; Kendig MD; Martire SI; Rooney KB, 2018, 'Giving up sugary drinks: is switching to diet beverages a good move?', Appetite, vol. 123, pp. 454 - 454, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2017.11.025
    Journal articles | 2018
    Kendig MD; Boakes RA; Corbit LH, 2018, 'Variety overcomes the specificity of cue-potentiated feeding in rats', Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Learning and Cognition, vol. 44, pp. 56 - 66, http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/xan0000159
    Journal articles | 2018
    Kendig MD; Fu MX; Rehn S; Martire SI; Boakes RA; Rooney KB, 2018, 'Metabolic and cognitive improvement from switching to saccharin or water following chronic consumption by female rats of 10% sucrose solution', Physiology and Behavior, vol. 188, pp. 162 - 172, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.physbeh.2018.02.008
    Journal articles | 2017
    Mor D; Kendig MD; Kang JWM; Gemikonakli G; Austin PJ; Kalman E; Corbit LH, 2017, 'Peripheral nerve injury impairs the ability to maintain behavioural flexibility following acute stress in the rat', Behavioural Brain Research, vol. 328, pp. 123 - 129, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbr.2017.04.003
    Journal articles | 2016
    Boakes RA; Kendig MD; Martire SI; Rooney KB, 2016, 'Sweetening yoghurt with glucose, but not with saccharin, promotes weight gain and increased fat pad mass in rats', Appetite, vol. 105, pp. 114 - 128, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2016.05.011
    Journal articles | 2016
    Boakes RA; Martire SI; Rooney KB; Kendig MD, 2016, 'Individual differences in saccharin acceptance predict rats' food intake', Physiology and Behavior, vol. 164, pp. 151 - 156, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.physbeh.2016.05.050
    Journal articles | 2016
    Kendig MD; Cheung AMK; Raymond JS; Corbit LH, 2016, 'Contexts paired with junk food impair goal-directed behavior in rats: Implications for decision making in obesogenic environments', Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, vol. 10, http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnbeh.2016.00216
    Journal articles | 2015
    Boakes RA; Patterson AE; Kendig MD; Harris JA, 2015, 'Temporal distributions of schedule-induced licks, magazine entries, and lever presses on fixed- and variable-time schedules', Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Learning and Cognition, vol. 41, pp. 52 - 68, http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/xan0000046
    Journal articles | 2015
    Kendig MD; Ekayanti W; Stewart H; Boakes RA; Rooney K, 2015, 'Metabolic effects of access to sucrose drink in female rats and transmission of some effects to their offspring', PLoS ONE, vol. 10, http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0131107
    Journal articles | 2014
    Boakes RA; Rooney KB; Kendig MD, 2014, 'Sugar-sweetened drinks for rats. Bad for their bodies and bad for their brains', Appetite, vol. 83, pp. 342 - 342, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2014.06.032
    Journal articles | 2014
    Boakes RA; Rooney KB; Kendig MD; Martire SI, 2014, 'Access to glucose-sweetened yoghurt or solution produces enlarged fat pads in the rat', Obesity Research & Clinical Practice, vol. 8, pp. 9 - 9, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.orcp.2014.10.017
    Journal articles | 2014
    Kendig MD, 2014, 'Cognitive and behavioural effects of sugar consumption in rodents. A review', Appetite, vol. 80, pp. 41 - 54, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2014.04.028
    Journal articles | 2014
    Kendig MD, 2014, 'Maltodextrin can produce similar metabolic and cognitive effects to those of sucrose in the rat', Appetite, vol. 77, pp. 1 - 12, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2014.02.011
    Journal articles | 2014
    Kendig MD; Ekayanti W; Stewart H; Boakes RA; Rooney KB, 2014, 'Metabolic effects of access to 10% sucrose solution in female rats and transmission of some effects to their offspring', Obesity Research & Clinical Practice, vol. 8, pp. 52 - 53, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.orcp.2014.10.098
    Journal articles | 2014
    Kendig MD; Rooney KB; Corbit LH; Boakes RA, 2014, 'Persisting adiposity following chronic consumption of 10% sucrose solution: Strain differences and behavioural effects', Physiology and Behavior, vol. 130, pp. 54 - 65, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.physbeh.2014.03.021
    Journal articles | 2013
    Kendig MD; Boakes RA; Rooney KB; Corbit LH, 2013, 'Chronic restricted access to 10% sucrose solution in adolescent and young adult rats impairs spatial memory and alters sensitivity to outcome devaluation', Physiology and Behavior, vol. 120, pp. 164 - 172, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.physbeh.2013.08.012
    Journal articles | 2013
    Kendig MD; Rooney KB; Corbit LH; Boakes RA, 2013, 'Comparison of the behavioral and metabolic effects of chronic 10% sucrose drink consumption in Albino and Hooded Wistar rats', Obesity Research & Clinical Practice, vol. 7, pp. e110 - e111, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.orcp.2013.12.698
    Journal articles | 2013
    Yan-Yan Chan C; Kendig M; Boakes RA; Rooney K, 2013, 'Low-volume exercise can prevent sucrose-induced weight gain but has limited impact on metabolic measures in rats', European Journal of Nutrition, vol. 52, pp. 1721 - 1732, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00394-012-0475-5
    Journal articles | 2012
    Bowen MT; Keats K; Kendig MD; Cakic V; Callaghan PD; McGregor IS, 2012, 'Aggregation in quads but not pairs of rats exposed to cat odor or bright light', Behavioural Processes, vol. 90, pp. 331 - 336, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.beproc.2012.03.014
    Journal articles | 2012
    Motbey CP; Karanges E; Li KM; Wilkinson S; Winstock AR; Ramsay J; Hicks C; Kendig MD; Wyatt N; Callaghan PD; McGregor IS, 2012, 'Mephedrone in Adolescent Rats: Residual Memory Impairment and Acute but Not Lasting 5-HT Depletion', PLoS ONE, vol. 7, http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0045473
    Journal articles | 2011
    Kendig MD; Bowen MT; Kemp AH; McGregor IS, 2011, 'Predatory threat induces huddling in adolescent rats and residual changes in early adulthood suggestive of increased resilience', Behavioural Brain Research, vol. 225, pp. 405 - 414, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbr.2011.07.058
  • Conference Abstracts | 2022
    Hossain MJ; Kendig MD; Morris MJ; Arnold R, 2022, 'Spatial memory impairment in type 2 diabetic rats is associated with adiposity and altered glucose metabolism', in DIABETES RESEARCH AND CLINICAL PRACTICE, ELSEVIER IRELAND LTD, Vol. 186, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.diabres.2022.109719
    Preprints | 2021
    Hasebe K; Kendig M; Kaakoush N; Tajaddini A; Westbrook F; Morris M, 2021, The Influence of Maternal Unhealthy Diet On Maturation of Offspring Gut Microbiota in Rat, http://dx.doi.org/10.21203/rs.3.rs-1005475/v1
    Conference Abstracts | 2021
    Hossain MJ; Kendig MD; Wild BM; Morris MJ; Arnold R, 2021, 'Effects of Diet Reversal on Metabolic and Peripheral Neuropathy Endpoints in a Rat Model of Cafeteria Diet-Induced Obesity', in METABOLISM-CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL, W B SAUNDERS CO-ELSEVIER INC, Vol. 116, pp. 68 - 69, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.metabol.2020.154638
    Conference Abstracts | 2020
    Hossain MJ; Kendig MD; Wild BM; Morris MJ; Arnold R, 2020, 'Longitudinal Characterization of Peripheral Neuropathy in a Cafeteria Diet and Low-Dose Streptozotocin Rat Model of Type 2 Diabetes', in DIABETES, AMER DIABETES ASSOC, ELECTR NETWORK, Vol. 69, presented at 80th Scientific Sessions of the American-Diabetes-Association (ADA), ELECTR NETWORK, 12 June 2020 - 16 June 2020, http://dx.doi.org/10.2337/db20-530-P
    Conference Abstracts | 2019
    Kendig M; Westbrook RF; Morris MJ, 2019, 'Adiposity and spatial memory impairments are determined by the pattern of access to high-fat, high-sugar ‘cafeteria’ diet in rats', in Obesity Research & Clinical Practice, Elsevier BV, Vol. 13, pp. 284 - 285, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.orcp.2018.11.144
    Conference Papers | 2010
    McGregor IS; Hargreaves GA; Kashem MA; Bowen M; Kendig M; Motbey C; Callaghan PD, 2010, 'STUDIES OF ADOLESCENT BINGE DRINKING AND ITS CONSEQUENCES USING THE BEER MODEL IN RATS', in ALCOHOLISM-CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH, WILEY-BLACKWELL PUBLISHING, INC, FRANCE, Paris, pp. 55A - 55A, presented at World Congress on International-Society-for-Biomedical-Research-on-Alcoholism, FRANCE, Paris, 13 September 2010 - 16 September 2010, https://www.webofscience.com/api/gateway?GWVersion=2&SrcApp=PARTNER_APP&SrcAuth=LinksAMR&KeyUT=WOS:000280252600164&DestLinkType=FullRecord&DestApp=ALL_WOS&UsrCustomerID=891bb5ab6ba270e68a29b250adbe88d1

2020: Associate investigator on NHMRC Ideas grant ($400,372) APP2003686. Examining the metabolic and cognitive deficits caused by insulin resistance in the ventral striatum. CIA Dr Vincent Laurent. 

2019: School of Medical Sciences Accelerator Grant ($10,000). Validating new methods of measuring diet-induced cognitive impairment.

2018: UNSW Medicine Neuroscience, Mental Health and Addictions Theme and SPHERE Clinical Academic Group seed funding ($19,926) to Morris, Eapen, Ooi, Kasparian & Kendig. Evaluating the Gut-Brain Axis in Autism.

2018: Ian Potter Foundation Knowledge and Learning/Conference grant ($5000). Funding to support travel expenses for two keynote speakers at the 2018 Australian Learning Group Winter Conference, held July 11th-13th, 2018, in Katoomba, NSW.

2018: Ian Potter Foundation Travel Grant ($2400). Funding to support travel to Neuroscience 2018, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, held November 3rd-7th, in San Diego, USA.

2013-2016: Australian Postgraduate Research Award, University of Sydney (full-time scholarship for duration of PhD course; total value ~$78,000).

2013 – 2014: Alumni Scholarship, University of Sydney ($5,000). 1-year top-up scholarship awarded to highly-ranked commencing PhD candidates.

2019: Award for research excellence (Early Career Academic Staff), Faculty of Medicine, UNSW Sydney.

2018: Best new researcher, School of Medical Sciences, UNSW Sydney.

2017: Oral presentation award at New Zealand Association for Behaviour Analysis annual conference.

2017: Best student talk at Australian Learning Group Mid-Year Conference.

2014 and 2016: Postgraduate Publication Prize, School of Psychology, University of Sydney.

2021: Presenter & moderator at School of Medical Sciences Brain Awareness Week of ‘NeuroEthics’

2021: Invited presentation to industry start-up founders at ‘Upside Founder Programs

2019: Guest editor of May newsletter for the International Behavioral Neuroscience Society

2019: Article for Nutrition Australia: “Sugar drinks fall flat

2019: Article in The Conversation: “Health check: can eating certain foods make you smarter?

My Research Supervision

PhD students (co-supervisor)

Mr. Md Jakir Hossain (PhD submitted) - effects of diet and type 2 diabetes on peripheral neuropathy

Ms. Aynaz Seyed Tajaddini (2019-) - effects of maternal obesity on offspring behaviour

Mr. Michael Leong (2019-) - contrasting obesity- and diabetes-associated changes to the liver



Mr. Roger Xie (2019-2020; H1 SoMS Honours) - effect of diet cycling on the liver

Ms. Ching Ho (2019; ILP; H1 equivalent) - comparing continuous and restricted access to cafeteria-style diet

Ms. Sahana Nandakumar (2020; ILP; H1 equivalent) - insights from animal models of binge eating

Ms. Arya Shinde (2021; SoMS Honours) - dietary influences on anxiety-like behaviour

Ms. Nipuni Hapangama (2021; ILP Honours) - effects of maternal obesity on brown fat in offspring


Undergraduate interns

Ms. Briony Wijeyaratne (2020; NEUR3211 research internship)

ECR mentor for PATH3205 (2020)

Ms. Mushka Kaye (2018; SOMS3001 research internship)

Ms. Jemma Rezitis and Ms. Sindu Sritharan (2018; NEUR3221 research internship)