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    Ms Carra Simpson

Ms Carra Simpson is a PhD candidate, academic tutor, and health promotion consultant at the University of Melbourne, based within the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences and Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre (Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences). In 2013, Carra moved from Canberra to pursue her undergraduate studies, where she dabbled in psychological sciences, political sciences and foreign languages. During her studies, Carra discovered a passion for biological psychology, which lead her to investigate how the brain is intimately connected to the rest of the body. Carra was awarded the Australian Psychological Society Prize for her honours thesis examining the oral microbiota in adolescent depression and anxiety. Carra’s current work spans across the biomedical sciences, including medical microbiology, psychology, neuroscience, and gastroenterology. Her research, as part of the Bugs and Brains Study, investigates the gut microbiota in anxiety, depression and irritable bowel syndrome. As a first-generation scientist and PhD, Carra hopes her journey will encourage other women to pursue a research career. In her science communication and outreach, she promotes the importance of diverse voices within the research community, and the strength of interdisciplinary collaboration. In 2019, Carra facilitated a workshop at the Youth Mental Wellbeing Conference, resulting in key consumer-driven policy recommendations to parliament. She has also received several awards for her research communication and academic achievements, including the Helen Macpherson Smith Scholarship, R.G Wilson Scholarship, Dean’s honours list, and best oral presentation awards at the Psychiatry Annual Symposium and Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences Annual PhD Conference.