Meet our Psychology Academics




Benefit from 50 years of academic excellence


Backed by 50 years of experience in teaching and researching psychology, our passionate academics will empower you to succeed in a world where the scope of psychology is widening. You’ll study and connect with industry leaders, specialists and experienced academics and gain a deep understanding of the latest emerging trends in psychology.

Dr. Kerry McBain

Head of Psychology and Course Coordinator

Dr Kerry Anne McBain is the Head of Psychology and Course Coordinator of the Graduate Diploma of Psychology (Bridging) Program at James Cook University. Her research spans the broad areas of social, environmental and developmental psychology with a specific interest in the areas of interpersonal communication, adult attachment, and the formation and structure of the relationships we form with the places in which we live and the network of people and pets that share those places with us.  Her focus on the application of research-based practice directly reflects the changing and trending nature of the global community in which we live and the cultural, social and geographic environment through which human services are delivered.

Dr. Brian Law


Originally from Singapore, Brian is a lecturer of psychology at James Cook University, and a member of the Psychology of Active, Healthy Living (PAHL) group. PAHL is a cross-institutional health psychology group involving James Cook University and the University of Western Australia. PAHL’s mission is to harness the ‘power of people’ in promoting mental and physical health in people from all walks of life. In alignment with this mission, Brian has a keen research interest in programs that benefit community health such as community mental health and sports and exercise psychology. He is also keen to pass on his knowledge and experience, as can be seen in his passionate demeanour towards his students.

Dr. Jessica Oliva


Dr Jessica Oliva is a Lecturer in Psychology at James Cook University based at the Townsville campus. Her research interests include owner-dog attachment, dog social cognition, empathy, speciesism, connectedness to nature and mindfulness. Inspired by her own experiences adopting a shelter dog, Bonnie, she completed a PhD at Monash University in 2015 investigating the role of the neuropeptide, oxytocin, in human-dog bonding and communication. She then completed a Post-Doctoral fellowship at the Institute of Research in Semi-chemistry and Applied Ethology (IRSEA) in France, investigating the efficacy of Dog Appeasing Pheremone (DAP) versus oxytocin, in dog social cognition, and the influence of human attachment.

Dr Klaire Somoray


Dr Klaire Somoray

Dr Klaire Somoray is a Lecturer in Psychology at the College of Healthcare Sciences. They completed their PhD at the Queensland University of Technology, within the Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety Queensland (CARRS-Q). Dr Somoray has a diverse research portfolio. Due to their primary expertise in statistical modelling and quantitative research methodologies, they have been involved in different research projects, including research on traffic psychology, workplace health, safety and wellbeing, and criminology. Currently, they have a strong interest in examining the positive and negative impacts of data and technology at the individual- and societal-level.

Ms Madelyn Pardon


Madelyn Oardon

Ms Madelyn Pardon is a Lecturer in Psychology at the College of Healthcare Sciences. Ms Pardon's primary research interest is on water security and threat perceptions. Her PhD research is focused on how individuals perceive water and how this perception influences water conservation behaviour. Additionally, Ms Pardon has also worked on various other projects, including the relationship between Student's in Nursing/Midwifery roles and work-integrated learning, and the impact of medically unexplained symptoms on ED re-presentations (a project run at the Townsville University Hospital). Madelyn has a keen interest in community interventions that benefit community health and the environment, and an interest in enhancing the student learning experience.

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