Affiliated staff and students

The students and staff who make a difference

Learn more about the research students and affiliated staff conducting cutting-edge preclinical and clinical research. 

Dr Miguel A. Bedoya-Perez

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Miguel A. Bedoya-Perez’s research interests include behavioural ecology and evolutionary biology, specifically, the evolution and ecological significance of behavioural traits and their adaptability to environmental changes (anthropogenic or natural). Miguel has extensive experience in field-based research in a variety of subjects, spanning sexual selection, foraging behaviour, chemical ecology and wildlife management. He currently holds the position of Postdoctoral Research Associate in Behavioural and Chemical Ecology in a collaborative project between the School of Psychology and the School of Life and Environmental Sciences. Miguel is exploring the chemical, biological and evolutionary aspect of anti-predator behaviour, in introduced and native rodents, as a response to predator odours, working under the direction of Professor Iain McGregor.

Rhianne Scicluna

PhD candidate

Rhianne is a PhD student in Dr Michael Bowen’s team working on the development of cannabinoid-based therapeutics for opioid use disorder. Before beginning her candidature in October 2019, she completed a Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) at the University of Sydney in 2018 and worked as a Research Assistant at the University of Sydney in 2019.

Rhianne’s research focuses on using preclinical models of opioid addiction to explore the efficacy of phytocannabinoids for treating opioid use disorder and to understand how cannabinoids act upon neural and pharmacological pathways involved in opioid abuse to exert their therapeutically relevant effects.

Laisa Umpierrez

PhD candidate

Laisa Umpierrez is a PhD student in the Department of Psychology at Macquarie University, under the supervision of Professor Jennifer Cornish. After completing a Bachelor of Biomedical Science in 2012 and a Master of Health Sciences (Pharmacology and Toxicology) in 2015 in Brazil, she came to Australia to pursue her research career overseas. In 2016 she worked as a volunteer visiting scholar at Macquarie University in a Cannabinoid project research in partnership with Lambert Initiative. In 2019 she was offered a place as an international higher degree research candidate at Macquarie University in the Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology and an International Macquarie University Research Excellence Scholarship co-funded with Sydney University’s Lambert Initiative.

Laisa’s work focuses on the effects of cannabinoid derivatives on methamphetamine addiction, meth-induced psychosis, and neurotoxicity. She is interested in understanding if different cannabinoids and their combination are able to reduce methamphetamine-induced disorders, and their mechanisms of action in the brain.