Femke is a Behavioural Neuroscientist with a strong interest in the neurobiological basis of individual differences in behaviour and mental health. She likes to work on the intersection between psychology, physiology and behaviour using a translational approach. She has proposed a new theory about the effects of early life experiences on the developing oxytocin system and the impact this has on later drug use. Her research group is using a range of techniques to test the impact on infants and kids of observed early life environment.
Femke is also a leader in online education and curriculum development. She developed and coordinates full online postgraduate degrees in Addiction Studies. She is the program leader for the International Programme in Addiction Studies in Adelaide, which she teaches with King's College London (UK) and Virginia Commonwealth University (USA). She is also the convener for the new Major in Addiction and Mental health of the Bachelor of Health and Medical Sciences.
Femke engages extensively with the community. She has for example developed a free online course on Managing addiction for Health professionals (EdX). She likes to actively engaging school kids in neuroscience, for example as the State co-coordinator of the Australian Brain Bee Challenge and as a Scientist in School.