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Femke Buisman-Pijlman

Senior Lecturer Addiction Studies, University of Adelaide

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.


  • 2008–present
    Affiliate Graduate Faculty, Virginia Commonwealth University, USA
  • 2012–present
    Senior Lecturer Addiction Studies, University of Adelaide
  • 2019–present
    Associate professor, University of Melbourne
  • 2007–2012
    Lecturer, University of Adelaide
  • 2007–2008
    Senior lecturer, Flinders University
  • 2005–2007
    Postdoctoral research associate Family Studies, Leiden University, Netherlands
  • 2002–2005
    Program Officer, Addiction Program, Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development (ZonMw)
  • 2004–2005
    Research associate, Unit International Affairs, Trimbos Institute, The Netherlands
  • 2002–2004
    Research associate, Party Drug Monitor, Trimbos Institute, The Netherlands


  • 2014 
    Adelaide University, GradCert Online Learning (Higher Ed)
  • 2013 
    Women's and Children's Hospital, Infant Mental Health Certificate
  • 2001 
    University Medical Centre Utrecht, Netherlands, PhD Psychopharmacology
  • 1997 
    Utrecht University, Netherlands, MSc Biology (Medical Sciences and Ethology)
  • 1994 
    Utrecht University, Netherlands, BSc Biology

Research Areas

  • Continuing And Community Education (130101)
  • Neurosciences (1109)
  • Developmental Psychology And Ageing (170102)
  • Mental Health (111714)