Gemma leads the Body Image & Eating Disorders Research Group in the Department of Neuroscience at Monash University. She is currently an NHMRC Emerging Leadership 2 Fellow (2023-2027) and a former NHMRC Early Career Research Fellow (2018-2022).
She holds a Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biology (University of Adelaide), Bachelor of Science Honours degree in Microbiology and Immunology (University of Adelaide), a Masters degree in Oncology (University of Cambridge), a Diploma in Languages in Japanese (University of Adelaide), a Graduate Diploma in Psychology (University of Adelaide), a Bachelor of Behavioural Sciences Honours degree in Psychology (Flinders University) and a PhD in Clinical Psychology (Flinders University). Her research career in both Medical Science and Mental Health has seen her study and work in Australia, Japan and the UK.
Gemma was awarded a PhD from Flinders University in Adelaide in 2017 which investigated the psychological predictors and outcomes of female genital body image concerns and cosmetic genital surgery. She worked as a Post-Doctoral Research Associate and Academic at Curtin University in Perth and extended this genital self-image research to other genders. She continues this genital self-image research program across the gender spectrum.
Gemma then commenced an NHMRC Early Career Research Fellowship at Monash University (2018-2022) and more recently an NHMRC Emerging Leadership 2 Fellowship (2023-2027). Gemma and her Body Image & Eating Disorders Research Group investigate the factors leading to body image concerns and eating disorders and novel therapeutic interventions using digital technologies (such as chatbots and mobile apps) to address these concerns. Gemma has led collaborative technical projects with national eating disorder support organisations across the globe.
Gemma's research has received extensive coverage on mainstream media and she makes regular appearances on television. She was named one of ABC Radio National's Top 5 Under 40 Scientists in 2017 and also was invited to deliver a TED talk in Brisbane in 2017. More recently, she won the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia Paul Bourke Award for Early Career Research (2022), Club Melbourne Fellowship (2022), Rising Star for the Association for Psychological Science (2021), two time national finalist for the Bupa Health Foundation Emerging Researcher Award (2021, 2019), Flinders University Early Career Alumni Awardee (2021), one of The Educator's Rising Stars (2020), Australian Psychological Society Early Career Researcher Awardee (2020), a national finalist for a Eureka Prize (2020), received a national AMP Tomorrow Maker Award (2019), and was a Young Tall Poppy Award winner for Victoria (2018). She also served as a host on Melbourne radio Triple R Radiotherapy program (2018-2022) and continues to make regular appearances on Triple R programs.
In addition, Gemma is a registered clinical psychologist and has had clinical experience in the public and private sectors in Adelaide, Perth and Melbourne. She led her own private practice from 2019 to 2022 and is currently the Senior Clinical Psychologist at the Statewide Women's Mental Health Service at Alfred Health. She is a Credentialed Eating Disorder Clinician (CEDC) and a Board Approved Supervisor with the Psychology Board of Australia. She formerly served on the Australia and New Zealand Academy for Eating Disorders (ANZAED) Executive Committee as well as the Chairperson of the ANZAED Membership Committee. She also served on the Executive Committee of the Australian Society for Psychosocial Obstetrics and Gynaecology (ASPOG).