Gemma is an NHMRC Early Career Senior Research Fellow in the Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre (MAPrc) and she leads the Body Image Research Group at MAPrc. 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 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 expanded her research to include male genital body image.
Gemma then commenced an NHMRC Early Career Research Fellowship (part-time) at MAPrc at Monash University. Gemma and her Body Image Research Group at MAPrc investigate the factors leading to body image and related mental health concerns and novel therapeutic interventions using digital technologies (such as chatbots and apps) to address these concerns. Gemma leads collaborative projects with Australia's national body image and eating disorder support organisation, The Butterfly Foundation.
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 at TEDx talk in Brisbane in 2017. More recently, she was named one of The Educator's Rising Stars (2020), a national finalist for the CRC Association Early Career Researcher Showcase (2020), received a national AMP Tomorrow Maker Award (2019), was named as a national finalist for the Bupa Health Foundation Emerging Health Researcher Award (2019), and was a Young Tall Poppy Award winner for Victoria (2018). She has also served as a host on Triple R's Radiotherapy program since 2018.
Gemma is also a clinical psychologist and has had clinical experience in the public and private sectors in Adelaide, Perth and Melbourne. She leads her own private practice (part-time) and her particular areas of clinical interest are body image concerns, eating disorders, body dysmorphic disorder and related mental health conditions. She serves as the Early Career Representative on the Victorian Section of the Australian Psychological Society's College of Clinical Psychologists Committee and is a member of the Australian Society for Psychosocial Obstetrics and Gynaecology Executive Committee.