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A/Prof Craig Olsson has a PhD in Developmental Psychology and specialises in longitudinal and life-course research with a particular focus on child and adolescence development. He has post doctoral training in human genetics, epidemiology and statistical genetics and has been based at the Murdoch Chidrens Research Institute (Melbourne Royal Childrenís Hospital) since 2000. He is the current National Convener of the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY) Longitudinal Studies Network (LSN). This network brings together around 20 mature longitudinal studies of child and adolescent health and development in Australia and New Zealand with the aim of informing innovation in prevention practice and policy. He is the current Scientific Director of The Australian Temperament Project, an Australian Research Council (ARC) funded 30 year (15 wave) longitudinal study of around 2,400 Australians followed from birth. This study is now following cohort offspring with the aim of understanding more about intergenerational cycles of mental health and disorder. He is Deputy Director of The Victorian Adolescent Health Offspring Cohort, a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) funded study of children born to a 20 year (10 wave) longitudinal study of around 2000 Victorians followed from puberty to adulthood. He also has Chief Investigator roles on a further two life course studies: the Childhood to Adolescence Transition Cohort, a NHMRC funded longitudinal study of around 2,000 children followed across puberty from age 8 to 13-years; and the Triple B Cohort, a NHMRC funded longitudinal study of around 2,000 expecting parents followed from early pregnancy into the first year postpartum (University of New South Wales). He maintains important collaborations with: the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health Cohort Study (University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand), the Western Australian Pregnancy Study (Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, Perth), the International Youth Development Study (MCRI and Washington University, USA), a longitudinal studies consortium investigating psychosocial sequalae of cannabis use (NDARC), and the Norwegian HUNT study (a population capture cohort N>70,000). Across his Post Doctoral career at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, A/Prof Craig Olsson has led and contributed to grants in excess of $9.5 million from the NHMRC, ARC and various philantrophic organisations.
A/Professor Olsson has been appointed in a Research Intensive role within the School of Psychology. He is the Geelong HDR coordinator (with Dr Lucy Zinkiewicz) and currently supervises eight PhD, two Doctoral, four Masters, and two 4th year students, and one Graduate Diploma student.
A/Prof Olssonís primary research focus is on reducing burden of disease due to mental and behavioural disorders through enhancing preventive intervention. His research addresses two related questions: (1) how social and genetic processes (both within and across generations) act to shape individual differences in sensitivity to life events, and (2) how insights into individual differences in sensitivity can be used to ensure optimal targeting of at-risk groups and the best alignment of resources for effective prevention. He has a strong interest in promoting student knowledge and use of longitudinal data resources within the ARACY LSN and can provide unique access to data for student theses and journal publication. He would welcome any enquiries from students interested in the aetiology of common mental health problems with the aim of informing new approaches to designing effective preventive intervention.