Profile image of Amy Loughman

Dr Amy Loughman



Senior Research Fellow


Faculty of Health


School of Medicine


Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus


Doctor of Philosophy, University of Melbourne, 2017
Master of Psychology (Clinical Neuropsychology), University of Melbourne, 2017


Amy is a Senior Research Fellow at the Food & Mood Centre. She completed her Masters of Psychology (Clinical Neuropsychology) and PhD thesis at the University of Melbourne (2017).

Clinically trained in neuropsychology, she is passionate about understanding the relationships between physical and mental health. A particular research interest of Amy’s is the gut microbiome and the potential relevance that this ‘forgotten organ’ for understanding human health. In 2017 she was awarded the Jack Brockhoff Foundation Early Career Grant to examine the role of the microbiome in Alzheimer’s disease and cognition. She is also working on optimising our physical environments to promote focus, wellbeing and productivity.

Amy is an active communicator of science, and has written for The Conversation, The Research Whisperer and The Thesis Whisperer. She can also be found at and on Twitter @MBmicrobiome.

Read more on Amy's profile

Research interests

Gut-brain-axis, oral microbiome, neurology, neurobiology, evidence-based practice, workplace wellbeing, biophilic design, environmental neuroscience. 


Australasian Human Microbiome Research Network (AHMRN) Founding Chair 2020 & Current Vice President 2023

Knowledge areas


Neurological disorder, epilepsy, dementia and neurodegenerative conditions, neurobiology, environmental neuroscience


Gut and oral microbiomes, nutritional psychiatry, analysis of the gut-brain-axis


Biophilic design for wellbeing, mood, cognitive function, neuropsychology, cognitive assessment (descriptive and diagnostic), clinical interviewing, child development, developmental conditions


Cohort studies, epidemiology, psychological assessment, meta-analysis, bioinformatics and statistics of the microbiome

Media appearances

Dr Loughman has been interviewed for live radio (ABC Melbourne, ABC Brisbane, RRR), on podcasts (Memory Matters), and her expertise has been featured in articles published in The New York Times, New Scientist, Le Monde, Medscape Neurology, The Conversation and others. 


Filter by


Safety and feasibility of faecal microbiota transplant for major depressive disorder: study protocol for a pilot randomised controlled trial

Jessica Green, Amelia McGuinness, Michael Berk, David Castle, Eugene Athan, Christopher Hair, Philip Strandwitz, Amy Loughman, Andrew Nierenberg, John Cryan, Mohammadreza Mohebbi, Felice Jacka

(2023), Vol. 9, pp. 1-14, Pilot and Feasibility Studies, London, Eng., C1

journal article

Feasibility, Acceptability, and Safety of Faecal Microbiota Transplantation in the Treatment of Major Depressive Disorder: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial

Jessica Green, Michael Berk, Mohammadreza Mohebbi, Amy Loughman, Amelia McGuinness, David Castle, Mary Chatterton, Joahna Perez, Philip Strandwitz, Eugene Athan, Christopher Hair, Andrew Nierenberg, John Cryan, Felice Jacka

(2023), pp. 1-12, The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, London, Eng., C1

journal article

A cross‐sectional investigation of cognition and epileptiform discharges in juvenile absence epilepsy

Anita Dharan, Stephen Bowden, Andre Peterson, Alan Lai, Udaya Seneviratne, Gabriel Dabscheck, Ewan Nurse, Amy Loughman, Nicholas Parsons, Wendyl D'Souza

(2023), Epilepsia, United States, C1

journal article

Unlocking Modifiable Risk Factors for Alzheimer's Disease: Does the Oral Microbiome Hold Some of the Keys?

Amy Loughman, Christina Adler, Helen Macpherson

(2023), Vol. 92, pp. 1111-1129, Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, Leiden, The Netherlands, C1

journal article

Physical activity and adiposity in preschool children: The Barwon Infant Study

L Bell, P Vuillermin, A Timperio, A Ponsonby, M Tang, K Hesketh, D Burgner, R Saffery, J Carlin, S Ranganathan, L Harrison, F Collier, T Mansell, A Loughman, L Gray

(2022), Vol. 17, Pediatric Obesity, England, C1

journal article

Maternal inflammatory and omega-3 fatty acid pathways mediate the association between socioeconomic disadvantage and childhood cognition

W Marx, S Thomson, M O'Hely, C Symeonides, F Collier, M Tang, A Loughman, D Burgner, R Saffery, C Pham, T Mansell, P Sly, P Vuillermin, S Ranganathan, A Ponsonby

(2022), Vol. 100, pp. 211-218, Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1

journal article

A systematic review of gut microbiota composition in observational studies of major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia

A McGuinness, J Davis, S Dawson, A Loughman, F Collier, M O’Hely, C Simpson, J Green, W Marx, C Hair, G Guest, M Mohebbi, M Berk, D Stupart, D Watters, F Jacka

(2022), Vol. 27, pp. 1920-1935, Molecular Psychiatry, Berlin, Germany, C1

journal article

To the Gut Microbiome and Beyond: The Brain-First or Body-First Hypothesis in Parkinson's Disease

N Nuzum, A Loughman, E Szymlek-Gay, W Teo, A Hendy, H Macpherson

(2022), Vol. 13, pp. 1-6, Frontiers in Microbiology, Lausanne, Switzerland, C1

journal article

Early life infection and proinflammatory, atherogenic metabolomic and lipidomic profiles in infancy: a population-based cohort study

T Mansell, R Saffery, S Burugupalli, A Ponsonby, M Tang, M O'hely, S Bekkering, A Smith, R Rowland, S Ranganathan, P Sly, P Vuillermin, F Collier, P Meikle, D Burgner

(2022), Vol. 11, pp. 1-25, eLife, Cambridge, Eng., C1

journal article

Effects of a low FODMAP diet on the colonic microbiome in irritable bowel syndrome: a systematic review with meta-analysis

D So, A Loughman, H Staudacher

(2022), Vol. 116, pp. 943-952, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, United States, C1

journal article

The effect of vitamin D supplementation on depressive symptoms in adults: A systematic review and meta‐analysis of randomized controlled trials

T Mikola, W Marx, M Lane, M Hockey, A Loughman, S Rajapolvi, T Rocks, A O’Neil, D Mischoulon, M Valkonen-Korhonen, S Lehto, A Ruusunen

(2022), Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, United States, C1

journal article

Higher Ultra-Processed Food Consumption Is Associated with Greater High-Sensitivity C-Reactive Protein Concentration in Adults: Cross-Sectional Results from the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study

M Lane, M Lotfaliany, M Forbes, A Loughman, T Rocks, A O’Neil, P Machado, F Jacka, A Hodge, W Marx

(2022), Vol. 14, Nutrients, Switzerland, C1

journal article

Cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between gut microbiota composition and cognition in the second year of life: Findings from the Child Health and Resident Microbes study

M Matsuyama, N Murtaza, M Morrison, P Davies, R Hill, A Loughman

(2022), Vol. 189, pp. 285-292, American Journal of Medical Genetics, Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics, London, Eng., C1

journal article

Diet, Digestion, and the Dietitian: A Survey of Clinicians' Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices to Advance the Treatment of Gastrointestinal Disturbances in Individuals with Anorexia Nervosa

M West, C McMaster, C Young, M Mohebbi, S Hart, H Staudacher, A Loughman, A Ruusunen, T Rocks

(2022), Vol. 11, pp. 1-12, Journal of Clinical Medicine, Basel, Switzerland, C1

journal article

Infant microbiota in colic: Predictive associations with problem crying and subsequent child behavior

A Loughman, T Quinn, M Nation, A Reichelt, R Moore, T Van, V Sung, M Tang

(2021), Vol. 12, pp. 260-270, Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease, England, C1

journal article

Ultraprocessed food and chronic noncommunicable diseases: A systematic review and meta-analysis of 43 observational studies

M Lane, J Davis, S Beattie, C Gómez-Donoso, A Loughman, A O'Neil, F Jacka, M Berk, R Page, W Marx, T Rocks

(2021), Vol. 22, Obesity Reviews, England, C1

journal article

Possible use of fermented foods in rehabilitation of anorexia nervosa: the gut microbiota as a modulator

T Rocks, M West, M Hockey, H Aslam, M Lane, A Loughman, F Jacka, A Ruusunen

(2021), Vol. 107, Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry, England, C1

journal article

Diet quality and a traditional dietary pattern predict lean mass in Australian women: Longitudinal data from the Geelong Osteoporosis Study

J Davis, M Mohebbi, F Collier, A Loughman, N Shivappa, J Hébert, J Pasco, F Jacka

(2021), Vol. 21, Preventive Medicine Reports, United States, C1

journal article

Gastrointestinal symptoms following treatment for anorexia nervosa: A systematic literature review

M West, C McMaster, H Staudacher, S Hart, F Jacka, T Stewart, A Loughman, T Rocks, A Ruusunen

(2021), Vol. 54, pp. 936-951, International Journal of Eating Disorders, United States, C1

journal article

Associations between dairy consumption and constipation in adults: A cross-sectional study

H Aslam, M Mohebbi, A Ruusunen, S Dawson, L Williams, M Berk, K Holloway-Kew, F Collier, A Loughman, J Pasco, F Jacka

(2021), pp. 1-9, Nutrition and Health, London, Eng., C1

journal article

Diet and mental health

Amy Loughman, H Staudacher, Tetyana Rocks, Anu Ruusunen, Wolfgang Marx, Adrienne O'Neil, Felice Jacka

(2021), Vol. 32, pp. 100-112, Mod Trends Psychiatry, Basel, Switzerland, C1

journal article

The role of diet quality and dietary patterns in predicting muscle mass and function in men over a 15-year period

J Davis, M Mohebbi, F Collier, A Loughman, H Staudacher, N Shivappa, J Hébert, J Pasco, F Jacka

(2021), Vol. 32, pp. 2193-2203, Osteoporosis International, England, C1

journal article

Maternal prenatal gut microbiota composition predicts child behaviour

S Dawson, M O'Hely, F Jacka, A Ponsonby, C Symeonides, A Loughman, F Collier, M Moreno-Betancur, P Sly, D Burgner, M Tang, R Saffery, S Ranganathan, M Conlon, L Harrison, S Brix, K Kristiansen, P Vuillermin

(2021), Vol. 68, EBioMedicine, Netherlands, C1

journal article

Inhibition, excitation and bilateral transfer following a unilateral complex finger-tapping task in young and older adults

N Nuzum, W Teo, H Macpherson, A Loughman, E Szymlek-Gay, A Hendy

(2021), Vol. 54, pp. 6608-6617, European Journal of Neuroscience, Chichester, Eng., C1

journal article

Increased maternal mental health burden in a representative longitudinal community cohort coinciding with COVID-19 lockdown

A Loughman, J Hedley, C Olsson, M Berk, S Moylan, R Saffery, P Sly, M Tang, A Ponsonby, P Vuillermin

(2021), Vol. 73, pp. 578-585, Australian Journal of Psychology, London, England, C1

journal article

Reporting guidelines for human microbiome research: the STORMS checklist

C Mirzayi, A Renson, C Furlanello, S Sansone, F Zohra, S Elsafoury, L Geistlinger, L Kasselman, K Eckenrode, J van de Wijgert, A Loughman, F Marques, D MacIntyre, M Arumugam, R Azhar, F Beghini, K Bergstrom, A Bhatt, J Bisanz, J Braun, H Bravo, G Buck, F Bushman, D Casero, G Clarke, M Collado, P Cotter, J Cryan, R Demmer, S Devkota, E Elinav, J Escobar, J Fettweis, R Finn, A Fodor, S Forslund, A Franke, J Gilbert, E Grice, B Haibe-Kains, S Handley, P Herd, S Holmes, J Jacobs, L Karstens, R Knight, D Knights, O Koren, D Kwon, M Langille, B Lindsay, D McGovern, A McHardy, S McWeeney, N Mueller, L Nezi, M Olm, N Palm, E Pasolli, J Raes, M Redinbo, M Rühlemann, R Balfour Sartor, P Schloss, L Schriml, E Segal, M Shardell, T Sharpton, E Smirnova, H Sokol, J Sonnenburg, S Srinivasan, L Thingholm, P Turnbaugh, V Upadhyay, R Walls, P Wilmes, T Yamada, G Zeller, M Zhang, N Zhao, L Zhao, W Bao, A Culhane, V Devanarayan, J Dopazo, X Fan, M Fischer, W Jones, R Kusko, C Mason, T Mercer, A Scherer, L Shi, S Thakkar, W Tong, R Wolfinger, C Hunter

(2021), Vol. 27, pp. 1885-1892, Nature Medicine, United States, C1

journal article

An intermittent hypercaloric diet alters gut microbiota, prefrontal cortical gene expression and social behaviours in rats

A Reichelt, A Loughman, A Bernard, M Raipuria, K Abbott, J Dachtler, T Van, R Moore

(2020), Vol. 23, pp. 613-627, Nutritional Neuroscience, England, C1

journal article

The effect of blueberry interventions on cognitive performance and mood: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials

N Travica, N D'Cunha, N Naumovski, K Kent, D Mellor, J Firth, E Georgousopoulou, O Dean, A Loughman, F Jacka, W Marx

(2020), Vol. 85, pp. 96-105, Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, Netherlands, C1

journal article

Unravelled facets of milk derived opioid peptides: a focus on gut physiology, fractures and obesity

Hajara Aslam, Anu Ruusunen, Michael Berk, Amy Loughman, Leni Rivera, Julie Pasco, Felice Jacka

(2020), Vol. 71, pp. 36-49, International journal of food sciences and nutrition, Abingdon, Eng., C1

journal article

Gut microbiota differences between healthy older adults and individuals with Parkinson's disease: a systematic review

N Nuzum, A Loughman, E Szymlek-Gay, A Hendy, W Teo, H Macpherson

(2020), Vol. 112, pp. 227-241, Neuroscience and biobehavioral reviews, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1

journal article

Gut microbiota composition during infancy and subsequent behavioural outcomes

A Loughman, A Ponsonby, M O'Hely, C Symeonides, F Collier, M Tang, J Carlin, S Ranganathan, K Allen, A Pezic, R Saffery, F Jacka, L Harrison, P Sly, P Vuillermin

(2020), Vol. 52, EBioMedicine, Netherlands, C1

journal article

The effect of ultra-processed very low-energy diets on gut microbiota and metabolic outcomes in individuals with obesity: a systematic literature review

M Lane, G Howland, M West, M Hockey, W Marx, A Loughman, M O'Hely, F Jacka, T Rocks

(2020), Vol. 14, pp. 197-204, Obesity research and clinical practice, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1

journal article

The effects of dairy and dairy derivatives on the gut microbiota: a systematic literature review

H Aslam, W Marx, T Rocks, A Loughman, V Chandrasekaran, A Ruusunen, S Dawson, M West, E Mullarkey, J Pasco, F Jacka

(2020), Vol. 12, Gut Microbes, United States, C1

journal article

Obesity, Akkermansia muciniphila, and proton pump inhibitors: is there a link?

J Davis, F Collier, M Mohebbi, A Stuart, A Loughman, J Pasco, F Jacka

(2020), Vol. 14, pp. 524-530, Obesity research and clinical practice, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1

journal article

Efficacy and safety of fecal microbiota transplantation for the treatment of diseases other than Clostridium difficile infection: a systematic review and meta-analysis

J Green, J Davis, M Berk, C Hair, A Loughman, D Castle, E Athan, A Nierenberg, J Cryan, F Jacka, W Marx

(2020), Vol. 12, pp. 1-25, Gut Microbes, United States, C1

journal article

The gut microbiome in anorexia nervosa: relevance for nutritional rehabilitation

Anu Ruusunen, Tetyana Rocks, Felice Jacka, Amy Loughman

(2019), Vol. 236, pp. 1545-1558, Psychopharmacology, Berlin, Germany, C1

journal article

Effect of saffron supplementation on symptoms of depression and anxiety: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Wolfgang Marx, Melissa Lane, Tetyana Rocks, Anu Ruusunen, Amy Loughman, Adrian Lopresti, Skye Marshall, Michael Berk, Felice Jacka, Olivia Dean

(2019), Vol. 77, pp. 557-571, Nutrition reviews, Oxford, Eng., C1

journal article

Nutrition-related interventions targeting childhood overweight and obesity: A narrative review

J Kerr, A Loughman, A Knox, J Koplin, K Allen, M Wake

(2019), Vol. 20, pp. 45-60, Obesity Reviews, England, C1

journal article

Do fathers' home reading practices at age 2 predict child language and literacy at age 4?

Jon Quach, Anna Sarkadi, Natasha Napiza, Melissa Wake, Amy Loughman, Sharon Goldfeld

(2018), Vol. 18, pp. 179-187, Academic pediatrics, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1

journal article

Neuroscientific explanations and the stigma of mental disorder: a meta-analytic study

A Loughman, N Haslam

(2018), Vol. 3, Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications, England, C1

journal article

A comprehensive assessment of cognitive function in the common genetic generalized epilepsy syndromes

A Loughman, S Bowden, W D'Souza

(2017), Vol. 24, pp. 453-460, European journal of neurology, Chichester, Eng., C1-1

journal article

Self and informant report ratings of psychopathology in genetic generalized epilepsy

A Loughman, S Bowden, W D'Souza

(2017), Vol. 67, pp. 13-19, Epilepsy and behavior, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1-1

journal article

The impact of obesity and hypercaloric diet consumption on anxiety and emotional behavior across the lifespan

Kathryn Baker, Amy Loughman, Sarah Spencer, Amy Reichelt

(2017), Vol. 83, pp. 173-182, Neuroscience and biobehavioral reviews, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1

journal article

A systematic review of psychiatric and psychosocial comorbidities of Genetic Generalised Epilepsies (GGE)

A Loughman, N Bendrups, W D'Souza

(2016), Vol. 26, pp. 364-375, Neuropsychology review, New York, N.Y., C1-1

journal article

Epilepsy beyond seizures: predicting enduring cognitive dysfunction in genetic generalized epilepsies

Amy Loughman, Udaya Seneviratne, Stephen Bowden, Wendyl D'Souza

(2016), Vol. 62, pp. 297-303, Epilepsy & behavior, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1-1

journal article

Cognitive functioning in idiopathic generalised epilepsies: a systematic review and meta-analysis

A Loughman, S Bowden, W D'Souza

(2014), Vol. 43, pp. 20-34, Neuroscience & biobehavioral reviews, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1-1

journal article

Preventing mental health problems in children : the families in mind population-based cluster randomised controlled trial.

H Hiscock, J Bayer, K Lycett, O Ukoumunne, D Shaw, L Gold, B Gerner, A Loughman, M Wake

(2012), Vol. 12, pp. 1-9, BMC public health, London, England, C1

journal article

Funded Projects at Deakin

Industry and Other Funding

A novel approach to modifying the risk of Alzheimer's disease: the gut microbiome

Dr Amy Loughman

Jack Brockhoff Foundation Grant - Research

  • 2018: $60,000
  • 2017: $60,000

Diet and the microbiome: implications for neurodevelopment in early to mid-childhood

Prof Jeffrey Craig, Dr Amy Loughman, A/Prof Tim Silk, Dr Garth Stephenson

Waterloo Foundation - Child Development

  • 2022: $89,716


Associate Supervisor

Amelia McGuinness

Thesis entitled: The effect of bowel preparation for colonoscopy on depression symptomatology and gut microbiota composition

Doctor of Philosophy (Medicine), School of Medicine

Melissa Lane

Thesis entitled: The Role of Ultra-Processed Food Consumption in Relation to Depressive Outcomes

Doctor of Philosophy (Medicine), School of Medicine


Nathan Nuzum

Thesis entitled: Gut microbiota and lifestyle factors across ageing and Parkinson¿s disease

Doctor of Philosophy (Nutrition & Exercise) (High Cost), School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences

Jessica Allison Davis

Thesis entitled: Diet Quality, the Gut Microbiota, and Associations with Muscle Health

Doctor of Philosophy (Medicine), School of Medicine


Fathima Hajara Abdus Samad

Thesis entitled: Dairy Intake and Health: Exploring Mechanisms and Functions

Doctor of Philosophy (Medicine), School of Medicine