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1996 …2023

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Personal profile

Research Biography

Eva Kemps undertook her undergraduate and postgraduate studies in psychology at Ghent University, Belgium. She subsequently relocated to Adelaide to take up an academic position at Flinders University, where she is now Professor of Psychology. Eva has an international research reputation in the area of eating behaviour. Over the past 20 years she has carved out an innovative and sophisticated program of research, applying mainstream experimental cognitive psychology to the food and eating domain. Since 2006 she has obtained over $1 million in research funding as lead investigator from national competitive research grants, mostly the Australian Research Council, the flagship funding body in Australia for non-medical research. She has authored over 100 publications and has a strong profile in the media, where her work is regularly featured both in the Australian and international press. During 2010-12 she served on the advisory panel of the Australian Women's Health magazine as their expert weight loss advisor. She is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry and Psychologica Belgica, and sits on the Editorial Boards of Appetite; Behaviour Research and Therapy; the International Journal of Clinical Health Psychology; Frontiers in Nutrition, Psychiatry and Psychology: Eating Behavior; and the British Journal of Developmental Psychology. In addition to her academic appointment in Psychology, she held a significant research administrative leadership position as Associate Dean (Research) in the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (2012-2017), and was the Convenor of the Associate Deans (Research) Network of the Australasian Council of Deans of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (2016-2017). She is the co-Convenor of the Australasian Forum on Emerging Research in Cognition and Emotion, which she co-founded in 2015.

Research Interests

My research activities focus on applications of cognitive experimental psychology in the area of eating behaviour. Two broad areas of ongoing research with opportunities for several post-graduate research projects include:

1. Managing the psychological impulse to consume soft drinks

Eating behaviour includes the consumption of not only food, but also beverages. In fact, the rising consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, in particular soft drinks, makes up a significant proportion of daily sugar intake. In 2015 the World Health Organisation released new guidelines halving the recommended sugar intake, particularly from soft drinks, in an effort to help combat rising obesity rates. The overarching aim of this research is to develop an effective intervention protocol for reducing excessive sugar intake from soft drinks.

2. Subtly changing the food environment to promote healthier eating

There is an abundance of unhealthy food in the contemporary Western environment, contributing to poor eating habits and rising obesity rates. Emerging evidence, based on the principles of nudging, suggests that making subtle changes to the food environment could combat unhealthy eating and weight gain. Some studies have shown that presenting a healthy food option alongside unhealthy ones can lead to healthier food choices and intake; however, others have shown the exact opposite. The overarching aim of this research is to find the optimal way of presenting food to promote healthier eating.


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