HDR Students

Natalie Ward

(PhD Candidate)

Thesis Title: Understanding Sexual Regret in Emerging Adults

After working for 20 years in sales and marketing, Nat underwent a career change to study psychology at UniSQ while working in the field of education. Her honours thesis, under the supervision of Dr Raquel Peel, was titled ‘The Relationship between Flirting Styles and the Cycle of Relationship Sabotage within Intimate Relationships’. As a mum of 5, she is passionate about supporting adolescents in their social and emotional journey and strongly believes in empowering young people while endorsing a positive, proactive approach to mental health. She is currently completing her PhD in the field of sex regret.


Nikeeta Kumari

(PhD Candidate)

Thesis Title: An Investigation of Online Self-Defeating Attitudes and Behaviours in Intimate Relationships

With enthusiasm and curiosity, Nikeeta is a keen learner who has dedicated nine years to studying Psychology and Counseling before embarking a PhD journey. She is currently pursuing a PhD in the field of ‘Relationship Sabotage’ within intimate relationships at UniSQ. She is motivated to delve deeper into understanding the complexities of intimate connections and she is passionate about helping people with issues in intimate relationships.


Melinda Nuttall

(PhD Candidate)

Thesis Title: Prosocial Behaviours Online: Internal Drives of Online Behaviours


Matthew Persello

(PhD Candidate)

Thesis Title: Understanding the Lived Experience of Males who Pair with Males

Matthew Persello is PhD Candidate with The University of Southern Queensland whilst working professionally as a Provisional Psychologist. His key areas of interest are issues relating to the LGBT+ population, intimate relationships, and men’s mental health. Matthew’s current PhD project, The Lived Experiences of Men Who Pair With Men, is investigating the lived experiences of individuals who identify as a man and who are currently, or have previously, been engaged in a same sex relationship across three domains of romantic relationship quality, sexual identity acceptance, and life satisfaction.

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We are currently recruiting for several studies and we would love to have you participate!!! Follow the link to the list of ongoing studies. Please read the studies' summary to determine your eligibility. Participation is voluntary and responses are anonymous.