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Amelia McGuinness

Amelia McGuinness is a PhD candidate within the School of Medicine at Deakin University, Geelong. She holds a Graduate Diploma of Human Nutrition, Bachelor of Health and Medical Science (Honours) and Bachelor of Biomedical Science.

Amelia’s PhD research is focusing on how the gut microbiota are able to potentially influence our mental health and behaviour via the ‘gut-brain axis’. In particular, she will be observing the associations between adverse environmental exposures, such as poor diet, smoking, sedentary behaviour and sleep disturbances, with deleterious microbiota alterations. Amelia is predominantly interested in the influence of diet on the gut microbiota and the subsequent association with mental health outcomes, such as anxiety and depression.The aim of Amelia’s PhD study – MICRO-‘SCOPE – is to determine the association between health behaviours in adults, in particular their diet, and mental health symptoms via the identification of compositional differences in the microbiota, particularly diversity and activity. She hopes that these data will support the development of novel prevention strategies and treatments, such as manipulation of the gut microbiota through diet, pre- and probiotics, and targeted antibiotic therapies via the provision of specific cocktails of select bacteria.