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Dr Elissa Pearson 

Position: Lecturer: Psychology Dr Elissa Pearson
Division/Portfolio: Division of Education, Arts and Social Sciences
School/Unit: School of Psychology, Social Work and Social Policy
Campus: Magill Campus
Office: C1-21
Telephone: +61 8 830 24843
Fax:
Email: Elissa_dot_Pearson_at_unisa_dot_edu_dot_au
URL for Business Card: http://people.unisa.edu.au/Elissa.Pearson


I am a lecturer in psychology and teach several undergraduate courses. My research is in the emerging field of Conservation Psychology, which is an applied field utilising psychological theories and approaches to better understand and address conservation and sustainability issues- one of the greatest challenges facing humanity (and indeed all species) today. I am passionate about psychological research that has real-world implications and have worked closely with zoo partners to evaluate and enhance their conservation education practices (see publications section below). I am also particularly interested in how education (including new forms of media) can be utilised to increase environmental knowledge, attitudes, and sustainable behaviour.

I am a member of the Research Centre for Social Change in the School of Psychology, Social Work & Social Policy.

I also have a Graduate Certificate in Education (University Teaching) and really enjoy teaching psychology!


Links to other sites



Elissa's Google Scholar Profile


Centre for Social Change


Conservation Psychology (Learn more about the field here)


Zoos Victoria


WWF Australia


Teaching interests

  • I have a strong interest in all aspects of psychology and enjoy teaching a broad range of subject matter within this field.

I teach the following courses

WELF 1013Professional Development: Counselling and Psychology
BEHL 1022Counselling Foundations
BEHL 3020Psychology Experiential Learning Placement
BEHL 3012Health Psychology


Professional associations

Member- Australian Psychological Society (APS)

APS Interest Group: Psychology Education

APS Interest Group: Psychology and the Environment

APS Interest Group: Psychologists for the Promotion of Animal Welfare

Member- Australasian Society for the Study of Animal Behaviour

Member- Golden Key International Honour Society


Qualifications

PhD (Psychology), University of South Australia

Grad Cert. Education (University Teaching). University of South Australia.

B.Psych. (Honours, First Class), University of South Australia

B.Psych., University of South Australia


Research interests

  • Conservation Psychology
  • Teaching and learning in Psychology
  • Human-animal interactions
  • Environmental education
  • Animal behaviour
  • Applied psychology

Research publications

Conservation Psychology & Human-Animal Interactions

Pearson, E.L., Mellish, S., Sanders, B., & Litchfield, C. (2014). Marine wildlife entanglement: Assessing knowledge, attitudes, and relevant behaviour in the Australian community. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 89, 136-148. doi:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2014.10.014 [IF= 2.793, Q1 Environmental Sciences].

Pearson, E.L., Dorrian, J., Lowry, R., & Litchfield, C. (2014). Evaluating the conservation impact of an innovative zoo-based educational campaign: 'Don't Palm Us Off' for orang-utan conservation. Zoo Biology, 33, 184-196. doi: 10.1002/zoo.21120 [IF=1.136, Q3 Zoology].

Pearson, E.L., Dorrian, J., & Litchfield, C.A. (2013). Measuring zoo visitor learning and understanding about orang-utans: Evaluation to enhance learning outcomes and to foster conservation action. Environmental Education Research, 19, 823-843. doi: 10.1080/13504622.2012.763112 [IF=1.295, Q1 Education & Educational Research].

Pearson, E.L. (2013). Conservation Psychology: A gap in current Australian undergraduate psychology education. Sustainability, 5, 1266-1281. doi: 10.3390/su5031266 [IF=1.077, Q3 Environmental Studies]. Advance Online Publication available: http://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/5/3/1266/pdf

Pearson, E.L., Dorrian, J., & Litchfield, C.A. (2012). Harnessing visual media in environmental education: Increasing knowledge of orangutan conservation issues and facilitating sustainable behaviour through video presentations. In J. Blewitt (Ed.), The media, animal conservation and environmental education. UK: Routledge.

Pearson, E.L., Dorrian, J., & Litchfield, C.A. (2011). Harnessing visual media in environmental education: Increasing knowledge of orangutan conservation issues and facilitating sustainable behaviour through video presentations. Environmental Education Research, 17, 751-767. doi: 10.1080/13504622.2011.624586. [IF=1.295, Q1 Education & Educational Research].

Pearson, E.L., Davis, J.M., & Litchfield, C.A. (2010). A case study of Orangutan and Siamang behaviour within a mixed-species zoo exhibit. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, 13(4), 330-346. doi: 10.1080/10888705.2010.507125 [IF=0.694, Q3 Veterinary Sciences].

Teaching and Learning in Psychology

Goodwin-Smith, I., Pearson, E.L., Ranzijn, R., Campbell, A., & Lushington, K. (2013). Interdisciplinarity and undergraduate psychology education. Psychology Learning and Teaching, 12, 159-167. doi: 10.2304/plat.2013.12.2.159

Pearson, E., Ranzijn, R., Goodwin-Smith, I., Campbell, A., & Hayward, R. (2012). Strengthening teaching and learning in Psychology through looking beyond disciplinary boundaries: A case-study from the University of South Australia. In V. Karandashev & S. McCarthy (Eds.), Teaching Psychology Around the World (Vol. 3, pp. 55-71). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Hayward, R., Ranzijn, R., Bryan, J., & Pearson, E. (2012). Developing program learning objectives to enhance the work readiness of Australian Psychology graduates. In V. Karandashev & S. McCarthy (Eds.), Teaching Psychology Around the World (Vol. 3, pp. 87-104). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Bryan, J., Ranzijn, R., Balfour, C., Tuckey, M., Hayward, R., Pearson, E., Jackman, G., Lushington, K.(2012). Increasing the work readiness of Australian Psychology undergraduates through curriculum change. In V. Karandashev & S. McCarthy (Eds.), Teaching Psychology Around the World (Vol. 3, pp. 166-181). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Pearson, E. (2010). ‘Strengthening teaching and learning in the social sciences through looking beyond disciplinary boundaries: A case-study from the University of South Australia’. Paper 9, 2010 Occasional Papers on Learning and Teaching at UniSA. University of South Australia, Adelaide.

Developmental Psychology and Ageing Research

Windsor, T.D., Gerstof, D., Pearson, E., & Anstey, K.J. (2014). Positive and negative social exchanges and cognitive aging: Differential associations across family, friend, and spouse domains. Psychology and Aging, 29, 28-43. doi: 10.1037/a0035256 [IF= 2.913, Q1 Gerontology].

Pearson, E.L., Windsor, T.D., Crisp, D.A., Pilkington, P.D., & Anstey, K.J. (2013). Normative data and longitudinal invariance of the Life Engagement Test (LET) in a community sample of older adults. Quality of Life Research, 22, 327-331. doi: 10.1007/s11136-012-0146-2 [IF=2.864, Q1 Public, Environmental & Occupational Health].

Fiori, K.L., Windsor, T.D., Pearson, E.L., & Crisp, D.A. (2013). Can positive social exchanges buffer the detrimental effects of negative social exchanges? Age and gender differences. Gerontology, 59, 40-52. doi: 10.1159/000339747 [IF=2.681, Q2 Geriatrics & Gerontology].

Windsor, T., Pearson, E., & Butterworth, P. (2012). Age group differences and longitudinal changes in approach-avoidance sensitivity: Findings from an 8-year longitudinal study. Journal of Research in Personality, 46, 646-654. doi: 10.1016/j.jrp.2012.07.002. [IF=2.011, Q1 Psychology, Social].

Pearson, E., Windsor, T.D., Crisp, D.A., Butterworth, P., & Anstey, K.J. (2012). Neighbourhood characteristics: Shaping the wellbeing of older Australians. NSPAC Research Monograph 2, National Seniors Productive Ageing Centre: Canberra. Available from: http://www.productiveageing.com.au/userfiles/file/NeighbourhoodCharacteristics.pdf

Conference Presentations

Bryan, J., Tuckey, M., Ranzijn, R., Balfour, C., Pearson, E., Hayward, R., & Lushington, K. (2014). ‘Putting psychological literacy to work: career options for psychology undergraduates.’ 28th International Congress of Applied Psychology. 8-13 July 2014, Paris, France.

Bryan, J., Pearson, E., Hayward, R., & Ranzijn, R. (2014). ‘Integrating professional development into undergraduate psychology programs: Enhancing career planning and prospects’. 28th International Congress of Applied Psychology. 8-13 July 2014, Paris, France.

Bryan, J., Ranzijn, R., Tuckey, M., Pearson, E., Balfour, C., & Lushington, K. (2013). ‘Towards a unique professional identity for psychology undergraduates.’ 48th APA Annual Conference. 7-11 October 2013, Cairns, Queensland.

Pearson, E.L. (2012). 'Conservation psychology: A gap in current undergraduate psychology education'. Paper presented at the South East Asia Psychology Conference, September 26th-28th, Kota Kinabalu, Borneo, Malaysia.

Windsor, T.D., & Pearson, E.L. (2012). 'Resilience and wellbeing in older adulthood: The role of purpose in life, goal pursuit, and flexible goal adjustment.' Paper presented at the Science of Wellbeing Conference, February 24, Adelaide, Australia.

Pearson, E., Ranzijn, R., Goodwin-Smith, I., & Campbell, A. (2010). 'Strengthening Psychology through venturing beyond traditional disciplinary boundaries'. Paper presented at the 4th International Conference on Psychology Education, July 8-11, Sydney, Australia.

Pearson, E. (2010). ‘Research after honours: My PhD experience and applying Psychology to a real-world conservation issue’. Keynote address at the University of South Australia Psychology Honours Conference, September 28-29, Adelaide, Australia.

Pearson, E.L. (2008). ‘Orangutan conservation: The role of captive populations and the need for human attitude and behaviour change’. Paper presented at the Australasian Primate Society Conference, October 4-5, Adelaide, Australia.

Pearson, E.L. (2008). ‘Behavioural analysis of a mixed-species exhibit for Orangutans (Pongo abelii) and Siamangs (Symphalangus syndactylus)’. Paper presented at the Australasian Primate Society Conference, October 4-5, Adelaide, Australia.

Pearson, E.L., & Litchfield, C.A. (2008). ‘Analysis of a mixed-species exhibit for Orangutans (Pongo abelii) and Siamangs (Symphalangus syndactylus) at Adelaide Zoo’. Poster presented at the Australian Psychological Society Conference, September 23-27, Hobart, Australia.


Expertise for Media Contact

I am able to provide media comment in the following areas of expertise:

Discipline: Psychology

  • Conservation Psychology
  • Zoo-based conservation education
  • Biodiversity loss
  • Sustainability

Research Degree Supervisor

I have previously supervised several conservation psychology honours projects, with topics ranging from shark conservation; to factors associated with level of meat-consumption; and evaluating zoo-based education about the issue of marine wildlife entanglement. All of my honours students have developed research manuscripts for publication based on their work.

I am interested in supervising future honours and PhD projects in the areas of conservation psychology; environmental education; human-animal interactions; or teaching and learning in psychology.





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