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Dr Bernice Plant

Dr Bernice Plant

Research Fellow

Bernice specialises in persuasive messages and in trials and evaluation, and works on projects spanning the environment and health portfolios. She also serves on the Monash University Human Research Ethics Committee.

Bernice completed her PhD in psychology at Macquarie University (Australia) and her undergraduate studies at The University of Auckland (New Zealand). In her PhD thesis, Bernice looked at the effects of anti-speeding messages on young drivers, using a driving simulator and conducted offsite research at the Behavioural Science Institute of Radboud University in The Netherlands.

Prior to joining BehaviourWorks, Bernice worked as an Assistant Lecturer within the School of Psychological Sciences at Monash University, where she supervised graduate research projects in behaviour change and in creativity and innovation. She also taught undergraduate and graduate psychology courses at various institutions and has provided guest lectures on topics such as health persuasion, goal setting, resistance to change and road safety interventions.

At BehaviourWorks, Bernice works across the Environment and Health portfolios, and is looking for opportunities to address issues within the health-environment nexus (e.g., community preparedness for natural hazards). Below is an overview of the main project areas and sections of the BWA Method that Bernice works on: 

Topic areas

  • Increasing community preparedness for bushfires, as a follow up to this Safer Together project.
  • Reducing preventable injury and increasing road safety (including for young drivers). 
  • Increasing patient safety in public hospitals, as part of the Victorian Managed Insurance Authority Research and Innovation Program.
  • Increasing recycling and circular-economy related behaviours, improving water quality, and other pro-environmental behaviours. 
  • Improving evidence use in Australian schools, as part of the Monash Q Project

Methods

  • Experienced in developing feasible and scalable interventions, including motivational and behavioural reflection tools and choose-your-own-adventure training. Specialised knowledge in persuasive messages and risk communication.
  • Expertise in trial design and implementation, including experience in randomised controlled trials and multi-site hospital trials. 
  • Also experienced in rapid reviews, behaviour identification, behaviour prioritisation, and belief-elicitation interviews. 

Some key open-access outputs include:

Bernice also serves on the Monash University Human Research Ethics Committee (MUHREC), reviewing low-risk and greater-than-low-risk applications. 

When she’s not busy finding solutions to real-world problems, Bernice enjoys hiking, thrift shopping, and creative home projects.


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