Michelle is an Associate Professor and the Deputy Head of the Psychology Discipline.

She is the Co-Deputy Leader of the Clinical and Community Health and Wellbeing research program within the Institute of Health and Sport.

Her research interests include:

  • cognitive psychology, with a particular focus on executive functioning
  • cognitive processing during sleep (what wakes people up)
  • cognitive processing in people with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS).

She is also the leader of the Microbiome and Psychobiology group which investigates the relationship between the balance of intestinal microflora and the expression of mood, somatic, and cognitive symptoms in people with a range of disorders and symptoms. This work is conducted together with Industry Partner Bioscreen Medical Laboratory.

Michelle is also an expert in human behaviour in fire and her past research includes investigating why some people die in accidental residential fires, while others survive. She has also conducted research with the Metropolitan Fire Brigade on their Juvenile Firesetting  Awareness and Intervention Program.

Recent publications

Refereed journal articles

Wallis, A., Ball, M., Butt, H., Lewis, D. P., McKechnie, S., Paull, P., Jaa-Kwee, A. & Bruck, D. (2018). Open-label pilot for treatment targeting gut dysbiosis in myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome: Neuropsychological symptoms and sex comparisons. Journal of Translational Medicine,16(1). DOI: 10.1186/s12967-018-1392-z

Wallis, A., Ball, M., McKechnie, S., Butt, H., Lewis, D. P. & Bruck, D. (2017). Examining clinical similarities between Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and D-Lactic acidosis: A systematic review. Journal of Translational Medicine, 15(1). DOI: 10.1186/s12967-017-1229-1.

Wallis, A., Butt, H., Ball, M., Lewis, D. P. & Bruck, D. (2017). Support for the microgenderome invites enquiry into sex differences. Gut Microbes,8(1), pp 46-52.

Xiong, L., Bruck D., & Ball, M. (2016). Human response to non-injury accidental house fires . Fire and Materials. DOI: 10.1002/fam.2409

Xiong, L., Bruck D., & Ball, M. (2016). Preventing accidental residential fires: The role of human involvement in non-injury house fires. Fire and Materials. DOI: 10.1002/fam.2356

Wallis, A., Butt, H., Ball, M., Lewis D. and Bruck, D. (2016). Support for the Microgenderome: Associations in a Human Clinical Population. Scientific Reports,5:19171. DOI:10.1038/srep19171

Jackson, M L, Butt H, Ball M, Lewis D and Bruck, D (2015). Sleep quality and the treatment of intestinal microbiota imbalance in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A pilot study. Sleep Science, 8 (3), 124-133. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.slsci.2015.10.001

Xiong, L., Bruck D., & Ball, M. (2015). Comparative investigation of ‘survival’ and fatality factors in accidental residential fires. Fire Safety Journal, 73, pp 37-47.

Conference presentations

Thomas I, Bruck D & Ball M (2015). Fire alarm waking effectiveness for alcohol impaired adults. In Boyce, K (Ed.) Proceedings of the Sixth Human Behaviour in Fire Conference, Cambridge, September, pp. 443-453.

Xiong L, Bruck D & Ball M (2015). Human behaviour in non-injury accidental residential fires. In Boyce, K (Ed.) Proceedings of the Sixth Human Behaviour in Fire Conference, Cambridge, September, pp. 421-433.

Jackson, M. L., Butt, H., Ball, M., Lewis, D., & Bruck, D. (2014). An association between intestinal microflora changes and sleep efficiency in chronic fatigue syndrome: a pilot open-label trial of the antibiotic erythromycin. Journal of Sleep Research.  23, 150-150.

Lykiardopoulos, C. P., Bruck, D., & Ball, M. (2014, September). The effect of hypnotics on auditory arousal thresholds in older adults. Journal of Sleep Research. 23, 96-96.

Xiong, L., Ball, M, & Bruck, D. (2014). Utilization of the Haddon Matrix to Organize Factors of Survived Accidental Residential Fires: Frequencies for Human, Agent, and Environment-related Variables. Paper presented at 11th International Symposium on Fire Safety Science, University of Canterbury, New Zealand, February 10-14.

View Michelle's publications.

Teaching responsibilities

Michelle teaches undergraduate Psychology .


APP2013 Psychology 2A.

Postgraduate research students and fellows

Current supervision

Michelle is currently the Principal supervisor of  5 PhD, 2 Master of Psychology, and 2 Honours students.


5 PhD, 3 Doctor of Psychology, 1 Master of Psychology, and 23 Honours.

Areas of expertise

  • Executive Functioning
  • Cognitive processing during sleep
  • Human behaviour in fire

Contact details