Meaghan O’Donnell, President-Elect, International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies

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It is with great pride that Phoenix Australia announces that Associate Professor Meaghan O’Donnell, our Director of Research, has been elected President of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS) for 2017. She will be President-Elect over 2016 and then assume the Presidency in November 2016. This is an enormous honour for Meaghan, and for Phoenix Australia, and pays tribute to Meaghan’s great work and international reputation.


ISTSS is the premier society in the field of traumatic stress studies. Meaghan was first elected to the board of ISTSS in 2010, and has served in a number of roles on the executive committee.


Meaghan is Director of Research at Phoenix Australia. Having joined our team in 2003, she has progressed through the research stream to become its leader and has helped shape our reputation as an elite standalone centre and cutting edge research unit within the University of Melbourne. In her time with us, Meaghan has overseen several highly complex, multi-stakeholder projects and research programs, including for federal and state governments, commercial organisations, and the National Health & Medical Research Council. She has conducted a number of randomised controlled trials testing models of early psychological intervention after trauma, and has expertise in running longitudinal studies of trauma survivors. She has published over 80 peer reviewed articles in the area of posttraumatic mental health, including in influential journals JAMA Psychiatry, British Journal of Psychiatry, American Journal of Psychiatry, and Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.


Meaghan is currently living and working in Berlin for 12 months, where she is Visiting Professorial Fellow, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Trauma and Stress Research Group, Hamburg University. During this time she is continuing to build our international collaborations and relationships. Dr Andrea Phelps, our Deputy Director, is overseeing the research stream of Phoenix Australia’s work until Meaghan’s return to Australia in July 2016.