The University of Western Australia

UWA Staff Profile

Ipsum Lorem

Carmela Pestell

Assoc/Prof Carmela Pestell

Associate Professor/Director, Robin Winkler Clinic (Mon to Thurs)
Psychological Science, School of

Contact details
School of Psychological Science
The University of Western Australia (M304)
35 Stirling Highway
+61 8 6488 3579
+61 8 6488 1006
Personal homepage
BPsych MPsych(Clin) DPsych(Clin) MPsych(Neuropsy) W.Aust.
Dr Pestell is a registered Clinical Psychologist and Clinical Neuropsychologist who was the Director of the state-wide Neurosciences Unit (North Metropolitan Area Health Service, Health Department of WA) for 14 years between 1996 and 2010. She completed a secondment at the Complex Attention and Hyperactivity Disorders Service (CAHDS) as the Team Manager/Consultant Clinical Psychologist between March 2010 and July 2011. In August 2011 she returned to the Neurosciences Unit to work as a Clinical Neuropsychologist and coordinate the Paediatric Programme; and between January 2012 and December 2014 resumed her former position as the Director of all clinical and research programmes at Neurosciences (NMHS). She has also worked as the Deputy Area Executive Director (in an acting capacity) for the North Metropolitan Mental Health Service (2012).
Key research
Current research interests include: a) The neuropsychology of neurodevelopmental conditions such as ADHD and Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders; b) The neuropsychology of acquired brain injury and cognitive rehabilitation in children and adults; d) Concussion; and e) The relationship between attentional disorders and poor sleep in children and adults.
Book Chapters

Hayward, L.D., Zubrick, S.R., & Connor, C. (1996). The Application of Neuropsychological Theory and Practice in Clinical Settings. In P.R. Martin & J.S. Birnbrauer (Eds). The Practice of Clinical Psychology. Melbourne: Australian Psychological Society.

Connor, C., & Bowyer, C. (2008) Dying with Dignity: A Psychological Perspective. In Dying with Dignity in Neurodegenerative Disorders. (Ed. P. Panegyres). Quality Press: Australia.

Peer Reviewed Journal Articles

Fitzpatrick, J.P., & Pestell, C. (2017). Neuropsychological Aspects of Prevention and Intervention for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders in Australia. Journal of Pediatric Neuropsychology, 3(1), 38-52. doi: 10.1007/s40817-016-0018-8

Allanson, F., Pestell, C., Gignac, G., & Weinborn, M. (In Press). Cognitive Predictors of Outcome Following Traumatic Brain Injury in Adults: A Meta-Analytic Regression. Neuropsychology Review.

Marriner, A., Pestell, C., Bayliss, D., McCann, M. & Bucks, R. (Accepted for publication). Confirmatory Factor Analysis of the Sleep Disturbance Scale for Children (SDSC) in a Clinical Sample of Children and Adolescents. Journal of Sleep Research. doi: 10.1111/jsr.12526

McCann, M., Bayliss, D.M., Pestell, C., Hill, C.M., & Bucks, R.S. (2016). The Relationship between Sleep and Working Memory in Children with Neurological Conditions. Child Neuropsychology. Oct 3:1-18. doi: 10.1080/09297049.2016.1231298

Passmore, H.M., Giglia, R., Watkins, R.E., Mutch, R.C., Pestell, C. (2016). Study protocol for screening and diagnosis of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) among young people sentenced to detention in Western Australia. British Medical Journal, 6:6, e012184. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2016-012184

Marriner, A., Pestell, C., & Bucks, R. (2015). Confirmatory Factor Analysis Of The Sleep Disturbance Scale For Children (sdsc) In A Clinical Sample Of Children And Adolescents. Sleep & Biological Rhythms, 13, 28.Wedderburn. S., Panegyres. P.K., Andrew. S., Goldblatt, J., Liebeck, T., McGrath, F., Wiltshire, M., Pestell, C., Lee, J., & Beilby, J. (2013). An experience with predictive gene testing for HD and other neurodegenerative disorders. International Medical Journal, 43 (12), 1272-1279. doi: 10.1111/imj.12176.

McMillan, S. G., Rees, C. S., & Pestell, C. (2013). An investigation of executive functioning, attention and working memory in compulsive hoarding. Behav Cogn Psychother, 41(5), 610-625. doi:10.1017/S1352465812000835.

Fairjones, S. E., Vuletich, E. J., Pestell, C., & Panegyres, P. K. (2011). Exploring the role of cognitive reserve in early-onset dementia. Am J Alzheimers Dis Other Demen, 26(2), 139-144. doi:10.1177/1533317510397328

Davies, S. R., Field, A. R., Andersen, T., & Pestell, C. (2011). The ecological validity of the Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure: predicting everyday problems in children with neuropsychological disorders. J Clin Exp Neuropsychol, 33(7), 820-831. doi:10.1080/13803395.2011.574608.

Panegyres, P., Foster, J., Fallon., M.,& Connor, C. (2010). The amnesic syndrome of Primary Whipple Disease of the Brain. Cognitive and Behavioural Neurology, 23(1), 49-51. doi: 10.1097/WNN.0b013e3181bf2d39

Connor, C., & Foster, J.K. (2005) A comparison of three memory tests of biased responding to detect sub-optimal effort in a litigating and non-litigating clinical population. Australian Journal of Psychology 57: 9-9 Suppl. S.

Panegyres PK, Goldblatt J, Walpole I, Connor C., Liebeck T, Harrop K (2001). Gene testing for Alzheimer’s disease. Dementia Review Series. Genetics in Dementia, 31, 16-17.

Panegyres, P., Davies, S., & Connor, C. (2000). Early onset dementia. The Medical Journal of Australia, 173 (5), 279-280.

Panegyres, P. K., Goldblatt, J., Walpole, I., Connor, C., Liebeck, T., & Harrop, K. (2000). Genetic testing for Alzheimer's disease. Med J Aust, 172(7), 339-343. PMID:10844923.

Mazzella, C., Durkin, K., Cerini, E., & Buralli, P. (1992). Sex Role Stereotyping in Australian Television Advertisements. Sex Roles, 26, 243-259.doi:10.1007/BF00289910

Non-peer reviewed journal articles

Connor, C., Elliott, K., McGrath, F., Panegyres, PK. (2000). A case study of a young adult with dementia: cortico-basal ganglionic degeneration. Connect, 5, 17.

Connor, C., & Hayward, L. (2000). Adverse events following predictive testing in Western Australia. Connect. Mental Health Matters in Western Australia. Organic Mental Disorders. 5 (1) 20-21.

Pestell, C., & Paul, A. (2015). Assessment of capacity in young offenders. InPsych, 37 (4), 17.

Connor, C. (1999) Predictive Gene Testing: Are we Opening Pandora’s Box? Contact. Australian HD Association (Inc.) WA Newsletter. 2 (2).


Published abstracts

Foster, J.K., Pestell, C., Panegyres, P., Wenjing, L., Mills, J., Long, J., & Paulsen, J. (2014). Emotion recognition in premanifest HD. Proceedings of the 20th Annual Conference of the APS College of Clinical Neuropsychologists. Adelaide, SA, Nov 2014.

Panegyres, P., Tedesco, M., & Pestell, C. Predict HD: A Decade of observation. Proceedings of the National Huntington’s Conference, Embracing Opportunities. University of WA, Perth, Sep 2014.

Wojnarowska, G., Pyszora, N., & Pestell, C. (2012) My brain is making up new memories: A case study of a sex offender with temporal lobe epilepsy and organic psychosis. Proceedings of the Faculty of Forensic Psychiatry l The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists 2012 Conference. Hong Kong. 6 September, 2012.

Pestell, C. Untangling the complexity, challenges and controversy of ADHD: Bridging the gap between neuropsychological theory and evidence based practice. Proceedings of the 17th Annual Conference of the APS College of Clinical Neuropsychologists. Sydney, NSW, 4 November 2011. Combined Abstracts of 2011 Australian Psychology Conferences (APS).

Butun, S. & Pestell, C. (2011) CAHDS: A State-wide ADHD Clinic. Proceedings of the Boom and Bust-Rural and Remote Mental Health Conference. Newman, WA. August, 2011.

Pestell, C., Butun, S., James, J., & Millman, F. Complex Attention and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): A WA Perspective. Proceedings of the Growing up Solid Conference. Integrating emotional and mental health throughout infancy, childhood and adolescence. The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists and Australian Association for Infant Mental Health. Perth, WA. 14 May 2011.

Tucker, A. & Pestell, C (2010). The neuropsychological sequelae of maltreatment trauma in childhood: implications for clinical understanding and interventions across the lifespan. Proceedings of the 16th Annual Conference of the APS College of Clinical Neuropsychologists. Fremantle, WA.

Tucker, A, Schirmer, L., Ruvceska, V., Pestell, C. (2010) Cognitive Functioning of Children and Adolescents After Abuse and Neglect: A Neuropsychological Research Programme. Proceedings of the International Congress Applied Psychology Symposium. Melbourne, Victoria.

Connor, C. & McGrath, F. (2010). The Potential Impact of HD on Indigenous Populations: An emerging challenge for mental health services. THEMHS 2009 Conference Book of Proceedings: Your Family Your Community Your Mental Health. Perth, WA.

Panegyres, P., Casella, A., Crawford, A., & Connor, C. (2000). Beneficial effects of Donepezil on health-related quality of life and caregiver perception of patient social interaction and activity in Alzheimer’s disease: preliminary findings from the Australian subset of a global clinical experience study. World Alzheimer's Meeting.

Panegyres, P., Davies, S., & Connor, C. (1999). Dementia in young adults: clinical observations in 100 consecutive patients. Proceedings of the Australian Neurology Association, Hobart Conference. Hobart, Australia.

Mazzella, C. (1993). The Neuropsychology of HD. Proceedings of the Australian HD Association (WA) Conference, Perth, WA.

Poster Presentations

Allanson, F., Weinborn, M., Gignac, G. & Pestell, C. The Relationship Between Cognition and Outcome Following Traumatic Brain Injury in Adults: A Meta-Analysis. Poster presented at the 21st Annual Conference APS College of Clinical Neuropsychologists. 19-21 November 2015, Shoal Bay, Port Stephens NSW.

Marriner, A. M., & Bucks, R., & Pestell, C. Confirmatory Factor Analysis of the Sleep Disturbance Scale for Children (SDSC) in a Clinical Sample of Children and Adolescents. Poster presented at Sleep DownUnder 2015 - Cycles Conference, Melbourne, Australia.

Wiltshire, M., Pestell, C., Wedderburn, S., Panegyres, P.K., Andrew, S., Goldblatt, J., Liebeck, T., McGrath, F., Lee, J., & Beilby, J. Predictive Gene Testing for HD. 2013 World Congress on HD. Rio de Janeiro Brazil, September 15-18 2013.

McMillan, S.G. Rees, C. & Pestell, C. (2010) The Neuropsychological profile of Compulsive Hoarders. Proceedings of the 16th Annual Conference of APS College of Clinical Neuropsychologists. Fremantle, WA. Combined Abstracts of 2010 Australian Psychology Conferences.

Fairjones, SE., Vuletich, E.J., Panegyres, PK., & Connor, C. (2009). Investigating the role of cognitive reserve in early onset Alzheimer's Disease (AD) & Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD). Proceedings of the 15th Annual Conference of the APS College of Clinical Neuropsychologists. Melbourne, Victoria.

Vuletich, E.J., Fairjones, SE., Panegyres, PK., & Connor, C. (2009). The relationship between symptoms and profiles of memory dysfunction in early onset Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). Proceedings of the 15th Annual Conference of the APS College of Clinical Neuropsychologists. Melbourne, Victoria.

Lee, J., Connor, C., et al. (2006) Olanzapine in the treatment of motor, behavioural and psychiatric symptoms in Huntington Disease. 'Of Mice and Men and More. An Update on the genetic and clinical aspects of HD' (4-5th of August 2006, Gold Coast Queensland).

Connor, C., & Foster, J. (2004). A Comparison of the TOMM, Word Memory Test and the Amsterdam Short Term Memory Test to Detect Sub-Optimal Effort in a Litigating and Clinical Population. (Published Abstract). College of Clinical Neuropsychologists Annual Conference. 27 November, 2004. Bondi Beach, Sydney.

Connor, C., Hayward, L., & Richards, F. (1997). Psychosocial Consequences of Predictive Testing for HD. 17th International Meeting of the World Federation of Neurology Research Group on HD, Sydney, NSW.

Connor, C., & Hayward, L. (1996). The Psychosocial Sequelae of Predictive Testing for HD. Human Genetics Society of Australasia, 20th Annual Scientific Meeting, Adelaide, South Australia.

Roles, responsibilities and expertise
As well as research, PhD/Honours supervision and postgraduate teaching responsibilities, Dr Pestell is the current Director of the Robin Winkler Clinic (RWC) at UWA, which involves coordinating all Internal Practicums for postgraduate Clinical Psychology and Neuropsychology trainees. Key responsibilities include providing leadership and overseeing the administration, operation, clinical supervision, promotion and expansion of services at RWC; establishing and maintaining professional relationships with external agencies; and leading the development of new clinical and research initiatives for trainees and supervisors. This also includes coordinating a neuropsychology clinic at Robin Winkler, including co-coordinating a neurodevelopmental/ Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders clinic and research programme. Associate Professor Pestell is also an Honorary Research Fellow with the Telethon Kids Institute (Alcohol & Pregnancy & FASD Research Group) and a Research Associate with Curtin University. She is currently supervising 9 PhD students and 3 Honours students.
Funding received
Current UWA Research Grants:

Assoc Prof M. Fitzgerald (CI), Prof D. Fatovich (AI) & Assoc Prof C. Pestell (AI). "Identification of biomarkers that correlate with clinical features and outcomes following concussion". Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research/Neurotrauma Research Program (NRP) Grant, 2016. $38,925.

Prof Chen, W., Butun,S., Pestell C., (CI)., Bucks. R. "The effect of sleep problems on cognition in children with complex ADHD". Fremantle Hospital Research Awards/Medical Research Foundation, 2015. $15,250.

W/ Prof. C. Bower, Prof. R. Marriott, Dr R. Watkins, Dr R. Mutch, Prof C.Pestell (AI), W/ Prof. S. Zubrick & Dr J. Fitzpatrick. Improving the Management of Youth with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder in the Justice System. TCR Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Funding (NHMRC) Project ID No.:1072072. 2014-15. $1,442,637.

Prof. D.Green, Prof. N. Lautenschlager, A/ Prof. K. Cox, Prof. J. Badcock & Prof C. Pestell (CI). Does Manipulation of Arterial Shear Stress Enhance Cerebrovascular Function and Cognition in the Aging Brain. NHMRC Project Grants. APP1045204. 2012-2017. $684,689.3.

A/ Prof. J. Ohan (CI), A.Sung (CI), S. Russell-Smith (CI), Prof M. Maybery (CI), W/Prof A. Whitehouse (CI), W/Prof C. McLeod(CI), Prof C. Pestell. (CI), Dr T. Mazzucchelli,& Dr S. Egan (CI). Improving School Functioning by Reducing Anxiety in Children with ASD. Autism CRC Ltd $49, 920.

Industrial relevance
Dr Pestell (nee Mazzella-Connor)has 24 years clinical experience working with children and adults with known or suspected neurological, neuropsychological and/or psychiatric conditions within a medico-legal, forensic and/or clinical context. Dr Pestell has given over 250 presentations and lectures to a range of audiences including psychologists, psychiatrists and paediatricians. She has individually supervised over 95 post-graduate trainees and Clinical Psychology/Neuropsychology Registrars over the years, and is regularly called upon to provide clinical supervision to more experienced colleagues with specialist registration in educational psychology, clinical psychology or neuropsychology. Dr Pestell is a member of the Neurosciences Unit research committee; as well as the Brightwater Research Centre Steering group. She is also an Honorary Research Fellow with the Telethon Kids Institute (Alcohol & Pregnancy & FASD Research Group) (see for more information). Dr Pestell is also an honorary Research Associate with Curtin University.
Registered with the Psychologists Board of Australia (PBA) [Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency - AHPRA] as a Clinical Psychologist and Clinical Neuropsychologist.

Registered with the Psychologists Board of Australia (PBA) [Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency - AHPRA] as an Endorsed Supervisor for both Clinical Psychologist and Neuropsychologist Registrars, 4 + 2 Interns and Higher Degree Programs.

Full Member of the Australian Psychological Society (APS) [MAPS]

Full Member of the College of Clinical Neuropsychologists (CCN) APS.

Former inaugural Chairperson and committee member of the College of the Clinical Neuropsychologists [WA Branch] 2007 to 2013.

Honours and awards
Dale Cook Bursary, University of WA, 1990

Australian Psychological Society Prize, University of WA, 1989
Dr Pestell has over 20 years experience as a post-graduate lecturer in psychology at UWA, Curtin University, Murdoch University and Edith Cowan University. She was also involved with the Psychiatry Registrar training programme in Perth, teaching psychology assessment for many years. Currently her teaching commitments at UWA include:
-Unit Coordinator Internal Practicum: PSYC5678/5679;
-Unit Coordinator & Lecturer Pediatric Neuropsychology I: PSYC5534.
-Lecturer x 6, Workshops x 2: PSYC5673 Dr Foundations in Clinical Skills II;
-Coordinator Neuropsychology Internal Placements: PSYC5538/PSYC9903/PSYC9904.
Current projects
Current PhD project supervision (School of Psychological Sciences UWA):
1.Neuropsychological predictors of outcome following acquired brain injury in adults (PhD student: Fiona Allanson [commenced 2014], Co-Supervisor Dr Michael Weinborn)
2.Paediatric concussion: The role of age, gender and parenting factors on neuropsychological outcome and post-concussional symptoms. (PhD student: Alex Springall [commenced 2014], Co-Supervisor Neil McLean)
3.The Role of Sleep in the Cognitive Profile of Paediatric Attentional Disorders (PhD student: Angela Marriner [commenced 2014], Co-Supervisor Assoc Prof Romola Bucks)
4.Emotional dysregulation in young adults with ADHD: Implications of timing deficits, poor working memory and impairments in attention. (PhD student: Marie Melusine Annabelle Nankoo [commenced 2015], Co-Supervisors Assoc Prof Romina Palermo & Dr Jason Bell)
5. Understanding the impact of metacognition on functional and rehabilitation outcome in patients with acquired brain injury (PhD student: Yong Xiang Yeo [commenced 2016], Co-Supervisor Dr Michael Weinborn)
6.Time perception in ADHD (PhD student: Gideon Sacks [commenced 2016], Co-Supervisors Assoc Prof Romina Palermo & Dr Jason Bell)
8. Prenatal Alcohol Exposure: Evaluation of an Attachment Based Intervention. (PhD student: Kuen Yee Tan (Grace)[commenced 2017], Co-Supervisors Dr James Fitzpatrick,Professor Donna Cross & Dr Martyn Symons)
9. Investigating the utility of a suite of blood based biomarkers and neuropsychological test outcomes in the prediction of post concussive syndrome (PhD student: Aleksandra Gotz [commenced 2017], Co-Supervisor Professor Melinda Fitzgerald, Curtin University - Biomedical Science (Neurotrauma).

Research profile
Research profile and publications

The University of Western Australia

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Last updated:
Tuesday, 3 November, 2015 2:39 PM