Stories From

Bozeman & Beyond

Amy Loughman

Gut brain axis- the food and mood connection

Amy Loughman is a Senior Research Fellow at Deakin University’s Food & Mood Centre in Australia. She is passionate about how the environments we live and work in, affect our wellbeing. In this episode, we discuss the science about how the world around us – from our homes, workplaces, natural spaces, microbes and more – impacts our brain health.

Amy is a research psychologist, Senior Research Fellow and Head of the Microbiome Research Stream at the Food & Mood Centre. Amy’s work has been funded in part through the generous support of the Wilson Foundation. Clinically trained in neuropsychology and with a PhD from the University of Melbourne, she is passionate about evidence-based practice and gold-standard research methodology. Amy’s primary research focus is the gut microbiome and the potential relevance that this ‘forgotten organ’ for understanding human health. In 2017 she was awarded the Jack Brockhoff Foundation Early Career Grant to examine the role of the microbiome in Alzheimer’s disease and cognition. She is also working on collaborative research regarding early life predictors of child mental health with the Barwon Infant Study and Murdoch Childrens Research Institute.

Amy is an active communicator of science, and has written for The Conversation, The Research Whisperer and The Thesis Whisperer. She can also be found at, on Twitter @MBmicrobiome and on Instagram @mindbodymicrobiome.

Amy is Principal Investigator on a project funded by the Jack Brockhoff Foundation (2017-2019) which aims to understand how the gut and salivary microbiomes might modify the risk of Alzheimer’s disease in middle-aged adults. She is also leading a study comparing biosample collection and analysis methods for the purpose of microbiome sequencing. Other collaborative work includes projects examining the gut microbiome, health behaviours and dietary factors related to human neurodevelopment, behaviour and mood.

Research areas and skills: Gut microbiome; statistics and research design; cognitive assessment; psychological assessment; neurodevelopment; meta-analysis

Mind Body Microbiome
Food and Mood Centre
Should You Get a Microbiome Test? New York Times

Amy’s book recommendations:
Brain Changer (Felice Jack)
Wild Child: Coming home to nature (Patrick Barkham)
Better than Before (Gretchen Rubin)
The Good Gut (Justin & Erica Sonnenburg)

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John McPhee was born in Princeton, New Jersey, and was educated at Princeton University and Cambridge University. After seven years at Time magazine, he moved to The New Yorker, where he has been a staff writer since 1965. A Fellow of the Geological Society of America and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, he was awarded in 1999 the Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction (Annals of the Former World).