Dr Karly Turner

Dr Karly Turner

Dr Karly Turner

NHMRC CJ Martin Fellow

PhD (Neuroscience), Queensland Brain Institute, The University of Queensland, 2016

Bachelor of Science (Zoology) Honours, The University of Queensland, 2007

Bachelor of Arts (Psychology), The University of Queensland, 2006

Contact details

Email: Dr Karly Turner

Office: 404, Mathews Building

Research Summary

I am a behavioural neuroscientist interested in cognitive processes that go awry in neuropsychiatric disorders. Using animal models I study the brain circuits underlying attention, learning and decision-making. My current research aims to understand how associations between our actions and their consequences are learnt, and how these are updated when conditions change. We use sophisticated behavioural paradigms to dissect the psychological mechanisms underlying complex behaviour, in combination with various tools including chemogenetics, optogenetics and pharmacology to manipulate brain circuits. I am particularly interested in translational preclinical mental health research to bridge the bench to bedside gap, with my current project focused on understanding inappropriate responding in disorders such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and schizophrenia.


Please see Google Scholar for an updated list.

Awards, Fellowships & Grants

  • 2017-2021 NHMRC CJ Martin Early Career Fellowship, “Dissecting the role of cortico-striatal circuitry on habit formation” with Prof. Trevor Robbins (University of Cambridge) and Scientia Prof. Bernard Balleine (UNSW)
  • 2019: IBNS Travel Award
  • 2018: Charles Slater Travel Award, University of Cambridge
  • 2018: IBRO International Travel Grant
  • 2018: FENS-IBRO/PERC Travel Grant
  • 2017: Guarantors of Brain Travel Grant
  • 2015-2016: QBI Top-up Scholarship, QBI, The University of Queensland
  • 2014: Best Short Talk Prize, QBI Graduate Student Symposium
  • 2014: SfN Chapter Travel Award, Society for Neuroscience
  • 2014: ANS Student Travel Award, Australian Neuroscience Society
  • 2013: Runner-up and People’s Choice Award, 3-Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition, QBI
  • 2013: ANS Student Travel Award, Australian Neuroscience Society
  • 2012: ATSE Young Science Ambassador Award, Australian Academy of Technological Science and Engineering
  • 2012: Istvan Tork Student Oral Prize, Australian Neuroscience Society
  • 2012-2016: Australian Postgraduate Award, Australian Government
  • 2012-2015: Smart Futures PhD Scholarship Award, Queensland Government


Affiliations & Memberships

International Behavioral Neuroscience Society (IBNS)

Society for Neuroscience (SfN)

Australiasian Neuroscience Society (ANS)

Biological Psychiatry Australia (BPA)

Current Research Students

I am currently looking for Honours, Masters or PhD students to start in 2020. Please email me if you are interested.

Past Students (University of Queensland and University of Cambridge):

2018: Anna Svegborn, Undergraduate Research Project, University of Cambridge

2016: Mia Langguth, Honours Class I, “The effect of developmental vitamin D deficiency on behaviour in mouse models with relevance to Autism Spectrum Disorders” 

2014-2015: Kyna-Anne Conn, Honours Class I, “Reverse translation of a cognitive task in rodents” 

2014: Kyna-Anne Conn, Undergraduate Research Project 

2013: James Peak, Honours Class I, “The impact of developmental vitamin D deficiency on risk-based decision-making: modelling the negative and neurocognitive symptoms of schizophrenia” 

2013: Avantika Solao, Undergraduate Research Project

Other Information


Various activities including Young Science Ambassador for Wonders of Science Program in schools by ATSE; public demonstrations at events such as BRAINFest and university open days, and lab tours and demonstrations for visitors from schools (NYSF, Brain Bee Competition), politicians and university events.

Personal Links

Google Scholar

UNSW Researchers