Mark Kohler

Dr Mark Kohler

Senior Lecturer

School of Psychology

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD - email supervisor to discuss availability.

My research focuses on cognitive and behavioural development and psychophysiology. I have specific expertise in the areas of child sleep and cognition, sleep disorders, memory and learning, and more recently in nature-based learning and the benefits of nature engagement amongst children. I began my current position in 2018, after working as Senior Lecturer and Program Director for Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of South Australia since 2010. Prior to this I completed a post-doctoral research position in Paediatrics and the University of Adelaide.

My research has a specific focus on child sleep and cognition, sleep disorders, learning and memory, child engagement with nature, as well as a broader interest in the interaction of child health, lifestyle factors and well-being. In 2022 I established the Wellbeing in Learning and Development laboratory (WiLDlab). I am a current member of the Environment Institute at the University of Adelaide, and work closely with Resilient Youth Australia and the Jane Goodall Institute Australia.

Honours projects available in 2022 include:

  • Investigating predictors of child well-being, learning engagement and health in the community. Various topics available.
  • Assessing the relationship between nature-based school learning and child well-being, learning engagement, environmental attitudes and nature connectedness.
  • Investigating relationships between adult health and well-being, nature engagement, and environmental attitudes. Various topics available.
  • Perceptions of naturalness in children. Development of a child-based tool to assess perceptions and preferences for naturalness.

I am currently not taking additional PhD students in 2022. More generally I supervise projects in the areas of child sleep, memory and learning development, nature-based learning, and the impact of the natural environment on cognition and well-being. See the WiLDlab website for more information on current projects

Current funding:

Braysher Management Fund, Australasian Wildlife Management Society. Project: 'The impact of nature based learning on child well-being and connectedness to nature'.

Phillips Foundation. Project: 'The Roots and Shoots Resource Box Program' (in collaboration with Jane Goodall Institute Australia). See

Resilient Youth Australia

I currently teach courses in research methods as well individual differences in psychology at an undergraduate level, and sleep within the clinical psychology program. I have extensive prior experience teaching into cognitive neuroscience topics and developmental psychology.

  • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2023 Co-Supervisor Naturalistic emotion reasoning in childhood: the role of parents on children’s ability to understand and use emotions to interact with others Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Kye Jayden Palmer
    2023 Co-Supervisor Investigating the connection between dyslexia and reduced memory function: The applications for diagnosis and treatment of dyslexia. Master of Philosophy (Medical Science) Master Full Time Mr Jeremy Richard Blackwell
    2023 Principal Supervisor Nature-based play program to promote child wellbeing, resilience and school engagement. Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Luka Dellavia
    2021 Principal Supervisor Nature Play? No way! An investigation of preventative factors impacting on child engagement in nature play. Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Miss Madison Skye Bellchambers
    2021 Principal Supervisor Development and trial of a nature-based play program for use in Australian primary schools and to trial this program, monitoring its effectiveness in promoting pro-environmental attitudes, resilience, and school performance Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Mr Andrew James Morris
    2020 Principal Supervisor Investigating the relationship between nature-based learning, cognitive development, resilience and psychological wellbeing, and educational outcomes in primary school children Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Mrs Angela Osborn
  • Position: Senior Lecturer
  • Phone: 83138215
  • Email:
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Hughes, floor 5
  • Org Unit: Psychology

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