Neil Mcmillan

Dr Neil Mcmillan

Senior Research Officer

Adelaide Medical School

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD (as Co-Supervisor) - email supervisor to discuss availability.

I am Principal Medical Scientist for Vascular Surgery (The Queen Elizabeth Hospital) and an Affiliate Senior Fellow with the University of Adelaide. I was previously a Senior Research Development Officer with the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences. I leverage my background in psychological science to coordinate a variety of clinical research, with expertise in data and research management, grant writing, strategic analysis, and professional development.

Until recently, I was a research fellow and laboratory coordinator in psychology studying animal behaviour and cognition across a range of topics, including: interval timing, decision-making, number discrimination, episodic memory, metacognition, and categorization. I completed my Honours degree at Wilfrid Laurier University and my MSc and PhD at the University of Western Ontario (as NSERC Canada Graduate Scholar), as well as a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Alberta (all in Canada). I also taught undergraduate courses in learning, behaviour modification, and animal cognition.

Chronic lower extremity wounds are common and cause significant morbidity, distress, and loss of quality of life. Leg and foot ulcers are most frequently caused by cardiovascular disease and diabetes-related neuropathy. The worldwide incidence of these wounds is estimated at 10% and is increasing with greater incidence rates of underlying chronic diseases. The management of these wounds is time-consuming and expensive, and the annual burden of diabetes-related foot disease (DRFD) alone in Australia causes an estimated 1700 deaths and 5,200 lower limb amputations in 2019/20 according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, costing the national economy at least $1.6 billion.

I research novel technologies and organise large, multi-centre data registries and outcome studies in assessment and monitoring of diabetes-related foot complications and lower limb ischaemia, as part of the Vascular Surgery Research Group. Our research program is designed to address the many multi-disciplinary gaps in patient care for this cohort. Projects include:

  • creation and testing of Virtual Reality training modules for community care workers to help in managing diabetes-related foot disease in Aboriginal people
  • blood and tissue biobanking and patient registries for cardiovascular disease and lower-limb complications
  • patient-centered outcomes in chronic limb-threatening ischaemia

For more on my past research interests, please check out my Reddit AMA on animal cognition!

  • Journals

    Year Citation
    2022 Scierka, L. E., Mena-Hurtado, C., Shishehbor, M. H., Spertus, J. A., Nagpal, S., Babrowski, T., . . . Smolderen, K. G. (2022). The shifting care and outcomes for patients with endangered limbs – Critical limb ischemia (SCOPE-CLI) registry overview of study design and rationale. IJC Heart and Vasculature, 39, 100971.
    2019 McMillan, N., & Spetch, M. L. (2019). Anticipation of a midsession reversal in humans. Behavioural Processes, 159, 60-64.
    DOI Scopus4 WoS4 Europe PMC2
    2018 Ludvig, E. A., Madan, C. R., McMillan, N., Xu, Y., & Spetch, M. L. (2018). Living near the edge: how extreme outcomes and their neighbors drive risky choice. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 147(12), 1905-1918.
    DOI Scopus15 WoS16 Europe PMC4
    2017 Du, Y., McMillan, N., Madan, C. R., Spetch, M. L., & Mou, W. (2017). Cue integration in spatial search for jointly learned landmarks but not for separately learned landmarks. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory and Cognition, 43(12), 1857-1871.
    DOI Scopus4 WoS4 Europe PMC1
    2017 McMillan, N., Spetch, M. L., Roberts, W. A., & Sturdy, C. B. (2017). It's all a matter of time: Interval timing and competition for stimulus control. Comparative Cognition and Behavior Reviews, 12(1), 83-103.
    DOI Scopus7
    2017 McMillan, N., Hahn, A., Congdon, J., Campbell, K., Hoang, J., Scully, E., . . . Sturdy, C. (2017). Chickadees discriminate contingency reversals presented consistently, but not frequently. Animal Cognition, 20(4), 655-663.
    DOI Scopus3 WoS4 Europe PMC1
    2017 Hahn, A., Campbell, K., Congdon, J., Hoang, J., McMillan, N., Scully, E., . . . Sturdy, C. (2017). Discrimination of acoustically similar conspecific and heterospecific vocalizations by black-capped chickadees (Poecile atricapillus). Animal Cognition, 20(4), 639-654.
    DOI Scopus2 WoS2
    2017 Hahn, A. H., Congdon, J. V., Campbell, K. A., Scully, E. N., McMillan, N., & Sturdy, C. B. (2017). Mechanisms of Communication and Cognition in Chickadees: Explaining Nature in the Lab and Field. Advances in the Study of Behavior, 49, 147-197.
    DOI Scopus3 WoS3
    2017 Proppe, D., McMillan, N., Congdon, J., & Sturdy, C. (2017). Mitigating road impacts on animals through learning principles. Animal Cognition, 20(1), 19-31.
    DOI Scopus17 WoS14 Europe PMC3
    2017 Sturdy, C., Campbell, K., Congdon, J., Hahn, A., McMillan, N., & Scully, E. (2017). Moving from perceptual to functional categories in songbirds. International Journal of Comparative Psychology, 30, 2-14.
    2017 Scully, E., Hahn, A., Campbell, K., McMillan, N., Congdon, J., & Sturdy, C. (2017). ZENK expression following conspecific and heterospecific playback in the zebra finch auditory forebrain. Behavioural Brain Research, 331, 151-158.
    DOI Scopus6 WoS6 Europe PMC1
    2016 Hahn, A. H., Hoeschele, M., Guillette, L. M., Hoang, J., McMillan, N., Congdon, J. V., . . . Sturdy, C. B. (2016). Black-capped chickadees categorize songs based on features that vary geographically. Animal Behaviour, 112, 93-104.
    DOI Scopus7 WoS6
    2016 McMillan, N., Sturdy, C., Pisklak, J., & Spetch, M. (2016). Pigeons perform poorly on a midsession reversal task without rigid temporal regularity. Animal Cognition, 19(4), 855-859.
    DOI Scopus12 WoS12 Europe PMC5
    2016 Congdon, J. V., Hahn, A. H., Mcmillan, N., Avey, M. T., & Sturdy, C. B. (2016). Chickadee behavioural response to varying threat levels of predator and conspecific calls. International Journal of Comparative Psychology, 29, 1-19.
    DOI Scopus2
    2015 McMillan, N., & Sturdy, C. B. (2015). Commentary: A crisis in comparative psychology: Where have all the undergraduates gone?. Frontiers in Psychology, 6(OCT), 2 pages.
    DOI Scopus9 WoS6 Europe PMC2
    2015 Mcmillan, N., & Roberts, W. (2015). A three-stimulus midsession reversal task in pigeons with visual and spatial discriminative stimuli. Animal Cognition, 18(1), 373-383.
    DOI Scopus15 WoS14 Europe PMC10
    2015 Hahn, A. H., Hoang, J., McMillan, N., Campbell, K., Congdon, J., & Sturdy, C. B. (2015). Biological salience influences performance and acoustic mechanisms for the discrimination of male and female songs. Animal Behaviour, 104, 213-228.
    DOI Scopus9 WoS8
    2015 Mcmillan, N., Hahn, A., Spetch, M., & Sturdy, C. (2015). Avian cognition: Examples of sophisticated capabilities in space and song. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science, 6(3), 285-297.
    DOI Scopus6 WoS5 Europe PMC2
    2015 McMillan, N., Sturdy, C., & Spetch, M. (2015). When is a choice not a choice? Pigeons fail to inhibit incorrect responses on a go/no-go midsession reversal task. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Learning and Cognition, 41(3), 255-265.
    DOI Scopus22 WoS23 Europe PMC10
    2015 Hahn, A., Guillette, L., Lee, D., McMillan, N., Hoang, J., & Sturdy, C. (2015). Experience affects immediate early gene expression in response to conspecific call notes in black-capped chickadees (Poecile atricapillus). Behavioural Brain Research, 287, 49-58.
    DOI Scopus7 WoS8 Europe PMC3
    2014 McMillan, N., Kirk, C. R., & Roberts, W. A. (2014). Pigeon (Columba livia) and rat (Rattus norvegicus) performance in the midsession reversal procedure depends upon cue dimensionality. Journal of Comparative Psychology, 128(4), 357-366.
    DOI Scopus25 WoS25 Europe PMC13
    2014 Kirk, C., McMillan, N., & Roberts, W. (2014). Rats respond for information: Metacognition in a rodent?. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes, 40(2), 249-259.
    DOI Scopus19 WoS19 Europe PMC9
    2013 McMillan, N., & Roberts, W. A. (2013). Pigeons rank-order responses to temporally sequential stimuli. Learning and Behavior, 41(3), 309-318.
    DOI Scopus2 WoS2 Europe PMC1
    2013 McMillan, N., & Roberts, W. A. (2013). Interval timing under variations in the relative validity of temporal cues. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes, 39(4), 334-341.
    DOI Scopus6 WoS6 Europe PMC2
    2012 McMillan, N., & Roberts, W. A. (2012). Pigeons make errors as a result of interval timing in a visual, but not a visual-spatial, midsession reversal task. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes, 38(4), 440-445.
    DOI Scopus39 WoS39 Europe PMC14
    2012 Roberts, W., McMillan, N., Musolino, E., & Cole, M. (2012). Information Seeking in Animals: Metacognition?. Comparative Cognition & Behavior Reviews, 8, 85-109.
    2010 McMillan, N., & Roberts, W. A. (2010). The effects of cue competition on timing in pigeons. Behavioural Processes, 84(2), 581-590.
    DOI Scopus10 WoS9 Europe PMC4
    2009 Roberts, W. A., Feeney, M. C., McMillan, N., MacPherson, K., Musolino, E., & Petter, M. (2009). Do Pigeons (Columba livia) Study for a Test?. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes, 35(2), 129-142.
    DOI Scopus57 WoS50 Europe PMC40
    2008 Van Rooyen, P., McMillan, N., & Santi, A. (2008). Rats' memory for event duration in delayed matching-to-sample with nonspatial comparison response alternatives. Behavioural Processes, 78(1), 1-9.
    DOI Scopus1 WoS1
    2008 Roberts, W. A., Feeney, M. C., MacPherson, K., Petter, M., McMillan, N., & Musolino, E. (2008). Episodic-like memory in rats: Is it based on when or how long ago?. Science, 320(5872), 113-115.
    DOI Scopus114 WoS101 Europe PMC67
    Ludvig, E. A., Madan, C. R., McMillan, N., Xu, Y., & Spetch, M. L. (n.d.). Living near the edge: How extreme outcomes and their neighbours drive risky choice.
  • Book Chapters

    Year Citation
    2017 Mcmillan, N., Avey, M., Bloomfield, L., Guillette, L., Hahn, A., Hoeschele, M., & Sturdy, C. (2017). Avian Vocal Perception: Bioacoustics and Perceptual Mechanisms. In C. ten Cate, & S. D. Healy (Eds.), Avian Cognition (pp. 270-295). Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.

Reducing the Allure of Winning Cues in Gambling. Alberta Gambling Research Institute Major Grant (Co-principal investigator: 2016 - 2018) [$134,506].

Ontario Graduate Scholarship (2012 - 2013) [$15,000]

NSERC Alexander Graham Bell Doctoral Canada Graduate Scholarship (2009 - 2012) [$105,000]

Ontario Graduate Scholarship in Science and Technology (2008 - 2009) [$15,000]


Principles of Learning and Behaviour (PS381); University of Alberta (2016)

*Behaviour Modification (PS282); University of Alberta (2015; 2017)

*Theory in Learning & Comparative Cognition (PS485); University of Alberta (2014; 2016)

Introduction to Behaviour (PS281); MacEwan University (2014)

*Department of Psychology Teaching Honour Roll with Distinction & 2017 Interdisciplinary Science Students’ Association Award for Excellence in Teaching


  • Committee Memberships

    Date Role Committee Institution Country
    2016 - 2016 Secretary Postdoctoral Fellows Association University of Alberta Canada
    2015 - 2016 Member 3-Minute Thesis Judging Panel University of Alberta Canada
    2015 - 2016 Member Department of Psychology Council University of Alberta Canada
    2012 - 2013 Secretary Ontario Ecology, Ethology, & Evolution Colloquium Organizing Committee University of Western Ontario Canada
    2011 - 2011 Member Space and Facilities Committee University of Western Ontario Canada
    2009 - 2010 Member Society of Graduate Students University of Western Ontario Canada
    2007 - 2011 Member Graduate Teaching Assistant Union University of Western Ontario Canada
  • Community Engagement

    Date Title Engagement Type Institution Country
    2018 - 2018 Enquiries Desk & Oncology Ward Support Volunteer Public Community Engagement Calvary North Adelaide Hospital Australia
    2017 - 2017 Patient/Family Safety Advisory Panel Health Quality Council of Alberta Canada
    2016 - 2017 New Patient Facilitator, Wayfinder, & Patient Advisor Public Community Engagement Cross Cancer Institute Canada
    2016 - 2016 Communications Working Group IMAGINE Citizens for Health Canada
  • Editorial Boards

    Date Role Editorial Board Name Institution Country
    2017 - 2022 Associate Editor Comparative Cognition & Behavior Reviews Comparative Cognition & Behavior Reviews United States
  • Position: Senior Research Officer
  • Email:
  • Campus: Queen Elizabeth Hospital
  • Building: Institute Building, floor Second Floor
  • Org Unit: Surgical Specialities

Connect With Me
External Profiles