Rebecca Heyer

Rebecca Heyer

School of Psychology

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

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


Dr Rebecca Heyer.

I currently work full-time at the Defence Science and Technology Group, where I am Discipline Leader Biometrics within the National Security and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Division. I have been a Visiting Research Fellow at the University since 2013. I supervise students in the Honours, Master of Psychology (Organisational & Human Factors), and PhD programs, and teach into the PSYCHOL7336 Human Factors course.

My main interests lie in applied research in the areas of facial recognition/facial comparison, human identification/identity intelligence, forensic comparison science, bias and bias mitigation, video and behavioural analytics, social network analysis, and, more broadly, cognitive, human factors and forensic psychology.

My main interests lie in applied research in the areas of facial recognition/facial comparison, human identification/identity intelligence, forensic comparison science, bias and bias mitigation, social network analysis, behavioural analytics, human aspects of national security and, more broadly, cognitive, human factors and forensic psychology.

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  • Journals

    Year Citation
    2019 Heyer, R., Chong, C., & Semmler, C. (2019). Facial image comparisons of morphed facial imagery. Australian Journal of Forensic Sciences, OnlinePubl, 1-5.
    DOI
    2018 Heyer, R., Semmler, C., & Hendrickson, A. (2018). Humans and algorithms for facial recognition: The effects of candidate list length and experience on performance. Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, 7(4), 597-609.
    DOI
    2018 Phillips, P. J., Heyer, R., & Michalski, D. (2018). Effectiveness of a Facial Forensic Training Course. Journal of Vision, 18(10), 560.
    DOI
    2013 Heyer, R., & Semmler, C. (2013). Forensic confirmation bias: the case of facial image comparison. Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, 2(1), 68-70.
    DOI Scopus10 WoS9
  • Book Chapters

    Year Citation
    2015 Heyer, R. (2015). Technology and Cognitive Bias. In A. Jamieson, & A. Moenssens (Eds.), Wiley Encyclopedia of Forensic Science (pp. 1-6). Wiley.
    DOI
    2011 Graves, I., Butavicius, M., MacLeod, V., Heyer, R. L., Parsons, K., Kuester, N., . . . Johnson, R. (2011). The Role of the Human Operator in Image-Based Airport Security Technologies. In Lakhmi C. Jain, Eugene V. Aidman, Canicious Abeynayake (Ed.), Innovations in Defence Support Systems - 2 (Vol. 338, pp. 147-176).
    DOI Scopus17
  • Conference Papers

    Year Citation
    2018 Heyer, R. L., Espina Navarro, S., Semmler, C., Aquilina, P., & MacLeod, V. (2018). How Can We Improve Detection of Fake Faces?. In International Symposium on the Forensic Sciences (ANZFSS2018). Perth, Western Australia.
    2017 Heyer, R. L., Espina Navarro, S., Chong, C., & Semmler, C. (2017). How good are we at detecting and matching morphed faces?. In Biometrics Congress 2017. London, UK.
    2017 Michalski, D., McLindin, B., Semmler, C., & Heyer, R. (2017). The impact of ageing on facial comparisons with images of children conducted by humans and automated systems. In International Conference of the Society for Applied Research in Memory and Cognition.
    2017 Semmler, C. A., Hendrickson, A., Ma-Wyatt, A., & Heyer, R. (2017). Using response time models to understand unfamiliar face matching expertise. In Australian Mathematical Psychology Conference. Brisbane Queensland.
    2017 Heyer, R. L., Lee, H., Calleja, J., Vu, L., Semmler, C., Hanton, K., & MacLeod, V. (2017). Challenging imagery: contrasting human facial image comparison and facial recognition algorithm performance. In International Conference of the Society for Applied Research in Memory and Cognition. Sydney.
    2017 Heyer, R. L., Michalski, D., Lee, H., Calleja, J., & Vu, L. (2017). Vulnerabilities in face recognition. In Unfamiliar Facial Identification Group Conference. Sydney.
    2017 Semmler, C., Heyer, R. L., Hendrickson, D., & Ma-Wyatt, A. (2017). Modelling expertise in unfamiliar face matching. In Unfamiliar Facial Identification Group Conference. Sydney.
    2016 Heyer, R. L., Calleja, J., & Semmler, C. (2016). Facial image comparison: the impact of image quality and image restoration techniques on performance. In International Symposium on the Forensic Sciences (ANZFSS’16). Auckland, New Zealand.
    2016 Heyer, R. L., Lee, H., Vu, L., & Semmler, C. (2016). Facial image comparison: the impact of plastic surgery on performance. In International Symposium on the Forensic Sciences (ANZFSS’16). Auckland, New Zealand.
    2016 Michalski, D., Heyer, R., & Semmler, C. A. (2016). Facial comparisons with images of children: Human and algorithm performance. In Biometrics 2016. London, United Kingdom.
    2016 Michalski, D., McLindin, B., Semmler, C., & Heyer, R. L. (2016). Facial image comparisons of children: How does the age of children in images affect human and algorithm performance?. In International Symposium on the Forensic Sciences (ANZFSS’16). Auckland, New Zealand.
    2016 Heyer, R., Michalski, D., Lee, H., Kardos, M., & McLindin, B. (2016). An update of Defence Science and Technology Group's unfamiliar facial identification and facial recognition research. In Unfamiliar Facial Identification Group Conference. Sydney.
    2015 Michalski, D., McLindin, B., Semmler, C., & Heyer, R. L. (2015). Is facial image comparison as effective for verifying children as it is adults in security applications?. In Florey International Postgraduate Research Conference. Adelaide.
    2015 Stothard, C. F., Heyer, R., & Le Couteur, A. (2015). Modeling Army's organizational capacity to learn: "One size does not fit all". In Florey. Adelaide.
    2014 Heyer, R. L., Kardos, M., Malec, C., Hanton, K., & McLindin, B. (2014). The Impact of Glasses on Facial Recognition System Performance: Focus on Human Perspectives. In Defence Human Sciences Symposium. Adelaide.
    2014 Heyer, R. L., Michalski, D., Malec, C., & McLindin, B. (2014). Vulnerabilities of Facial Recognition: The Impact of Glasses and Ageing on Facial Recognition Performance. In Biometrics 2014. London.
    2014 Michalski, D., McLindin, B., Heyer, R. L., & Semmler, C. (2014). Understanding how Age Affects Facial Matching Performance of Humans and Facial Recognition Systems: Requirements Collection from Whole of Government and Industry. In Defence Human Sciences Symposium,. Adelaide.
    2014 Michalski, D., McLindin, B., Semmler, C., & Heyer, R. L. (2014). Examining the Performance of Human Operators and Automated Facial Recognition Systems for the Identification of Missing and Exploited Children. In International Symposium on the Forensic Sciences (ANZFSS’14). Adelaide.
    2014 Malec, C., McLindin, B., Hanton, K., Heyer, R. L., Yiu, S., & Mayger, M. (2014). The Impact of Glasses on Facial Recognition. In International Symposium on the Forensic Sciences (ANZFSS’14). Adelaide.
    2014 Forndran, A., Semmler, C., & Heyer, R. L. (2014). Reading between the lines? The role of forensic evidence reporting on juror understanding and decision making. In International Symposium on the Forensic Sciences (ANZFSS’14). Adelaide.
    2014 Michalski, D., McLindin, B., Semmler, C., & Heyer, R. L. (2014). Empirically Examining the Impact of Age Related Variables on Facial Recognition Algorithms and Human Operators: A Methodological Primer. In 15th Biometrics Institute Asia Pacific Conference. Sydney.
    2013 Heyer, R., Michalski, D., McLindin, B., & Nichols, G. (2013). An update on face related research.. In Unfamiliar Facial Identification Group Conference.
    2013 Heyer, R. L., Semmler, C., & McLindin, B. (2013). Do facial recognition system decision aids improve one-to-many face matching performance?. In 14th Biometrics Institute Asia Pacific Conference. Sydney.
    2013 Semmler, C., Heyer, R. L., Ma-Wyatt, A., & MacLeod, V. (2013). Understanding expertise in unfamiliar face matching. In Australasian Experimental Psychology Conference. Adelaide.
    2012 Heyer, R. L., Semmler, C., & McLindin, B. (2012). One-to-Many Face Matching Using an Automated Facial Recognition System: The Impact of Decisions Aids on Performance. In International Symposium on the Forensic Sciences (ANZFSS’12). Hobart.
    2012 Semmler, C., Heyer, R. L., Ma-Wyatt, A., & MacLeod, V. (2012). Impact of Individual Differences and Eye Movements on Facial Comparison Performance. In International Symposium on the Forensic Sciences (ANZFSS’12). Hobart.
    2012 Heyer, R. L., Semmler, C., & McLindin, B. (2012). Decision Aids: Helpful or a Hindrance for Users of One-to-Many Face Facial Recognition System?. In Defence Human Sciences Symposium. Melbourne.
    2011 Heyer, R. L., Semmler, C., & McLindin, B. (2011). One-to-many face matching: the impact of candidate list size and individual differences on performance. In International Conference of the Society for Applied Research in Memory and Cognition. New York.
    2011 Heyer, R. L., Semmler, C., MacLeod, V., Calic, D., Ma-Wyatt, A., McLindin, B., & Hopley, L. (2011). Towards an Understanding of Facial Identification Practitioners in Australia: the Human Operator Capability Project. In 12th Biometrics Institute Asia Pacific Conference. Sydney.
    2010 Heyer, R. L., Semmler, C., & McLindin, B. (2010). Identification using an automated facial recognition system: towards an understanding of human operator decision making. In International Symposium on the Forensic Sciences (ANZFSS’10). Sydney.
    2010 Heyer, R. L., Calic, D., McLindin, B., MacLeod, V., Semmler, C., NIchols, G., & Nicholson, R. (2010). Update on Research in Biometrics at the DSTO: Focus on Facial Recognition. In nd Threats and Responses Conference, Safeguarding Australia 2010. Canberra.
    2009 Heyer, R. L. (2009). Security through Science: Human Sciences Contributions to Biometrics Research. In Defence Human Sciences Symposium. Adelaide.
  • Conference Items

    Year Citation
    2016 Michalski, D., McLindin, B., Semmler, C., & Heyer, R. L. (2016). The impact of extending the validity of children’s passports from 5 to 10 years. Poster session presented at the meeting of Florey International Postgraduate Research Conference. Adelaide.
    2014 Michalski, D. J., McLindin, B., Heyer, R., & Semmler, C. (2014). Whole of government and industry requirements collection: Understanding how the ageing variable affects facial comparison performance of humans and automated algorithms. Poster session presented at the meeting of Florey International Postgraduate Conference.
    2012 Nichols, G., Heyer, R. L., Nicholson, R., & Michalski, D. (2012). Facial Identification at Long-range. Poster session presented at the meeting of International Symposium on the Forensic Sciences (ANZFSS’12). Hobart.
    2010 McLindin, B., Heyer, R. L., MacLeod, V., & Calic, D. (2010). Focus on facial recognition. Poster session presented at the meeting of International Symposium on the Forensic Sciences (ANZFSS’10). Sydney.
  • Report for External Bodies

    Year Citation
    2018 O'Rielly, J., & Heyer, R. (2018). Forensic (Facial) Comparison: Linking the Science and Practice - Course Overview and Evaluation (DST-Group-GD-1002).
    2017 Heyer, R., MacLeod, V., Carter, L., Semmler, C. A., & Ma-Wyatt, A. (2017). Profiling the Facial Comparison Practitioner in Australia (DST-Group-DG-xxxx).

Understanding Human-Technology Interactions to Aid in the Use of Unconstrained Imagery for Identification and Surveillance. 2016 - 2017. $19,500. Interdisciplinary Research Fund, University of Adelaide.

Improving human operator capability for face biometric identification and recognition. 2010-2011, $70,000. Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet Research Support for National Security.

PSYCHOL7336 Human Factors


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