Associate Head of School (Teaching & Learning) and Course Coordinator

PhD MRes BPsy(Hons) MAPS

It is completely fascinating how two people can undergo the exact same stressful situation (such as an exam or sitting in traffic) and yet respond to and experience that situation differently. It is even more fascinating that the way the body physiologically responds to stress also differs from person to person. Chris is interested in understanding where these differences come from – what is it about an individual that can produce such drastic changes in response to challenges and hardship and, ultimately, what could we potentially harness to improve the way we cope with everyday stress and minimise the health burdens that sometime follow with stress. Inherently, these are complex issues that call for a multidisciplinary perspective on stress from a biopsychosocial perspective. But less obviously are the issues of measurement and laboratory induction of stress. How do we ensure that our participants are all undergoing the same type of stress? How do we capture the stress response in an individual? How do we account for the great interindividual and intraindividual differences in the stress response? How does stress theory explain and rationalise these complexities? These are deeper questions that I am also interested in answering. Outside of stress, I have been involved in intervention and implementation research in psycho-oncology, self-compassion intervention research for body image, and research examining the relationship between self-compassion and hope, resiliency, emotional eating, and general wellbeing.

Aside from research, Chris is an avid advocator for early career researchers and the need to provide support, training, and guidance in the transition from student life into post-study employment. To this effect, Chris is the Early Career Representative for the Australasian Society of Behavioural Health and Medicine. He organises online bi-monthly workshops for the early career researchers and students that are presented by established academics of all levels to address topics such as building a track record, networking, employment opportunities inside and outside of academia, resiliency training, research and methodology skills training (such as systematic reviews), and more. As of February 2020, Chris is also the President Elect for the Australasian Society of Behavioural Health and Medicine, with his presidency to commence in 2022. Chris is also the Executive Assistant for the International Society of Behavioral Medicine.


  • Statistics (SPSS, JASP, R, Jamovi, Stata, MPlus, GPower)
  • Systematic reviews
  • Qualitative and quantitative methodologies
  • Experimental designs
  • Longitudinal designs

 Research Interests

  • Psychological stress
  • Neuroticism
  • Emotion regulation
  • Self-compassion
  • Self-forgiveness

Recent Publications and Presentations

  • Kilby, C.J., Sherman, K.A., and Wuthrich, V.M. (in press). A scoping review of stress beliefs: Literature integration, measurement issues, and theoretical concerns. Annals of Behavioral Medicine. 10.1093/abm/kaaa006
  • Sherman, K.A., and Kilby, C.J. (in press). Fear, anxiety, and adjustment disorder in palliative care. In N. Cherny, M. Fallon, S. Kaasa, R.K. Portenoy, and D.C. Currey (eds), Oxford Textbook of Palliative Medicine.
  • Sherman, K.A. & Kilby, C.J. (2019). End-of-life. In M. Gellman (ed), Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine. New York, New York: Springer.
  • Todorov, N., Sherman, K.A., Kilby, C.J., and Breast Cancer Network Australia. (2019). Self-compassion and hope in the context of body image disturbance and distress in breast cancer survivors. Psycho-Oncology, 28(10), 2025-2032.
  • Sherman, K.A., Roper, T., Kilby, C.J. (2019). Enhancing self-compassion in individuals with visible skin conditions: Randomised pilot of the ‘My Changed Body’ self-compassion writing intervention. Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine, 7(1), 62-77.
  • Kilby, C.J., & Sherman, K.A. (2018). Lay Beliefs. In M. Gellman (ed), Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine. New York, New York: Springer.
  • Kilby, C.J., Sherman, K.A., & Wuthrich, V. (2018). Towards understanding interindividual differences in stressor appraisals: A systematic review. Personality and Individual Differences, 135, 92-100.
  • Sherman, K.A., Przezdziecki, A., Alcorso, J., Kilby, C.J., Elisabeth, E., Boyages, J., Koelmeyer, L., Mackie, H., & the Breast Cancer Network of Australia. (2018). Reducing body-image related distress in women with breast cancer using a structured online expressive writing exercise: Results from the My Changed Body randomized controlled trial. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 36(9), 1930-1940.
  • Sherman, K.A., Kilby, C.J., Shaw, L.-K., Winch, C., Kirk, J., Tucker, K., Elder, E. (2017). Facilitating decision-making in women undergoing genetic testing for hereditary breast cancer: BRECONDA randomized controlled trial results. The Breast, 36, 79-85.
  • Kilby, C.J., & Sherman, K.A. (2016). Delineating the relationship between stress mindset and primary appraisals: Preliminary findings. SpringerPlus, 5(336),1-8.