Cognitive Ageing: From experimental designs to longitudinal population-based studies


Mary Luszcz is Emerita Professor, in the School of Psychology, and Associate Director of the Flinders Centre for Ageing Studies, at Flinders University. She is also Visiting Professor at CRAHW, ANU. Prior to retirement she was Matthew Flinders Distinguished Professor and Director of the Flinders Centre for Ageing Studies.

She is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences of Australia, Gerontological Society of America, Australian Association of Gerontology and Australian Psychological Society. 

She earned a BA from University of Dayton, an MA from George Peabody College, and a Ph.D. from the University of Alabama, in the USA. 
She has spent sabbaticals at Yale University, School of Public Health, CT USA; Max Planck Centre for Human Development, Berlin, GDR,
Humboldt University, School of Psychology, Berlin, GDR, University of Maryland, Centre of Ageing, Silver Springs, MD.

Her research is inherently theoretically-driven. It draws heavily on Paul and Margret Baltes’ seminal life-span developmental theoretical perspective. 

Her abiding focus has been on normal and pathological cognitive ageing, initially reflecting her training as an experimental developmental psychologist. 

With the benefit of a population-based longitudinal panel study her interests have become more eclectic and contextualized by a range of psychosocial resources and demographic characteristics.

Foremost among her research interests is her role as Chief Scientific Investigator of the Australian Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ALSA), initiated by the late Gary Andrews in 1992. She assumed this role upon his untimely death in 2006.

ALSA is a population-based multidisciplinary collaborative panel study. It is tracking the lives of older Australians, ranging in age from 65 to 108. 

It provides unique insights about the natural history of its participants, disseminated in 135 referred journal articles, 10 chapters and monographs, and several PhD Theses (Flinders University, ANU, University of Adelaide, University of South Australia).

She has been involved with all phases of the development and design of ALSA since its inception.