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Dr Thomas Arkell

Postdoctoral Research Fellow
PhD, University of Sydney, Australia; BA (Psychology/Philosophy), University of Sydney, Australia


Dr Thomas Arkell is a psychopharmacologist with a broad research interest in drugs and their effects on the brain and human behaviour. Dr Arkell has experience designing, implementing and managing clinical research involving acute drug adminsitration (alcohol/cannabis/MDMA) and his work has been published in leading international journals. He holds a BA (Psychology/Philsophy) and a PhD (Medicine) from the University of Sydney.

Dr Arkell has a particular interest in cannabis and its effects on driving and neurocognition. His current work is focused on understanding how medicinal cannabis impacts driving performance and cognitive function as well as health outcomes such as quality of life. He aims to conduct rigorous and high-quality clinical research that can inform policy and regulation here in Australia and overseas. 

Dr Arkell also chairs the Cannabis and Driving working group through the International Council for Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety (ICADTS).

Research interests

Cognitive Psychology; Neuroscience; Psychopharmacology; Cognitive Psychology; Neuroscience; Psychopharmacology

PhD candidate and honours supervision


Available to supervise honours students.

Honours topics and outlines

Medical Cannabis and Driving: This project will assess driving and cognitive performance in patients with chronic pain over a 3-month period following initiation of medical cannabis treatment. This project will also look at the efficacy of medical cannabis for reducing pain severity and enhancing quality of life. 

Fields of Research

  • Behavioural Neuroscience - 520202
  • Psychopharmacology - 520205


  • 2023, International, CPDD Travel Award, The College on Problems of Drug Dependence
  • 2022, International, ICADTS Young Scientist Stipend, International Council on Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety
  • 2020, Other, Peter Bancroft Prize, University of Sydney
  • 2019, Other, Lambert Initiative Pre-Doctoral Publication Prize, University of Sydney
  • 2018, Other, PRAXIS Australia Scholarship, PRAXIS
  • 2018, International, New Holland Scholarship Australia, Dutch Government
  • 2018, Other, Edith Mary Rose (Travelling) Scholarship, University of Sydney


Also published as: Arkell, Thomas; Arkell, T.; Arkell, T. R.; Arkell, Thomas R.; Arkell, Tom R.
This publication listing is provided by Swinburne Research Bank. If you are the owner of this profile, you can update your publications using our online form.

Recent research grants awarded

  • 2023: Impact of cannabis decriminalisation on road safety *; ACT Road Safety Fund Grants Program
  • 2022: Sleep quality, depression and endocannabinoids in chronic pain patients using medicinal cannabis *; Barbara Dicker Brain Science grant
  • 2021: RFQ: Medicinal Cannabis Drug Driving Study *; Department of Health and Human Services Fund Scheme

* Chief Investigator