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Dr David Coall

Senior Lecturer

Contact Information Telephone: +61 8 6304 2118, Email:, Campus: Joondalup, Room: JO21.508
Staff Member Details
Telephone: +61 8 6304 2118
Facsimile: +61 8 6304 5717
Campus: Joondalup  
Room: JO21.508  


David is a Senior Lecturer in Biomedical Science within the School of Medical and Health Sciences.

Current Teaching

  • Anatomy and Physiology


After completing his PhD in 2005 David worked in the Health Department of Western Australia and the Centre for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning at the University of Western Australia. David was awarded a 3-year Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the University of Basel, Switzerland in 2006. In 2008 David returned to Western Australia and was employed as a Research Fellow in the School of Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Western Australia before joining Edith Cowan University in 2010.

Professional Associations

  • Human Biology Association
  • International Society for Behavioral Ecology
  • Australasian Society for Human Biology
  • Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Recovery Association of Western Australia

Awards and Recognition


  • Finalist for the 2010 Edith Cowan University Professional Development Scholarship
  • Learning and Teaching Grant for the project entitled Human Structure and Function: Benchmarking for the Future

Research Areas and Interests

David's current research focuses on the influence the childhood environment has on subsequent growth, development and reproduction; early-life risk factors for teenage pregnancy; the role of the placenta in fetal growth; and the influence grandparents have in the lives of grandchildren.


  • PhD (Doctoral Degree), The University of Western Australia, 2005.
  • BScHons (Bachelor of Science Honours), The University of Western Australia, 1999.
  • B (Bachelor Degree), The University of Western Australia, 1995.


Recent Research Grants

  • Factors influencing the reunification of children with their substance-using parents subsequent to their placement in out-of-home care,  Edith Cowan University,  ECU Industry Collaboration Scheme - 2016 Open Round,  2016 - 2017,  $141,899.
  • Health and Well-Being of Grandchildren Raised by their Grandparents,  Edith Cowan University,  ECU Industry Collaboration Scheme - 2016 Open Round,  2016 - 2017,  $110,739.
  • Identifying factors that influence the well-being of grandparents who are primary caregivers of their grandchildren.,  Edith Cowan University,  ECU Industry Collaboration Grant - 2014 (Round 2),  2014 - 2016,  $110,427.
  • Metals in the Human Placenta; concentrations and relationship with birth outcomes,  Edith Cowan University,  School of Medical and Health Sciences Research Grant Scheme 2016,  2016,  $9,675.
  • The influence of placental growth and development on fetal growth in in vitro fertilization and normal pregnancies,  Edith Cowan University,  ECU Early Career Researcher Grant - 2012 (Round 1),  2012 - 2014,  $24,421.

Recent Publications (within the last five years)

Book Chapters

  • Coall, D., Callan, A., Dickins, TE., Chisholm, JS., (2015), Evolution and Prenatal Development: An Evolutionary Perspective. Handbook of Child Psychology and Developmental Science, 3(23), 57-105, Hoboken, USA.
  • Coall, D., Dickins, TE., Nettle, D., (2012), Antecedents of teenage pregnancy: Using an evolutionary perspective in the search for mechanisms. Pragmatic Evolution: Applications of Evolutionary Theory, 167-179, Cambridge, United Kingdom.

Journal Articles

  • Coall, D., Tickner, M., McAllister, L., Sheppard, P., (2016), Developmental influences on fertility decisions by women: an evolutionary perspective. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 371(1692), Article no. 20150146, DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2015.0146.
  • McAllister, L., Pepper, G., Virgo, S., Coall, D., (2016), The evolved psychological mechanisms of fertility motivation: hunting for causation in a sea of correlation. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 371(1692), Article no. 20150151, DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2015.0151.
  • Van Der Watt, G., Coall, D., Sng, A., Janca, A., (2016), Early memories: Clinical relevance and significance. Australasian Psychiatry, 24(1), 34-38, London, UK, DOI: 10.1177/1039856215598867.
  • Taylor, M., Marquis, R., Batten, R., Coall, D., (2015), Understanding the occupational issues faced by custodial grandparents endeavoring to improve scholastic outcomes for their grandchildren. Journal of Occupational Therapy, Schools, and Early Intervention, 8(4), 319-335, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, DOI: 10.1080/19411243.2015.1105169.
  • Mohan, I., Lawson-Smith, C., Coall, D., Van Der Watt, G., Janca, A., (2014), Somatoform disorders in patients with chronic pain. Australasian Psychiatry, 22(1), 66-70, UK, DOI: 10.1177/1039856213511675.
  • Coall, D., Hilbrand, S., Hertwig, R., (2014), Predictors of Grandparental Investment Decisions in Contemporary Europe: Biological Relatedness and Beyond. PLoS ONE, 9(1), e84082, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0084082.
  • Nettle, D., Dickins, TE., Coall, D., De Morney Davis, P., (2013), Patterns of physical and psychological development in future teenage mothers. Evolution, Medicine, & Public Health, 2013(1), 187-196, Oxford/Online, DOI: 10.1093/emph/eot016.
  • Henderson, A., Coall, D., Lillee, A., Isaac, M., Janca, A., (2011), Development and evaluation of the Consumer Recovery Satisfaction Survey. International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation, 18(12), 662-670.
  • Sear, R., Coall, D., (2011), How much does family matter? Cooperative breeding and the demographic transition. Population and Development Review, 37(Supplement), 81-112, New York, DOI: 10.1111/j.1728-4457.2011.00379.x.
  • Coall, D., Hertwig, R., (2011), Grandparental Investment: A Relic of the Past or a Resource for the Future?. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 20(2), 93-98, DOI: 10.1177/0963721411403269.
  • Nettle, D., Coall, D., Dickins, TE., (2011), Early-life conditions and age at first pregnancy in British women. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 278(1712), 1721-1727, London, DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2010.1726.

Research Student Supervision

Principal Supervisor

  • Grandparental Investment Patterns: Who Cares?
  • Grandparental Investment Across Europe: A Study From An Evolutionary Perspective
  • Grandparental Investment: The Influence Of Reproductive Timing On Family Size
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