Top of page
Global Site Navigation

School of Medical and Health Sciences

Local Section Navigation
You are here: Main Content

Dr David Coall

Senior Lecturer

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

David is a Senior Lecturer, Researcher and the Human Biology Course Coordinator in Biomedical Science within the School of Medical and Health Sciences.

Current Teaching

Course Coordinator Bachelor of Science (Human Biology)

Lecturer and Unit Coordinator for:

  • SCH1132 Human Evolution and Ecology
  • SCH1134 Human Structure and Function
  • SCH1143 Systems Physiology
  • MMS3101 Evolutionary Perspectives on Health and Disease


  • 2014-present Course Coordinator, Human Biology
  • 2012-present Senior Lecturer, School of Medical and Health Sciences, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, Western Australia
  • 2012-present Adjunct Research Fellow, School of Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, University of Western Australia
  • 2010-2012 Lecturer School of Medical Sciences, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, Western Australia
  • 2009-2010 Research Fellow, School of Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, University of Western Australia
  • 2005-2008 Postdoctoral Research Fellow Institute of Psychology University of Basel, Switzerland
  • 2005 Assistant Lecturer, Centre for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning, The University of Western Australia

Professional Associations

  • European Human Behaviour and Evolution Association
  • Australasian Society for Human Biology
  • Biosocial Society
  • Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Recovery Association of Western Australia

Awards and Recognition

National and International Research Positions

  • 2012-present - Adjunct Research Fellow, School of Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, University of Western Australia


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

Research Areas and Interests

David is an interdisciplinary researcher using perspectives and methods from human evolutionary ecology, biological anthropology, psychology and sociology to investigate intergenerational influences on health. David’s current research projects include:

  • Grandparents raising their grandchildren: Experiences, needs and health
  • The influence childhood psychosocial stress has on a woman’s reproductive development, reproductive timing, and her mental and physical health
  • Maternal influences on placental growth and development
  • The impact grandparental investment has on the growth and development of grandchildren in contemporary industrialised societies
  • Using life history theory as a framework for examining factors that influence clinically significant variation in birth weight and placental weight


  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Western Australia, 2005.
  • Bachelor of Science with 1st Class Honours, The University of Western Australia, 1999.
  • Bachelor of Psychology, The University of Western Australia, 1995.

Research Outputs

Journal Articles

Journal Articles

  • Grueter, CC., Westlake, G., Coall, D. (2020). Urban Civility: City Dwellers Are Not Less Prososcial Than Their Rural Counterparts. Evolutionary Psychological Science, 6(1), 14-19.
  • Anto, E., Roberts, P., Coall, D., Adua, E., Turpin, C., Tawiah, A., Wang, Y., Wang, W. (2020). Suboptimal health pregnant women are associated with increased oxidative stress and unbalanced pro- and antiangiogenic growth mediators: a cross-sectional study in a Ghanaian population. Free Radical Research, 54(1), 27-42.
  • Dare, J., Marquis, R., Wenden, L., Gopi, S., Coall, D. (2020). The impact of a residential camp on grandchildren raised by grandparents: Grandparents’ perspectives. Children and Youth Services Review, 108(January 2020), Article number 104535.

Book Chapters

  • Coall, D., Callan, A., Sartori, J., Chisholm, JS. (2019). Prenatal Parenting. Handbook of Parenting (166-219). Routledge.

Journal Articles

  • Sear, R., Sheppard, P., Coall, D. (2019). Cross-cultural evidence does not support universal acceleration of puberty in father-absent households. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 374(1770), article no. 20180124.
  • Danielsbacka, M., Tanskanen, A., Coall, D., Jokela, M. (2019). Grandparental childcare, health and well-being in Europe: A within individual investigation of longitudinal data. Social Science and Medicine, 230(June 2019), 194-203.
  • Anto, E., Roberts, P., Coall, D., Turpin, C., Adua, E., Wang, Y., Wang, W. (2019). Integration of suboptimal health status evaluation as a criterion for prediction of preeclampsia is strongly recommended for healthcare management in pregnancy: a prospective cohort study in a Ghanaian population. EPMA Journal, 10(3), 211-226.
  • Grueter, CC., Westlake, G., Coall, D. (2019). Educational attainment is associated with unconditional helping behavior. Evolutionary Human Sciences, 1(2019), article number e15.
  • Tanskanen, A., Danielsbacka, M., Coall, D., Jokela, M. (2019). Transition to grandparenthood and subjective well-being in older Europeans: A within-person investigation using longitudinal data. Evolutionary Psychology, 17(3), 1474704919875948.
  • Taylor, M., Coall, D., Karthigesu, S. (2019). Who’ll Care for Them in the Event of Me Dying? Custodial Grandparents’ Incapacity, Mortality, and Succession Care-Plan Fears for Their Custodial Grandchild/ren. Journal of Intergenerational Relationships, 17(2), 178-200.
  • Robertson, F., Coall, D., McAullay, D., Nannup, A. (2019). Intergenerational influences of hunger and community violence on the Aboriginal people of Western Australia: A review. International Journal of Critical Indigenous Studies, 12(2), 1-13.

Journal Articles

  • Sartori, J., Peterson, R., Coall, D., Quinlivan, J. (2018). The impact of maternal nausea and vomiting in pregnancy on expectant fathers: findings from the Australian Fathers’ Study. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynecology, 39(4), 252-258.
  • Karthigesu, S., Chisholm, JS., Coall, D. (2018). Do grandparents influence parents’ decision to vaccinate their children? A systematic review. Vaccine, 36(49), 7456-7462.
  • Coall, D., Hilbrand, S., Sear, R., Hertwig, R. (2018). Interdisciplinary perspectives on grandparental investment: A journey towards causality. Contemporary Social Science, 13(2), 159-174.
  • Taylor, M., Marquis, R., Coall, D., Werner, J. (2018). The enjoyment rewards of fulfilling a custodial grandparenting role in the lives of grandchildren removed from their parents' care. Child Care in Practice, 24(1), 92-110.

Journal Articles

  • Taylor, M., Marquis, R., Coall, D., Batten, R., Werner, J. (2017). The physical health dilemmas facing custodial grandparent caregivers: Policy considerations. Cogent Medicine, 4(February), Article No. 1292594.
  • Hilbrand, S., Coall, D., Meyer, AH., Gerstorf, D., Hertwig, R. (2017). A prospective study of associations among helping, health, and longevity. Social Science and Medicine, 187(Aug 2017), 109-117.
  • Hilbrand, S., Coall, D., Gerstorf, D., Hertwig, R. (2017). Caregiving within and beyond the family is associated with lower mortality for the caregiver: A prospective study. Evolution and Human Behavior, 38(3), 397-403.
  • Taylor, M., Marquis, R., Coall, D., Wilkinson, C. (2017). Substance misuse-related parental child maltreatment: Intergenerational implications for grandparents, parents, and grandchildren relationships. Journal of Drug Issues, 47(2), 241-260.

Book Chapters

  • Coall, D., Hilbrand, S., Sear, R., Hertwig, R. (2016). A new niche? The theory of grandfather involvement. Grandfathers: Global Perspectives (21-44). Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Taylor, M., Marquis, R., Batten, R., Coall, D. (2016). There's no support, it's a nightmare trip, but you cope and you get through it: Custodial grandparents' experiences of raising the child/ren of their incarcerated son/daughter.. Crime and violence prevention: Moving beyond hot-stove policing and perpetrator rehabilitation (137-156). Nova Science Publishers.

Journal Articles

  • Taylor, M., Coall, D., Marquis, R., Batten, R. (2016). Drug addiction is a scourge on the Earth and my grandchildren are its victims: The tough love and resilient growth exhibited by grandparents raising the children of drug dependent mothers. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 14(6), 937-951.
  • Taylor, M., Marquis, R., Batten, R., Coall, D. (2016). Understanding the mental health travails of custodial grandparents. Occupational Therapy in Mental Health, 32(3), 259-280.
  • Chisholm, J., Coall, D., Atkinson, L. (2016). Mother-infant cultural group selection. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 39(2016), e35.
  • 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.
  • Van Der Watt, G., Coall, D., Sng, A., Janca, A. (2016). Early memories: Clinical relevance and significance. Australasian Psychiatry, 24(1), 34-38.
  • 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.

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 (57-105). John Wiley & Sons.

Journal Articles

  • 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.

Journal Articles

  • 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.
  • Coall, D., Hilbrand, S., Hertwig, R. (2014). Predictors of Grandparental Investment Decisions in Contemporary Europe: Biological Relatedness and Beyond. PLoS ONE, 9(1), e84082.

Journal Articles

  • 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.

Book Chapters

  • 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 University Press.

Journal Articles

  • Sear, R., Coall, D. (2011). How much does family matter? Cooperative breeding and the demographic transition. Population and Development Review, 37(Supplement), 81-112.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Journal Articles

  • Coall, D., Chisholm, J. (2010). Reproductive Development and Parental Investment During Pregnancy: Moderating Influence of Mother’s Early Environment. American Journal of Human Biology, 22(2), 143-153.
  • Nettle, D., Coall, D., Dickins, T. (2010). Birthweight and paternal involvement predict early reproduction in British women: Evidence from the national child development study. American Journal of Human Biology, 22(2), 172-179.
  • Coall, D., Hertwig, R. (2010). Grandparental investment: Past, present, and future. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 33(1), 1-19.

Journal Articles

  • Coall, D., Meier, M., Hertwig, R., Wanke, M., Hopflinger, F. (2009). Grandparental Investment: The Influence of Reproductive Timing and Family Size. American Journal of Human Biology, 21(4), 455-463.
  • Coall, D., Charles, A., Salafia, C. (2009). Gross placental structure in a low-risk population of singleton, term, first-born infants. Pediatric and Developmental Pathology, 12(3), 200-210.

Book Chapters

  • Chisholm, J., Coall, D. (2008). Not by bread alone: The role of psychosocial stress in age at first reproduction and health inequalities.. Evolutionary Medicine and Health New Perspectives (134-148). Oxford University Press.

Journal Articles

  • Saulsman, L., Coall, D., Nathan, P. (2006). The association between depressive personality and treatment outcome for depression following a group cognitive-behavioral intervention. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 62(9), 1181-1196.

Book Chapters

  • Chisholm, JS., Burbank, VK., Coall, D., Gemmiti, F. (2005). Early stress: Perspectives from developmental evolutionary ecology.. Origins of the Social Mind: Evolutionary Psychology and Child Development (76-107). Guilford Press.

Journal Articles

  • Chisholm, J., Quinlivan, J., Peterson, R., Coall, D. (2005). Early Stress Predicts Age at Menarche and First Birth, Adult Attachment, and Expected Lifespan. Human Nature: an interdisciplinary biosocial perspective, 16(3), 233-265.

Research Projects

  • Exploring the different and shared experiences of informal and formal grandparent carers in Western Australia, Lotterywest, Grant, 2017 ‑ 2022, $399,124.
  • Health and Well-Being of Grandchildren Raised by their Grandparents, Edith Cowan University, ECU Industry Collaboration Scheme - 2016 Open Round, 2016 ‑ 2019, $15,000.
  • Systematic review of chain analysis research for suicide prevention, Edith Cowan University, ECU Grant in Aid Scheme, 2018 ‑ 2019, $4,947.
  • Moort Project Phase 2: Windo ngop yinyoong bidi (Old blood, new veins), University of Western Australia, NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence: Improving Health Services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children, 2018, $17,500.
  • 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, $30,000.
  • 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.
  • 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, $41,490.
  • 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.

Research Student Supervision

Principal Supervisor

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Morning sickness and the placenta
  • Master of Medical and Health Science by Research, Is the presence of high-risk human papillomavirus in placental tissue associated with an increased risk of pre-eclampsia in a cohort of Western Australian pregnancies?
  • Master of Medical and Health Science by Research, Maternal Mental Health: Understanding perinatal mental health in a Western Australian cohort.
  • Master of Science (Medical Science), Maternal blood pressure during pregnancy and placental gross anatomy in a cohort of West Australian pregnancies

Principal Supervisor

  • Master of Science (Human Biology), Parental bonding: Validity, stability and predictor of mental and physical health during pregnancy
  • Doctor of Philosophy, The perceived influence of grandparents' beliefs and attitudes on parents' breastfeeding behaviour and paediatric vaccination decisions
  • Grandparental investment: The influence of reproductive timing on family size
  • Grandparental investment patterns: Who cares?
  • Grandparental investment across Europe: A study from an evolutionary perspective

Co-principal Supervisor

  • Master of Science (Human Biology), The placenta and cardiovascular disease: A meta-analysis

Associate Supervisor

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Evaluation of Suboptimal Health Status and Prospective Levels of Oxidative Stress Biomarkers and Angiogenic Growth Mediators with Placental Anatomy and Pathology in Normotensive and Preeclamptic Births
  • Master of Science (Medical Science), Factors associated with anxiety, depression, burnout, and ptsd symptomatology in Australian paramedics
Skip to top of page