My research project takes an interest in understanding the health impact of accumulated ambient air pollution exposures experienced first-hand by mothers on the generation that follows. Environmental exposures experienced in utero or early infancy have the potential to cause irreversible developmental changes impacting childhood development through to adulthood. Specific health outcomes of interest for my project are: cognitive and behavioural development, academic performance and childhood asthma.
This project will examine the effects of neighborhood greenspace on the mental health of Australian women. Research on greenspace and mental health has been driven by an emerging interest in the last decade. However, most of the evidence came from cross-sectional studies. Moreover, several studies used historical environmental exposure data, which are not always spatially and temporally well-aligned with a participant’s residential address(es). ALSWH has mental health data collected by regular surveys as well as geocoded residential addresses. These data will allow investigation of the longitudinal association between spatially and temporally aligned residential greenspace and mental health in a large, national cohort of Australian women.
The maternal diet has a critical role in epigenetic changes in the foetus, which could affect birth outcomes, offspring growth or body composition, and behavioural problems later in life. To our knowledge, studies on preconception dietary patterns and adverse birth outcomes are scarce, and the findings are mixed. Moreover, no studies have been conducted to investigate the association between pre-pregnancy dietary patterns and offspring obesity and behavioural problems. This Ph.D. project, therefore, aimed to examine the associations of maternal dietary patterns before pregnancy and birth outcomes and child health.