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Study Manager, PhD Candidate

BPsych(Hons), PhD Candidate (Public Health)


Mary is a Study Manager at Telethon Kids Institute and a final year PhD candidate through the University of Adelaide and Telethon Kids Institute. Mary’s research broadly focuses on understanding the mechanisms that contribute to inequalities during the early years, the development of interventions and resources that support children’s health and development, and ensuring research informs policy and practice changes across Australia and internationally.  

Mary’s expertise includes early childhood health, development and education, screen time during the early years, the home language environment, youth mental health, children’s social and emotional wellbeing, and public health advocacy. 

Mary currently manages two NHMRC funded prospective cohort studies within the team, the Language in Little Ones (LiLO) study and the Electronic Use in Little Ones (EUiLO) study. The LiLO study focuses on understanding inequalities within the home language environment, as measured by the amount of talk, during the first five years of life and the impact this has on developmental outcomes at school entry. The EUiLO study, an NHMRC Ideas Grant where Mary is CIB, builds on the data collected from LiLO to examine the impact of screen use during the early years, how this differs across socioeconomic groups and what impact it has on children’s development. Mary also leads a Channel 7 Telethon Trust funded project where she is working alongside parents and early childhood professionals to co-design an online parenting intervention to support parents with very young children to develop healthy screen time behaviours. Finally, Mary also collaborates on the Wellbeing and Engagement Collection study which uses a population health approach to understanding children and adolescent’s social and emotional wellbeing, mental health, school engagement and health behaviours (e.g., breakfast skipping and screen use before bed). 

Mary is also an active member of the 0-3 Early Years Taskforce in South Australia, the Public Health Association of Australia’s SA Branch and Child and Youth Health SIG, the Co-Chair of the Student and Postdoc Committee for the International Social Epidemiology Society. She is always interested in forming new collaborations with passionate researchers, policymakers or practitioners working across the early years system.