Coordinating Team

Stillbirth CRE coordinating team is based at the Mater Research Institute in Brisbane (MRI-UQ)

  • Ms Megan Weller

    Ms Megan Weller

    Research Midwife


    Megan Weller completed both her Bachelor of Nursing and Graduate Diploma of Midwifery at ACU. Megan’s clinical background includes oncology nursing and practicing as a midwife in continuity of care models. Megan has recently joined the Centre of Research Excellence - Stillbirth team as a Research Midwife. Megan is very passionate about providing quality, holistic and woman-centred care for all women and their families.

  • Dr Christine Andrews

    Dr Christine Andrews

    Postdoctoral Research Officer

    Christine Andrews has a research background in paediatric burn injury pathophysiology and prevention. Prior to undertaking a research higher degree she worked as a veterinarian in private practice. Having completed her PhD through the University of Queensland with the Centre for Children’s Burns and Trauma Research, Dr Andrews joined the Stillbirth CRE as a senior research assistant and now works as a postdoctoral research officer. She has a specific interest in the translation and implementation of quality research into evidence-based best clinical practice.

  • Dr Chrissie Astell

    Dr Chrissie Astell

    Research Assistant

    Chrissie Astell has a research background in neonatal health, respiratory physiology and diaphragm development. Chrissie completed her PhD at the University of Western Australia in 2018 and has recently relocated to Brisbane from Perth. Chrissie joins the Stillbirth CRE as a Senior Research Assistant, providing research support across the Stillbirth CRE program.

  • Dr Mu Cheng

    Dr Mu Cheng

    Research Assistant

    Mu Cheng has a research background in the application of label-free technologies on drug discovery, especially the antibiotics against super bugs. Having completed her PhD through the University of Queensland with Institute for Molecular Bioscience, Dr Cheng worked as a project advisor in the industry where her experience in project coordination and administration has been developed.

  • Ms Sara Crocker

    Ms Sara Crocker

    Research Assistant

    Sara Crocker is a research assistant working on the Online Perinatal Bereavement Support Program project. Sara is also a provisional psychologist who is concurrently studying a Masters of Clinical Psychology at the USC Sunshine Coast Mind and Neuroscience – Thompson Institute. Sara has research interests in maternal and perinatal mental health for women and families, as well as risk factors and prevention of clinician burnout following stillbirth and NND attendance. Sara is based at Mater Research Institute, Aubigny Place, South Bank.

  • Ms Madeline Forbes

    Ms Madeline Forbes

    Research Assistant

    Madeline has completed both a Bachelor of Science from the University of Melbourne and a Masters of Public Health from the University of Queensland and was awarded the Joan Lawrence AM prize by the University of Queensland for her studies in early 2020. Madeline joined the Stillbirth CRE in 2019 and is working as across several projects. These projects include developing an international classification system for causes of stillbirths and neonatal deaths across data-rich settings, implementing a stillbirth education campaign across Australian populations with a focus on higher-risk populations, and an audit of current hospital practices following perinatal mortality throughout Australia.

  • Mr Rupesh Gautam

    Mr Rupesh Gautam

    Research Associate

    Rupesh Gautam joined the Stillbirth Centre of Research Excellence in November 2020. He is currently working as a project coordinator for the COCOON Collaboration, which is a global research study to understand the challenges and concerns of parents who are pregnant or have recently given birth during the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. Rupesh has a background in public health and has worked in the areas of infant and young child nutrition, social marketing, refugee health, and non-communicable diseases in Nepal, Denmark and Australia. He has also been involved in teaching/tutoring as a sessional academic in the areas of primary health care, epidemiology, biostatistics, health systems and global health at different higher-educational institutions in those 3 countries. His research publications reflect the varied nature of work he has been involved in within the broad domain of public health and encompass the areas of non-communicable diseases, maternal and reproductive health, health system, and refugee health. His PhD at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) was focused on transnational migration and its influence on quality of life of older adults from Nepal. Through his research he also explored the intricate links between transnational migration and social determinants of health and their joint influence on older adults’ psychosocial health and wellbeing. He intends to use his academic knowledge and experience for the improvement of population health with emphasis on social determinants.

  • Ms Marie Hobden

    Ms Marie Hobden

    Research Midwife

    Marie completed a Bachelor of Science with Honours at the University of Hull in the UK with a background in Midwifery. Since then she has worked as a Midwife in a variety of roles in England, Australia and the USA. Her most rewarding role was working with Indigenous families in Tropical North Queensland. Marie has recently joined the Stillbirth CRE team as a Research Midwife and is dedicated to continually improving care for all women and families.

  • Ms Ann Lancaster

    Ms Ann Lancaster


    Ann Lancaster has completed a Master’s in Clinical Psychology and has over 20 years clinical experience in a diverse range of areas across the lifespan including brain injury, pain management, adjustment to disability, mental health, and perinatal mental health. Since 2012, Ann has been part of the Psychology team at the Mater Hospital developing a special interest in perinatal and infant mental health. With a strong background in CBT she has been able to incorporate other theories such as Attachment Theory and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, including Mindfulness, to help her clients obtain the best possible outcomes. In recent years, Ann has trained to lead groups with Circle of Security founder Bert Powell, Perinatal Infant Research Institute training in Getting Ahead of Postnatal Depression, and the Together in Mind Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Day Program developed by Queensland Centre for Perinatal and Infant Mental Health. Her recent experience includes running groups such as Circle of Security and Getting Ahead of Postnatal Depression in the Parenting Support Centre at the Mater Mother’s Hospital as well as ongoing individual clinical work. Ann joined the Stillbirth CRE in 2020 to support the clinical phase of the research.

  • Ms Susannah Leisher

    Ms Susannah Leisher

    Honorary Fellow

    Susannah Hopkins Leisher spent over 20 years working on global poverty alleviation, including 10 years based in Vietnam, where she was for five years the Vietnam country representative for Oxfam Hong Kong, as well as consulting for a wide range of agencies including the UN, DFID, the World Bank and various NGOs. Subsequently she spent five years as director and then vice-president for programs of Trickle Up, an NGO that works to move women out of extreme poverty in India, West Africa and Central America. Ms Leisher holds a BA (magna cum laude) in mathematics from Carleton College, an MA with distinction in international economics and social change and development from the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins University, and an MSc with distinction in epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She is a second-year doctoral student in epidemiology at Columbia University with a National Institutes of Health National Research Service Award. Her research interest is stillbirth, and perinatal mortality generally, including the overlap between stillbirth and inequity, reducing unexplained stillbirths, the global socio-political environment for stillbirth prevention, and translating research into practice. Her current research includes a retrospective study of the association between socio-economic deprivation and stillbirth in Queensland, Australia, between 1994 and 2011, and a literature review of the perinatal mortality burden associated with Zika virus globally. Ms Leisher sits on the board of the International Stillbirth Alliance, and is a member of its Scientific Advisory Committee and a co-chair of the Stillbirth Advocacy Working Group. She lives in New Jersey, USA, with her husband and three sons, and is also the mother of stillborn son Wilder Daniel.

  • Dr Siobhan Loughnan

    Dr Siobhan Loughnan

    Postdoctoral Research Officer


    Siobhan has a background in eMental Health, perinatal psychology and cancer care. Siobhan completed her PhD in 2019 through the University of New South Wales in the Clinical Research Unit for Anxiety and Depression (CRUfAD) with her research focused on the development and evaluation of a brief, self-guided internet-delivered psychological intervention to improve anxiety and depression during pregnancy and postpartum. Siobhan joined the Stillbirth CRE in September 2019 as a postdoctoral researcher to pursue her interest in the development of a tailored online psychosocial programs for parents who have experienced perinatal loss and is team leader of the Stillbirth CRE’s Priority Area Three working across projects to help optimise and implement best practice bereavement care around the time of stillbirth and neonatal death, and in subsequent pregnancies.

  • Ms Natasha Meredith

    Research Assistant

    Natasha Meredith completed a Bachelor of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences with the University of Queensland in 2016. Following this, she completed a Master of Dietetics Studies with the University of Queensland, where she undertook placements in both clinical and research settings. Natasha has joined the Stillbirth CRE as a research assistant, providing support on the Safer Baby Bundle project. Her previous experience in research has focused primarily on paediatric weight management, including an evaluation of a public paediatric multidisciplinary weight management service.

  • Ms Jessica Sexton

    Ms Jessica Sexton

    PhD Candidate and Research Assistant

    Mater Research Institute - The University of Queensland


    Jessica Sexton is an epidemiology PhD student. Prior to joining the Stillbirth CRE, Jessica earned a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Science – Medical Laboratory Science from the University of New Hampshire in 2012, a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology from Georgia Southern University in 2015, and will earn a Master of Science in Spatial Analysis from Johns Hopkins University in 2018. As an MPH student, she investigated the determinants of neonatal sepsis in Ghana, participated in environmental laboratory studies of Vibrio spp., and studied the 2014 influenza outbreak. Upon graduation, she earned a position working for the United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention as an Allan Rosenfield Global Epidemiology Fellow in Lilongwe, Malawi. At CDC, Jessica was responsible for the design and implementation of surveillance programs designed to address the HIV epidemic and served as the point of contact for HIV drug resistance activities. In 2017, Jessica was honoured by United States Ambassador Virginia E. Palmer to receive a Franklin Award for her service and innovation through diligence, coordination, and skilled collaboration to improve use of laboratory data and health systems in surveillance and research studies in Malawi.

  • Ms Laura Singline

    Ms Laura Singline

    Research Support Officer

    Laura graduated from the University of Newcastle with a Bachelor of Social Science (Honours) in 2018. Her research interests include a broad range of social issues, including the social origins and patterns of health and illness. Before joining the Stillbirth CRE, Laura worked as a research assistant at the University of Queensland and the Institute for Social Science Research. Laura provides research support across all areas of the Stillbirth CRE, and is currently assisting the bereavement care team with their projects. 

  • Ms Kara Warrilow

    Ms Kara Warrilow

    Research Assistant 

    Kara completed both a Bachelor of Psychology and Public Health with Griffith University in 2012. She has also recently completed a Masters of Epidemiology with the University of Queensland, focusing on disease spread from rural to urban Queensland. Kara has recently joined the Stillbirth CRE as a research assistant. She is working particularly on data management of the My Baby’s Movements Multi Centre Clinical Trial.

  • Ms Margaret de Silva

    Ms Margaret de Silva

    Research Communications Officer


    Margaret holds a Bachelor of Journalism and Bachelor of Arts (Political Science and English Literature) from the University of Queensland. She has worked in a range of journalism and communications roles in technical and consumer fields in Australia and Canada for more than 10 years. Margaret also works as a freelance writer. With an interest in women's health, her work has appeared in consumer lifestyle publications worldwide including Elle, Lonely Planet, Chatelaine, The Vancouver Sun, and more. Margaret joined the Stillbirth CRE in 2020 as research communications officer.