Stillbirth CRE postgraduate students are based at our coordinating centre in Brisbane, and across our partnering and collaborating institutes

  • 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 Tania Marsden

    Ms Tania Marsden

    PhD candidate

    Mater Research Institute - The University of Queensland

    Tania is a Laboratory Medical Scientist in Anatomical Pathology. She earned a Bachelor of Science from The University of Melbourne in 2004, Masters in Medical Science from Charles Sturt University in 2015 and will complete a Masters in Health Administration from Monash University in 2019. Her Masters in Medical Science research project was on a rare type of pregnancy called Hydatidiform Molar pregnancy and their progression to develop Gestational Trophoblastic Disease. Tania’s PhD project is focusing on the quality of autopsy and placental pathology in stillbirths in Australia. Tania is passionate about improving the quality of stillbirth investigations, especially autopsy and placental pathology.

  • Dr Vinayak Smith

    Dr Vinayak Smith

    PhD candidate

    Monash University

    Dr Vinayak Smith is currently undertaking his PhD with the Ritchie Centre at Monash University, supervised by Professor Euan Wallace. He undertook his MBBS at Monash University and graduated in 2011. He subsequently embarked on his Masters in Reproductive Medicine at the University of New South Wales and graduated in 2016 Whilst studying, he also undertook clinical work in Obstetrics and Gynaecology with a focus on rural and indigenous health with work experience in the Northern Territory and Queensland. This eventuated in him choosing it as a career path and he is currently undertaking his specialist training with the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG).

    Amidst this, he also had the opportunity to get involved in the domain of medical technology which ignited his passion to help improve the outcomes in both Obstetrics and Gynaecology utilising medical devices. This served as a platform for his PhD which focuses on designing, prototyping and clinically validating new medical technology devices. In addressing stillbirth, his PhD focuses on developing an objective test to help mothers keep track of their fetal movements more effectively and alert them to episodes of reduced fetal movement which have correlation with fetal mortality and morbidity. This resulted in a collaboration with the Monash Institute of Medical Engineering (MIME) to develop a novel sensor to bridge this gap and clinical trials are currently being conducted to evaluate the device efficacy. In addition to this, other devices being investigated in various clinical scenarios include non-invasive fetal electrocardiogram sensors and virtual reality as a therapeutic modality as well.

  • Ms Loretta Musgrave

    Ms Loretta Musgrave

    PhD candidate

    University of Sydney


    Loretta Musgrave is a PhD candidate enrolled full-time at the University of Sydney, Faculty of Medicine, Central Clinical School, Charles Perkins Centre. Loretta commence her PhD in 2016 and is the inaugural recipient of the Ho Kong Fung Ling postgraduate research scholarship. The aim of her thesis is to generate evidence to inform future development and utilisation of preconception and pregnancy specific applications for smartphones.

    This will be achieved by completing six objectives:
    1. To systematically review the efficacy of mobile phone applications in women of reproductive age
    2. To assess the quality of the most used mobile apps in Australia using a stepwise approach and validated tool
    3. To explore the understanding and preferences for provision of information in women of reproductive age using a mixed methods approach
    4. To assess the acceptability of an existing mobile app in pregnant women particularly with groups who are less likely to engage with traditional antenatal care.
    5. To systematically map the existing app content and create culturally appropriate new content using a behavioural change theoretical framework
    6. To evaluate the effectiveness of the customised app on behaviour change in pregnant women

    Loretta has worked as a midwife at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney for 20 years and is the senior midwife educator for Sydney Local Health District. Her qualifications include a Bachelor of Nursing, Graduate Diploma of Midwifery, Master of Education, Certificate in Sexual and Reproductive Health and a Diploma of Project Management. More recently Loretta has commenced a secondment at the Health Professionals Councils Authority, NSW Nursing and Midwifery Council as a professional officer working in the area of regulatory performance assessment.

  • Ms Kate Obst

    Ms Kate Obst

    PhD candidate

    University of Adelaide

    Kate is a combined PhD/Master of Psychology (Health) candidate in the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Adelaide in South Australia. With a background in both psychology and public health, her research interests and experiences broadly relate to the health and wellbeing of children, young people and families. Under the supervision of Dr Clemence Due, Dr Melissa Oxlad and Professor Philippa Middleton, Kate’s PhD research is exploring the psychological impact of pregnancy loss for under-researched populations in Australia, with the aim of improving bereavement care guidelines for all family members who might be involved in the experience of pregnancy loss. Kate is also a youth research council member with Orygen, the National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health, and in 2018, she was honoured to be awarded a Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship to support her PhD research.

  • Ms Anneka Bowman

    Ms Anneka Bowman

    PhD candidate

    University of Adelaide

    Anneka's research is focused on lifestyle risk factors, and their impact on stillbirth rates with a focus on high-income countries. She will be conducting an update to a previous systematic review of risk factors for stillbirth with a new focus on lifestyle risk factors. This review will be integral to establishing where we can modify behaviour, and implement action plans to prevent stillbirths in high-income countries. Anneka's hope is that research into evidence for lifestyle risk factors combined with a comprehensive review of data from the national perinatal dataset will enable health care programs to identify areas where we should focus efforts in the future to prevent stillbirth.

    Previously Anneka has worked as a clinical trial coordinator for the Women’s and Children's Health Research Institute, and for the Healthy Mothers, Babies and Children theme at SAHMRI in Adelaide. Anneka coordinated a large scale, multi centre, national study recruiting pregnant women to received nutritional supplements through their pregnancies. Prior to this Anneka worked as a research officer monitoring and coordinating national clinical trials with the International Musculoskeletal Research Institute in Adelaide.
    Anneka received her bachelor’s degree of health sciences (majoring in reproductive health) from Adelaide University, followed by a masters in research management and commercialisation from Queensland University of Technology.

    During her PhD Anneka will be supported by and working closely with SAHMRI, the Stillbirth CRE and Adelaide University.

  • Mr Roshan Selvaratnam

    Mr Roshan Selvaratnam

    PhD candidate

    Monash University

    Roshan Selvaratnam is a Monash University medical student undertaking a PhD on the detection and management of fetal growth restriction (FGR) across Victoria. He has an honorary appointment with the Consultative Council on Obstetric and Paediatric Mortality and Morbidity (CCOPMM) at Safer Care Victoria. Roshan is working with the Stillbirth CRE on evaluating the impact of statewide FGR workshops that are being introduced in Victoria in 2018 and 2019.

  • Ms Haylee Fox

    Ms Haylee Fox

    PhD candidate

    James Cook University

    Haylee Fox is a health economics research officer and a PhD candidate at the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine, James Cook University, Townsville. Hayley is currently working with Dr Emily Callander to complete her PhD, and has a research focus on perinatal and childhood health economics. Hayley has a clinical background in nursing, and has graduated with Masters of Public Health (MPH) and a Graduate Certificate of Research Methods.