Dr Karen New

Midwifery Clinical Academic Fellow

School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work
Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences
+61 7 334 67041


Karen is a Clinical Academic Fellow at the University of Queensland and the Royal Brisbane & Women’s Hospital, Brisbane Australia. Karen’s current research focus is preconception and early pregnancy care and improving pregnancy outcomes. Karen’s neonatal research interests include thermoregulation, neurodevelopmental care and pain management of infants in neonatal care units. Karen was awarded her PhD in April 2012. Her thesis investigated the timing of transfer of premature infants from incubators to open cots. Karen is actively involved in not-for-profit associations and is current Chair of The Council of International Neonatal Nurses, the ACNN Low Resouce Countries Special Interest Group and the board of Cochrane Innovations. Karen is an active member of the Cochrane Collaboration, the Australian College of Neonatal Nurses and the Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand, the peak multi-disciplinary scientific society for perinatal care.

Research Interests

  • Preconception Healthcare and service delivery
  • Neonatal outcomes
    Reducing morbidity and mortality; thermoregulations; neonatal nursing education

Research Impacts

Preconception care (PCC) is a preventive health strategy aimed to educate and promote the benefits of leading a healthy lifestyle to women and men in their reproductive years in the lead up to conception. Optimising health prior to pregnancy can reduce the risks of adverse birth outcomes such as neural tube defects (NTDs), premature birth, congenital anomalies and infant mortality. However PCC is underutilised by the general population of women and men of reproductive age. Preconception health education and services at individual and population levels are required for the future generations of Australians. Currently, healthy pregnancies are promoted in antenatal care, but this is too late for identifying risks and exposures that may impact fetal development. Emerging evidence links poor maternal/paternal health (lifestyle, diet) to fetal programming that predisposes the individual to chronic illness such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease in adulthood. Implementing a PCC model and public health messages may benefit the future Australian population.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland
  • Bachelor of Nursing (Honours), The University of Queensland


View all Publications


View all Grants


  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision


Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Joint Principal Advisor