Associate Professor Shelley Wilkinson

Associate Professor

School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences
Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences
+61 7 336 56849


Shelley is a Principal Research Fellow in Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Queensland School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences. She is recognised as a leading Australian researcher in maternal health and in implementation science. Her research program aims to improve the health of mothers and babies by increasing the nutrition capacity and capabilities of maternity services and clinicians to provide the best nutritional care to women during and after pregnancy.

Shelley's main research interests include:

  • Implementation Science and Translating Research into Practice (TRIP)
  • Health service redesign through co-creation
  • Nutrition and maternal health ('The first 1000 days')
  • Digital technologies and platforms to facilitate behaviour change

Shelley is an Associate Editor for Dietitians Australia’s national journal, Nutrition and Dietetics, and is a member of Australian Academy of Science's National Nutrition Committee. In 2010, Shelley received Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitian status as recognition of her professional leadership and expertise. The high quality of her research has been recognised with six awards in the field of Evidence-Based Practice and Clinical Research.

With 35 peer reviewed publications in the past 5 years, she has an h-index of 21 and her Field-Weighted Citation Impact score is above average for her discipline, particularly in the areas of Gestational weight gain (FWCI 1.1), Gestational diabetes (FWCI 2.8), and Intestinal flora (FWCI 5.5).

Research Impacts

Knowledge, Health, and Societal Impacts

Dissemination of findings from her 2012-3 NHMRC TRIP Fellowship (implementation of gestational diabetes mellitus nutrition care guidelines at the Mater Mothers’ Hospitals to multiple sites around Queensland. This work has resulted in a reduction in medication use in gestational diabetes mellitus, improved diet quality and increased physical activity levels through building capacity and improving systems to allow adherence to best practice. Key learnings about the process of co-creation with health services with clinical and process improvements have also emerged ( Hospital and Health Services (HHSs) engaged: Cairns & Hinterland HHS; Darling Downs HHS; West Moreton HHS; Metro South HHS. More info:

Implementation of gestational weight gain guidelines at the Mater Mothers' Hospitals. She has demonstrated successful longitudinal, hospital-wide, effective, stepped identification and targeting of barriers to guideline adherence with large and significant changes in health provider behaviour known to influence gestational weight gain. The quality and relevance of this work was recognised with an invited blog post for the Biomedical Central journal website ( to accompany a published article, as well as Clinical Paper of the year award (MRI-UQ, 2019). More info:

Co-creating education delivery to support a radical model of care change: As part of the Brisbane Mater Mothers’ Hospital’s re-imagining of the gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) service I led the co-creation of our education model of care from 2019. This occurred as part of a multifaceted digital solution in the busy and under-resourced GDM service. A service in which 16% of our 6000 women experience a pregnancy with GDM each year; the commonest medical disorder of pregnancy with potentially serious complications for babies. To achieve this I led a Dietetics team who collaborated closely with women who attended our GDM clinics, alongside Obstetric Medicine, Diabetes Education, Midwifery, Obstetrics, and Interpreting Services. In doing this work we posed the questions - how could we deliver care better? What would we want it to look like? What would women and their families want it to look like?

An element of the model of care refresh included the co-creation of an ‘Introduction to GDM’ video in six languages. The short video included the same script and footage for most parts, except for the dietary section. This was tailored to cultural preferences and practices. We involved women from all language groups for diversity and representativeness in the videos. In its first year of distribution (Oct 2020-21) the videos have received almost 20,000 views. The English, simplified Chinese, and Somali videos have been viewed between 150-250 times each month each; the Vietnamese video has been watched over 1,000 times each month. This work received the "Allied Health Award" in 2021 at the Australasian Diabetes in Pregnancy Society meeting.


  • Bachelor of Science, The University of Queensland
  • Doctor of Philosophy in the field of Psychology, The University of Queensland
  • Bachelor in Science with Honours - Psychology, The University of Queensland
  • Graduate Diploma in Nutrition and Dietetics, Queensland University of Technology


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  • (2022) Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Medical Leadership

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PhD and MPhil Supervision

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