Lou Fangupo has had a range of life and work experiences since completing her undergraduate nutrition degree in 2006. But all of these experiences have helped to prepare her for undertaking a PhD at the Edgar Diabetes and Obesity Research Centre.
Finding the right research project
Lou had been considering enrolling in a PhD for quite a while, but hadn’t found the right topic. However, the project title “Moemoeā: sleep, health, communication and wellbeing” attracted her straight away, because she is passionate about all of these areas. Lou is a registered dietitian and sees this project as a great way to become more culturally competent as both a researcher and a practitioner.
Moemoeā: sleep, health, communication and wellbeing
Good quality sleep is important for health and wellbeing at every age. However, getting enough sleep can be challenging in today’s world and many of the guidelines used to promote good sleep may not fit the lived realities of life for some whānau.
Moemoeā will explore Māori and Pacific expertise on nurture and connection before sleep, whānau responsiveness, communication and early oral language, and weave this with western evidence on effective ways of improving sleep in children to develop potential intervention approaches that are appropriate, engaging, useful and easy to use. These components will create a ‘toolkit’ that is tailored for Māori and Pasifika families, will support communication and connectedness between children and caregivers, and will incorporate relevant cultural values and traditions.
Inspired by mentors
Lou took a wide range of subjects at school, being interested in not only nutrition, but also in history, travel and languages. An encouraging comment by her year 11 History teacher has stayed with her. He suggested that one day she should do a PhD, as she was good at writing. And now here she is, pursuing that advice!
Find out more about Moemoeā
- Moemoeā - sleep, health, communication, and wellbeing, EDOR website
- New research to get a better night’s sleep for tamariki and their whānau, A Better Start National Science Challenge website, 9 October 2019.