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What's happening to my brain during pregnancy?

The body changes in all sorts of ways during pregnancy to support the developing baby. Some of these changes don't just impact how our bodies work, but also our brains and how we respond to the environment.

You are invited to join speakers from the Department of Food Science and Department of Anatomy in exploring these changes.

About the speakers

Dr Mei Peng

Dr Peng is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Food Science. Mei uses multi-disciplinary approach to study how psychological and physiological factors shape people's food choices and eating habits. Mei is currently leading the establishment of an Ōtepoti-based longitudinal study cohort to track behavioural and neural-sensory changes related to pregnancy – the ENERGY Longitudinal Study Cohort, funded by the Marsden Fund.

Dr Rosie Brown

Dr Brown is a Sir Charles Hercus HRC Fellow and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Physiology. Her research group focuses on how hormones modulate a mother's behaviour so that the display of care-giving behaviour is timed to coincide with the birth of offspring. Her group investigates the hormone-sensitive neural circuit that drives parental behaviour in both mothers and fathers, and how the changing hormones of pregnancy and lactation act on circuitry to regulate mood and behaviour in parents.

Dr Jessica McCormack

Dr McCormack is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Food Science. Jessica is a Behavioural Scientist and Public Health researcher interested in the ways in which our environment shapes our diets and health. Her recent research has focused on prenatal exposure to alcohol and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, and harm reduction models for addiction. Jessica is part of of the research team for the ENERGY Longitudinal Study Cohort.

Dr Sharon Ladyman

Dr Ladyman is a Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Neuroendocrinology. After completing her PhD at the University of Otago she spent time as a Postdoctoral Fellow working in the USA and Canada, before returning to New Zealand. Her research focuses on understanding adaptions of the maternal brain, especially how the brain regulates food intake, body temperature and physical activity during pregnancy. She is also interested in understanding how going through pregnancy and lactation influences long-term metabolic health. Her favourite hormone is leptin.

Drinks and nibbles provided.


Registration is required for this event.

Register now for: What's happening to my brain during pregnancy?

Date Wednesday, 28 September 2022
Time 5:30pm - 6:30pm
Audience Parents,Public,Undergraduate students,Postgraduate students,Staff,Alumni,Allied health professionals
Event Category Health Sciences
Event Type Information session
DepartmentFood Science, Anatomy
LocationHutton Theatre, Otago Museum, Dunedin
Contact NameJessica McCormack

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