Caitlin Wyrwoll

Associate Professor

  • The University of Western Australia (M309), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus

Personal profile


Caitlin Wyrwoll is an Associate Professor in the School of Human Sciences at the University of Western Australia. She is currently holds a Stan Perron People Fellowship and is a research theme leader in the NHMRC Healthy Environments and Lives Network. Her research group focuses on the impact of environmental change on maternal and child health, with drinking water quality and heatwave exposure two key environmental factors of interest.

Caitlin studied at the University of Western Australia and was awarded her PhD on a project supervised by Professor Brendan Waddell and Dr Peter Mark. She then moved to Edinburgh, UK to work with Professor Megan Holmes and Professor Jonathan Seckl on the influence of stress hormones on fetal brain development. Upon her return to The University of Western Australia she started her own research group focusing on the early life origins of later health outcomes. Dr Wyrwoll's group use a range of multidisciplinary and novel imaging approaches to understand how early life environment impacts on placental development and function. They also take a life course approach to track how environmental challenges in pregnancy impact on maternal health, fetal development and offspring adult health outcomes. 

Research Funding Summary

A/Prof Wyrwoll has been a Chief Investigator on National, International, State, Industry, and Internal-based grants totalling over $15M, $4.5M as lead investigator. These include funding from Wellcome Trust, National Health and Medical Research Council, New Zealand Royal Society, Channel 7 Telethon Trust, WA Department of Health, Meat and Livestock Australia, and Australian Research Council. Current funding includes:

2023-2028: Wellcome Trust, 18 Investigators including Wyrwoll CS as lead. Extreme heat and pregnancy complications: harnessing the diverse Australian climate and population for global answers. $3, 345, 347.

2023-2027: Stan Perron Charitable Foundation People Fellowship: Drinking water quality in Western Australia: an unacknowledged risk factor for pregnancy complications. 

2022-2023: Channel 7 Telethon Trust, 4 Investigators including Wyrwoll CS (lead); Water quality and pregnancy complications $163, 068.

2022-2027: National Health and Medical Research Council, 50 Investigators including Wyrwoll CS (as research theme co-lead); The Healthy Environments And Lives (HEAL) Network, $10M.

Prizes and awards (last 5 years)

Research Awards and Recognition: UWA “Grand Challenges Champion” (2021), UWA Faculty of Science Rising Star (2020), UWA Innovation Fellow (2019).

Teaching Awards: UWA Faculty of Science Team Teaching Award (2021), Student Guild Award for Teaching Excellence (2018).

Research interests

Effects of envrionmental change (including climate change) on maternal adaptations to pregnancy and child health outcomes

The role of the placenta in determining adult health outcomes

Placental vascular development and structure: how form affects function and fetal outcomes




Community engagement

Service: Dr Wyrwoll was the School’s Director of Community and Engagement from 2016 to the end of 2019. Dr Wyrwoll led initiatives to promote both UWA and the School of Human Sciences through engagement with high schools, organisation of UWA Open Day events, and by fostering targeted Industry engagement sessions.

Teaching: Dr Wyrwoll embeds authentic co-curricular activities related to her research within her teaching to enhance student engagement. Together with Dr Demelza Ireland, she has driven an initiative involving nearly 1000 UWA students with fundraising over $20,000 to improve birth outcomes in low-income countries by assembling birthing kits and sending them to communities in need.

Research: Dr Wyrwoll works with The Wongutha Birni Aboriginal Corporation to engage with communities on water quality and health. Media engagement on research includes Radio National, local radio, ABC News 24, Channel 7 and Channel 10 news, an article in The Conversation and numerous social media outputs. 

Teaching overview

Unit Coordinator: APHB5501 Developmental Origins of Adult Health and Disease

Unit Coordinator: ANHB2216 Human Reproductive Biology

Guest lecturer in a range of reproductive biology, women's health, physiology, and neuroscience units.

Roles and responsibilities

2016-2019: Director of Community & Engagement, School of Human Sciences

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action

Research expertise keywords

  • Development programming of cardio-metabolic and neuropsychiatric disease
  • Placental vascularity
  • Affective disorders
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Vitamin D
  • Climate change
  • Placenta


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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