• The University of Western Australia (M310), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


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Personal profile


Donna is the director of the Geddes Hartmann Human Lactation Research Group. Donna originates from a medical imaging background with an emphasis in ultrasound imaging. She has integrated this modality into many of the group’s studies providing a ‘window’ to different physiological processes during lactation. Her findings have attracted much international attention and she is often requested to speak at both International and National Scientific Meetings. She is a member of the Nutrition Society of Australia and Secretary for the International Society for Research in Human Milk and Lactation.

Roles and responsibilities

Editorial Positions
• Guest Editor ‘Lactation in the Limelight’ – Biochemist, February 2017.
• Guest Editor – ‘Down Under’ edition – Journal of Human Lactation
• Guest Co-editor – International Journal of Pediatrics (Special Edition Infant feeding, 2012)
• Consultant Editor – Journal of Human Lactation
Reviewer Scientific Journals
• Early Human Development
• European Journal of Surgery
• Journal of Human Lactation
• Breastfeeding Medicine
• Mary Paton Award Judge
• Australian Breastfeeding Association
• Pediatric Research
• Acta Pediatrica
• Pediatrics
• Breastfeeding Review

Future research

Donna’s future research encompasses the appetite control mechanisms of the breastfed infant.

Funding overview

• 2007-Present: Medela AG – Research Fellow/Chief Investigator
• Woman and Infants Research Foundation (WIRF) Grant for researching the relationship between sucking, swallowing and breathing in healthy term breastfeeding infants and those experiencing difficulties.

Previous positions

• Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Western Australia
• Senior Ultrasonographer , Perth Imaging

Current projects

Appetite control factors in breastmilk
Gastric emptying of term and preterm infants
Milk removal during breast expression.


Donna has a broad range of research interests in the physiology of lactation extending from basic to applied research. In particular she utilizes her ultrasound imaging skills to assess the lactating breast (anatomy, milk ejection and blood flow) as well as the infant (suck-swallow-breathe, gastric emptying and body composition). Her current interests include understanding the role of breastmilk in appetite control and the development of breastfeeding in the preterm infant.

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

External positions

Research Associate, Telethon Kids Institute

1 Jan 2021 → …

Industry keywords

  • Education
  • Health
  • Children and Young People
  • Medicine and Pharma

Research expertise keywords

  • Human lactation


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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