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Personal profile


Leona is a Research Fellow in the School of Psychological Sciences, Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health. She has worked in paediatric neuropsychology for over a decade, particularly in the area of preterm birth. Her PhD research (2019) focused on exploring intrinsic motivation in extremely preterm children and understanding the role of individual differences in cognitive training. She is involved in a range of longitudinal observational and neuroimaging cohort studies and randomised controlled trials. Leona has strong research links with the Victorian Infant Brain Studies (VIBeS) at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and the Victorian Infant Collaborative Study (VICS) at the Royal Women’s Hospital in Melbourne. She is also an ECR within the Centre for Research Excellence (CRE) in Newborn Medicine. Leona is passionate about research mentoring and supporting early career researchers and students.

Research interests

  • Understanding the contribution of neurobiological, child and environmental factors to cognitive development
  • Working with children, families and educators to improve school readiness and educational outcomes in vulnerable children
  • Exploring protective factors that build cognitive resilience in children
  • Applying and developing intervention strategies for optimising cognitive and behavioural outcomes in vulnerable children

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

Research area keywords

  • Neurodevelopment
  • Preterm birth
  • Cognition
  • Approaches to learning
  • Intervention
  • School Readiness

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or