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Madeline West

Madeline West is a PhD student at the Food and Mood Centre

Madeline is a PhD student within the Food and Mood Centre at Deakin University, Australia. She has a Bachelor of Human Nutrition as well as a Bachelor of Food and Nutrition Sciences (Honours).

Prior to beginning her PhD in 2019, Madeline worked at the centre as a Research Assistant where she gained an extensive insight into all thing’s food and mood – and she couldn’t leave!

Madeline’s PhD focuses on the gut microbiota in people living with eating disorders and will uncover valuable knowledge on how nutritional rehabilitation influences the gut during the treatment of these disorders. She is excited about the impact this research may have on treatment and recovery from eating disorders.

Madeline is passionate about good food, learning, and her pup (Lucy). Her dream weekend would see her at the beach with a coffee and chocolate brownie, watching Lucy frolic through the water while she sits with the latest nutrition novel in hand.


Projects Madeline is involved with:

  • Gut Microbiota in Anorexia Nervosa and Atypical Anorexia – the effects of nutritional rehabilitation on gut microbiota (The ReGut study)

Led by Anu Ruusunen, The ReGut study will look to characterise the gut microbiota in people living with Anorexia Nervosa and Atypical Anorexia. The study will investigate changes in the gut microbiota during inpatient nutritional rehabilitation of these patients, as well as compare the composition of the gut to that of healthy controls. Increased knowledge of the gut microbiota in eating disorders is important to help us further understand these disorders, as well as to inform nutritional treatment protocols.

  • Managing Microbes: A comparison of stool and saliva collection methods and microbiome analysis

Led by Amy Loughman, this in-house study will compare different methods being used to collect stool and saliva samples for microbiome analysis. Results from this study will inform procedures and methods used within the centre for all future studies.

  • Healthy Brain Project – Microbiome

Madeline has been working under Amy Loughman as a research assistant on this project for the past 12 months. The Healthy Brain Project is a large observational study investigating why some people develop brain diseases and others don’t. Collaborating with this team has enabled measures of gut and oral microbiome to be added along-side other measures such as genetics, MRI, Lumbar Puncture and Cognitive Assessments. We hope to  learn more about possible biological predictors of Alzheimer’s Disease through this study.


Research areas and skills: Gut Microbiota; Eating Disorders; Alzheimer’s Disease


West, M., Liem, D., Booth, A., Nowson, C., & Grimes, C. (2019). Salt Preference and Ability to

Discriminate between Salt Content of Two Commercially Available Products of Australian Primary Schoolchildren. Nutrients11(2), 388.

Grimes, C. A., Booth, A., Khokhar, D., West, M., Margerison, C., Campbell, K. J., & Nowson, C. A. (2018). Digital Education to Limit Salt in the Home (DELISH) Program Improves Knowledge, Self-Efficacy, and Behaviors Among Children. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior50(6), 547–554.

Grimes, C. A., Booth, A., Khokhar, D., West, M., Margerison, C., Campbell, K., & Nowson, C. (2017). The Development of a Web-Based Program to Reduce Dietary Salt Intake in Schoolchildren: Study Protocol. JMIR Research Protocols6(5), e103.