Dr Selma Liberato

Research fellow


PhD, Federal University of Vicosa, 2005; Master of Science, Federal University of Vicosa, 2001; Postgraduate Study in Public Health, Riberao Preto University, 1996; Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics, Federal University of Vicosa, 1993.

Approved level of HDR supervision at Charles Darwin University:

Associate Supervisor for PhD


Darwin - Royal Darwin Hospital campus


Selma worked cross-culturally in Brazil for over five years as a nutritionist in primary health sector in both private and public settings.

Selma undertook her PhD research project at the Queensland University of Technology to investigate the relationships among obesity, abdominal fat, cardiovascular disease risk, physical activity, fitness level, food intake and resting energy expenditure in young adults.

Selma worked as a remote public health nutritionist and a child health nutritionist at the Northern Territory Department of Health in 2008 and 2009 and since 2010 has been working at Menzies School of Health Research on a range of research projects in Indigenous health, nutrition and health research capacity. She led the nutrition education component of Stores healthy options project in remote Indigenous communities (SHOP@RIC), a NHMRC funded randomized trial aimed to assess the impact of price reduction to improve dietary intake in 20 remote NT Aboriginal communities. She also led pilot studies aimed to build capacity of Indigenous people in nutrition: Assessing dietary intake in remote communities and Decreasing consumption of sugar sweetened beverages in remote communities.

Selma is currently leading the Healthy Eating and Drinking Study (HEDS), a four year (2016-2019) NHMRC funded multi-component, multi-setting randomized controlled trial aimed at improving eating and drinking of primary school aged children living in 12 remote NT Aboriginal communities.

Selma’s main research interests relate to improving the people’s nutritional and clinical status, intervening to promote healthier eating and drinking behaviours and prevent obesity and translating research findings into meaningful and culturally appropriate outcomes.

Selma has $1.5m in research funding; over 25 peer-reviewed publications; supervised one higher degree by research (HDR) students to completion and currently supervises one HDR student, both as primary supervisor.

Research Themes

  1. Liberato, S.C., et al. (2016) Use of electronic visual recording to aid assessment of dietary intake of Australian Aboriginal children living in remote communities. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 40(S1), S27–S29.
  2. Magnus, A., Moodie, M.L., Ferguson, M., Cobiac, L.J., Liberato, S., & Brimblecombe, J. (2016). "The economic feasibility of price discounts to improve diet in Australian Aboriginal remote communities." Australian & New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 40 (S1), S36-41.
  3. Kristjansson,.E., Francis, D.K., Liberato, S., et al. (2015). Feeding interventions for improving the physical and psychosocial health of disadvantaged children aged three months to five years. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.
  4. Brimblecombe, J., van den Boogaard, C., Wood, B., Liberato, S.C., Brown, J., Barnes, A., & Bailie, R. (2015). Development of the good food planning tool: A food system approach to food security in indigenous Australian remote communities. Health & Place, 34(0), 54-62.
  5. Liberato, S.C., Singh, G., & Mulholland, K. (2014). Zinc supplementation in young children: A review of the literature focusing on diarrhoea prevention and treatment. Clinical Nutrition, 57.
  6. Liberato, S.C., Bailie, R., & Brimblecombe, J. (2014). Nutrition interventions at point-of-sale to encourage healthier food purchasing: a systematic review. BMC Public Health, 14, 919. doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-919.
  7. Liberato, .S.C., Singh, G., & Mulholland, K. (2013). Effects of protein energy supplementation during pregnancy on fetal growth: a review of the literature focusing on contextual factors. Food & Nutrition Research (with an Impact Factor (2015) of 3.226 and an SJR of 0.94), https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3827488/
  8. Liberato, S., Maple-Brown, L., Bressan, J., & Hills, A. (2013). The relationships between body composition and cardiovascular risk factors in young Australian men. Nutrition Journal, 12(108).
  9. Brimblecombe, J., Ferguson, M., Liberato, S., Ball, K., Moodie, M.L., Magnus, A., et al. (2013). Stores Healthy Options Project in Remote Indigenous Communities (SHOP@RIC): a protocol of a randomised trial promoting healthy food and beverage purchases through price discounts and in-store nutrition education. BMC Public Health, 13(744).
  10. Liberato, S.C., Bressan, J., & Hills A. (2013). The role of physical activity and diet on bone mineral indices in young men: a cross-sectional study. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 10(1)43.
​Click here to view more Selma Liberato publications in PubMed.