Karen has a diverse professional background with qualifications and experience in qualitative and cross-cultural research, library and information science, education and research administration. Her research focuses on social and cultural aspects of health and wellbeing, with a particular interest in maternal health in the Pacific region. These interests are reflected in Karen's doctoral research, where she identified the process midwifery students use to manage the provision of care to women following stillbirth in Papua New Guinea. As Cairns mentor for the Cohort Doctoral Studies Program, Karen provides support to postgraduate students undertaking research studies within the Division of Tropical Health and Medicine. 

  • Social and cultural determinants of health
  • Pacific people's health
  • Maternal health
  • Research capacity strengthening
  • Decolonising research
  • 2020 to present - Cohort Doctoral Studies Program Mentor, James Cook University (Cairns)
  • 2019 to present - Research Officer/Fellow, James Cook University (Cairns)
  • 2012 to 2014 - Grants Administrator, James Cook University (Cairns)
  • 2011 to 2012 - Liaison Librarian, James Cook University (Cairns)
  • 2006 to 2011 - Liaison Librarian, University of Western Sydney (Campbelltown)
Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives
  • 2020 - Medal for Excellence in Higher Degree Research
  • 2016 - Joan Hardy Scholarship for Postgraduate Nursing Research (NTEU)
  • 2015 to 2018 - Postgraduate Research Scholarship (APA)
  • 2019 - Adjunct Research Fellow, The Cairns Institute
  • 2015 to 2018 - Postgraduate Fellow, The Cairns Institute
  • 2019 - Public Health Association Australia
  • 2019 - International Stillibirth Alliance

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU. Hover over Altmetrics badges to see social impact.

Journal Articles
Other research outputs
Current Funding

Current and recent Research Funding to JCU is shown by funding source and project.

Palladium Pty Ltd - Australia Pacific Climate Partnership

Traditional Knowledge about Climate and Food Security in Kwaio, Malaita, Solomon Islands

Indicative Funding
$95,000 over 1 year
This project will be implemented in conjunction with Baru Conservation Alliance in Malaita, Solomon Islands. Traditional Knowledge and experience of weather, the seasonal interaction of plants, animals and people will be explored and documented. The use of tradiitional 'disaster food' after natural disasters will also be documented. The local scale production of flour from locally grown fuits and vegetables will be piloted; usage and spoilage monitored, and dishes made from flour trialled for acceptability and feasibility with Kwaio tribal groups. The project links food security, health and ecological sustainability to inform local level disaster and climate resilience measures in Malaita, Solomon Islands.
David MacLaren, Karen Cheer, Michelle Redman-MacLaren, Colin MacGregor and Darren Crayn in collaboration with Tommy Esau, Esau Kekeubata, Dorothy Esau, Maasafi Alabai, Paul Flemons, Tyrone Lavery and Rebecca Johnson (College of Medicine & Dentistry, College of Science & Engineering, Australian Tropical Herbarium, Baru Conservation Alliance, Australian Museum, Australian National University and Smithsonian Institute)
Solomon Islands; Baru Conservation Alliance; Climate Resilience; Food Security; Disaster Preparedness; Traditional Knowledge

Advisory Accreditation: I can be on your Advisory Panel as a Secondary Advisor.

These Higher Degree Research projects are either current or by students who have completed their studies within the past 5 years at JCU. Linked titles show theses available within ResearchOnline@JCU.

  • Family planning service provision in Solomon Islands: A Case Study Approach (PhD , Secondary Advisor)

The map shows research collaborations by institution from the past 7 years.
Note: Map points are indicative of the countries or states that institutions are associated with.

  • 5+ collaborations
  • 4 collaborations
  • 3 collaborations
  • 2 collaborations
  • 1 collaboration
  • Indicates the Tropics (Torrid Zone)

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