Dr Libby Swanepoel | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Dr Libby Swanepoel

PhD Sunshine Coast, MNut&Dietetics (Hons) Griff., BSc Qld.

  • Program Coordinator, Bachelor of Nutrition
  • Senior Lecturer, Nutrition and Dietetics
+61 7 5456 5161
Office location
Sunshine Coast
Libby Swanpepoel

Dr Libby Swanepoel is a dietitian and public health nutritionist with the Australian Centre for Pacific Islands Research (ACPIR), based at UniSC. Libby is interested in understanding how aquatic food systems can be leveraged to improve nutrition and livelihoods as well as gender and social inclusion. Libby has expertise in nutrition-sensitive agriculture, where she places nutritionally rich aquatic foods at the centre of overcoming the triple burden of malnutrition. As an applied researcher, Libby works to understand the diversity of protein, fibre and micronutrients in farmed and wild-harvest seaweed for human application.With current projects in Samoa, Kiribati, Fiji, Indonesia, and northern Australia, Libby's work is couched in participatory action, embracing the strengths and voices within communities to bring about sustainable change.

Libby is the program coordinator for the undergraduate Bachelor of Nutrition at UniSC. She has designed a curriculum to support students in obtaining the skills, knowledge and values needed to work as nutrition professionals in diverse settings. Libby coordinates several courses in both the Bachelor of Nutrition and the Bachelor of Dietetics. She is passionate about inspiring students to take an upstream approach to their future practice and seeks to enhance the student learning experience through the use of technology, curriculum design as well as the integration of innovative teaching techniques and blended learning strategies.

Professional Social Media


  • Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) John Dillon Fellow, 2018
  • Runner-up UniSC Research Showcase Minute-To-Win-It Competition, 2018


  • World Public Health Nutrition Association (Executive committee member)

Research Grants

Project name


Funding body

Amount ($)

Years of operation

Beyond sushi: mainstreaming seaweed in the young Australian Diet

M Scheepers (lead), L Swanepoel and S De Klerk

Qld Department of Environment and Science



Global review of core competencies for public health nutrition practice

L Swanepoel (lead), M Miller, K Charlton, K Thompson, L Kennedy, L Terragni, G Trilok-Kumar and E Parnell-Harrison

World Public Health Nutrition Association



Improving nutrition through women’s and men’s engagement in the seaweed food chain in Kiribati and Samoa

L Swanepoel (lead), N Paul, S Larson and B Pamphilon




Diet and chronic kidney disease

HH Wright (lead), L Swanepoel, Dr N Gray and H Kickbusch

SCHHS Wishlist Research Grant


2018 –2020

Empowering women in Kiribati through seaweed utilisation

L Swanepoel (lead) and N Paul

UniSC Faculty Early Career Research Grant



School Nutrition Education Programmes in the Pacific Islands: Scoping Study and Capacity Needs Assessment

S Burkhart (lead), B Jones, L Swanepoel and S Underhill




Potential Research Projects for HDR & Honours Students

  • Food security and global development
  • Determinants of health and dietary practices
  • Maternal, infant and childhood nutrition
  • Capacity building to enhance food supply and food choice of populations

Research areas

  • Gender equity in the Indo-Pacific Region
  • Capacity building in public health nutrition practice
  • Participatory approaches in research
  • Seaweed food chain in the Pacific Islands
  • Food and nutrition security in the Pacific Islands
  • Nutrition during pregnancy, infancy and childhood
  • Pacific Islands

Teaching areas

Program coordinator

Libby's specialist areas of knowledge include seaweed as a source of food and health, gender equity in aquatic food systems, and traditional diets.

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