• Cromore Road, Coleraine Campus

    BT52 1SA Coleraine

    United Kingdom

  • 869 Citations
  • 13 h-Index
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Personal profile


Dr Maria Mulhern is currently a Lecturer in Food Science within the School of Biomedical Sciences at Ulster University where she leads the Biostatistics teaching across the School.  She obtained a BSc Hons Biomedical Sciences with Diploma in Professional Practice (Pathology) from Ulster along with Practitioner in Biomedical Sciences from the Institute of Biomedical Sciences.

In 2007, Dr Mulhern received her PhD from Ulster University in the area of nutrition, specialising in vitamin D in health and disease.  Following her PhD, she completed two postdoctoral research positions within the Nutrition Innovation Centre for Food and Health (NICHE) at Ulster (1) investigating the dietary requirements of vitamin D and associations with health outcomes and (2) risk-benefits of fish consumption during pregnancy on neurodevelopment as part of the Seychelles Child Development study, a project in which she continues to be a key researcher. 

Dr Mulhern remains an active researcher in the Nutrition Innovation Centre for Food and Health (NICHE) where she is a core member of the ‘Nutrition, Toxicology and Child Development’ and ‘Nutritional Immunology for Health and Disease’ subgroups.  Dr Mulhern has published >30 peer-reviewed papers in the areas of vitamin D in health & disease; pre and post-natal effects of nutrition on cognitive development and immune function; gene-nutrient & drug-nutrient interactions and has supervised a number of PhDs to completion across these research areas.

Dr Mulhern’s teaching interests include Biostatistics, Research Methodologies, Research Ethics and Governance & Food Product Development (including sensory analysis) at both undergraduate & postgraduate level (on-campus & Distance Learning).  Dr Mulhern uses a range of interactive technologies to enhance her teaching & learning and is a Nearpod Certified Educator & Associate Member of the Association for Learning Technology.  Dr Mulhern obtained a Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education Practice (2016), is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy & Fellow of the Institute of Biomedical Sciences. 

Dr Mulhern is Co-Chair of the School of Biomedical Sciences Ethics Filter Committee, and a Member of Ulster University Research Governance Committee and the University’s Human Tissue Act Working Group.  She is also an active Committee Member of the Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST NI Branch) and acts as IFST University Contact.

Research Interests

Vitamin D in health and disease; Influence of nutrition on cognitive development and immune function; Nutritional status during pregnancy; Risk-benefits of fish consumption during pregnancy; LC-PUFA, selenium and iodine requirements for health

Admininstration: Member of Research Governance Steering Committee and Human Tissue Act Working Group; Chair of School of Biomedical Sciences Research Ethics Filter Committee

Teaching Interests

Biostatistics; Research Methodologies; Research Ethics and Governance; Food Product Development (including sensory analysis)

Administrative Roles: School Co-ordinator: Biostatistics; Module Co-ordinator: Food Product Development, Applied Research Methods; Acting Course Director for BSc Hons Biomedical Sciences (2018); University Contact for Institute of Food Science & Technology

Education/Academic qualification



Oct 2003Apr 2007

The Higher Education Academcy


Sep 1999Jun 2003

External positions

External Examiner, Letterkenny Institute of Technology


Communications and Events Coordinator & Website Manager (NI Branch)

2013 → …

University Contact

2013 → …

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  • 20 Similar Profiles
Seychelles Medicine & Life Sciences
Child Development Medicine & Life Sciences
Vitamin D Medicine & Life Sciences
Mothers Medicine & Life Sciences
Pregnancy Medicine & Life Sciences
Unsaturated Fatty Acids Medicine & Life Sciences
Iodine Medicine & Life Sciences
Fishes Medicine & Life Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2005 2019

  • 869 Citations
  • 13 h-Index
  • 74 Article
  • 1 Conference contribution

Associations of blood mercury and fatty acid concentrations with blood mitochondrial DNA copy number in the Seychelles Child Development Nutrition Study

Xu, Y., Wahlberg, K., Love, T. M., Watson, G. E., Yeates, A. J., Mulhern, M. S., Mc Sorley, E. M., Strain, JJ., Davidson, P. W., Shamlaye, C. F., Rand, M. D., Myers, G. J., van Wijngaarden, E. & Broberg, K., 1 Mar 2019, In : Environment International. 124, p. 278-283 6 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
child development
mitochondrial DNA
fatty acid

Prenatal and recent methylmercury exposure and heart rate variability in young adults: the Seychelles Child Development Study

Zareba, W., Thurston, S. W., Zareba, G., Couderc, J. P., Evans, K., Xia, J., Watson, G. E., Strain, J. J., McSorley, E. M., Yeates, A. J., Mulhern, M. S., Shamlaye, C. F., Bovet, P., van Wijngaarden, E., Davidson, P. W. & Myers, G. J., 1 Jul 2019, In : Neurotoxicology and Teratology. 74, 106810.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Child Development
Young Adult
Heart Rate
2 Citations (Scopus)

Associations of maternal immune response and MeHg exposure at 28 weeks gestation in the Seychelles Child Development Study: Methylmercury, PUFA and pregnancy immune function

Mc Sorley, E. M., Yeates, A. J., Mulhern, M. S., van Wijngaarden, E., Grzesik, K., Thurston, S. W., Spence, T., Crowe, W., Davidson, P. W., Zareba, G., Myers, G. J., Watson, G., Shamlaye, C. F. & Strain, J. J., 17 Sep 2018, In : American Journal of Reproductive Immunology. p. 1-11 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Child Development
Unsaturated Fatty Acids
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
2 Citations (Scopus)

Cow milk consumption increases iodine status in women of childbearing age in a randomized controlled trial

O'Kane, M., Pourshahidi, K., Mulhern, M. S., Strain, JJ., Mackle, E., Koca, D., Schomburg, L., Hill, S., O'Reilly, J., Kmiotek, D., Deitrich, C., Bath, S. C. & Yeates, A. J., 12 Mar 2018, In : Journal of Nutrition. 148, 3, p. 401-408

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Women's Rights
Randomized Controlled Trials
Thyroid Hormones
2 Citations (Scopus)

Dietary Determinants of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid (PUFA) Status in a High Fish-Eating Cohort during Pregnancy

Conway, M., Mulhern, M. S., Mc Sorley, E. M., van Wijngaarden, E., Strain, J. J., Myers, G., Davidson, P. W., Shamlaye, C. F. & Yeates, A. J., 20 Jul 2018, In : Nutrients. 10, 7, 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Unsaturated Fatty Acids
polyunsaturated fatty acids

Activities 2016 2016

  • 2 Examination

External Examiner

Maria Mulhern (Examiner)
Nov 2016Jun 2019

Activity: Examination

Internal Examiner

Maria Mulhern (Examiner)
7 Sep 2016

Activity: Examination