Dr Gabriela Mena Ribadeneira

Lecturer for Medical Education

Academy for Medical Education
Faculty of Medicine


Dr Gabriela Mena is an overseas-trained medical practitioner who currently works as Lecturer for Medical Education at the AME. After moving to Australia, Gabriela completed a Master of Public Health in 2016 and a PhD in 2022, both at the University of Queensland. Her PhD thesis explored the relationships between physical activity and women’s reproductive health. Her research focuses on understanding the relationships between physical activity and reproductive health in women, ranging from pre-conception and reproductive health problems such as infertility and menstrual irregularities, to pregnancy and postpartum. This also includes investigating the associations between sedentary behaviour (e.g., sitting time) and body mass index (BMI) with reproductive health outcomes. She has a special interest on how physical activity can affect the reproductive system in young adult women who are trying to conceive, and she is passionate about promoting physical activity for health.

Gabriela’s teaching experience ranges from tutor and practicum facilitator to course coordinator and lecturer at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, in Australia and overseas, and across two languages. This has allowed her to experience teaching in different contexts and settings. Gabriela became a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2022 and joined the UQ Academy for Medical Education in 2023.

Research Impacts

Dr Mena was a member of the committee convened by the Australian Government Department of Health to develop the Australian guidelines for physical activity (PA)/exercise during pregnancy and the postpartum period (https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/evidence-based-physical-activity-guidelines-for-pregnant-women). The report was used to develop web-based and print resources for public use and a brochure.

The guidelines have been incorporated into the Australian Government clinical practice guidelines on pregnancy care, which provide high quality evidence-based guidance to maternity service providers and the consumers of their care.


  • Fellow, Higher Education Academy, Higher Education Academy
  • Doctor of Philosophy of Human Movement Studies, The University of Queensland
  • Masters (Coursework) of Public Health, The University of Queensland


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