Collaborating with Dr Marianne Coleman


In 2020, MDAP collaborated with Dr Marianne Coleman, a new researcher in orthoptics to The University of Melbourne. In this three-part series, Marianne shares a bit about her research and experience working with us.

Welcome to the University, Melbourne and Australia! It’s a strange time to be alive, what are some positives of your experience here so far? Can you please recall your interaction with MDAP and how we’ve helped you?

“The data wasn’t quite there yet to do all of the grand things I was suggesting… but [MDAP] could see that the data itself held promise if the right things were put in place to move things along.

I am incredibly grateful to Kristal and the MDAP team for setting that up for me. Because, as someone new to The University, new to Australia, new to big data research, I didn’t really have a starting point otherwise. So I will happily sing the praises of the MDAP team!’

We’ve seen a number of disciplines revolutionised by big data. How do you think big data, and linked data is going to change your field into the future? What would you like to see happening in your field now so that researchers can get the most benefit from these new data resources?

“Research data stewardship is not something that should ever be an afterthought in any project, it’s something that should be there right from the beginning.

I’d like to make my profession more ‘data-aware’ to get people thinking about what they write down, why they write it and the way they write it.”

There are many ways to do research in any field. What got you interested in big data and/or a linked data approach to your research questions? And finally, what translational research are you most passionate about embarking on next?

“We’ve functioned independently as professions for quite a long time but the future is in the health of the whole person, not just the individual systems within that person.

So if you have the data infrastructure that needs to be there to support research, it can improve the way that we all practice, together.”