Lenka Malek

Dr Lenka Malek

Postdoctoral Researcher

School of Economics and Public Policy

Faculty of Arts, Business, Law and Economics

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD - email supervisor to discuss availability.

Dr. Lenka Malek has a Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics from Flinders University and a PhD in Medicine from the University of Adelaide (awarded 2015). Currently, she is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Global Food and Resources.

With an overarching health and nutrition focus, Dr Malek's research combines perspectives and methods from diverse disciplines (including nutrition, psychology, economics and marketing) to investigate human decision-making behaviour related to food choice. Her research aims to produce food-related consumer behaviour insights which can be used to inform development of and improvements in food and health policy (examples here). 

To design and conduct research with impact in mind, she draws on her skills in both qualitative and quantitative research methods. She conducts focus group discussions, in-depth interviews and online consumer surveys and is experienced in using different techniques that aim to elicit consumer preferences and generate usable consumer insights. For example, she designs and analyses discrete choice experiments to understand consumer preferences for multi-attribute food products and uses eye-tracking technology to objectively measure an individual’s eye movements to provide insights into human decision-making processes (e.g., what labeling information is and is not attended to when choosing between food products). Both of these methods aim to reduce memory and social-desirability biases.

While her PhD research focused on dietary choices during pregnancy and lactation, her subsequent work has focused on more diverse population groups, including Australian grocery buyers, meat consumers, vegetarians, and Australian and New Zealand caregivers of formula-fed infants. Among her current interests is understanding the changing meat consumption preferences of Australians - what changes are consumers making, what is driving changes, and what are the limits of these changes? 

She has conducted research for Food Standards Australia New Zealand, and is currently co-leading a project for AgriFutures Australia (Chicken Meat Program). 

  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2014 - ongoing Research Fellow University of Adelaide
    2012 - 2012 Lecturer, tutor and practical demonstrator (casual) University of Adelaide
    2011 - 2014 Research Assistant (casual) Women's & Children's Health Research Institute
  • Awards and Achievements

    Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount
    2017 Award Women's Research Excellence Award The University of Adelaide Australia $5,000
    2015 Recognition Deans Commendation for Doctoral Thesis Excellence University of Adelaide Australia -
  • Language Competencies

    Language Competency
    Czech Can read, write, speak and understand spoken
    English Can read, write, speak, understand spoken and peer review
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    2011 - 2015 University of Adelaide Australia PhD
    2007 - 2010 Flinders University Australia Bachelor of Nutrition & Dietetics (Hons)
  • Research Interests

  • Journals

    Year Citation
    2022 Malek, L., Netting, M., & Makrides, M. (2022). 2.8 Nutrition in Pregnancy and Lactation. World Review of Nutrition and Dietetics, 124, 189-196.
    2022 de Oliveira Padilha, L. G., Malek, L., & Umberger, W. J. (2022). Consumers’ attitudes towards lab-grown meat, conventionally raised meat and plant-based protein alternatives. Food Quality and Preference, 99, 10 pages.
    DOI Scopus6 WoS6
    2022 Malek, L., Umberger, W. J., Zhou, S. -J., Huynh, E., & Makrides, M. (2022). Testing the Impact of Familiarity with Health Benefits Information on Dietary Supplement Choice in Pregnancy: An Online Choice Experiment. Nutrients, 14(9), 1707-1-1707-17.
    2022 Nguyen, T. T. T., Malek, L., Umberger, W. J., & O'Connor, P. J. (2022). Household food waste disposal behaviour is driven by perceived personal benefits, recycling habits and ability to compost. Journal of Cleaner Production, 379, 10 pages.
    2021 Malek, L., & Umberger, W. J. (2021). Distinguishing meat reducers from unrestricted omnivores, vegetarians and vegans: A comprehensive comparison of Australian consumers. Food Quality and Preference, 88, 12 pages.
    DOI Scopus29 WoS25
    2021 Garcez de Oliveira Padilha, L., Malek, L., & Umberger, W. J. (2021). Sustainable meat: Looking through the eyes of Australian consumers. Sustainability, 13(10), 1-24.
    DOI Scopus6 WoS4
    2021 Garcez de Oliveira Padilha, L., Malek, L., & Umberger, W. J. (2021). Food choice drivers of potential lab-grown meat consumers in Australia. British Food Journal, 123(9), 3014-3031.
    DOI Scopus7 WoS7
    2021 Malek, L., & Umberger, W. J. (2021). How flexible are flexitarians? Examining diversity in dietary patterns, motivations and future intentions. Cleaner and Responsible Consumption, 3, 100038.
    DOI Scopus10
    2020 Malek, L., Duffy, G., Fowler, H., & Katzer, L. (2020). Use and understanding of labelling information when preparing infant formula: Evidence from interviews and eye tracking. FOOD POLICY, 93, 11 pages.
    DOI Scopus4 WoS2
    2019 Malek, L., Umberger, W., & Goddard, E. (2019). Is anti-consumption driving meat consumption changes in Australia?. British Food Journal, 121(1), 123-138.
    DOI Scopus29 WoS25
    2019 Malek, L., Fowler, H., Duffy, G., & Katzer, L. (2019). Informed choice or guessing game? Understanding caregivers' perceptions and use of infant formula labelling. Public Health Nutrition, 22(2), 273-286.
    DOI Scopus7 WoS5 Europe PMC2
    2019 Malek, L., Umberger, W., & Goddard, E. (2019). Committed vs. uncommitted meat eaters: Understanding willingness to change protein consumption. Appetite, 138, 115-126.
    DOI Scopus61 WoS52 Europe PMC15
    2019 Malek, L., Umberger, W. J., Zhou, S. J., Makrides, M., & Huynh, E. (2019). Understanding Preferences for Dietary Supplements and Fortified Food during Pregnancy: A Discrete Choice Experiment. Journal of Food Products Marketing, 25(5), 500-526.
    DOI Scopus2
    2018 Malek, L., Umberger, W., Makrides, M., Collins, C., & Zhou, S. (2018). Understanding motivations for dietary supplementation during pregnancy: A focus group study. Midwifery, 57, 59-68.
    DOI Scopus12 WoS11 Europe PMC6
    2017 Malek, L., Umberger, W., Makrides, M., & Zhou, S. J. (2017). Predicting healthy eating intention and adherence to dietary recommendations during pregnancy in Australia using the Theory of Planned Behaviour. Appetite, 116, 431-441.
    DOI Scopus28 WoS24 Europe PMC16
    2017 Malek, L., Umberger, W., & Rolfe, J. (2017). Segmentation of Australian meat consumers based on attitudes regarding farm animal welfare and the environmental impact of meat production. Animal Production Science, 58(3), 424-434.
    DOI Scopus17 WoS14
    2017 Guess, K., Malek, L., Anderson, A., Makrides, M., & Zhou, S. (2017). Knowledge and practices regarding iodine supplementation: a national survey of healthcare providers. Women and Birth, 30(1), e56-e60.
    DOI Scopus9 WoS10 Europe PMC8
    2016 Malek, L., Umberger, W., Makrides, M., & Zhou, S. (2016). Adherence to the Australian dietary guidelines during pregnancy: evidence from a national study. Public Health Nutrition, 19(7), 1155-1163.
    DOI Scopus49 WoS44 Europe PMC30
    2016 Martin, J. C., Zhou, S. J., Flynn, A. C., Malek, L., Greco, R., & Moran, L. (2016). The Assessment of Diet Quality and Its Effects on Health Outcomes Pre-pregnancy and during Pregnancy. Seminars in Reproductive Medicine, 34(2), 83-92.
    DOI Scopus24 WoS23 Europe PMC23
    2016 Malek, L., Umberger, W., Makrides, M., & Zhou, S. (2016). Poor adherence to folic acid and iodine supplement recommendations in preconception and pregnancy: a cross-sectional analysis. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 40(5), 424-429.
    DOI Scopus30 WoS30 Europe PMC17
  • Book Chapters

    Year Citation
    2015 Malek, L., & Makrides, M. (2015). Nutrition in Pregnancy and Lactation. In B. Koletzko, J. Bhatia, Z. Bhutta, P. Cooper, M. Makrides, R. Uauy, & W. Wang (Eds.), Pediatric Nutrition in Practice (Vol. 113, 2nd edition ed., pp. 127-133). Basel, Switzerland: Karger.
    DOI Scopus1 WoS1
  • Conference Papers

  • Conference Items

    Year Citation
    2017 Yargop, R., Malek, L., Nelle, S., & Umberger, W. (2017). A study of drivers for industry growth and innovation in the South Australian food and agribusiness sector. Poster session presented at the meeting of Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society. Corner Merivale And Glenelg Streets, South Bank, Brisbane, Queensland.
    2014 Malek, L., Zhou, S. J., Makrides, M., Flynn, T., & Umberger, W. (2014). A discrete choice experiment to understand factors influencing women’s dietary decisions during pregnancy. Poster session presented at the meeting of Social Networks, Social Media and the Economics of Food. Montreal, Canada.
    2014 Malek, L., Zhou, S. J., Makrides, M., & Umberger, W. (2014). A novel study to understand psychosocial factors influencing healthy eating intention during pregnancy. Poster session presented at the meeting of Social Networks, Social Media and the Economics of Food. Montreal, Canada.
    2014 Oral Abstracts (2014). Poster session presented at the meeting of Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health. Wiley.
    2013 Malek, L., Zhou, S. J., Makrides, M., Flynn, T., & Umberger, W. (2013). Understanding consumer preferences for nutritional supplements during pregnancy: A choice experiment study. Poster session presented at the meeting of 9th World Congress of the International Health Economics Association (iHEA). Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
  • Theses

    Year Citation
    2015 Malek, L. (2015). Exploring the nutrition knowledge, attitudes and practices of pregnant women in Australia. (PhD Thesis, The University of Adelaide).
  • Internet Publications

    Year Citation
    2015 Edwards, V. (2015). Pregnant women not following dietary guidelines: study. The Australian.
    2015 McBeth, T. (2015). Back to basics in pregnancy. Bupa- The Blue Room.
    2015 Corderoy, A. (2015). Pregnant women think they are eating healthily, but study shows almost none are. The Sydney Morning Herald.
    2015 AAP. (2015). Pregnant women not eating enough vegies: study. Essential Baby.
    2015 Madigan, N. (2015). Pregnant women failing to follow dietary guidelines. newbornbaby.com.au.
    2015 Food Safety. (2015). So pregnant women are not eating as well as most believe.. Food Safety Australia.
    2015 AAP. (2015). Expecting mothers shun vegies: study. SBS.
    2015 Azzi, M. (2015). Australian women aren't eating enough vegetables, meat or grains during pregnancy but they THINK they are. Daily Mail Australia.
    2013 AAP. (2013). Expectant mums relying on supplements. 9news.
  • Memberships

    Date Role Membership Country
    2016 - ongoing Member Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society Australia
  • Position: Postdoctoral Researcher
  • Phone: 83139137
  • Email: lenka.malek@adelaide.edu.au
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Nexus 10, floor 6
  • Org Unit: Centre for Global Food and Resources

Connect With Me
External Profiles