Megan is Deputy Program Director (Behaviours and Health Risks) at Burnet Institute. Her primary area of expertise is investigating the role of new communications technologies in public health. She has conducted extensive research into how these technologies (e.g. mobile phones, smartphone apps, and social networking sites) can be used for health promotion, as well as how these media can expose young people to health risks. Her work targets young people in Australia and developing countries, particularly in sexual health and alcohol.
Megan completed her PhD in 2008, with a thesis titled ‘Sex, Drugs, and Young People: Novel Research and Health Promotion Approaches’. She was then awarded an NHMRC Sidney Sax Fellowship to complete her postdoctoral research in infectious disease epidemiology at the University College London Research Department of Infection and Population Health.
In addition to her mHealth research, Megan works on a range of projects including surveillance of sexually transmitted infections and HIV, health promotion, and monitoring and evaluation. She has conducted research into tuberculosis and HIV mortality, prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, viral hepatitis, influenza, sexual and reproductive health, and alcohol and other drug use. Since 2005, she has managed the Big Day Out Sex, Drugs and Rock ’n’ Roll study.
- 2017: Deputy Program Director (Behaviours and Health Risks), Burnet Institute
- Adjunct Senior Research Fellow, Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash University
- Burnet Institute Honours program co-ordinator
- 2008: PhD, Monash University, Victoria, Australia
- 2003: Bachelor of Biomedical Science (Hons), Monash University, Australia
- Alcohol advertising on social media
This research project aims to explore young people’s opinions of alcohol advertising on social media to inform future alcohol-related advertising policies and health promotion initiatives
- Big Day Out studies: Sex, Drugs, and Rock'n'Roll
Since 2005, we have surveyed nearly 10,000 young people at the Big Day Out music festivals. We collect data on risk behaviours including sexual behaviour, drug use and alcohol.
- Call Centre Impact Assessment for Marie Stopes International
The development and implementation of a call centre impact assessment framework and the testing of this framework at Marie Stopes International call centre in Mexico City.
- Fitspiration and Social Media
Fitspiration has received significant media attention for sometimes containing objectifying and inaccurate health messages, focusing on appearance rather than healthy behaviours.
- New media and technology in current health promotion practice
This project aims to investigate current usage of new media/technology interventions in health promotion practice in Australia.
- Pornography and Young People
Pornography is not a new phenomenon; however, the rise of the internet and social media means that pornography is more accessible, diverse and normalised than ever before.
- SCOPE - Social Connectivity: Online Perceptions and Experiences
The SCOPE project is about encouraging young people to be actively involved in discussions with their peers surround issues relating to technology, sex, and the relationships we form online.
- SEXT ME UR (.)(.) An investigation of the prevalence and practice of sexting among young Australians
‘Sexting’ is the sending of sexual content via phone or online. This project will examine how common sexting is among young Australians.
- Sexual health diaries
A study comparing the use of paper, online and SMS based sexual health diaries
- Smart phone Apps for alcohol health promotion
This pilot study aims to review and investigate the use of smart phone applications (apps) for alcohol-related health promotion.
- SMS for sexual health promotion
From 2006-2009, we conducted a series of world-first studies to determine the efficacy and effectiveness of using mobile phone text messages in sexual health promotion.
- The Mobile Intervention for Drinking in Young people (MIDY) Pilot
This participatory research project aims to test the feasibility and acceptability of a mobile phone based intervention delivered during drinking events in young people.
- The Victorian Primary Care Network for Sentinel Surveillance on BBVs and STIs
The Victorian Primary Care Network for Sentinel Surveillance of BBVs and STIs (VPCNSS) commenced operation in April 2006.
- WHISPER (Women’s Health Intervention Using SMS to Prevent Pregnancy) and SHOUT (SMS Intervention to improve nutritional Health OUTcomes): a cluster randomised controlled trial assessing mHealth interventions among female sex workers in Mombasa, Kenya
WHISPER is a mobile phone-based health promotion (mHealth) intervention in which text messages will be sent to female sex workers in Mombasa, Kenya.
- Safe sex messages within dating and entertainment smartphone apps: A review.
Huang ET, Williams H, Hocking JS, Lim MS.
JMIR Mhealth Uhealth. 2016 Nov; 4(4):e124
- Exploring attitudes towards sexting of young people: a cross-sectional study.
Lim MS, Vella AM, Horyniak DR, Hellard ME
Sexual Health. 2016 Oct; 13(6):530-535
- Who 'likes' alcohol? Young Australians' engagement with alcohol marketing via social media and related alcohol consumption patterns.
Carrotte ER, Dietze PM, Wright CJ, Lim MS
Aust N Z J Public Health. 2016 Sep; 40(5):474-479
- "I am yet to encounter any survey that actually reflects my life": a qualitative study of inclusivity in sexual health research.
Carrotte ER, Vella AM, Bowring AL, Douglass C, Hellard ME, Lim MS
BMC Med Res Methodol. 2016 Jul; 16(1):86
- An investigation of strategies used in alcohol brand marketing and alcohol-related health promotion on Facebook.
Lim MS, Hare JD, Carrotte ER, Dietze PM
Digital Health. 2016 Apr; 2:1-7
- Cohort Profile: The Flu Watch Study.
Fragaszy EB, Warren-Gash C, Wang L, Copas A, Dukes O, Edmunds WJ, Goonetilleke N, Harvey G, Johnson AM, Kovar J, Lim MS, McMichael A, Millett ER, Nazareth I, Nguyen-Van-Tam JS, Tabassum F, Watson JM, Wurie F, Zambon M, Hayward AC and the Flu Watch Group
Int J Epidemiol. 2016 Mar; Epub ahead of print
- Participatory development of MIDY (Mobile Intervention for Drinking in Young people).
Wright CJ, Dietze PM, Crockett B, Lim MS
BMC Public Health. 2016 Feb; 16(1):184
- 'A Drink That Makes You Feel Happier, Relaxed and Loving': Young People's Perceptions of Alcohol Advertising on Facebook.
Weaver ER, Wright CJ, Dietze PM, Lim MS
Alcohol Alcohol. 2016 Jan; 51(4):481-486
- Mental Health and Associated Sexual Health Behaviours in a Sample of Young People Attending a Music Festival in Melbourne, Victoria.
Carrotte ER, Vella AM, Hellard ME, Lim MS
Community Ment Health J. 2016 Jan; 52(8):1082-1088
- The impact of pornography on gender-based violence, sexual health and well-being: what do we know?
Lim MS, Carrotte ER, Hellard ME
J Epidemiol Community Health. 2016 Jan; 70(1):3-5
- Challenges to translating new media interventions in community practice: a sexual health SMS program case study.
Wright CJ, Leinberger K, Lim MS
Health Promot J Austr. 2016 Jan; 27(1):70-73
- A verbal invitation and specimen collection on the spot are crucial to maximise sexually transmissible infection testing uptake in non-traditional settings.
Hocking JS, Goller JL, Lim MS
Sex Health. 2015 Dec; 12(6):469-471
- Development and pilot of a framework to evaluate reproductive health call centre services: experience of Marie Stopes international.
Yagnik P, Gold J, Stoove M, Reichwein B, van Gemert C, Corby N, Lim MS
BMC Health Serv Res. 2015 Sep; 15(1):398
- Predictors of "Liking" Three Types of Health and Fitness-Related Content on Social Media: A Cross-Sectional Study.
Carrotte ER, Vella AM, Lim MS
J Med Internet Res. 2015 Aug; 17(8):e205
- Sexual identity, same-sex partners and risk behaviour among a community-based sample of young people in Australia.
Bowring AL, Vella AM, Degenhardt L, Hellard M, Lim MS
Int J Drug Policy. 2015 Feb; 26(2):153-161
- Sexual and Reproductive Health Knowledge, Contraception Uptake, and Factors Associated with Unmet Need for Modern Contraception among Adolescent Female Sex Workers in China.
Lim MS, Zhang XD, Kennedy E, Li Y, Yang Y, Li L, Li YX, Temmerman M, Luchters S
PLoS One. 2015 Jan; 10(1):e0115435
- 'Ice epidemic'? Trends in methamphetamine use from three Victorian surveillance systems.
Lim MS, Cogger S, Quinn B, Hellard ME, Dietze PM
Aust N Z J Public Health. 2015 Jan; 39(2):194-195
- Young people's comparative recognition and recall of an Australian Government Sexual Health Campaign.
Lim MS, Gold J, Bowring AL, Pedrana AE, Hellard ME
Int J STD AIDS. 2015 Jan; 26(6):398-401
- Timing, rates, and causes of death in a large South African tuberculosis programme.
Field N, Lim M, Murray J, Dowdeswell RJ, Glynn JR, Sonnenberg P
BMC Infect Dis. 2014 Dec; 14(1):679
- Young risk takers: Alcohol, illicit drugs, and sexual practices among a sample of music festival attendees.
Jenkinson R, Bowring A, Dietze P, Hellard M, Lim MSC
J Sex Trans Dis. 2014 Dec; 2014:e357239
- The medium and the message: fitting sound health promotion methodology into 160 characters.
Lim MS, Wright C, Hellard ME
JMIR Mhealth Uhealth. 2014 Nov; 2(4):e40
- Early age at first sex: associations with sexual health and sociodemographic factors among a sample of young music festival attendees in Melbourne.
Vella AM, Agius PA, Bowring AL, Hellard ME, Lim MS
Sex Health. 2014 Aug; 11(4):359-365
- Prevalence, correlates, and attitudes towards sexting among young people in Melbourne, Australia
Yeung T, Horyniak D, Vella A, Hellard M, Lim M
Sex Healtrh. 2014 Jul; 11(4):332-339
- Analysis of laboratory testing results collected in an enhanced chlamydia surveillance system in Australia, 2008-2010.
Dimech W, Lim MS, Van Gemert C, Guy R, Boyle D, Donovan B, Hellard M
BMC Infect Dis. 2014 Jun; 14(1):325
- Young people's comfort receiving sexual health information via social media and other sources.
Lim MS, Vella A, Sacks-Davis R, Hellard ME
Int J STD AIDS. 2014 Mar; 25(14):1003-1008
- Trends in chlamydia positivity among heterosexual patients from the Victorian Primary Care Network for Sentinel Surveillance, 2007-2011.
Lim MS, El-Hayek C, Goller JL, Fairley CK, Nguyen PL, Hamilton RA, Henning DJ, McNamee KM, Hellard ME, Stoove MA
Med J Aust. 2014 Feb; 200(3):166-169
- Comparative burden and severity of seasonal and pandemic influenza: Results of the Flu Watch study – England 2006-2011.
Hayward AC, Fragaszy E, Bermingham A, Wang L, Copas A, Edmunds J, Ferguson N, Goonetilleke N, Harvey G, Kovar J, Lim MSC, Millet ERC, Pebody R, Nguyen-Van-Tam JS, McMichael A, Nazareth I, Watson JM, Johnson AM, Zambon M and the Flu Watch Group.
Lancet Respir J. 2014 Feb; 2(6):445-454
- “Let’s Get Wasted!” and Other Apps: Characteristics, Acceptability, and Use of Alcohol-Related Smartphone Applications
Weaver ER, Horyniak DR Jenkinson R, Dietze P, Lim MSC
JMIR Mhealth Uhealth. 2013 Feb; 1(1):E9
- Is rectal gonorrhoea a lead indicator of HIV transmission among men who have sex with men in Victoria, Australia?
Wilkinson AL, Lim MS, Stoové M, Fairley CK, Chen M, El-Hayek C, Denham I, Hellard M
Sex Health. 2013 Jan; 10(2):188-189
- Measuring the accuracy of self-reported height and weight in a community-based sample of young people.
Bowring AL, Peeters A, Freak-Poli R, Lim MS, Gouillou M, Hellard M
BMC Med Res Methodol. 2012 Nov; 12(1):175
- Quantifying errors in the estimation of tuberculosis mortality in a population of South African miners.
P Sonnenberg, M S C Lim, R J Dowdeswell, N Field, J R Glynn, J Murray
Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 2012 Nov; 16(11):1449-1454
- Trends in sexual behavior, testing, and knowledge in young people; 2006-2011.
Lim MS, Bowring AL, Gold J, Aitken CK, Hellard ME
Sex Transm Dis. 2012 Nov; 39(11):831-834
- Public-Private Partnerships for Health Promotion: The Experiences of the S5 Project.
Gold J, Hellard ME, Lim MS, Dixon H, Wakefield M, Aitken CK.
Amer J Health Educat. 2012 Aug; 43(4):250-53
- Correlates of Chlamydia trachomatis infection in a primary care sentinel surveillance network.
Lim MS, Goller JL, Guy R, Gold J, Stoové M, Hocking JS, Fairley CK, Henning D, McNamee K, Owen L, Sheehan P, Hellard ME
Sex Health. 2012 Jul; 9(3):247-253
- Impact of text and email messaging on the sexual health of young people: a randomised controlled trial.
Lim MS, Hocking JS, Aitken CK, Fairley CK, Jordan L, Lewis JA, Hellard ME
J Epidemiol Community Health. 2012 Jan; 66(1):69-74
- Unnatural deaths in South African platinum miners, 1992-2008.
Megan S C Lim, Jill Murray, Robert J Dowdeswell, Judith R Glynn, Pam Sonnenberg
PLoS One. 2011 Sep; 6(9):e22807
- Impact evaluation of a youth sexually transmissible infection awareness campaign using routinely collected data sources.
Gold J, Goller J, Hellard M, Lim MS, Hocking J, Fairley CK, Spelman T, McNamee K, Clift P, Guy R
Sex Health. 2011 Jun; 8(2):234-241
- Determining the impact of text messaging for sexual health promotion to young people.
Gold J, Lim MS, Hocking JS, Keogh LA, Spelman T, Hellard ME
Sex Transm Dis. 2011 Apr; 38(4):247-252
- A randomised controlled trial using mobile advertising to promote safer sex and sun safety to young people.
Gold J, Aitken CK, Dixon HG, Lim MS, Gouillou M, Spelman T, Wakefield M, Hellard ME
Health Educ Res. 2011 Mar
- What's your "porn star" name? A novel method of identifying research participants.
Lim MS, Bowring A, Gold J, Hellard ME
Sex Transm Dis. 2011 Feb; 38(2):150-151
- Chilean miners: raising awareness of the plight of miners worldwide.
Nigel Field, Jill Murray, Megan Lim, Judith Glynn, Pam Sonnenberg
Lancet. 2011 Jan; 377(9762):299-300
- What's in a message? Delivering sexual health promotion to young people in Australia via text messaging.
Gold J, Lim MS, Hellard ME, Hocking JS, Keogh LA
BMC Public Health. 2010 Dec; 10:792
- Establishing a linked sentinel surveillance system for blood-borne viruses and sexually transmissible infections: methods, system attributes and early findings.
Goller JL, Guy RJ, Gold J, Lim MS, El-Hayek C, Stoové MA, Bergeri I, Fairley CK, Leslie DE, Clift P, White B, Hellard ME
Sex Health. 2010 Dec; 7(4):425-433
- Randomised controlled trial of paper, online and SMS diaries for collecting sexual behaviour information from young people.
Lim MS, Sacks-Davis R, Aitken CK, Hocking JS, Hellard ME
J Epidemiol Community Health. 2010 Oct; 64(10):885-889
- Does the frequency of HIV and STI testing among men who have sex with men in primary care adhere with Australian guidelines?
Guy R, Goller JL, Spelman T, El-Hayek C, Gold J, Lim M, Leslie D, Tee BK, Roth N, Anderson J, Fairley CK, Kaldor J, Hellard M
Sex Transm Infect. 2010 Oct; 86(5):371-376
- Surveillance of drug use among young people attending a music festival in Australia, 2005-2008.
Lim MS, Sacks-Davis R, Aitken CK, Hocking JS, Hellard ME
Drug Alcohol Rev. 2010 Mar; 29(2):150-156
- Using a surveillance system to identify and treat newly acquired hepatitis C infection.
Walsh N, Lim M, Hellard M
J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2008 Dec; 23(12):1891-1894
- A cross-sectional survey of young people attending a music festival: associations between drug use and musical preference.
Lim MS, Hellard ME, Hocking JS, Aitken CK
Drug Alcohol Rev. 2008 Jul; 27(4):439-441
- Enhanced case detection for newly acquired hepatitis C infection: epidemiological findings and health service implications.
Guy R, Devadason D, Lim M, Higgins N, Pedrana A, Gibson K, Lewis J, Spelman T, White B, Kaldor J, Hellard M
Commun Dis Intell. 2008 Jun; 32(2):250-256
- SMS STI: a review of the uses of mobile phone text messaging in sexual health.
Lim MS, Hocking JS, Hellard ME, Aitken CK
Int J STD AIDS. 2008 May; 19(5):287-290
- A new surveillance system for monitoring HIV infection in Victoria, Australia.
Guy R, Lim MSC, Wang YH, Medland N, Anderson J, Rothe N, Hellard ME
Sex Health. 2007 Sep; 4(3):195-199
- Sexual-risk behaviour, self-perceived risk and knowledge of sexually transmissible infections among young Australians attending a music festival.
Lim MS, Hellard ME, Aitken CK, Hocking JS
Sex Health. 2007 Mar; 4(1):51-56
- Blood-borne viruses and risk behaviours among injecting drug users recruited from needle and syringe programs in Victoria's eastern metropolitan region
Lim MS, Sundaram K, Aitken CK, Hellard ME
Aust J Prim Health. 2007 Jan; 13(3):69-76
- Chlamydia testing in general practice - a survey of Victorian general practitioners.
Hocking JS, Lim MS, Vidanapathirana J, Read TR, Hellard M
Sex Health. 2006 Dec; 3(4):241-244
- Acute Hepatitis C treatment Uptake in the Victorian Population.
Walsh N, Lim M, Nguyen O, Von Bibra S, Dore G, and Hellard M
18th Annual Conference. 2006 Oct; Abstract page 153
- Postal surveys of physicians gave superior response rates over telephone interviews in a randomized trial.
Hocking JS, Lim MS, Read T, Hellard M
J Clin Epidemiol. 2006 May; 59(5):521-524
- A profile of HIV testing in Victoria, 1984 to 2004.
Lim M, Guy R, Hellard M
Commun Dis Intell. 2006 Jan; 30(3):366-372