Cluster for Health Improvement Honours projects

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Cluster for Health Improvement Honours projects


The Cluster for Health Improvement is engaged in health and human performance research with clear relevance to ‘real world’ outcomes for community level health. The cluster aims to act as a catalyst for the advancement of sustainable communities through a holistic approach to health and social wellbeing at each stage of the human life span. This aim includes an emphasis on reducing community vulnerability to the impacts of chronic disease. The Cluster for Health Improvement focuses research around topics such as:

  • evaluation of current programs and services to identify public health, rehabilitation, performance and wellness needs of communities
  • identification of unmet health, rehabilitation, performance and wellness needs
  • design of sustainable service delivery models which improve health outcomes
  • build capacity and increase equity of access in the community
  • nutrition and dietetics
  • promotion of health, performance and wellness in ways that respect the unique cultures and environments of specific communities
  • sustainable transition of health care through the entire life span
  • utilise innovative techniques and education to improve the quality of life within communities
  • the interface between the environment and health, such as recreational space and exercise behaviour

Current research projects

Supervisor Key research areas
Associate Professor Chris Askew
Tel: +61 7 5456 5961
  • The effect of post-surgery exercise therapy on exercise tolerance and cardiovascular risk in peripheral arterial disease.
  • The effect of peripheral arterial disease on muscle capillary supply and microvascular blood flow during exercise.
  • Understanding the inflammatory and cardiovascular responses to exercise in patients with abdominal aortic aneurysm.
  • Brain blood flow responses to body tilting: a potential form of “brain training”?
  • Determining the effect of body composition on the thermoregulatory and recovery effects of cold water immersion in elite athletes.
Dr Gary Slater
Tel: +61 7 5456 5078
  • Enhancing the reliability & validity of measures of body composition and metabolism
  • The influence of nutrient timing on outcomes relevant to athletic populations
  • Optimising diet to support performance outcomes amongst male team sport athletes
  • The influence of manipulating body composition amongst athletic populations


Key research areas

Supervisor Areas

Associate Professor Chris Askew
Tel: +61 7 5456 5961

  • exercise physiology
  • cardiovascular disease
  • blood flow responses to exercise and physical stressors
  • muscle fatigue

Dr Kieran Broome
Tel: +61 7 5456 5163

  • occupational therapy (OT) and macro practice
  • professional issues in OT
  • age-friendly and accessible transport
  • evaluation of clinical practice

Professor Brendan Burkett
Tel: +61 7 5430 2827

  • human health and performance
  • sports biomechanics
  • technology and software developments in human health and performance

Dr Rachel Cole
Tel: +61 7 5459 4656

  • health promotion
  • behavioural epidemiology
  • physical activity and sedentary behaviour
  • health in communities, the built environment and policy

Professor Marion Gray
Tel: +61 7 5456 5127

  • bioethics
  • allied health education and practice
  • indigenous health
  • chronic disease management
  • impact of disability and prostate cancer epidemiology
  • diagnosis and treatment

Professor John Lowe

  • smoking cessation and prevention
  • health promotion
  • alcohol and drug abuse
  • behavioural medicine
  • media

Dr Judith Maher
Tel: +61 7 5456 5046

  • nutrition during pregnancy and breastfeeding promotion
  • settings based research
  • translational research
  • qualitative and critical methodologies in research

Daniel Mellifont
Tel: +61 7 5456 5014

  • optimising performance and preventing injury
  • coalface measures and interventions for movement control
  • relationships between clinical practice and biomechanical testing

Dr Florin Oprescu
Tel: +61 7 5459 4639

  • health promotion
  • health communication
  • injury prevention
  • educational development
  • use of ICT in health promotion and social marketing

Associate Professor Fiona Pelly
Tel: +61 7 5430 2898

  • factors influencing food choice and dietary behaviours in different populations
  • appropriate food provision for athletes prior to major competition
  • labelling of packaged food for pre-school and primary school aged children
  • development and evaluation of environmental nutrition interventions including point of choice menu labelling

Professor Marianne Wallis
Email: Tel: +61 7 5456 5032

  • acute care nursing: intravascular access, wounds, pressure injury
  • chronic illness management: continence, effects of exercise
  • health services evaluation

Dr Hattie Wright
Tel:+61 7 5459 4775

  • nutrition epidemiology: changes in lifestyle behaviour during urbanisation and its effect on bone mineral density and fracture risk in black Africans.
  • sport nutrition: energy status and its relationship to reproductive function and bone mineral density in active individuals.
  • body composition: sarcopenia, osteoporosis and physical ability in the elderly.
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