Dr Dan Wadsworth | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Dr Dan Wadsworth

PhD (Ex Phys) Massey University (NZ), MPhil University of Wales, Swansea (UK), BSc (1st Class Hons) University of Wales, Swansea (UK).

  • Senior Lecturer, Applied Science
  • School of Health
+61 7 5430 2944
Office location
Sunshine Coast
Dan Wadsworth

Dan is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Health at the University of the Sunshine Coast, and a Postdoctoral Fellow at Manna Institute for rural and regional mental health, where his research is grounded in the healthy ageing of older adults and wellbeing across the lifespan. Throughout his research, he has worked to promote accessible physical activity in older adults, incorporating social connection and creative practice through a multi-disciplinary, mixed-methods approach. He holds a particular interest in the health and wellbeing of older adults in rural and regional areas, and in the co-creation of accessible and appropriate supports and services in such settings; this approach extends to supporting healthy lifestyle behaviours of young adults.


Dr Wadsworth currently leads the Manna Institute Health and Wellbeing in Later Life research stream, and the Manna Institute HDR Student Community of Practice, connecting and supporting rural and regional postgraduate students across Australia. He further co-leads the Early- and Mid-Career Academic Network at UniSC, planning and delivering training, mentorship, and development opportunities and resources to >180 members, engaging with University Executive and national policymakers (Regional Universities Network). His leadership roles at UniSC extend to School of Health research themes in Active Ageing; Mental Health in rural, regional, and remote communities; and Creativity and Connectedness in Healthy Ageing.


Dan’s ongoing work with rural and regional communities has been profiled across national media, including:

Giving back to the community important in healthy ageing

Country universities champion local charity research

All aboard the Kilkivan


In 2021/22, Dr Wadsworth was Australian-lead author on a series of high-impact multinational papers exploring the health and wellbeing implications of COVID-19 and associated movement restrictions, informing international public health policy (Switzerland):

Physical activity, mental health and wellbeing of adults during initial COVID-19 containment strategies: A multi-country cross-sectional analysis

Physical Activity, Mental Health and Wellbeing of Adults within and during the Easing of COVID-19 Restrictions, in the United Kingdom and New Zealand


Dr Wadsworth has worked with researchers and clinicians to develop local health policy:

Country to Coast Primary Healthcare Network: Ageing Well in our Region: A Health Ageing Strategy 2022 - 2027


Dan’s co-authored textbook for allied health practitioners was nationally awarded at the 2022 Australian Educational Publishing Awards as Outstanding Tertiary / VET textbook:

Principles of Anatomy & Physiology for Nursing and Healthcare Students in Australia


In 2023, Dr Wadsworth’s work was recognised with research excellence awards:

  • UniSC School of Health Research Excellence Award: Outstanding Early or Mid-Career Researcher

UniSC Vice Chancellor & President’s Award for Excellence in Research Impact

Professional memberships

  • Australian Association of Gerontology (AAG)
  • Australian & New Zealand Mental Health Association (ANZMH)
  • Sunshine Coast Health Institute (SCHI)

Awards and fellowships

  • Post-Doctoral Fellow, Manna Institute (2022-2024)
  • UniSC School of Health Research Excellence Award: Outstanding Early or Mid-Career Researcher (2023)
  • UniSC Vice Chancellor & President’s Award for Excellence in Research Impact (2023)
  • Senior Fellow, UK Higher Education Academy (2022)
  • Outstanding Winner; Winner, Teaching and Learning Resource – Print or Blended Learning (Adaptations) - Australian Educational Publishing Awards (2022)
  • Massey University College of Health Teaching Excellence Award (2015)

Professional social media

Potential research projects for HDR and Honours students

  • Healthy ageing and wellbeing
  • Regional health and wellbeing
  • Creativity and movement for healthy ageing
  • Tertiary health education

Research grants

Project name        Investigators Funding body    Year(s) Focus

UniSC School of Health seed grants

Gallo, Askew, Jona, Metse, Wright, Wadsworth, Scott


University of the Sunshine Coast



Cardiovascular risk in young adults: informing a co-designed lifestyle intervention through learning management platforms

UniSC Connect Grant

Wadsworth, Schaumberg, Askew, Stoner, Rose


University of the Sunshine Coast



Building research capacity at UniSC to address the challenges of inactivity and ageing

UniSC Connect Grant

Askew, Wadsworth, Schaumberg, Walker, Kriel


University of the Sunshine Coast



Targeting healthy ageing through novel approaches to the assessment and optimisation of human vascular function

Sunshine Coast Regional Partnership Agreement

Wadsworth, Tulloch, Gurung, Craswell, Sunshine Coast Council, Suncare Ltd

Sunshine Coast Council




I-CHAt: an Intergenerational Community Homeshare Activity for Older Adults and University Students on the Sunshine Coast.

UniSC Grow Grant

Schaumberg, Buhmann, Jenkins, Rose, Maugham-Macan, Walker, Villani, Wright, Broadbent, Slater, Askew, Wadsworth

University of the Sunshine Coast



Assessing musculoskeletal health as an essential determinant of physical function, health, and disease

UniSC Grow Grant

Dermody, Shibl, Ward, Wadsworth, Verdonk, Davies, Tulloch, Russell, Wright, Askew

University of the Sunshine Coast



Empowering Healthy Ageing: Building a Web-based Gateway for Holistic Well-being

UniSC GROW Equipment Internal Grants

Askew, Walker, Kriel, Wadsworth, Schaumberg, Wright, Gallo, Russell, Summers, Jones, Jenkins

University of the Sunshine Coast



Growing Cardiovascular Health Research at UniSC: Mobile cardiovascular assessment suite

UniSC GROW Equipment Internal Grants

Scott, Metse, Schaumberg, Askew, Goos, Thomas, Wadsworth

University of the Sunshine Coast



Building capacity for innovative cross-disciplinary approaches to physical activity and movement assessment in health and education research at UniSC

UniSC Launch Partnership Grants

Ward, Wadsworth, Goold, LendLease Australia

University of the Sunshine Coast



Enlivening retirement communities through co-designed event and entertainment production

UniSC Launch Partnership Grants

Wadsworth, King, Barclay, Comlink Australia

University of the Sunshine Coast



Creativity and movement in ageing communities: Enhancing wellbeing through friendship, art, and exercise

UniSC Launch Partnership Grants

Andrews, Wadsworth, Schaumberg, Rosenburg, Medland, Kilkivan Community Group

University of the Sunshine Coast



Dementia risk reduction in Kilkivan: Identifying needs and co-design of an effective lifestyle intervention approach

UniSC Launch Partnership Grants

Wadsworth, Tulloch, Schaumberg, Cash (CSU), Robson (CSU), EVERYMIND

University of the Sunshine Coast



Learning from lived experience: what does mental health, wellbeing, and support mean to older adults in rural and regional Australia?

Manna Institute for Rural, Regional and Remote Mental Health


Manna Institute

0.4FTE for 24 months


Post-Doctoral Fellow

Industry Funding

Ward, Schaumberg, Wadsworth, Craswell, Askew, Dermody, Goold, Luttrell, Banks

LendLease PLC



Creative conversations: Codesigning approaches to explore the future of retirement living in Australia

UniSC School of Business and Creative Industries 2022 Research Potential Fund (RPF)

King, Wadsworth, Barclay

University of the Sunshine Coast



Creative Friendships in Aged Care: Enhancing well-being through friendship, art and exercise

Regional Partnership Grant

Schaumberg, Craven, Askew, Wadsworth (UniSC), Szabo (Sunshine Coast Council)

University of the Sunshine Coast / Sunshine Coast Council



Evaluation of the Healthy Sunshine Coast Senior Program

Research areas

  • Supporting the healthy ageing of older adults through accessible physical activity, social connection, and creative practice
  • Health and wellbeing across the lifespan
  • Rural and regional health and wellbeing

Teaching areas

  • Applied Science (undergraduate)
  • Postgraduate research methods

Dan Wadsworth’s specialist areas of knowledge are healthy ageing, accessible physical activity, health and wellbeing, tertiary health education.

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