Dr Verity Cleland
(03) 6226 4603
Senior Research Fellow
Dr Cleland has a PhD in epidemiology (2007) and an applied science Honours degree in health promotion (2000). Her PhD was undertaken at the Menzies Research Institute, where she was involved in the Childhood Determinants of Adult Health study, a 20-follow up of the 1985 Australian Schools Health and Fitness Survey. Dr Cleland's thesis explored the role of physical activity and changes in physical activity from childhood into adulthood in relation to the maintenance of a healthy weight. She was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research, Deakin University, from 2007-2010. Dr Cleland has won numerous awards for her research, including an Australian Institute of Policy and Science Tasmanian Young Tall Poppy Science Award (2011) and the University of Tasmania Vice-Chancellor's Award for Early Career Research Excellence (2010). She is a member of the Tasmanian Premier's Physical Activity Council, and has been an advisor for the Heart Foundation (Tasmania), and the Tasmanian state departments of Police and Emergency Medicine and of Education.
Dr Cleland is primarily involved in population-based longitudinal observational studies, but also uses qualitative research techniques to investigate her research questions. Within a behavioural epidemiological framework, her work is focused on understanding, measuring and promoting physical activity among population groups at high risk of physical inactivity and subsequently poor health. These groups include women, those experiencing socioeconomic disadvantage, those living in rural areas and children. Dr Cleland's work aims to understand how individual (e.g. self-efficacy, intentions, enjoyment), social (e.g. social support from family/friends) and environmental (e.g. safety, aesthetics, walkability) factors influence physical activity in these population groups, and to use these findings to inform the development of strategies to promote physical activity.