Meet the research team


Professor Philip Morgan

As the father of three small children, Phil is very aware of the important role fathers play in all aspects of their children’s lives. He is passionate about promoting good eating and physical activity behaviours for all fathers and their families, and this has been the focus of his research over the past 7 years. Phil’s work has been published widely and he has won awards for the quality of both his research and his teaching. Most recently, Phil won the Asics Medal for Best Paper Overall at the 2009 Sports Medicine Australia Be Active 09 conference in Brisbane ahead of more than 500 other research presentations, for his innovative research in the HDHK program.


Professor Clare Collins

Clare is a Professor in Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Newcastle. She holds a prestigious National Health and Medical research Council Career Development Award and is a Fellow of the Dieticians’ Association of Australia. She is passionate about translating nutrition research into healthy eating messages that help families enjoy food and achieve a healthy weight. As a mother of three (ages 23, 21 and 18) she knows the challenges of juggling work and family commitment. Clare is a sought after media commentator on food and nutrition and is a well-known media spokesperson for the Dieticians’ Association of Australia. She has co- authored 4 books on weight loss and is the nutrition consultant to the TV program The Biggest Loser.

Dr David Lubans

The focus of David’s research is the promotion of physical activity, physical fitness and the prevention and treatment of obesity. David studied Human Movement and Health Education at the University of Sydney before obtaining his Masters and DPhil from the University of Oxford. Now a Senior Lecturer at the University of Newcastle. David has received funding for a number of research projects which have focused on the promotion of physical activity and healthy eating in child, adolescent and adult populations. David is married with one toddler (Darcy) and one infant (Ivy). When he is not chasing Darcy and Ivy around the local park, he can be seen searching for his golf ball at Merewether golf club.

Professor Robin Callister

Robin is an Associate Professor in the School of Biomedical Sciences. Dr Callister is an exercise physiologist with over 20 years experience conducting human research and is a pharmacist registered in NSW. Her work has been published in high-impact exercise science journals. She has supervised 11 RHD completions at Newcastle, 5 since 2002, and is currently supervising 4 PhD students and 2 Masters students. Much of Dr Callister’s research over the last 5 years has examined interactions between diet and exercise or the immune, particularly inflammatory and anti-inflammatory, responses to exercise.

Professor Ron Plotnikoff

Ron has recently been appointed as Chair in Physical Activity and Population Health Education at the University of Newcastle. Professor Plotnikoff is an internationally regarded researcher in population health and physical activity research. He has an outstanding track record with over 100 peer-reviewed publications within the last 5 years; over Can$7 million as a Chief Investigator and over Can$31 million as a co-investigator on population health research grants. His research focuses on individual/ behavioural- and environmental-level theory and intervention development/ testing for the prevention and management of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, as well as the promotion of healthy body weight and general health of the population through physical activity.

Associate Professor Tony Okely

Associate Professor Tony Okely is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education and Director of the Interdisciplinary Educational Research Institute (IERI). He has supervised 16 honours and four higher degree research students to completion over the past 11 years since his appointment as an Associate Lecturer in 1998.
Tony’s enthusiasm for research and for developing his students’ research knowledge and skills is demonstrated in his willingness to provide students with opportunities to meet one-on-one with leaders in his research field and to engage students in regular collegial discussions with himself, with fellow researchers and with visiting academics.
Through these activities Tony engenders continual development of research awareness, understanding and knowledge, and promotes the development of important research and social networks.
Tony is a supervisor who goes the extra mile with his students. He is conscientious and committed, patient and enthusiastic. He inspires his students to do their best work through his own example and through his encouragement and support. Their nomination of Tony for this award was one way of expressing their appreciation.