ISPAH Board of Directors


Charlie Foster | President 2016-2018

Charlie Foster, PhD is a global leader in systematic reviews and meta-analysis of the evidence base for physical activity, with reviews on epidemiology, correlates, interventions and evaluation of natural experiments. He has published over one hundred and fifty research papers including in the Lancet, BMJ, and Cochrane Collaboration. Charlie is a leader of physical activity and public health in the UK and is the current Chair of the UK's Chief Medical Officers Expert Committee for Physical Activity which provides advice to national government. He has global policy and advocacy experience working with WHO, EC, and CDC USA.

 Fiona Bull | Past-President 2014-2016

Professor Fiona Bull is Director of the Centre for Built Environment and Health at The University of Western Australia and President of the International Society for Physical Activity and Health. Prior to this she worked at Loughborough University in the UK, the Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, USA, and at the World Health Organization, Geneva.

Fiona’s research is focussed on promotion of healthy active living and the prevention of chronic disease and combines her background in public health, exercise science, physical activity and education. Her work includes physical activity measurement and surveillance, understanding individual, social and environmental determinants and developing and testing programs and policy interventions.

Fiona has a strong focus on application and she seeks to translate research into practical solutions and policy by working closely with industry partners and in a multi-disciplinary collaboration team. Recent work on public open space ( has won three industry awards in 2013/2014. She has extensive experience in national and international research collaborations and is a regular Expert Advisor to the World Health Organization and lead author of the Toronto Charter for Physical Activity: A global call to action and Seven Investments – what works. To date, Professor Bull has over 160 scientific publications, book chapters and reports and in 2014 her contribution to research and policy was recognised with the award of an MBE.

Catherine Draper | President-Elect 2018-2020

Catherine Draper is a Senior Researcher in the MRC/Wits Developmental Pathways for Health Research Unit at the University of the Witwatersrand, and is also affiliated to the Division of Exercise Science and Sports Medicine at the University of Cape Town. Catherine has a background in Psychology and the social sciences, and obtained her PhD in Public Health in 2005. Her research interests include the development and evaluation of school- and community-based physical activity interventions for children and youth, including sport-for-development programmes. Catherine is particularly interested in the preschool age group, and her current research is investigating the relationship between physical activity and cognitive development in early childhood in low-income urban and rural settings in South Africa. This research is informing the development of home- and preschool-based intervention strategies to promote health and broader development outcomes in young children. Catherine is also on the Executive Committee of the International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity.

TKA copy.jpg
Jasper 2013.jpeg
JR Uni Sydney 1.jpg

Paul Kelly | Treasurer 

Paul Kelly is a lecturer in Physical Activity for Health at the University of Edinburgh. He is based in the Physical Activity for Health Research Centre (PAHRC) which is led by Prof Nanette Mutrie. Paul's research interests are based on improving the way we try to measure physical activity and sedentary behaviour. This will improve our evidence base and help identify the interventions and policies that work best to improve activity behaviour and health. Current projects include the evaluation of a new 20mph Scheme in Edinburgh, a trial to improve physiotherapy outcomes through the addition of walking, and the use of wearable cameras to assess the quality of behavioural diaries. From 2008 to 2014 Paul worked at the University of Oxford and completed his PhD in measuring walking and cycling under the supervision of Prof Charlie Foster. His favourite physical activities are table tennis, dog walking, and operating canal locks.

Melissa Napolitano | Vice-Treasurer

Melissa A. Napolitano, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Prevention and Community Health, and of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences at The George Washington University (GWU).  Prior to joining GWU in 2012, Melissa served on the faculties of Brown Medical School and Temple University where she was also a research scientist at the Center for Obesity Research and Education. She completed her undergraduate degree at Yale University, doctoral training in clinical health psychology at Duke University, and post-doctoral fellowship in behavioral medicine at Brown University.  Melissa’s research is focused on psychosocial theory-based interventions to help individuals make health behavior changes, specifically related to physical activity and weight management.  Her research includes a blend of face-to-face contacts and technological components, has great dissemination potential, and has been well-suited for developing multidisciplinary partnerships.  Melissa is the Co-Chair of the Society of Behavioral Medicine’s Physical Activity Special Interest Group, and a Senior Associate Editor for the Journal of Physical Activity and Health.  Melissa will begin her tenure on the Board in November 2016 and will serve as Representative for the Americas with a focus on strategic partnerships.

Marie Murphy | Communications

Marie Murphy is Professor of Exercise & Health at the University of Ulster where she leads the Centre for Physical Activity and Health Research. Having completed her undergraduate degree and PGCE at Ulster, Marie worked as a PE teacher before completing an MSc and PhD at Loughborough University.

Marie’s research interests include the role of exercise, in particular walking, on health. Her PhD work considered the role of continuous and short accumulated bouts of physical activity on postprandial lipaemia. Her research has included observational and empirical studies of the effects of exercise on cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes risk in a range of healthy and diseased populations from childhood to older adults. Marie’s current research includes outcome measures ranging from the behavioural to the biochemical and she embraces a multidisciplinary approach to physical activity and exercise research questions. Marie’s work has contributed to the evidence base underlying the current physical activity guidelines in the US, UK and Ireland and she was a member of the editorial group for the most recent guidelines issued by the 4 Chief Medical Officers in the report “Start Active Stay Active” (DoH 2011).

Jorge Mota | Councils

Jorge Mota is full professor at Faculty of Sports Sciences in Porto University. During his PhD he did an internship in Deutsche Sporthochüle Köln (Germany) and spent part of his sabbatical semester in San Diego State University (USA). Jorge is Professor of Sports Recreation and Leisure as well as giving lectures on Health Education. He was visiting Professor at several Brazilian institutions. Jorge Mota was a former dean of faculty during a two-year appointment (1996-1998) as well as President of Faculty Scientific Board and President of General Assembly. Since 2004 he is the Director of Research Centre in Physical Activity Health and Leisure (CIAFEL), which is supported from Portuguese Scientific Foundation. His main focus of research is in issues relating to physical activity and health related effects, namely its relationship with non communicable diseases. He is also involved on the development and implementation of programmes related to physical activity and health promotion and he is involved in several networks such as HEPA and IPEN groups. Jorge is associate editor of BMC Public Health and editorial board member of preventive medicine and reports in Public Health (Brazil). He has served as an expert on national and international evaluation expert committees and he has published several peer reviewed publications.

Trevor Shilton | Advocacy

Trevor is Director of Cardiovascular Health at the National Heart Foundation of Australia (WA) and the Foundation’s National Lead for Physical Activity. He is also Adjunct Associate Professor in the School of Population Health, Centre for Built Environment and Health at the University of Western Australia. His principal research and health promotion interests are in NCD prevention, advocacy, policy and programs relating to physical activity and obesity, workforce development, Aboriginal health, and social marketing. Trevor has directed major community-wide initiatives, including social marketing campaigns in obesity, physical activity and tobacco, as well as state-wide and national initiatives in workplace health and school health. 

Trevor was the founding National President of the Australian Health Promotion Association (AHPA) and is a Life Member of AHPA. Internationally he is Global Vice President for Advocacy of the International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE), and manages that organisation’s global advocacy. He is also Chairman of Global Advocacy for Physical Activity (GAPA), the Advocacy Council of ISPAH. Trevor has over 25 years’ experience in health promotion practice, policy and research and has published book chapters and over 50 papers in peer reviewed journals. He has given many national and international conference presentations and workshops. He has participated in guideline and policy development in Australia, Canada and the United States and at global level.

Karen Milton | Governance

Karen is a Lecturer in Public Health within the Norwich Medical School at the University of East Anglia. Prior to commencing this role she held research positions in physical activity and public health at the University of Oxford, University of Sydney, and Loughborough University. Karen’s primary research interest is in population approaches to physical activity promotion, through different sector and multi-sectoral approaches, and how to translate effective interventions into national policy and action. Her PhD (Loughborough University, UK) examined the facilitators and challenges to developing and implementing national policy and large scale action to promote population levels of walking in England. Karen was the Secretariat for ISPAH (since 2014) before becoming the Board lead for Governance in April 2016. Karen is also a Steering Committee member for the European Network for Health Enhancing Physical Activity (HEPA Europe) and a member of the UK Chief Medical Officers’ Expert Committee for Physical Activity.

Sjaan Gomersall | IT Systems

Sjaan Gomersall is currently a researcher with the Centre for Research on Exercise, physical Activity and Health at The University of Queensland, Australia. Sjaan has a BPhysio (Hons) (2008) and a PhD (2013) from the University of South Australia. Her current research focuses on the measurement of physical activity and use of time and how to facilitate behaviour change in these two key areas for improved health outcomes. Sjaan became a member of the Board in 2016 and is the Board lead for the ISPAH IT systems. Sjaan is also a member of the ISPAH Communications Committee. 

Tracy Kolbe-Alexander | Education 

Tracy Kolbe-Alexander is a Research Fellow in the School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences at the University of Queensland. Tracy has more than 10 years experience in designing, implementing and evaluating innovative physical activity interventions in various settings, including workplaces and previously marginalised communities. Her research has been translated into practice in civil society, the private sector and in government. Prior to joining the University of Queensland in 2014, she worked at the University of Cape Town where she was part of the team evaluating various physical activity initiatives and interventions including the development of Discovery Risk-Related Age, Healthy Company Index, South African Fittest City Index, the Vitality Youth and Children’s Programmes. She developed and evaluated the ‘Live it Up’ intervention for older adults, which has been implemented for the past 19 years.

Maria Hagströmer | Membership

Dr Maria Hagströmer is an Associate Professor (docent) at the Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. She has a bachelor in Physiotherapy, a master in Public Health, defended her PhD thesis on objective measures on physical activity in 2007 and became Associate Professor (docent) in Physiotherapy in 2010. She combines teaching with research and has a strong interest in medical pedagogics. The research area is mainly focusing on measurement of physical activity, epidemiology and interventions to increase physical activity among individuals with disabilities. Dr Hagströmer is a principal investigator and co-investigator of several research grants funded by for example the Karolinska Institutet, the Swedish Research Council and the Swedish research council for health, working life and welfare (Forte). She serves as an associate editor and in the editorial board for some international journals in the field of physical activity. In addition she is actively involved as a co-editor for the Swedish evidence based book for health professional “Physical activity for disease prevention and disease treatment”.

Nicolas Aguilar-Farias

Nicolas Aguilar-Farias is Assistant professor at the Department of Physical Education, Universidad de La Frontera, Chile where he leads the UFRO Activate Research Group. He holds a Bachelor degree in Physiotherapy (UFRO, Chile), Master degree in Clinical Exercise Physiology (University of Queensland, Australia) and PhD (University of Queensland, Australia). Nicolas is leading a range of studies in Chile with focus on improving and evaluating measuring tools for physical activity and sedentary behaviour in different age groups. He is currently measuring determinants of physical activity in children and older adults in ethnically diverse populations in the south of Chile. He has also implemented and evaluated interventions in for promoting PA in disadvantaged communities. In the last two years has participated as member of the expert committee in the new Physical Activity recommendations and Physical Activity policy for Chile.

Jasper Schipperijn

Jasper Schipperijn is an Associate Professor with the Research Unit for Active Living at the University of Southern Denmark. His research focuses on studying the relation between the built and natural environment and human behavior, and in particular evaluating the effect of changes to the environment on behavior. One of his interest lies in developing methods to objectively describe behavior and the environment that behavior takes place in. Much of his work builds on intervention studies or natural experiments that involved changes to the built environment, e.g. creating or renovating schoolyards, urban green spaces, public open space, and bicycling facilities. Jasper has published over 80 peer-reviewed articles and numerous reports and popular publications and he is associate editor for the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity.

Jasper has an extensive international network with ongoing collaborations with various international partners, in particular with the University of California, San Diego, the University of Western Australia, Perth, and Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand. 

Justin Richards | Early Career Network

Justin Richards is working as an Evaluation Advisor at Sport New Zealand, while he is on leave from an NHRMC Post-doctoral Research Fellowship at the Prevention Research Collaboration within the School of Public Health and Charles Perkins Centre at the University of Sydney. He previously completed a D.Phil in Public Health at the University of Oxford and his research interests focus on physical activity interventions and associated mental health outcomes in vulnerable populations. This includes ongoing work in low- and middle-income countries as well as marginalised populations in high-income settings. Justin is also passionate about capacity building in these settings and recently cofounded a charitable organisation that delivers global courses in the “Pragmatic Evaluation of Physical Activity and Public Health”. He has a particular interest in the rigorous evaluation of sport-for-development interventions and is a founding editor of the Journal of Sport for Development. Justin also has previous experience working within the UN system and the public sector. 


Anna Chalkley

Anna is a physical activity and public health ‘pracademic’, supporting the translation, dissemination and implementation of academic research into practice. Much of Anna’s work has focused on the school setting as a target for physical activity and health promotion. Anna is currently completing a PhD within the Physical Activity and Public Health Research group at Loughborough University focusing on the implementation of physical activity programmes in primary education. Anna has been a member of staff at the University, within the British Heart Foundation National Centre for Physical Activity and Health, since 2003 and has extensive experience in leading national projects and programmes relating to the promotion of physical activity for children and young people and their intermediaries. Anna joined the board as Secretariat in 2016 and also co-chairs the European Network for Health Enhancing Physical Activity (HEPA Europe) Working Group for Children and Youth.