Dr Alison Carver

Senior Research Fellow
Behaviour Environment and Cognition Program

Dr Alison Carver

Areas of expertise: built environment; physical activity; active transport; children’s health; adolescents’ health; mental wellbeing; greenery.

ORCID ID: 0000-0001-5166-3574

Phone: +613 9230 8334

Email: Alison.Carver@acu.edu.au

Location: ACU Melbourne Campus

Alison is a public health researcher with an overall interest in the impact of built and social environments on health-related behaviours and outcomes. In other words, she is interested in how our health is impacted by where and with whom we live, work, study and play.

She was awarded her PhD titled ‘Associations between neighbourhood safety and physical activity among youth’ by Deakin University in 2009. Alison’s postdoctoral research at Deakin was funded by an Alfred Deakin Fellowship, followed by a Heart Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, and focused on how social and built environments may influence children’s active transport to school and other destinations, their physical activity, and independent mobility.

Alison has attracted more than $1.2 million of external funding including three ARC Linkage Project grants and one ARC Discovery grant. She has authored over 60 articles in high-impact international peer-reviewed journals and two book chapters.

Joining ACU in 2017, she is currently a Senior Research Fellow in the Behaviour Environment and Cognition research program at the Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research. This program has intersecting interests in the neighbourhood built environment, social environment, physical activity, cognitive and mental health. In addition to this role, she is also a Research Integrity Advisor for ACU.

Visit website

Select publications

  • Carver A, Akram M, Barnett A, Huang W, Gao G, Mellecker R, Cerin E. Family, school and individual characteristics associated with adolescents’ physical activity at school in Hong Kong: the iHealt(H) study. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 2021, 18:14. https://ijbnpa.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12966-021-01085-z
  • Carver A, Akram M, Barnett A, Mellecker R, Cerin E. Socioeconomic Status and Physical Activity among Mothers of Young Children in an Asian City: The Mediating Role of Household Activities and Domestic Help. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 2020, 17(7), 2498 https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17072498
  • Carver A, Lorenzon A, Veitch J, Macleod A, Sugiyama T. Is greenery associated with mental health among residents of aged care facilities? A systematic search and narrative review. Aging and Mental Health 2020 24(1):1-7, https://doi.org/10.1080/13607863.2018.1516193.
  • Carver A, Barr A, Singh A, Badland H, Mavoa S, Bentley R. How are the built environment and household travel characteristics associated with children’s active transport in Melbourne, Australia. Journal of Transport & Health 2019 12:115-129, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jth.2019.01.003
  • Sugiyama T, Carver A, Koohsari MJ, & Veitch J. Advantages of public green spaces in enhancing population health. Landscape & Urban Planning 2018, 178: 12–17, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2018.05.019



  • The international Mind, Activities and urban Places in Melbourne study (iMAP) study
  • The IPEN Adolescent study
  • International Cognitive Health & Environment Network (ICHEN) reviews
  • Impact of greenery in residential care

Accolades and awards

  • Citation Classic – Health and Place journal. My 2008 paper in Health and Place was cited as a ‘classic’ paper in the Top 5 most cited papers ever in “Twenty-five years of Health & Place: Citation classics, internationalism and interdisciplinarity” https://doi.org/10.1016/j.healthplace.2019.102202
    Carver A, Timperio A, Crawford D. Playing it safe: The influence of neighbourhood safety on children's physical activity - a review.  Heath and Place 2008; 14 (2), 217-227    
  • Publons Peer Review Award 2018 – top 1% of reviewers in Social Sciences
  • Wiley Top Downloaded Article Award 2017-18 – Vox Sanguinis
  • Carver A, Chell K, Davison TE, Masser BM. What motivates men to donate blood? A systematic review of the evidence. Vox Sanguinis 2018, 113(3):205-219, https://doi.org/10.1111/vox.12625
  • Award for the ‘REVAMP’ study funded by ARC Linkage Project (LP120200396), on which I am a CI:
    Australian Sport, Recreation and Play Innovation Award 2019 for the category of ‘Playground Design and Development - to  allow and encourage more children to play, have fun and be active’.

Appointments and affiliations

  • 2020 – Present:  Senior Research Fellow, Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research, Australian Catholic University, Melbourne
  • 2017 – 2019t:  Research Fellow, Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research, Australian Catholic University, Melbourne
  • 2015-2018:  Honorary Fellow, School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, Melbourne
  • 2015-2017:  Research Fellow, Australian Red Cross Blood Service, Melbourne
  • 2013-2014:  Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition (C-PAN), Deakin University
  • 2011-2013: National Heart Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellow, C-PAN, Deakin University
  • 2010-2011: Alfred Deakin Postdoctoral Research Fellow, C-PAN, Deakin University
  • 2003-2009: Data Manager, C-PAN, Deakin University

Public engagement

International journal review panel

  • Reviewer for Journal of Transport and Health, Landscape and Urban Planning; Environment & Behavior; BMC Health; Preventive Medicine; Journal of Physical Activity & Health; Journal of Urban Health; International Journal of Pediatric Obesity; International Journal of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity; Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition; Sports Medicine; Journal of Sports Sciences; Child: Care, health and development; Children Youth and Environments

Grant agency review panel

  • Reviewer of grants: Auckland Medical Research Fund, 2020; Health Research Council of New Zealand, 2019; Heart Foundation New Zealand, 2019 & 2018; Healthway, WA, 2018 and 2009.


Visit us

Level 9 and 10, 33 Berry Street
North Sydney NSW 2060

Get in touch

PO Box 968
North Sydney NSW 2059