Research partners

Visiting Scholars The Human Potential Centre (previously operating as the Centre for Physical Activity &  Nutrition) regularly hosts academics from around the world who have an interest in physical activity and nutrition.

We have dedicated space for visitors on long or short term sabbatical visits.  So if you have any interest in coming out to New Zealand and being hosted by the Human Potential Centre, please email Professor Grant Schofield to initiate the process.

Recent visitors have been:

Peter Schantz, PhD

Peter Schantz is professor in human movement science at Mid-Sweden University and GIH, and has a research focus on movement, health and environment (, particularly multidisciplinary studies on active commuting ( This includes studies of behavior, physiology and  route environments using the Active Commuting Route Environment Scale (ACRES).

James F. Sallis, PhD
Professor James F. Sallis is a Professor of Psychology at San Diego State University and director of Active Living Research, a programme of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  He is internationally recognized for his interest and work on physical activity, health psychology and health behaviour. His main research focus is examining the relationship between physical activity and the built environment. Professor Sallis has authored over 300 scientific publications and is the principal investigator of the International Physical Environment Network.

Mitch Duncan, PhD
Dr Mitch Duncan is the Senior Research Fellow in Population Health at the Centre for Social Science Research at Central Queensland University. He has extensive experience in transport-related physical activity, including use of objective and self-report measures in adults and children.

Catrine Tudor-Locke, PhD, FASCM
Associate Professor Catrine Tudor-Locke is in the Department of Exercise and Wellness at Arizona State University. She established the Walking Research Laboratory at Arizona State University and is widely recognised for her work in quantification of physical activity. She is the Epidemiology Section Editor for Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport and is an Adjunct Scholar with the Canadian Fitness and Lifestyles Research Institute.

Riitta Freese, PhD
Dr Riitta Freese is a nutrition scientist on sabbatical from the University of Helsinki. A large part of her research has focused on the effects of dietary fatty acids and plant-based biomolecules (e.g. flavonoids) on factors associated with the risk of coronary heart disease in carefully controlled human interventions. Her present studies in Finland are associated with the acute effects of meal on the activation of the autonomous nervous system. She is also involved in a Finnish cohort study focusing on the risk factors of the complications of type 1 diabetes.

Kerry Mummery, PhD
Professor Kerry Mummery is the Associate Dean at the College of Health and Human Services at the Central Queensland University in Australia. He is the Director of the Centre for Social Science Research and also is the Head of Population Research Laboratory (PRL). He is one of the principal investigators in 10,000 Steps Rockhampton, an innovative community-based, multi-strategy health promotion program in Australia. His interests lie in understanding and promoting physical activity and exercise to the general population. In his role as the Director of PRL, he operates Australia’s first university based Computer Assisted Telephone Interview (CATI) facility.

John Spence, PhD
Associate Professor John Spence is in the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation at the University of Alberta. His areas of expertise are childhood obesity, health psychology, physical activity, meta-analysis and environment with a background in psychology and behavioural medicine.

Karen A. Croteau, PhD
Associate Professor Karen Croteau is in the Department of Exercise, Health, and Sport Sciences in the College of Nursing and Health Professions at the University of Southern Maine. She is also the programme director for the Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science.  Her research focuses on youth, adults and older adults, schools, worksites, and community settings with pedometer-assessed physical activity and pedometer-based physical activity interventions.