Profile: Sarah Lovell

Dr. Sarah Lovell, Lecturer, Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Otago, New Zealand. Sarah’s research is focused on addressing inequalities in the role that communities play in addressing health.

Sarah Lovell was born in Hamilton, New Zealand. She attended the University of Waikato, graduating with a BSocSc in Geography in 2000. She then moved to the University of Auckland (New Zealand), where she completed an MSc (2002), fostering her interest in health geography with a thesis examining women’s access to cervical screening services. She then crossed the Atlantic to work on a PhD with Professor Mark Rosenberg at Queen’s University, Canada. Her PhD thesis was Engaging Communities in Health Geography? Assessing the Strategy of Community-Based Participatory Research. This work was completed in 2007.

Sarah has recently completed a postdoctoral year at Auckland, where she examined the role of community capacity building in health promotion through qualitative research with health promoters and those planning and funding health promotion in New Zealand. This research identifies challenges this undervalued workforce faces in building community capacity in a contractual environment that works against sustainable health promotion practice. Sarah is now pursuing her research interests at Otago, including (1) the use of community-based participatory research for health, (2) the health promotion workforce, and (3) the health implications of globalization.

Sarah may be contacted at

Updated: May 2009