Associate Professor Lisa Wood

Started at UWA: 2006

Social justice champion and advocate for real-world research

Associate Professor Lisa Wood is based within the School of Population and Global Health and is a Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Social Impact. Her research and teaching roles at UWA are complemented by nearly three decades of experience in public health and health promotion in WA, nationally and internationally.

With a passion for social justice and advocating for the needs of disadvantaged populations, much of Dr Wood’s current research focuses on the need for more upstream and collective solutions to address complex social challenges such as homelessness, domestic violence prevention and closing the gap in Aboriginal wellbeing.

Other areas of current research reflect her keen interest in topical public health and social issues, including tobacco and alcohol availability, and the inclusion and exclusion of young people in the public realm. Dr Wood is perhaps most well-known for her research around the role of pets in building sense of community and social capital; this research has been widely cited internationally and had extensive media coverage and community interest.

Dr Wood’s research has had considerable traction with policy makers, government and non-government agencies, and she is highly regarded for her collaborative efforts with stakeholders to ensure research relevance and uptake. Her research has been commended with numerous awards throughout her career, most recently the UWA Vice Chancellor’s Mid-Career Research Award in 2016.

In addition to her active program of research, Dr Wood is an enthusiastic member of staff within the School of Population and Global Health, teaching health leadership units to undergraduate and postgraduate students (PUBH3301 Health Leadership and PUBH5763 Leadership and Management of Health Services). She brings her passion for real-world relevance to her teaching and her units are highly rated in student feedback.

Qualifications: BCom(Hons), GradDipHlthProm, PhD

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Witness at Senate Hearing for National Housing and Homelessness Agreement Bill, 2018

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Vice Chancellor’s Mid-Career Research Award, UWA, 2016

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Fay Gale Fellowship, 2014

From pets to homelessness




Tenancy WA

  • Evaluation of Safe as Houses


Ruah Community Services

  • Evaluation of Choices Post-Discharge Service


East Metropolitan Health Service, WA Health, The Salvation Army, Holman Collaboration research grant, Royal Perth Hospital

  • Homeless Healthcare and Royal Perth Hospital Homeless Team Evaluation


Ruah Community Services

  • Evaluation of 50 Lives 50 Homes Perth


UWA Research Impact Grant Scheme

  • Health and cost benefits of reducing homelessness – translating evidence into action

More grants and publications


Dr Wood’s research encompasses a range of projects addressing complex social challenges such as homelessness, domestic violence prevention and closing the gap in Aboriginal wellbeing. These include:



Supervisor opportunities

Associate Professor Lisa Wood is highly regarded as a supervisor of PhD, master’s and honours students. The students she has supervised have gone on to pursue a range of interesting career pathways, including postdoctoral research positions, highly competitive positions on graduate programs with federal or state departments of health, jobs with not-for-profit health or community organisations, and roles with international health organisations.

Dr Wood is particularly interested in supervising students in the areas of homelessness and reducing health inequalities. She favours mixed methods research and has supervised students on projects using a range of methodologies, including survey design and data collection, qualitative research, content analysis, analysis of secondary data sources and evidence reviews. The School of Population and Global Health student project booklet includes some examples of potential student projects that Dr Wood has identified for 2018.

Contact Associate Professor Lisa Wood