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Louise signal photoPhD, Dip Com PsychDirector of HePPRU

Teaches PUBH713 Society, Health & Health Promotion, PUBH744 Healthy Public Policy

Contact details

Tel +64 4 385 5541ext 6477

Research interests and activities

Professor Louise Signal is a Director of the Health Promotion and Policy Research Unit at the University of Otago, Wellington as well as Co-Director of Te Rōpū Rangahau ō Te Kāhui Matepukupuku: Cancer Society Research Collaboration. Louise is a social scientist with a PhD in Community Health from the University of Toronto. She has been a member of the Department of Public Health for over 20 years and has previous experience working at central and local government in health promotion and community development.

Professor Signal's research focuses on identifying and addressing environmental determinants of health. Her research has a strong focus on equity for Māori, Pacific, and low-income communities. Key research areas include the politics of health and health equity, obesity prevention, and addressing harm from alcohol and sun exposure. Her research utilises qualitative research methods, policy research and mixed method research design. Professor Signal was principal investigator on an innovative research project that studied the world children live in – Kids' Cam, which used automated cameras to record children's worlds.


Teng, A., Cleghorn, C., Signal, L., Smith, M., Te Morenga, L., Walby, E., & Wilson, N. (2024). Food and beverage taxes for a healthier diet: The Pacific experience. The Briefing, (31 January). Retrieved from

Peniamina, R., McNoe, B., Kerr, J., Cleghorn, C., & Signal, L. (2024). Strong public support for healthy food policies in Aotearoa. The Briefing, (15 January). Retrieved from

Bako, K. R., Mohammadnezhad, M., Sika-Paotonu, D., Sime, S., & Signal, L. (2023). Diabetes Cam: An objective methodology to study diabetes self-management. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2023.12.016

Zwanenburg, S. P., Vincent, K., Deng, J., Gurtner, M., Gage, R., Smith, M., & Signal, L. (2023). Kids’ digital distractions: An observation study of recorded everyday screentime by 12-year-olds. Proceedings of the Australasian Conference on Information Systems (ACIS). 110. Retrieved from

Gage, R., Connor, J., Jackson, N., McKerchar, C., & Signal, L. (2023). Generating political priority for alcohol policy reform: A framework to guide advocacy and research. Drug & Alcohol Review. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/dar.13782

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