Dr Karen Villanueva is an early career Research Fellow holding a joint appointment across the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and the Healthy Liveable Cities Group, at RMIT University, Melbourne. She completed her research training at The University of Western Australia (BHSc Hons 1A (2007), PhD (2012)). Her research is focused on how urban built environments shape child health behaviours and outcomes. In particular, she is interested in locational and socio-environmental determinants of children’s independent mobility, activity spaces (areas they roam), and early development. Dr Karen Villanueva has 45 articles, book chapters and reports in her field.
She is currently the Project Coordinator of the Kids in Communities Study (KiCS), a national investigation of how communities influence early childhood health and development in areas of advantage and disadvantage across Australia. Building stronger communities requires input from a range of stakeholders; service providers, policy-makers, teachers, families, the wider community, and children themselves all have a role to play in shaping healthy environments.
Collaborative projects: Actively involved in five unique research projects and programs, including: Kids in Communities Study (KiCS) (ARC), Life Course Built Environment and Health Project (LCBEH, Healthway), TRavel Environment and Kids Project (TREK, NHMRC), Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) Program, and the Healthy Liveable Cities Group (HLC, RMIT University).