Dr Tara Michelle Coleman

PhD (Geography), MA(Hons) (Geography), BA

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Professional Teaching Fellow


I coordinate the two core courses - SOCSCIPH 200 and SOCSCIPH 300 - within the Social Science for Public Health programme and work as a researcher in the School of Environment. I also participate in research with the Center for Research, Evaluation and Social Assessment (CRESA) that is funded through the Ageing Well National Science Challenge and investigates older people's experiences of renting. Other current projects include include: affordable housing for generations; enabling places for people living with Parkinson's disease; and arts-based research strategies. 

I am interested in how broad social contexts and particular places, such as the home, community, schools and spaces of care, are involved in shaping health-related beliefs, practices and outcomes. My areas of expertise include health, urban and political geographies, as well as interdisciplinary social science perspectives on health and wellbeing, and qualitative research methodologies. My publications to date have focused on ageing in place, young people and sexuality, and participatory research strategies.

Research | Current

Research Interests

  • Ageing in place
  • Geographies of health and wellbeing
  • Interdisciplinary perspectives on health and health policy
  • Social science for health
  • Public health
  • Gerontology
  • Sexual health education in schools
  • Island geographies
  • Photo elicitation methodologies
  • Participatory research strategies

Teaching | Current

SOCSCIPH 200 Social Science for Health

SOCSCIPH 300 Current Debates in Health and Health Policy

GEOG 305 Population, Health and Society


Postgraduate supervision

Postgraduate Advisor to:

  • Kailas Moral (MA): The practice of Ayurveda within Auckland Communities
  • Laura Bates (MA): Rental accommodation experiences among older adults
  • Elliott Sergeant (MA): Older peoples’ home habitation practices on Waiheke Island
  • Sam Mills BA(Hons): Funded Pre-exposure Prophylaxis and Ending HIV: Policy space for LGBT+ wellbeing in Aotearoa New Zealand
  • Imogen Spray (MA): The COVID-19 pandemic and people living with Parkinson's Disease 


Research Award, School of Environment 2016

PhD Research Award, Best PhD thesis 2014, School of Environment, The University of Auckland

University of Auckland Health Research Scholarship


Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Kearns, R. A., Coleman, T. M., & Edmeades, J. (2019). New Zealand children's health stamps: Ideological artefacts linking health and place. Social science & medicine (1982), 227, 38-46. 10.1016/j.socscimed.2018.06.021
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Robin Kearns
  • Coleman, T., & Wiles, J. (2018). Being with objects of meaning: Cherished possessions and opportunities to maintain aging in place. Gerontologist10.1093/geront/gny142
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/45861
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Janine Wiles
  • Coleman, T. M., & Wiles, J. (2018). From inequities to place attachment and the provision of health care: Key concerns in the health geographies of aging. In V. Crooks, G. Andrews, J. Pearce (Eds.) Routledge Handbook of Health Geography (pp. 189-195). Routledge. 10.4324/9781315104584-27
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/40511
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Janine Wiles
  • Kearns, R., & Coleman, T. (2018). Health and wellbeing. In G. Baldacchino (Ed.) Routledge International Handbook of Island Studies : A World of Islands. New York: Routledge.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Robin Kearns
  • Kearns, R., & Coleman, T. M. (2017). Ageing landscapes: Real and imagined. In M. W. Skinner, G. J. Andrews, M. P. Cutchin (Eds.) Geographical gerontology: Perspectives, concepts, approaches (pp. 281-292). Abingdon, UK: Routledge. 10.4324/9781315281216
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/40512
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Robin Kearns
  • Coleman, T., Kearns, R. A., & Wiles, J. (2016). Older adults' experiences of home maintenance issues and opportunities to maintain ageing in place. Housing Studies, 31 (8), 964-983. 10.1080/02673037.2016.1164834
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/42062
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Janine Wiles, Robin Kearns

Contact details

Alternative contact

Correct Location:

Human Sciences Building
Level 7, Room 715
10 Symonds Street
Auckland 1010
New Zealand

Primary office location

HSB - EAST - Bldg 201E
Level 7, Room 715
New Zealand