Dr Ricky Bell

Dr R Bell Staff card image

Head of Physiotherapy 

Contact info

+647 834 8800 extension 3698


  • 2018, PhD, University of Otago, Division of Health Sciences, Dunedin: Thesis title: Huarahi Hauora: Identifying a pathway forward to wellness with Tangata Whenua. Supervisors: Associate Professor Steve Tumilty (Primary), Professor Leigh Hale, Dr Catherine Smith, Dr Geoff Kira. Thesis examiners: Professor Meihana Durie [Massey University], Professor Tim Stokes [University of Otago], Professor Carrie Bourassa (Métis) [University of Regina, Canada]
  • 2012, MManipPhty: Master of Physiotherapy (Endorsed in Manipulative) with Distinction, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
  • 2011, PGDipPhty: Postgraduate Diploma in Physiotherapy (Endorsed in Musculoskeletal) with Distinction, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
  • 1993, BPhty: Bachelor of Physiotherapy, University of Queensland, St Lucia, Brisbane, Australia

Research interests

My research interests and role are primarily equity-focused. I also have a passion for exploring the application of indigenous knowledge systems or mātauranga to public health challenges. How tertiary institutions wish to partner with indigenous communities with their research efforts, sports epidemiology, and partnering for student success are my drivers.


Refereed conference proceedings

  • Tokyo University of Technology, Tokyo, Japan (2019): Presenter 19/06/2019, Bell, R.: Conducting research (研究, Kenkyū) with Māori/Indigenous populations (先住民, Senjūmin) in Aotearoa/New Zealand (ニュージーランド, Nyūjīrando).
  • World Confederation for Physical Therapy (2017), Cape Town, South Africa: Presenter 04/07/2017, 13:45-15:15: Bell, R. Toward cultural safety: Physical therapists meeting the needs of the world’s Indigenous populations.
  • Physiotherapy New Zealand Conference (2016), Pullman Hotel, Auckland, New Zealand: Day 1: Presenter 16/09/2016: Bell, R.: Developing a new research framework of inquiry with an Indigenous population in regard to obesity.
  • APAC Forum | Conference, Sky City Conference Centre, Auckland, New Zealand: Presenter 24/09/2015: Bell, R.: Using an indigenous lens to establish an exploratory platform of investigation into health and wellness.
  • Linking the Chain | Physiotherapy New Zealand Conference, Langham Hotel, Auckland, New Zealand: Day 2: Presenter 20/09/2014: Bell, R.: Upper cervical instability – don’t forget about the zebra when given a horse.
  • Hui-ā-Tau and Scientific Conference, Te Ora (Māori Doctors Association of Aotearoa), Korou Kore Marae, Ahipara, Northland, Session 7: Presenter 01/09/2012: Bell R. Carman A and Tumilty S: Sports injury profile of competitive Waka Ama (outrigger canoe) paddlers in New Zealand.
  • Māori Postgraduate Symposium, University of Otago, Dunedin: Presenter 28/08/2012 Bell R. Carman A. and Tumilty S.: Sports injury profile of competitive Waka Ama.
  • Health Research Council (HRC), Hui Whakapiripiri, Ellerslie Event Centre, Auckland, Presenter 10/07/2012: Bell R. Carman A. and Tumilty S.: Sports injury profile of competitive Waka Ama (outrigger canoe) paddlers in New Zealand.


  • 2014-2017: Department of Internal Affairs, Lottery Health PhD Scholarship
  • 2015: Te Rūnanga – Ā – Iwi – O - Ngāpuhi PhD Scholarship
  • 2014: Ministry of Health: Te Apa Māreikura Award
  • 2014: Queen Elizabeth II Post-Graduate Fellowship
  • 2014: Physiotherapy New Zealand, Scholarship Trust Fund
  • 2012: Te Whare Wānanga ō Otago (University of Otago): Masters Scholarship
  • 2012: Ti Maru Māori Trust Prestigious Scholarship (Postgraduate), Toitū Kaupapa Māori Mātauranga (Māori Education Trust)
  • 2012: Ministry of Health, Excellence Award in Post-Graduate Studies
  • 2011, 2012: Te Rau Matatini: Henry Rongomau Bennett Leadership Scholarship
  • 2011, 2012, 2015: Ministry of Health Hauora Māori Post-Graduate Scholarship




Areas of expertise

Industry experience, affiliations and achievements

Research activity

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What do you enjoy about teaching/your job?

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