Dr. Jennifer Roberts

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Dr. Jennifer Roberts is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Kinesiology and a Faculty Associate at the Maryland Population Research Center.  Her research and teaching interests focus on the relationship between the built environment and physical activity in addition to its impact on obesity and other public health outcomes.  More specifically, much of her research has explored the dynamic relationship between environmental, social and cultural determinants of physical activity and using empirical evidence of this relationship to infer complex health outcome patterns.  Future and ongoing research, such as her Built Environment and Active Play (BEAP) and Physical Environment and Active Transportation (PEAT) studies will also incorporate state of the art techniques, such as spatial analysis and geographic information system modeling in order to objectively capture the role and relationship of these determinants on physical activity.  Finally, crosscutting issues including exposure (e.g. recreational deserts) and outcome (e.g. childhood obesity) health disparities will also be addressed in both her research and teaching physical activity and public health programs.


Dr. Roberts teaches the following courses:


KNES600: Kinesiology in Public Health


KNES601: Epidemiology of Physical Activity


Recent Publications


Roberts JD, Knight B, Ray R, Saelens . Parental perceived built environment measures and active play in Washington DC Metropolitan children. Preventive Medicine Reports. doi: 10.1016/j.pmedr.2016.04.001


Roberts JD, Ray R, Biles A, Knight B, Saelens B. (2015). Built environment and active play among D.C. Metropolitan children: A protocol for a cross-sectional study. Archives of Public Health. 73(22). doi:10.1186/s13690-015-0070-3.


Roberts JD, Voss JD, Knight B. (2014). Physical inactivity, ambient air pollution and obesity in the United States. PLoS ONE. 9(3). doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0090143.

Roberts JD, Roberts MA. (2013). Wind turbines: Is there a human health risk? J of Environmental Health. 75(8).


Dorevitch S, Doi M, Hsu F-C, Lin K-T, Roberts JD, Liu LC, Gladding R, Vannoy E, Li H, Javor M, Scheff PA. (2011). A comparison of rapid and conventional measures of indicator bacteria as predictors of waterborne protozoan pathogen presence and density. J of Environmental Monitoring. 13(9):2427-2435. doi: 10.1039/c1em10379b.


Roberts JD. (2009). Have “green” U.S. automobile drivers made an impact on greenhouse gases? Natural Resources and Environment. 24(2).