Staff Profile


Career Summary


Since 2010, I have been employed as an academic statistician within the Priority Research Centre for Gender Health and Ageing (PRCGHA) at the University of Newcastle. I have been afforded the opportunity to work on research using data from the Australian Longitudinal Study of Women’s Health (ALSWH), Australia’s largest longitudinal study on women focussed on health and well-being.  In 1996, this study recruited more than 40,000 women  from three different cohorts (born 1921-1926, 1946-1951 and 1973-1978) and last year, ALSWH finalised the recruitment of over 15,000 women into a new cohort (born 1989-1995). 

I have been involved with research relating to 1921-1926 cohort (topics: asthma; mental health; social functioning; hospitalisation with stroke and disabilities; constipation; faecal incontinence), as well as research relating to the 1973-1978 cohort (topics: perinatal mental health; alcohol consumption during pregnancy; intimate partner violence).  I am involved with research using the 45 & Up Study, specifically the Social, Economic and Environmental Factors (SEEF) sub-study and the Life Histories and Health (LHH) sub-study. ). I currently supervise three PhD students and act as statistical advisor to another 5-8 other RHD students.  I have successfully transitioned to public health research, actively contributing to the research output of the PRCGHA (ie. papers, reports, student supervision, etc). In recent years, this work has culminated in several publications and I am currently involved in the preparation of other manuscripts relating to the ALSWH data.

Prior to my appointment at the PRCGHA, I was employed as a statistician at the NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre (CTC), University of Sydney. During my time at the CTC, I was primarily involved in cardiovascular and oncology related research. Initially I was employed as a junior statistician, conducting analysis for the LIPID study.  However, I became the senior statistician for the FIELD study in 2000.  This trial was completed in 2005 and I coordinated the analysis for the final report and primary results paper.  I was also involved with various cancer trials groups after 2005. I was the consultant statistician for the NSW Clinical Trials Partnership (an initiative between the CTC and the NSW Cancer Institute to promote clinical trials in cancer areas) and served as the group statistical advisor for trials within the Australasian Lung Cancer Trials Group (ALTG) operations committee. I was heavily involved with the teaching opportunities presented at the CTC, taking on a coordinator’s role in 2003-2007 for many of the professional development courses offered by the CTC.  I also participated in the delivery of several Masters level subjects offered within the School of Public Health.

I have been approached to serve on committees due to my knowledge in study design, research methodology and statistical analysis. I currently serve on the International Data and Safety Monitoring Committee (ISDMC) for two clinical trials and remain a member of the Trial Management Committee for another study.  Although I left clinical trials work a number of years ago, I have been repeatedly invited back as a faculty member for the Australia & Asia Pacific Oncology Research Development (ACORD) Workshops, providing advice and support to workshop participants with respect to design, methodology and statistical issues.

I have been involved with securing funding for four studies, totally $3.7M over the past 10 years (NHMRC and multi-state Cancer Council grants).


  • Master of Biostatistics, University of Sydney, 05/12/2005
  • Master of Public Health, University of Queensland, 19/03/1999
  • Bachelor of Science (Honours), Griffith University, 17/03/1995
  • Bachelor of Science, Griffith University, 01/03/1993


Research keywords

  • biostatistics
  • clinical trials design
  • cohort studies
  • health research
  • life course epidemiology
  • longitudinal methods
  • longitudinal studies
  • population health
  • research design
  • research methodology

Research expertise

As a biostatistician, I have worked in a range of health research settings. I currently work within the Research Centre for Gender Health and Ageing at the University of Newcastle, and am involved with design and analysis of data from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health, a large-scale cohort study which is tracking the health and wellbeing of more than 55,000 Australian women. I also have extensive experience in the design and analysis of randomised clinical trials, having worked for 10 years in clinical trials in the areas of oncology, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and neonatal research.

I have expertise in biostatistics, epidemiology and research design.


  • English

Fields of Research

111700Public Health And Health Services50


My primary work is involved with the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health, contributing expertise on research design, methodology and longitudinal studies.


Teaching keywords

  • Biostatistics

Teaching expertise

I currently supervise three PhD students and act as statistical advisor to 5-8 other RHD students. I have been involved with the teaching of biostatistics in Australia through the Biostatistical Collaboration of Australia (BCA), which is an advanced master’s program in biostatistics, designed to address an Australia-wide shortage of biostatisticians. I have coordinated a master’s level course on clinical trials methods for the Master of Public Health program at Sydney University, and have tutored biostatistics within the MPH and MClinEpi courses at Sydney University, as well as lectured within the Basic Sciences of Oncology program (Cancer Institute NSW).



For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.

Click on a category title below to expand the list of citations for that specific category.

Journal article (33 outputs)

2015Vo K, Forder PM, Tavener M, Rodgers B, Banks E, Bauman A, Byles JE, 'Retirement, age, gender and mental health: Findings from the 45 and Up Study', Aging and Mental Health, 19 647-657 (2015)
2015Majeed T, Forder P, Mishra G, Byles J, 'Women, Work, and Illness: A Longitudinal Analysis of Workforce Participation Patterns for Women Beyond Middle Age.', J Womens Health (Larchmt), (2015)
2015Byles JE, Leigh L, Vo K, Forder P, Curryer C, 'Life space and mental health: a study of older community-dwelling persons in Australia', AGING & MENTAL HEALTH, 19 98-106 (2015)
2015Baker J, Janda M, Gebski V, Forder P, Hogg R, Manolitsas T, Obermair A, 'Lower preoperative quality of life increases postoperative risk of adverse events in women with endometrial cancer: results from the LACE trial.', Gynecol Oncol, 137 102-105 (2015)
2015Majeed T, Forder P, Mishra G, Kendig H, Byles J, 'A gendered approach to workforce participation patterns over the life course for an Australian baby boom cohort', Journal of Vocational Behavior, 87 108-122 (2015)
2014Chojenta C, Harris S, Reilly N, Forder P, Austin M-P, Loxton D, 'History of pregnancy loss increases the risk of mental health problems in subsequent pregnancies but not in the postpartum', PLoS ONE, 9 (2014) [C1]
2014Anderson AE, Hure AJ, Forder PM, Powers J, Kay-Lambkin FJ, Loxton DJ, 'Risky drinking patterns are being continued into pregnancy: a prospective cohort study.', PLoS One, 9 e86171 (2014) [C1]
2014Kendig H, Byles JE, O'Loughlin K, Nazroo JY, Mishra G, Noone J, et al., 'Adapting data collection methods in the Australian Life Histories and Health Survey: a retrospective life course study', BMJ OPEN, 4 (2014) [C1]
2014Reilly N, Harris S, Loxton D, Chojenta C, Forder P, Austin M-P, 'The impact of routine assessment of past or current mental health on help-seeking in the perinatal period', Women and Birth, (2014) [C1]
2014Vo K, Forder PM, Tavener M, Rodgers B, Banks E, Bauman A, Byles JE, 'Retirement, age, gender and mental health: findings from the 45 and Up Study', Aging and Mental Health, (2014)
2013Halland M, Koloski NA, Jones M, Byles J, Chiarelli P, Forder P, Talley NJ, 'Prevalence Correlates and Impact of Fecal Incontinence Among Older Women', DISEASES OF THE COLON & RECTUM, 56 1080-1086 (2013) [C1]
2013Anderson AE, Hure AJ, Forder P, Powers JR, Kay-Lambkin FJ, Loxton DJ, 'Predictors of antenatal alcohol use among Australian women: A prospective cohort study', BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 120 1366-1374 (2013) [C1]
2013Loxton D, Powers J, Fitzgerald D, Forder P, Anderson A, Taft A, Hegarty K, 'The Community Composite Abuse Scale: Reliability and Validity of a Measure of Intimate Partner Violence in a Community Survey from the ALSWH', Journal of Women's Health, Issues & Care, 2 (2013) [C1]
2013Reilly N, Harris S, Loxton D, Chojenta C, Forder P, Milgrom J, Austin M, 'Disparities in reported psychosocial assessment across public and private maternity settings: a national survey of women in Australia', BMC Public Health, 13 632 (2013) [C1]
2013Byles JE, Forder PM, Grulich A, Prestage G, '"It's okay to ask." Inclusion of sexual orientation questions is feasible in population health surveys', AUSTRALIAN AND NEW ZEALAND JOURNAL OF PUBLIC HEALTH, 37 390-391 (2013) [C1]
2013Reilly N, Harris S, Loxton D, Chojenta C, Forder P, Milgrom J, Austin M, 'Referral for Management of Emotional Health Issues During the Perinatal Period: Does Mental Health Assessment Make a Difference?', Birth, 40 297-306 (2013) [C1]
2012Nair-Shalliker V, Fenech M, Forder PM, Clements MS, Armstrong BK, 'Sunlight and vitamin D affect DNA damage, cell division and cell death in human lymphocytes: A cross-sectional study in South Australia', Mutagenesis, 27 609-614 (2012) [C1]
2012Tonkin A, Hunt D, Voysey M, Kesaniemi A, Hamer A, Waites J, et al., 'Effects of fenofibrate on cardiovascular events in patients with diabetes, with and without prior cardiovascular disease: The Fenofibrate Intervention and Event Lowering in Diabetes (FIELD) study', AMERICAN HEART JOURNAL, 163 508-514 (2012) [C1]
2011Fogarty G, Morton RL, Vardy J, Nowak AK, Mandel C, Forder PM, et al., 'Whole brain radiotherapy after local treatment of brain metastases in melanoma patients - a randomised phase III trial', BMC Cancer, 11 142 (2011) [C1]
2011Sullivan D, Forder P, Simes J, Whiting M, Kritharides L, Merrifield A, et al., 'Associations between the use of metformin, sulphonylureas, or diet alone and cardiovascular outcomes in 6005 people with type 2 diabetes in the FIELD study', DIABETES RESEARCH AND CLINICAL PRACTICE, 94 284-290 (2011) [C1]
2010Lovell MR, Forder PM, Stockler MR, Butow P, Briganti EM, Chye R, et al., 'A randomized controlled trial of a standardized educational intervention for patients with cancer pain', Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 40 49-59 (2010) [C1]
2006Byth K, Cox DR, Forder PM, 'Assessing the relationship between symptoms of allergic rhinoconjunctivitis and pollen counts', Australian and New Zealand Journal of Statistics, 48 417-428 (2006) [C1]
2006Janda M, Gebski V, Forder PM, Jackson D, Williams G, Obermair A, 'Total laparoscopic versus open surgery for stage 1 endometrial cancer: The LACE randomized controlled trial.', Contemporary Clinical Trials, 27 353-363 (2006) [C1]
2005Forder PM, Gebski VJ, Keech AC, 'Allocation concealment and blinding: When ignorance is bliss', Medical Journal of Australia, 182 87-89 (2005) [C1]
2005Keech A, Simes RJ, Barter P, Best J, Scott R, Taskinen MR, et al., 'Effects of long-term fenofibrate therapy on cardiovascular events in 9795 people with type 2 diabetes mellitus (the FIELD study): randomised controlled trial', Lancet, 366 1849-1861 (2005)
2005Scott R, Best J, Forder P, Taskinen M-R, Simes J, Barter P, et al., 'Fenofibrate Intervention and Event Lowering in Diabetes (FIELD) study: baseline characteristics and short-term effects of fenofibrate [ISRCTN64783481]', CARDIOVASCULAR DIABETOLOGY, 4 (2005)
2005Forder PM, Gebski VJ, Keech AC, 'Allocation concealment and blinding: when ignorance is bliss - In reply', MEDICAL JOURNAL OF AUSTRALIA, 183 166-166 (2005)
2004The FIELD Study Investigators, 'The need for a large-scale trial of fibrate therapy in diabetes: the rationale and design of the Fenofibrate Intervention and Event Lowering in Diabetes (FIELD) study (ISRCTN64783481)', Cardiovascular Diabetology, 3 9 (2004)
2003Hauge W, Forder PM, Simes J, Hunt D, Tonkin A, 'Effect of pravastatin on cardiovascular events and mortality in 1516 women with coronary heart disease: Results from the Long-Term Intervention with Pravastatin in Ischemic Disease (LIPID) study', American Heart Journal, 145 643-651 (2003) [C1]
2002Hunt D, Young P, Simes J, Hague W, Mann S, Owensby D, et al., 'Benefits of pravastatin on cardiovascular events in older patients with coronary heart disease', Cardiology Review, 19 34-37 (2002)
2001Young P, Purdie D, Jackman L, Molloy D, Green A, 'A study of infertility treatment and melanoma', MELANOMA RESEARCH, 11 535-541 (2001)
2001Hunt D, Young P, Simes J, Hague W, Mann S, Owensby D, et al., 'Benefits of pravastatin on cardiovascular events and mortality in older patients with coronary heart disease are equal to or exceed those seen in younger patients: Results from the LIPID trial', Ann Intern Med, 134 931-940 (2001)
1999Green A, McCredie M, MacKie R, Giles G, Young P, Morton C, et al., 'A case-control study of melanomas of the soles and palms (Australia and Scotland)', CANCER CAUSES & CONTROL, 10 21-25 (1999)
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Conference (4 outputs)

2013Chojenta C, Loxton DJ, Lucke J, Forder P, 'A longitudinal analysis of the predictors and antecedents of postnatal depression in Australian women', Archives of Women's Mental Health, Paris, France (2013) [E3]
2011Moores C, O'Callaghan N, Donoghoe M, Forder PM, Armstrong B, Fenech M, 'The effect of a micronutrient supplement on telomere length', Australasian Medical Journal, Queenstown, NZ (2011) [E3]
2011Koloski NA, Jones M, Gill RS, Forder PM, Talley NJ, 'Long term risk factors for the development of constipation in older community dwelling women', Gastroenterology: DDW 2011 Abstracts, Chicago, IL (2011) [E3]


2011Halland M, Koloski NA, Jones M, Byles JE, Chiarelli PE, Forder PM, Talley NJ, 'Modifiable risk factors associated with faecal incontinence in older community dwelling women', Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Brisbane, Australia (2011) [E3]
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Grants and Funding


Number of grants1
Total funding$91,024

- Indicates that the researcher may be seeking students for this project.

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.

2015 (1 grants)

House and Home: Pathways and alternatives to residential aged care for older Australian women$91,024
Funding Body: IRT (Illawarra Retirement Trust)

Project Team
Professor Julie Byles, Associate Professor Deirdre McLaughlin, Mrs Peta Forder, Associate Professor Deb Loxton
Research Foundation GrantInvestigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish

Research Supervision

Number of current supervisions3
Total current UoN PhD EFTSL0.65

For supervisions undertaken at an institution other that the University of Newcastle, the institution name is listed below the program name.

Current Supervision

ProgramSupervisor TypeResearch Title
20132017PhD (Gender & Health)Co-SupervisorAsthma Quality Care in Australian Older Women
20112015PhD (Gender & Health)Co-SupervisorMedications Use and Mental Health Outcome
20112015PhD (Gender & Health)Co-SupervisorLife-Course Impact of Chronic Diseases on Patterns of Workforce Participation: A Gendered Approach

Mrs Peta Forder

Work Phone(02) 4042 0676
PositionAcademic Statistician
Priority Research Centre for Gender, Health and Ageing
Faculty of Health and Medicine
The University of Newcastle, Australia
Workstation 114, Level 4, HMRI Building,
Hunter Medical Research Institute (John Hunter Hospital Campus),
John Hunter Hospital Campus