Associate Professor Jan Packer
Jan Packer
Associate Professor/Reader | Principal Research Fellow, Tourism
  • PhD, Education (QUT)
  • BA Hons, Psychology (UQ)
+61 7 334 67789
Room 434, GP North Building, St. Lucia Campus

    Dr Jan Packer has a background in Psychology having completed a BA (Hons) at UQ in 1976. Her PhD (Education, QUT, 2004) focussed on motivations for learning in educational leisure settings. She has published broadly in the area of educational psychology over many years. The current major focus of her research is in applying the principles of educational, environmental and positive psychology to understand and facilitate visitor experiences in leisure settings such as museums and other tourist and leisure contexts. Jan was co-editor of the international journal, Visitor Studies from 2005 through 2011.

    Research interests

    Museum and zoo visitor research
    The main focus of my research is understanding and improving visitor experiences at cultural institutions such as museums, zoos and aquariums, national parks, botanic gardens, ecotourism and wildlife tourism experiences. I have a special interest in the impact of participation in tourism and leisure experiences on visitors’ attitudes and behaviours, and identifying the key elements of such experiences that contribute to effective learning.
    Quality of life outcomes of tourism and leisure
    I have a special interest in restorative environments in tourism and leisure contexts.
    Visitor Research
    Visitor Research


    View full publications list


    • Member, Visitor Studies Association
    • Member of Editorial Board, Visitor Studies
    • Member, Museums Australia
    • Committee Member, Museums Australia Evaluation and Visitor Research National Network


    UQ Foundation Research Excellence Award (2013)
    Editor, Visitor Studies (2005-2011)
    APA Scholarship (1999-2012)
    University Medal (UQ, 1977)

    Major research grants

    Title Agency Year Amount
    Improving zoo/aquarium conservation learning outcomes: A values approach” ARC Linkage Project 2014-2018 $359,240
    Measuring the impact of school visits to the national capital on students' civic literacy. National Capital Educational Tourism Project 2014-2016 $54,981
    Taking a break: The Restorative benefits of short breaks and vacations UQ Foundation Research Excellence Award 2014 Undisclosed
    On being Australian: Exploring the role of ANZAC museum and heritage interpretive experiences in developing visitors’ sense of national identity ARC Discovery Grant 2013-2015 $221,496
    Translating zoo visitors’ behavioural intentions into conservation actions using evidence-based post-visit experiences ARC Linkage Grant 2012-2016 $214,448
    Urban R&R: The restorative benefits of educational leisure environments UQ Early Career Researcher Grant 2007 $15,000
    The positive potential of free-choice learning: Exploring the impact of museum visitation on visitor well-being UQ New Staff Research Start-up Fund 2006 $11,971
    Investigating the educational impact of wild-life based leisure experiences in supporting visitors’ adoption of environmentally sustainable practices ARC Discovery Grant 2005-2007 $153,000
    Learning for sustainability: The role and impact of Outdoor and Environmental Education Centres ARC Linkage Grant 2004-2006 $122,586
    Review of the Australian Awards for University Teaching Australian Universities Teaching Committee 2002-2003 $64,597