February report for Environment, Climate and Health

5 February 2020

New grants/funding

Jo Lane was awarded the 2019 Ian Ballard Travel Award by MS Research Australia to travel to the Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ACTRIMS) Forum in Florida in February 2020 and meet with leading MS researchers at the Johns Hopkins Multiple Sclerosis Centre in Baltimore and the University of British Columbia in Vancouver to present MS research being conducted at the ANU and discuss future collaborations.

Jo Lane was awarded a 2019 Incubator Grant by MS Research Australia to conduct a study titled “Acceptability and feasibility study of the English version of ELEVIDA, an online intervention for fatigue in multiple sclerosis”.

Jo Lane was awarded the 2019 RSPH Excellence in Population Health Research Award to conduct a study on the “Correlates of fatigue in multiple sclerosis”.

As part of a team at the College of Asia Pacific, Aparna Lal was awarded a grant from the Asia Pacific Innovation Program for the Project "Mapping allergy risk in a hayfever hotspot". 

As part of a team, Aparna Lal was awarded a 2019 RSPH Excellence in Population Health Research Award to conduct a study on seasonal contamination of drinking water sources in India and Indonesia

Sotiris Vardoulakis, Aparna Lal, Robyn Lucas, Mahomed Patel and others have been awarded a contract to evaluate the climate adaptation plan for health for the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

Sotiris Vardoulakis and team have been awarded two small grants in relation to air quality and health from the Dean’s bushfire initiative.

Keynote and invited presentations

Jo Lane has been invited to present at the iWiMS (International Women in MS) Global Epidemiology conference on the 28th Jan by webinar, with her presentation titled: “My first year in MS research: reflections and the next steps”.

Outreach and engagement

Aparna Lal was part of a video talking about Climate Change and the importance of diversity and inclusion and Women in STEMM. https://www.thequint.com/news/environment/indian-women-on-voyage-to-antarctica-climate-crisis

Media releases/interest

Aparna Lal published an article in the Canberra Times on the 29th of December 2019 on the unequal impacts of poor air quality.  https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6558397/poor-air-quality-has-unev... around the unequal impact of air quality.

Aparna Lalpublished a story in the Canberra Weekly (16th January 2020) on “Bushfires and climate change: how we can make a difference today”

Sotiris Vardoulakis has led a team developing new communication tools around health risks of bushfire smoke. These will be released today, including specifically at the request of ACT Health, Red Cross, Commonwealth Health Dept, PHAA and others.

New staff

Imogen Gad has joined the PFAS team to assist with data management.

Papers accepted/published:

  1. Russell R, Langer-Gould A, Gonzales EG, Smith AB, Brennan G, Pereira G, Lucas RM, Black L. Obesity, dieting and multiple sclerosis. Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders (accepted 8 Dec 2019)
  2. Allemann TS, Dhamrait G, Fleury NJ, Abel TN, Hart PH, Lucas RM, Matthews VB, Gorman S. Low-dose UV radiation before running wheel access activates brown adipose tissue. Journal of Endocrinology (accepted 6 Jan 2020)


Progress on research projects

PFAS Health Study

The survey for the exposed community closed on 20 December. The team are in final discussions with the Department of Human Services for the assisted mail-out in the comparison communities.