June report for Environment, Climate and Health

3 June 2020

Keynote and invited presentations

Webinar on “Clean Environment Transition Towards a Sustainable Planetary Health” organised by IIT Madras. Sotiris gave a presentation on “The far-reaching effects of wildfires, air pollution and climate change: from health communication to effective action”

Media releases/interest

Our paper on risks to children’s eyes of enforced time indoors during the COVID-19 pandemic, published on 18 May, had received 2.1 million views by 26 May 2020.

Jo Lane was invited to write an article for the May 2020 macular issue of the mivision The Ophthalmic Journal (read by approximately 6,500 optometrists and ophthalmologists in Australia and New Zealand aimed at sharing knowledge and improving communication with eye care professionals). The article titled “Reduced Facial Recognition: The Social Consequences” is at:  


Jo Lane has been invited to present a webinar for the Macular Disease Foundation Australia (MDFA) Education Sessions on “Seeing Faces and Vision Loss” on the 16 July 2020 at:


Other news

Research topic launched on “Cities in Lockdown: Implications of COVID-19 for Air Quality and Urban Environmental Health”, Sotiris Vardoulakis, Jenny Salmond, Patrick Kinney, Donna Green https://www.frontiersin.org/research-topics/14268/cities-in-lockdown-implications-of-covid-19-for-air-quality-and-urban-environmental-health (open for submissions)

Environmental Research Letters, Focus Collection on Climate Change, Air Pollution and Human Health, Guest Editors: Donna Green, Kristie Ebi, Sotiris Vardoulakis, Wenjia Cai and Toon Vandyck https://iopscience.iop.org/journal/1748-9326/page/Climate_Change_Air_Pollution (open for submissions)

Jo Lane presented on “Wellbeing during the COVID-19 Pandemic” to ANU Higher Degree Research (HDR) students at RSPH and the John Curtin School of Medical Research (JCSMR), early career academics (via NECTAR; Network for Early Career Teachers, Academics and Researchers at ANU on University Mental Health Day), and people living with multiple sclerosis (Taking Control Group and the People with MS (PwMS) Group). 

As part of University Mental Health Day, Jo Lane was invited by ANU Thrive (ANU student wellbeing organisation) to be a guest speaker in a Q&A on wellbeing and mental health on 7th May 2020. One of the recorded videos: How can I stay mentally healthy whilst practicing social distancing/working from home?


RSPH “Feeling good at home (during COVID-19)” and “Wellbeing during the COVID-19 Pandemic” resources were promoted in the ANU NECTAR May 2020 Newsletter following the University Mental Health Day presentation by Jo Lane at:


And on the ANU “Wellbeing at home or on campus” website:


Papers accepted/published:

Yang L., Liu C., Bi P., Vardoulakis S., Huang C., 2019. Local actions to health risks of heatwaves and dengue fever under climate change: Strategies and barriers among primary healthcare professionals in Southern China. Environmental Research (in press)

Lingham G, Yazar S, Mackey D, Lucas RM. COVID-19: At home, not “in home”: protecting young eyes. MJA Insight 18 May 2020

Progress on research projects

e-Asia grant proposal submitted: Mitigating Climate Change and Health Impacts from Biomass Open Burning in Southeast Asia and Australia (ANU involvement: Sotiris Vardoulakis, Steven Crimp, Marta Yebra, Rachael Rodney Harris, Aparna Lal, Simon Haberle, Iain Walker)

Airborne transmission of COVID-19 and other coronaviruses in indoor and outdoor environments: a rapid systematic review. Protocol registered with PROSPERO [CRD42020185563]. Vardoulakis S. et al.

Kick-off meeting of cross-college project: Bushfire and health communication with children from vulnerable populations. (Karima Laachir, Sotiris Vardoulakis, Erin Walsh, Ginny Sargent, Laura Gooyers, Nicola Palfrey, Burcu Cevik-Compiegne, Liz Drummond)