Five minutes with … Dr Christine Cowie, Senior Research Fellow 

5 April 2019

My research is investigating … the effects of low-level air pollution on health. I'm involved in two studies: one is investigating the association of air pollution on adult health using the 45 and Up Study cohort, and the other is studying the impact of air pollution on respiratory and cardiovascular health of children in south west Sydney. For both studies, I'm involved in taking air pollution measurements for modelling purposes so we can estimate exposure for large numbers of people. I've also more recently become active in scoping out gaps in the evidence of the health impacts of energy transitions. For instance, will moving towards the use of waste to-energy plants present greater health impacts to our society?


The best part of my role is … the diversity of work, the fact that it is such an interesting field, and the knowledge that any improvements made to air quality because of our research can benefit the whole population. That's three best things!


The most challenging part is … keeping up with the science as there have been great leaps in exposure modelling over the past decade, and working out how your research could best contribute to and be translated to address policy gaps. 


Before CAR, my most memorable role was … and still is, as a mother.


At work I am always learning … that you never stop learning and there are so many clever people out there.


Right now, I am most excited about … CAR's symposium on 31 May, which I'm helping to organise. The theme is ‘Changing urban and transport landscapes: air quality and health challenges’. The symposium has two great keynote speakers from the health and urban planning research domain, as well as a panel discussion that will be moderated by Craig Reucassel, presenter of the ABC series War on Waste.  It’s also a great opportunity for researchers, policy makers and others to present their work.