News and events before 2021

Find out the latest from CAR and our members here. To be kept informed of news and events, please complete our subscription form or contact us directly

Guy Marks awarded prestigious fellowship

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CAR head Guy Marks has been recognised for his significant contribution to science by being elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences (AAHMS). Fellowship recognises those who have demonstrated distinguished professional achievement in a field related to health and/or medicine; and who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in their field.

Congratulations Guy!

New CAR affiliates welcomed

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Prof. Sotiris Vardoulakis from ANU and A/Prof. Camille Raynes-Greenow from University of Sydney have joined the CAR team to become affiliates. Congratulations and welcome!

Conference and Project support grant awarded

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onference and Project support grant for 2020. The funding will be used towards the attendance of the European Respiratory Society (ERS) international congress in Austria.

 

Dinh will be presenting his research on the “Patterns of atopy, traffic related air pollution and allergic-respiratory outcomes in middle age”.

Congratulations Dinh!

Submission to NSW committee into health impacts of bushfires

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​CAR provided a submission to the NSW committee looking at the "Health impacts of exposure to poor levels of air quality resulting from bushfires and drought". We provided a comprehensive submission on the impacts of bushfire smoke on health, particularly on vulnerable populations.

Funding to understand urban greenness

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CAR's Dr Mahsan Sadeghi, Prof. Geoff Morgan and Prof. Bin Jalaludin have received funding for their project 'Impact of urban greening technologies on urban heat, climate adaptation and health'.

Winner of TSANZ Research Medal

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CAR's Prof. Shyamali Dharmage has received the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand Research Medal. This medal is awarded in acknowledgement of her outstanding contributions in research, education or the respiratory health sector as a whole.
Congratulations Shyamali!

NSW Independent Bushfire inquiry

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CAR lodged its submission to the independent bushfire inquiry in March. The independent expert inquiry was established to to provide input to NSW ahead of the 2020-21 bushfire season

Death toll from bushfire smoke estimated to be more than 400

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There was wide coverage of modelling involving CAR researchers which showed that smoke from the bushfires on the east coast of Australia likely led to thousands of hospitalisations and over 400 excess deaths. This is 10 times the official number of deaths from the bushfires themselves

This coverage included that from Scientific American, Nature and the Times, UK

Submission to the NSW committee on health impacts of exposure to bushfire smoke

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CAR provided a submission to the NSW committee looking at the "Health impacts of exposure to poor levels of air quality resulting from bushfires and drought". We provided a comprehensive submission on the impacts of bushfire smoke on health, particularly on vulnerable populations

CAR welcomes Prof. Sotiris Vardoulakis

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We welcome Sotiris as an affiliate of CAR. Sotiris is inaugural Professor of Global Environmental Health at the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health of the ANU. He has a wealth of experience advising national and local governments and international organisations on the health effects of climate change and air pollution, and on environmental sustainability, health protection and risk communication.

February Webinar: Built environment characteristics and disease biomarkers in older adults

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Hear from Dr Trenton Hoda from the University of Utah School of Medicine on a study looking at associations between residential greenness and urbanicity scores and disease biomarkers in older US adults

Winner of community engagement grant

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CAR postdoc Tom Cole-Hunter has received a grant under the Advance Queensland Engaging Science Grants program to undertake a community engagement project called: "How's the air up there?": Queensland Communities Discussing Air Quality.
He will deploy several low-cost sensors and discuss the data with communities including schools in Brisbane and Townsville/Mackay.

ONLINE WORKSHOP: Exposure assessment, data fusion and measurement error

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*March 23, Online*

In its first event for 2020, CAR will be bringing you a technical workshop discussing how to design and implement exposure assessments that are fit for purpose. Special guest speaker is Prof Lianne Sheppard from the University of Washington 

Our experts talk on the health effects of bushfire smoke

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Millions of Australians have been exposed to dangerous levels of air pollution from bushfire smoke. In this collection of the latest media interviews our investigators talk about the health impacts and what can be done to minimise this exposure

Bushfire smoke symposium- October 2020

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Join us on 8 & 9 October, 2020 as we host a two-day workshop to discuss the latest evidence and policy implications around the health effects of smoke from bushfires and planned burns

Bushfire smoke factsheet out now

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In response to the 2019-20 bushfire season in Australia, we compiled this evidence-based factsheet. It outlines what the health impacts are to bushfire smoke, which groups are most vulnerable, what we can do to minimise exposure and why climate change is needed now.

Postdoc training grant awarded

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Mahsan Sadeghi was awarded the postdoctoral training grant to attend a training course on understanding how to use the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model. This is a next-generation mathematical weather prediction program which could be applied to climate change, mitigation, and adaptations. 

Mahsan will use the model for her research into the “Health impacts and benefits of urban heat island mitigation technologies in Metropolitan Sydney.”

What are the links between climate change and bushfires?

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"Human-caused climate change has resulted in more dangerous weather conditions for bushfires in recent decades for many regions of Australia" states this factsheet from the The Earth Systems and Climate Change Hub. A useful resource to understanding how climate change will affect future bushfire risk

2020 Asia Pacific Forum for Environmental Health Assessment (APF-EHA 2020)

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26-28 July 2020 Melbourne · Australia

Participants are welcomed to the 2020 Asia Pacific Forum for Environmental Health Assessment (APF-EHA 2020). This forum will bring together academic staff, researchers in universities, government representatives, health professionals, and students who are dedicated to the protection of human health from environmental pollution and climate change.

Catastrophic fire danger: Using the AirRater app

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On Tuesday 12 November 2019, as fire conditions continue to deteriorate in NSW, a catastrophic fire danger has been issued for greater Sydney, greater Hunter and Illawarra/Shoalhaven regions. 

A/Prof Fay Johnston, chief investigator of CAR, leads a team working on the AirRater project.  AirRater is a computer based application that provides public health support by monitoring air pollution levels. AirRater has recently been made available in Port Macquarie area. By using AirRater, it can allow the public to be better prepared and know when to take action to protect their health from the effects of the smoke.

CAR responds to the review of standards for ozone, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide

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CAR provides a submission on the proposed variation to the National Environment Protection (Ambient Air Quality) Measure (AAQ NEPM) standards for ozone, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide.

Single sensors hold promise for studying effects of air pollution

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A new study has shed light on the best way to study the immediate physiological effects of air pollution.

Catastrophic fire danger: Using the AirRater app.

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A/Prof Fay Johnston, chief investigator of CAR, leads a team working on the AirRater project.  AirRater is a computer based application that provides public health support by monitoring air pollution levels. AirRater has recently been made available in Port Macquarie area. 

Public health emergency in New Delhi, India

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Officials in India's capital, New Delhi, have declared a public health emergency due to the severe air pollution. Read about Prof Guy Marks' comments in the opinion piece below

Congratulations to Prof Guy Marks as the new President-Elect of The International Union Against Tuberculosis

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Congratulations to Prof Guy Marks on being the new President-Elect of The International Union Against Tuberculosis, taking over from the current President at this year’s Union World Conference in Hyderabad.

Study identifies long-term effects on infants

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A new paper from the Hazelwood Health Study has explored the long-term impacts of the Hazelwood coal mine fire on markers of lung function in young children.  

CAR seed funding leads to new project in Sri Lanka

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The Sri Lankan National Science Foundation has awarded CAR researchers a $50,000 grant to investigate air pollution in Sri Lanka.

Long-range sensors extend reach of air quality monitoring in South Pacific project

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A CAR research project that is piloting low-cost sensors to monitor local air quality in Pacific Island countries is collaborating with the University of Oxford and UNSW to monitor regional sources of airborne particulates.

Dr Andrea Hinwood and A/Prof Fay Johnston awarded for their work in air pollution.

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The Clean Air Society of Australia and NZ has awarded A/Prof Fay Johnston the Air Quality Champion 2019 Award for Excellence and innovation for her work on smoke pollution and developing the AirRater app.

Dr Andrea Hinwood was also honoured by CASANZ as joint recipient of the Air Quality Medal

Congratulations to both Fay and Andrea!

Fay Johnston from CAR awarded the prestigious 2019 Tony McMichael Ecology & Environment Award

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Fay Johnston from CAR and the University of Tasmania has been awarded the 2019 Tony McMichael Ecology & Environment Award. She has been recognised for her work on air pollution and climate change.

Climate change, extreme wildfires and air pollution

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Two topics will be discussed: (1) Prescribed burns - how do they impact air quality. The timing of prescribed burns and key meteorological factors will be discussed; and (2) The use of high-resolution climate modelling to identify how future changes in atmospheric instability and dryness increase the potential for extreme wildfires.

CAR Seminar Series: Uncertainty framing, how to publish interesting but inconclusive results...

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Scientists address uncertainty not only in how they perform analyses, but also in how they write about their results. This seminar discusses the many ways in which scientists describe how uncertainty affects interpretation of their conclusions, and how this makes inconclusive results publishable. In addition to an analysis of abstracts in the water sector, a controversy in air pollution is used as an example to spark debate and encourage critique and improvement of current practice.

CAR-CASANZ joint webinar: Air pollution mitigation using passive techniques in the built environment

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Join Asst. Prof John Gallagher from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, CASANZ and CAR for this special seminar on air pollution mitigation using passive techniques in the built environment.

CAR seminar series: From citizen science to urban climate: the Schools Weather and Air Quality (SWAQ) monitoring network

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Prof Melissa Hart will discuss a citizen science project that is placing meteorology and air quality sensors in schools across Sydney. Students collect and analyse research quality data in curriculum-aligned classroom activities. Data are also available online to the public and researchers.

CAR responds to the review of standards for ozone, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide

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CAR provides a submission on the proposed variation to the National Environment Protection (Ambient Air Quality) Measure (AAQ NEPM) standards for ozone, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide.

CAR symposium: air quality and health challenges of changing urban and transport landscapes

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More than 85 people attended CAR’s symposium in Sydney on 31 May, which focused on the air quality and health challenges of changing urban landscapes and how to engage the public in these issues.

Long-range sensors extend reach of air quality monitoring in South Pacific project

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A CAR research project that is piloting low-cost sensors (‘KOALAs’) to monitor local air quality in Pacific Island countries is collaborating with the University of Oxford and UNSW to monitor regional sources of airborne particulates.

CAR seed funding leads to new project in Sri Lanka

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The Sri Lankan National Science Foundation has awarded CAR researchers a $50,000 grant to investigate air pollution in Sri Lanka.

Seminar: Photonic sensors for air quality and beyond

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In CAR's next webinar on 29 July, Professor Benjamin Eggleton (pictured) and Dr Tomonori Hu from the University of Sydney will present success stories from the NSW Smart Sensing Network, focusing on the use of custom optical air quality sensors to monitor particulate matter.

Single sensors hold promise for studying effects of air pollution

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A new study has shed light on the best way to study the immediate physiological effects of air pollution.

Exploring cultural barriers to clean energy practices in the Solomons

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CAR researchers have held a stakeholders’ meeting in the Solomon Islands to officially start a project looking to understand and remove cultural barriers to moving to clean energy practices in the region.

Even low-level pollution associated with increased risk of early death

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A new CAR study has found that even the low levels of air pollution in Sydney are associated with increased risk of premature mortality, providing further evidence that there is no safe level of air pollution.

Air pollution and health: how particulate matter leads to illness

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In this free webinar on 1 May 2019, Professor Graeme Zosky will present an overview of the mechanisms underlying the health effects of exposure to air pollution with a focus on particulate matter. 

Waste-to-Energy processes: what is the impact on air pollutants and health?

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Waste-to-Energy processes have potential benefits for waste disposal and energy generation, but there may also be downsides in terms of pollution emissions.

Pitch development projects in energy transitions awarded

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CAR has awarded three pitch development projects, which will focus on evaluating the health impacts in the new area of energy transition research. 

CAR 2019 symposium: Call for abstracts and early-bird registration

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Registrations are now open for the 2019 CAR symposium, to be held at the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research in Glebe on Friday 31 May 2019. 

CAR investigator honoured for research excellence

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CAR Chief investigator Associate Professor Yuming Guo has been honoured among 23 of Australia’s most outstanding researchers who have received a National Health and Medical Research Council Research Excellence Award.

CAR investigator honoured among women leaders in fire science

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CAR Chief Investigator Associate Professor Fay Johnston has been recognised at a timely gathering of women fire researchers during the Tasmanian bushfire crisis.

Have your say on our research priorities: an afternoon with CAR in Canberra

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Canberra will host the next CAR roadshow, where stakeholders can have their say on CAR's research priorities. The meeting, which will be held at ACT Health on Tuesday 26 February (2-5pm), follows similar meetings in five capital cities last year. The afternoon workshop will feature CAR Investigators, including Principal Investigator Professor Guy Marks. The workshop is free but registration is required. 

Join the CAR team: Applications open for 2019 Postdoctoral Fellowship

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Applications are now open for a Postdoctoral Fellowship with CAR to study the impact of air pollution and new forms of energy on our health. The Fellowship may suit candidates from a variety of backgrounds, including medicine, science, public health and epidemiology, occupational and environmental health and computer science. Applications close on 22 February 2019. 

Taking stock: a year of integration and collaboration

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CAR's Principal Investigator Professor Guy Marks looks at the highlights of 2018, including our progress in integrating and translating research and  developing the careers of many early and mid-career researchers. 

‘Virtual laboratory’ allows health researchers to analyse environmental risks

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CAR has developed an online platform for analysing and sharing pollution data using the Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network’s (TERN) CoESRA Virtual Desktop ­­­– a cloud-based computational environment for big data analyses and data sharing.

Investigating how clean energy could improve child health in Fiji

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CAR investigators visited Suva recently for the official start of a project investigating the impact of air pollution on the health of young children in Fiji and how to minimise that impact.

Low-level exposure to air pollution linked to hospitalisation for asthma

November 16, 2018

Long-term exposure to fine particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide, at concentrations well below the current standards, is linked to hospitalisation for asthma, new CAR research has found.

Latest from the Hazelwood Health Study

October 29, 2018

Analysis of the links between the Hazelwood coal mine fire in 2014 and health outcomes has found a weak link between smoke exposure and small increases in lung stiffness in children who were aged up to two at the time. These are some of the first findings focusing on children’s lung and blood vessel health.

Links between air pollution and diabetes found

October 16, 2018

The association between air quality and heart and lung diseases is well known, but new CAR research has shown links with low blood glucose levels and therefore diabetes. 

First national model of particulate matter developed

October 2, 2018

Our latest paper describes a new method in which the concentration of particulate matter at the 2.5 micrometer scale (PM2.5) is mapped across large regions of Australia. The method integrates data from two sources: satellites and how land is used (called Land Use Regression)

Seed Funding pitch: Have an idea on the next big research question in energy transitions?

September 11, 2018

CAR is moving into a new research area and would like to fund 2-3 projects in the area of energy transitions and health. Expressions of Interest are now open and close 31 September

Biomarkers workshop: Hobart 9 Nov 2018

September 11, 2018

Heard about Biomarkers but not sure what they are? Want to know how they can be used in air pollution research? CAR is running a Biomarker Workshop aimed at researchers, clinicians and environmental officers. 

Is smaller worse? New insights about associations of PM1 and respiratory health

August 25, 2018

CAR researchers found that air pollution particles smaller than 1 micrometre (PM1) are associated with an increased risk of children and teenagers getting asthma and asthma-related symptoms. And, surprisingly that this risk is similar for air pollution particles equal to or smaller than 2.5 micrometres (PM2.5).

Publication: Should we be worried about indoor air pollution?

August 25, 2018

Using low cost air pollution sensors, CAR researchers studied the personal exposure of 14 Australians during a week. Surprisingly, they were able to show that time spent at home and engaged in indoor activities was associated with the highest  exposure to air pollution at the 2.5 micrometer level (PM2.5)

Publication: Fish oil may protect against childhood allergies in areas with traffic-related air pollution

August 28, 2015