Post docs, PhDs and staff

CAR provides funding to postdoctorate researchers to undertake CAR-relevant research projects. It also provides 'top up' funding for PhD students and employs two staff on a part-time basis. Postdocs and PhDs successful in receiving funding for 2018  are listed below.

Postdoctoral researchers

Dinh Bui.jpg
Dr Dinh Bui 

University of Melbourne

Dinh is a postdoctoral fellow based at the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health. His CAR project aims to advance the assessment of long-term exposure to multiple sources of air pollution and investigate social determinants and adverse health impact of long-term exposures to multiple sources in middle-aged Australians. Longitudinal data from the Tasmanian Longitudinal Health Study (TAHS) will be used in this project. 

Nathan Cooper_headshot.jpg
Dr Nathan Cooper

Queensland University of Technology

Nathan is a postdoctoral fellow based at the Climate Change Research Centre, UNSW. His CAR project aims to determine how well schools protect children from exposure to air pollution and what measures can be undertaken in schools to effectively minimise exposure. To achieve this, a large network of low-cost air pollution monitors will be installed in schools across Sydney, and an analysis will quantify the influence of different school characteristics and settings on PM2.5 levels inside and outside classrooms. The results will be used to develop policies for governments and protocols for schools to protect schoolchildren.

  • LinkedIn Social Icon
  • Twitter Social Icon
Dr Mahsan Sadeghi 

University of Sydney

Mahsan is postdoctoral research fellow based at University of Sydney. Her current research project investigates health impacts and benefits of urban heat island mitigation technologies-more information can be found here. Her research aims to analyse the impact of the proliferation of green technology on energy conservation, reduction of urban air pollution and associated health benefits in urban metropolitan Sydney. Mahsan received her PhD degree from the University of Sydney on enhancing occupant thermal comfort through the application of advanced ventilation concepts in residential settings. 

  • LinkedIn Social Icon

PhD students

Wenhua Yu.JPG

Monash University

Wenhua is a PhD candidate in the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University. Wenhua’s research focuses on machine learning, modeling simulation, and health assessment under the background of global warming and climate change. His PhD project is ‘Quantifying the association between air pollutants and health outcomes in the Asia-Pacific region’. The project aims to estimate the spatiotemporal distribution of environmental exposure in the Asia-Pacific region using an innovative deep ensemble machine learning framework and assess their health effects on the public.

Wenhua Yu
Photogragh_Rongbin Xu.jpg
Rongbin Xu

Monash University

Rongbin is a PhD candidate in the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University. Rongbin’s thesis title is “Air Pollution, Ambient Temperature, Greenness, and DNA Methylation: a Twin and Family Study in Australia”. The project would help deepen existing knowledge (e.g., biological mechanisms and pathways) on the health impacts of these environmental factors and inform relevant research and public health measures. Since 2018, Rongbin have contributed to over 30 publications, including 14 papers as the first or co-first author published on top journals such as NEJM, Lancet Planetary Health, JAMA Pediatrics, PloS Medicine, Environmental Health Perspective, Environment International

Mona Elbarbary

University of Sydney

Mona's PhD is entitled 'Air Pollution and Health outcomes in elderly populations: Data from the World Health Survey and Study on global AGEing and adult health' and the project is focused on the concept of environmental inequality in low middle income countries with regards to exposure to ambient air pollution.

Steve Vander Hoorn

University of Western Australia

Steve’s primary expertise lies in the area of biostatistics and he has worked extensively in the fields of biotechnology and population health. Steve has been involved in developing innovative approaches to design and analysis of intervention trials as well as burden of disease studies. For the past 10 years he has worked as a statistical consultant across a wide range of disciplines. Currently Steve is a PhD candidate at the School of Population and Global Health at the University of Western Australia where he aims to acquire new biostatistical and epidemiological skills in the areas of air quality and energy transitions research. His PhD title is: 'Impact of urban land use and transport planning on air quality and associated health outcomes: case studies within the Perth metropolitan area'. 

Operations Manager


Woolcock Institute of Medical Research

Joy's role is to provide overall business support to CAR, including developing policy and procedures, strategic planning and overall coordination and management within CAR. Joy has a background in zoology, having completed a PhD in 2007 from the University of Sydney. She has held a number of postdoctoral positions both nationally and internationally. 

Dr Joy Tripovich 
  • LinkedIn Social Icon
  • Twitter Social Icon

Knowledge and Translation Broker

Dr Belle Workman

University of Tasmania (Maternity relief)

Belle is a social scientist with a research background in climate change, human health and policy development. In 2020, she commenced a postdoc with the environmental health team at the Menzies Institute for Medical Research at the University of Tasmania, undertaking a qualitative evaluation of the smartphone health app, AirRater.  Belle completed her PhD at the University of Melbourne investigating the role of health co-benefits in the development of climate change mitigation policies in Australia, the EU, China and the US. Prior to her PhD, she worked at the National Health and Medical Research Council in clinical practice guidelines and research translation. 

  • LinkedIn Social Icon
Ana Porta Cubas

Woolcock Institute of Medical Research

(Currently on maternity leave)

Ana's role is to engage with and translate the research findings of CAR to a wide variety of stakeholders. These include policy makers, regulatory agencies and the wider public. Ultimately, the aim is for CAR members to undertake research which has impact and is relevant to end-users. Ana's background is in biomedical research, having completed a Masters in breast cancer research in 2011. Subsequent to this she worked in government agencies in the areas of science policy, program management and economic analysis. She is also a freelance medical writer for the pharmaceutical industry.

  • LinkedIn Social Icon

Data Scientist

Dr Ivan Hanigan 

University of Sydney

Ivan is multidisciplinary data manager and analyst with more than 15 years' experience at seven Australian universities and the CSIRO, especially the ANU. Ivan’s current research focuses on the health impacts of socioeconomic disadvantage, air pollution and extreme weather events (e.g. drought and bushfires). In 2016 he completed a PhD at the ANU National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health. Until 2013 he worked closely with Tony McMichael's Climate Change and Health program at ANU. In 2014/15 he led the development of the data portal for the Long Term Ecological Research Network.

  • Twitter Social Icon

Previous PhD students

Previous Employees

Research Grant Co-ordinator

Kathy Heathcote.jpg
Dr Katharine Heathcote

University of Sydney

Kathy currently works as a research grant coordinator for the Centre for Air Pollution, Energy and Research. Kathy is an experienced researcher and educator. Her skills lie predominately in the areas of chronic disease epidemiological research, research design and evidence-based practice (EBP) education. Her research interests are in environmental exposures affecting human health and the preventable factors underlying rural and urban variations in health, health care and health outcomes. Kathy was awarded her PhD in 2019. Her thesis examined socioecological factors influencing patient outcomes after severe traumatic injuries. 

  • LinkedIn Social Icon
Josh Horsley 

University of Sydney

Josh's PhD is entitled 'Fire Smoke Exposure and Health Impacts in Australia' and revolves around two areas: providing estimates of health and economic costs of air pollution from historical fires; and launching an online tool with real-time exposure and estimates of health impacts of bushfires. This project will contribute towards public health by supporting evidence-based policy and decision-making.

  • LinkedIn Social Icon