Five minutes with … Dr Tom Cole-Hunter, Postdoctoral Fellow, QUT

7 February 2019

I was attracted to the postdoctoral fellowship because
it was a great opportunity to return to Australia after years overseas and apply what I’d learnt to CAR’s emerging work in the intersect of air pollution, energy and health.

 

My CAR research is investigating … the possible health co-benefits of a transition to clean energy production and use in our neighbouring Pacific Island countries, including Fiji and Solomon Islands. This investigation is first taking a picture of the baseline air-quality level to see how and if it changes with interventions to address identified issues (e.g. clean cookers to reduce household air pollution exposure).

 

The best part of my role is … getting to visit some of the Pacific Island Countries, to deploy air-quality instrumentation and interact with local research and government partners to build capacity for its use in the region – all while being supported by CAR as a national centre of research excellence.

 

The most challenging part is … staying focused on my own research program and output when there is a lot of interesting work being done by everyone in CAR that I’d like to be involved with.

 

Before CAR, my most memorable role was … working in a European Commission-funded project that required lots of travel across Europe to meet with partners.

 

At work I am always learning that … time management is essential to protect effective times of day to focus on writing, while allowing time for pursuits that keep the body and mind healthy (e.g. sleep and physical activity).

 

Most people don’t know that … I have nine (half and full) older brothers and sisters.

 

My favourite holiday destination is ... Niseko, Hokkaido, Japan – I’m fortunate to be going there for a week of snowboarding in March.

 

The talent I would most like to have is … to play the piano. I play a little guitar, but there’s something about the piano for composing and creating music.

 

When I am not working, I most enjoy … running, swimming, practising yoga or refreshing with a craft beverage.

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