Climate Change and Health Trans-disciplinary Impact Research Network (TIRN)

Welcome to the UQ Climate Change and Health Trans-disciplinary Impact Research Network.

Background

Academics within the School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine established the UQ Climate Change and Health TIRN in 2019 to:

  • respond to the growing need to provide government and industry with an evidence base for policies to protect health from climate change,
  • coordinate and expand climate change and health research activities with university and industry/government partners,
  • to harness trans-disciplinary expertise for greater innovation and impact, and
  • to bring together a critical mass of research within this growing area of concern.

Goals

The network aims to:

  • foster genuine trans-disciplinary and trans-organisational collaboration between research groups and industry partners; 
  • help position our members for strategic funding and investment opportunities; and
  • share ideas, expertise and outputs. 

Priority research areas

  1. Social and emotional wellbeing in a changing climate
  2. Environmental exposures (including exposure to prolonged heat, bushfires, etc) in a changing climate
  3. Food, nutrition and climate change
  4. Traditional ecological knowledge

Our team in action

In September 2019, Australia began to burn like it's never burned before. Every state and territory, except Western Australia and the Northern Territory, went up in flames, with the mega fire's epicentre in the most populated state, New South Wales.

So far, 33 people have died, an estimated 1.25 billion animals have been decimated, and nearly 11 million hectares of land have been burned.

It's now the summer of 2020, and the fires are still burning in South-East Australia.

In this podcast four experts from The University of Queensland’s School of Public Health discuss the impact of the mega fires on Australia’s food, water, environment, air quality and ultimately the health of the nation.    

Panel: Associate Professor Linda SelveyProfessor Amanda LeeAssociate Professor Luke KnibbsDr Fiona Jayne Charlson

 

Projects

Our network is contributing to a wide range of projects across our four priority areas.

Theme 1: Social and emotional wellbeing in climate change

ACTIVE PROJECTS

  1. The sexual health of queer young people in Queensland (includes questions related to wellbeing in relation to climate change)
  2. Systematic review: mental health and climate change

Theme 2: Environmental exposures in climate change

PROPOSED PROJECTS

  1. Climate and health benefits of restoring tropical peat swamp forests 
  2. Understanding human-bat interactions using systems dynamic modelling

ACTIVE PROJECTS

  1. Climate Change in the Pacific - implications for future actvities of the Australian Defence Force
  2. The impact of land use change on health in Australia, a scoping review
  3. Health impacts of land use disturbance - a scoping study
  4. Interaction of air pollutants and meteorological factors on birth weight in Shenzhen, China
  5. Impact of prolonged heat on morbidity, hospital admissions, emergency department presentations and health system capacity - a scoping review​

COMPLETED PROJECTS

  1. Interaction of air pollutants and meteorological factors on birth weight in Shenzhen, China
  2. Seasonal analyses of the association between prenatal ambient air pollution exposure and birth weight for gestational age in Guangzhou, China
  3. Effects of prenatal exposure to air pollution on preeclampsia in Shenzhen, China

    Theme 3: Diet and nutrition in climate change

    ACTIVE PROJECTS

    1. Toward healthy sustainable food systems: a multi-country analysis of greenhouse gas emissions from self-selected diets and urban policy options
    2. Impacts of climate change on food supply chains in NSW
    3. Systematic literature review of sustainable diets and food based dietary guidelines.

    Theme 4: Traditional Ecological Knowledge

     


    Related projects

    PROPOSED PROJECTS

    1. How sustainable are Australian health institutions?

    ACTIVE PROJECTS

    1. Understanding public attitudes to key environmental public policy actions in South-East Queensland in the context of climate change

     

    Members

    The Climate Change and Health TIRN brings together members from The University of Queensland, other universities, government and industry.

    Members each bring unique perspectives, expertise and skill sets to tackling challenges related to climate change and its impact on health.

    Network members from across UQ

     

     

    Meeting schedule

    Please find a preliminary schedule of meetings for 2020 below. Email med.research.sph@uq.edu.au to be added to our invitation list.

    Time and Date Location RSVP
    TBC    
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         

     

    Advocacy activities

    Network members are undertaking a range of advocacy activities to estalish the climate change and health agenda.

    Some examples are below:

    • Dr Fiona Charlson presented the findings of her systematic review on mental health and climate change at the WHO mhGAP Forum in Geneva in November 2019, to table climate change as a priority issue for global mental health.
    • Dr Fiona Charlson represented UQ at a workshop in Canberra on 1 November, ‘NHMRC’s role in addressing health implications of environmental change’. 
    • Professor Amanda Lee is a consultant for a Sustainable Agriculture Initiative Platform on dietary guidance and environmental sustainability, and is involved in a CSIRO bid for national forum on diet and environmental sustainability.
    • Professor Amanda Lee is also involved in ongoing discussions with NHMRC with regard to dietary guidance and environmental sustainability.
    • Dr Nina Hall is a lead author for the Australasia Chapter (Working Group 2- Adaptation) of the next Assessment Report (AR6; due 2021) for the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

    Steering Group

    Associate Professor Linda Selvey chairs the Steering Group of the Climate Change and Health Research TIRN. Linda's background makes her uniquely placed to lead activities in this space.  At the age of 21, she joined the Australian Conservation Foundation and got very active in their Queensland-based campaigns. Linda was a volunteer with The Wilderness Society and the Rainforest Conservation Society, and was CEO of Greenpeace Australia Pacific, Chair of the Queensland Conservation Council from 2001 to 2009, and represented Queensland on the Council of the Australian Conservation Foundation (1995-97 and 2004-06). In 2007, she was trained by Al Gore as a climate change presenter and has since conducted 25 presentations to large audiences across the country and overseas.

    in the below video, Linda discusses climate change and how it affects our health. 

    Steering Group members

    Coordination and support

    Kate Gadenne
    Research Development Manager
    School of Public Health
    e: k.gadenne@uq.edu.au

    Join our network

    Do you want to be a member of our UQ Climate Change and Health TIRN? We are keen for collaborators across UQ, and in government and industry, to get involved.

    To join our network and add your profile and information about your projects to our website, please subscribe. 

     

    Contact

    For more information about the Climate Change and Health TIRN, please contact:

    Kate Gadenne
    Research Development Manager
    School of Public Health
    e: k.gadenne@uq.edu.au