Marissa's PhD examined the effect of temperature extremes and air pollution on human health in the greater Sydney region. Her primary research interests include the effects of temperature and air pollution on human health, and how that translates in health policy.
Thunderstorm asthma is an allergic phenomenon globally and can be triggered by the confluence of plant pollination, pollen rupture, and thunderstorm-induced atmospheric dynamics. From 6pm on the 21 November 2016, an unprecedented thunderstorm asthma event in Melbourne resulted in more than 1,600 emergency calls, almost 4,000 emergency department presentations, more than 500 hospital admissions, and up to 9 deaths. The Victorian health system struggled to cope. Climate change may lead to more thunderstorms and altered allergenic plant prevalence and distribution. This project will use models of thunderstorm dynamics, pollen aerobiology, immune dysfunction, remote sensing and large health and population datasets to better understand and forecast the potential human health impact of changes in thunderstorm asthma risk over time.
James is interested in how we identify dangerously hot days. His PhD compares a number of heat stress indices to see how well they predict indicators of public health in Australian cities. He will use this work to see how sensitive projections of Australian climate change health impacts are to the choice of heat stress index.
Papers of Interest:
Goldie J, Alexander L, Lewis S C, Sherwood S & Bambrick H (2017). Changes in relative fit of human heat stress indices to cardiovascular, respiratory and renal hospitalizations across five Australian urban populations. International Journal of Biometeorology. doi: 10.1007/s00484-017-1451-9
Goldie J, Alexander L, Lewis S C & Sherwood S (2017). Comparative evaluation of human heat stress indices on selected hospital admissions in Sydney, Australia. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 41(4):381-387. doi: 10.1111/1753-6405.12692