Global and Environmental Health
Investigating global health issues around our ecosystem,
environment and occupations
The Global and Environmental Health research group looks at the relationships between ecosystems, environmental and occupational agents, and health, at local and global levels. It focuses on issues such as maternal and child health, healthy ageing, and disease resulting from occupational and environmental exposures, such as mining hazards, asbestos, air pollution, heat, noise and water.
The group also investigates the positive impact of green and blue spaces on health, which relates to having nature and water around you to better your health. The research team is multidisciplinary, with the goal of improving health for all people by reducing the environmental exposures that lead to avoidable disease, disabilities and deaths.
Find a selection of our current Global and Environmental Health research projects below. We welcome you to discuss other research project ideas with us. Local students can contact the Graduate Research Coordinator at the School of Population and Global Health for more information. International students can use our online enquiry form, which helps us match your research interests with a potential supervisor.
- Asbestos Removalists Health Study
- The Asbestos Removalists Health Study assesses the development of lung cancer, mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases in professional asbestos removalists. The study will try to understand if current work practices protect the health of workers who are regularly exposed to asbestos materials.
- Asbestos Review Program
The Asbestos Review Program (ARP) is a dedicated clinic to follow up with people who have worked with, or have had significant exposure to asbestos. The program began in 1990 for people who worked in the Wittenoom asbestos mines or lived in the town of Wittenoom. It has since been extended to include any person who has had at least three months full-time work with asbestos.
There are opportunities for PhD students wishing to undertake clinical or epidemiological research within the ARP.
- Green and/or blue space and morbidity and mortality among older men
This project investigates how proximity to different types of green and blue space affects men’s long-term health outcomes. We are looking at the impact these spaces on stroke, cancer, cardiovascular and respiratory related illness, as well mental health, physical activity and obesity.
- WA Centre for Health and Ageing
- ECU School of Natural Sciences
- Barcelona Institute for Global Health
- Health in men air quality study
This project investigates the effects of air pollution on cardiovascular, cancer and respiratory outcomes in 12,000 men enrolled in the WA Centre for Health and Ageing, Health in Men study.
- WA Centre for Health and Ageing
- ECU School of Natural Sciences
- Barcelona Institute for Global Health
- IRAS- Utrecht University
- European Study of Cohorts for Air Pollution Effects
- The Australian Workplace Noise Study
We have undertaken a national cross-sectional survey in Australian workplaces to estimate the prevalence of exposure to noise and ototoxic chemicals, in what industries the exposures occur, and whether available controls are being used. We are examining the data to determine the burden of work-related hearing loss and priorities for preventive action.
- Curtin University School of Public Health (lead institution)
- National Acoustic Laboratory
- WA Modern Mining Cohort study
The Western Australian mine health surveillance ran from 1996 to 2013 and collected data on the demographic, lifestyle and health of 150,000 WA miners.
We are now using this cohort to assess cancer incidence, all-cause and cause specific mortality, and hospitalisation for non-malignant respiratory, cardiovascular, auto-immune and renal diseases.
There are opportunities for PhD students wishing to undertake epidemiological research using the WA Miners Cohort data.
- Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety
The impact of our Global and Environmental Health research is elevated by close relationships with industry and community partners.
If you have an issue that requires specialised research and development expertise, or you would like to develop a joint research arrangement with UWA, the Office of Research Enterprise can help.
$2 million in funding to boost medical research
Research into developing new medical technologies and ways of improving patient care will receive a $1 million boost from the Australian Government funded Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals Industry Growth Centre (MTPConnect) which will be matched by $1 million from the medical sector.Read more
Global health reach with the School of Population and Global Health
Although the UWA School of Population and Global Health has been participating in, and leading worldwide health initiatives for many years, it was during the 2016 renewal of the University structure that the School was formally recognised for their important work with the extension of its name.Read more
Three out of four tradies can't identify asbestos
Dr Peter Franklin, a senior research fellow in Population and Global Health at The University of Western Australia, said asbestos remained abundant in WA because so much of it was used in buildings and other products before 1990.Read more
Biomaterials and Nano-Dentistry
This research group aims to translate biomaterials and nanotechnology research to clinical dentistry to provide better dental treatment for patients.Read more about Biomaterials and Nano-Dentistry
Medical Counter MeasuresTranslating discovery to health Immunity Molecular science
Infectious diseases are a serious global health threat, particularly due to the increase in antimicrobial resistance with new resistance mechanisms emerging rapidly and threatening our ability to treat infections. Our research is aimed at developing novel medical counter measures including the use of natural products and inhibitors of virulence properties of pathogens that will supplement traditional treatment therapies. In addition, we are involved in multiple projects aimed at improving implementation strategies for prevention of disease such as vaccination.Read more about Medical Counter Measures
Our research seeks to provide evidence for the many technical aspects of root canal treatment that have not been investigated previously.Read more about Endodontics
Neonatal cardiorespiratory physiologyCardiovascular
Understanding the factors contributing to poor lung and heart function in premature babies and finding better ways to prevent heart and lung disease.Read more about Neonatal cardiorespiratory physiology
Improving health and social outcomes through evidence-based best practice for vulnerable and disadvantaged populations.Read more about Vulnerable Groups
Cardiovascular Disease EpidemiologyPrevention and long term health Cardiovascular
Cardiovascular research in the School of Population and Global Health aims to prevent cardiovascular disease and improve treatment and survival for those affected by mapping patterns of disease, uncovering factors increasing risk of disease and testing ways to improve health of those with cardiovascular disease in the community.Read more about Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology
Burn Injury ResearchTranslating discovery to health Paediatrics Molecular science Plant biology
The burn injury research unit is focused on translational and basic research into burn injury, wound repair, scarring, fibrosis and long-term outcomes for paediatric and adult burn patients. The unit is based at UWA’s Perth campus, and works closely with the Burns Service of WA at Fiona Stanley Hospital and the Perth Children’s Hospital to integrate research and clinical practice.Read more about Burn Injury Research
Our research at The University of Western Australia aims to understand the cellular molecular mechanism of oral biology to support and aid oral tissue regeneration and healing.Read more about Craniofacial Biology
This UWA this research project aims to characterise the spectrum of antimicrobial activity and chemical composition of Western Australian honeys.Read more about Natural Medicines
Oral Medicine & Pathology Research Group
Our group members are nationally and internationally reputed for their outstanding contribution to the recent advances in the field of oral diseases.Read more about Oral Medicine & Pathology Research Group
Our research in Health Humanities is a rapidly evolving field that provides an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the meaning of health, illness and disease for people in the context of the social worlds in which they live and work.Read more about Health Humanities
Oral imaging research at the UWA Dental School aims to improve diagnostic imaging skills and knowledge to benefit patient care and health.Read more about Oral imaging
Infection and ImmunityTranslating discovery to health Molecular science Immunity
Infection and immunity research at The University of Western Australia aims to decipher the effects of microorganisms on human health and the environment.Read more about Infection and Immunity
Neonatal Infection and Inflammation
The discipline of Neonatal Infection and Inflammation researches the best methods to help save the lives of premature babies.Read more about Neonatal Infection and Inflammation
UWA’s respiratory research explores the key areas of pleural infection, asthma and cystic fibrosis, and improving patient care within these areas.Read more about Respiratory research
Molecular pathogenesisTranslating discovery to health Prevention and long term health Molecular science Immunity
The study of molecular pathogenesis uses a variety of in vitro and in vivo models of infection to identify factors necessary for invasive disease. Molecular pathogenesis research includes the study of host-pathogen interactions at the level of cellular and molecular networks with application to the understanding of virulence factors that enable the emergence and resurgence of infectious disease agents.Read more about Molecular pathogenesis
Ageing and Mental HealthPrevention and long term health Healthy aging Mental health
This research aims to develop effective strategies to decrease the number of older people living with depression and dementia.Read more about Ageing and Mental Health
Child and Adolescent Development and HealthMental health
This research focuses on early influences on child and adolescent health which significantly impact health and development throughout life.Read more about Child and Adolescent Development and Health
Microbiome and metabolome of pregnancy and early lifeTranslating discovery to health Immunity
This research area uses microbiome techniques to identify microbial risk profiles as a predictive strategy. Some evidence suggests vaginal delivery is responsible for seeding the neonate with bacteria that colonise the infant’s gut and allow normal development of the gut microbiome, metabolome and immune system.Read more about Microbiome and metabolome of pregnancy and early life
Periodontics and Oral Implantology
Our research focuses on clinical and translational research to benefit patient care and health.Read more about Periodontics and Oral Implantology
Identifying the genetic, epigenetic and environmental risk factors that contribute to the health burden of common disease.Read more about Human genetics
Clinical PsychopharmacologyNeuroscience Healthy aging Mental health Brain
Clinical Psychopharmacology aims to understand how these psychotropic drugs work from a molecular level, through to clinical research in patients. To treat mental disorders, an extensive understanding of basic neuroscience, basic psychopharmacology, clinical medicine, the differential diagnosis of mental disorders, and treatment options is required.Read more about Clinical Psychopharmacology
Paediatric Oral HealthPaediatrics
Paediatric oral health at UWA is tailored to meet the major oral health-related needs of children, adolescence, and individuals with special healthcare needs.Read more about Paediatric Oral Health
Studying the pharmacology of schizophrenia, addiction and Parkinson’s disease.Read more about Neuropsychopharmacology