Environmental Health Toxicology

Professor Kevin Thomas

Professor Thomas’ research is focused on better understanding the environmental fate, behaviour, effects and risks associated with contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) with the goal of protecting environmental and human health.

Research topics include:

  • Assessing community-wide health status through urban wastewater fingerprinting. 
  • Alternative matrices for exposure monitoring. For example explanted silicone prostheses and wristbands.
  • Microparticulate plastic particles as environmental contaminants.
  • Analytical methods for the characterization of contaminants of emerging concern (target/suspect-screening/non-target analysis).


Professor Jochen Mueller

The focus of Professor Mueller’s research is identifying organic pollutants and measuring their potential effects on people and the environment.

Research topics include:

  • Sources, fate and human exposure to fluorinated surfactants and other firefighting-related chemicals in soil, air and groundwater
  • Estimating per capita use and release of chemicals by wastewater analysis
  • Sources and fate (sorption/facilitated transport processes) of fluorinated compounds at coastal airports
  • Long-term temporal trends in Australian air contamination (using Environmental Specimen Bank archived samples from 2009 to date).


Professor Jack Ng

Professor Ng is one of very few certified toxicologists in Australia and is research theme leader for Environmental Health Risk Assessment at QAEHS, as well as Program Leader for Risk Assessment at CRC-CARE (Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment). His major research objective is to understand source, exposure and toxicological effects of environmental pollutants for evidence-based risk assessment, and provide intervention strategies to safeguard environmental and human health. Themes include chemical speciation in environmental and biological media, bioavailability in relationship to toxicities, carcinogenicity and mechanistic studies of environmental contaminants.

Research topics include:

  • In vitro bioaccessibility and toxicity methods for health risk assessment of mixtures of environmental pollutants
  • Molecular mechanism of benzene-induced leukaemogenesis.
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Environmental Health Epidemiology

Dr Jason Ferris

Dr Ferris is a statistician with more than ten years of social science and public health research experience, including a strong focus on alcohol and drug research, sexual health, and adolescent health.

Research topics include:

  • Clandestine drug labs and evaluation of remediation practices in Queensland
  • Waste-water analysis
  • Spatial analysis (e.g. alcohol outlet density, alley lighting changes) and population health harms
  • Social determinants of environmental and health risk exposure
  • Risk environments of substance use (in particular alcohol, steroids, methamphetamine, opioids)
  • Interrelationships between social processes, environmental exposure and health outcomes over the life course.


Dr Luke Knibbs

Dr Knibbs is a Senior Lecturer in Environmental Health, with special interests in air pollution, bioaerosols (airborne particles of biological origin), and novel approaches to improving exposure assessment in environmental epidemiology.

Research topics include:

  • Air pollution epidemiology, exposure assessment, infectious disease transmission
  • Geospatial methods in Environmental Health.
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Environmental Health Risk Communication

Associate Professor Kelly Fielding

Associate Professor Fielding’s research focuses broadly on understanding and communicating about environmental health risk perceptions.

Research topics include:

  • Identifying predictors of environmental health risks perceptions;
  • Understanding current environmental health risk messages and approaches; and
  • Developing and assessing  effective environmental health risk communication.
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Environmental Determinants of Infectious Diseases

Associate Professor Linda Selvey


Associate Professor Linda Selvey is Division Head, Disease Prevention and Control in the School of Public Health. She has extensive experience in infectious diseases prevention and control. She has undertaken recent research projects relating to predictors of Murray Valley encephalitis and Ross River virus infections. The former related to climatic factors and the latter mosquito trapping data. Her current research interests include:

  1. The environmental determinants of Clostridium difficile infection;

  2. Risk factors for sporadic Campylobacter infections;

  3. Source identification for Listeria infections, including non-invasive disease; and

  4. Impacts of improving water quality in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Potential PhD students should contact A/Prof Selvey for projects relating to her areas of interest. She is currently exploring options to improve the capacity to determine the sources of Listeria infections.


Associate Professor Simon Reid

Associate Professor Reid is an epidemiologist with an interest in research to improve the detection and control of infectious diseases with a particular emphasis on zoonotic diseases such as leptospirosis and influenza.

Research topics include:

  • The epidemiology of cryptosporidiosis in rural and remote Australia

Current projects include:



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