UNSW experts advising on the bushfire crisis

UNSW academics are available for interview on the bushfires, discussing links to climate change, and how fires affect our health and water supplies

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Photo: Shutterstock

UNSW academics whose work and research digs into the deeper causes and effects of bushfires are available for interview.

Bushfire and climate science

Associate Professor Scott David Mooney, School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, is an expert in bushfire, fire history, past climate change, climate variability, and human impacts.

Dr Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick is a climate scientist interested in extreme events. She researches comprehensive methods of attributing heatwaves to climate change, and how we might be able in attribute the health impacts of heatwaves to climate change.

Dr Sophie Lewis is a climate scientist that uses climate models, observations and palaeoclimate records to provide a long-term perspective on recent climate change. She has a particular focus on recent extreme rainfall and temperature events in Australia.

Wildlife

Professor Mike Letnic, Centre for Ecosystem Science, can advise on effects bushfires have on native animals, as well as terrestrial ecology, ecosystem restoration, management of invasive species, and predators.

Air pollution and health

Professor Guy Marks, South Western Sydney Clinical School at UNSW Medicine. The major focus of his research interest is lung health with specific focus on airways disease, air pollution and tuberculosis. 

Conjoint Professor Bin Jalaludin is an expert on the health effects of air pollution with UNSW’s School of Public Health and Community Medicine (SPHCM). 

Dr Christine Cowie, environmental epidemiologist at UNSW Medicine, is an expert in the health effects of exposure to bushfire smoke and air pollution.

Water quality and management

Professor Stuart Khan, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, is an expert on the impact of extreme weather events on water quality.

Professor Greg Leslie, Director UNSW Global Water Institute (GWI), is focused on water infrastructure resilience assessment and recovery.

Energy infrastructure

John Fletcher is a Professor (Energy Systems Research Group) with the School of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications. He can comment on the impact of bushfires on energy infrastructure.

Mental health, trauma

Professor Richard Bryant at the School of Psychology is Director of the UNSW Traumatic Stress Clinic. His main areas of research are Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Prolonged Grief Disorder.

Road safety

Professor Ann Williamson and Associate Professor Soufiane Boufous are leading researchers in UNSW's Transport and Road Safety Research Centre.

Post-disaster recovery

Professor David Sanderson is an international disaster risk reduction expert at Built Environment. He has over 25 years’ experience working in crisis around the world, engaging with aid agencies to improve humanitarian response and build resilience. 

Effect of bushfire smoke on buildings

Professor Geoff Hanmer from Built Environment is an expert in bushfire smoke management in different building types. 

Dr Shamila Haddad from Built Environment is an expert on indoor air pollution and air quality and can comment on the ways residents can be protected from bushfire smoke.

Climate change and politics, justice

Jeremy Moss is a Professor of Political Philosophy at Arts & Social Sciences. Professor Moss’s main research interests include projects on climate justice, the ethics of renewable energy as well as the ethical issues associated with climate transitions. 

Associate Professor David McKnight at Arts & Social Sciences investigates the intersection of climate change, politics and journalism. His research is strongly focused on climate denial in politics and the power of the coal industry.

Landscape management

Dr Elisa Palazzo at Built Environment is an expert in climate and water sensitive cities and adaptive designs, as well as the resilience of peri-urban landscapes, which extend to landscape management aspects of bushfires.