How long have you worked at UOW?
Nearly 5 years.
What’s your/your team’s role at the University?
Currently I’m a Professor and Founding Director of the Population Wellbeing and Environment Research Lab (PowerLab). I’ve previously fulfilled the role of Deputy Head of School and Head of Research.
What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
Helping, working with and learning lots from clever and determined colleagues and students in university, health departments and in government, each doing our bit to improve population and planetary health.
What’s the most challenging?
Dealing with 2020’s rapidly changing environment to meet multiple category 1 research grant deadlines.
Proudest work achievement at UOW?
Creating PowerLab and translating the research I’ve led on green space, urban tree canopy and healthy ageing into two NSW Premier’s Priorities.
What goals are you/your team working towards in 2020?
Publishing research on the benefits of green space and urban tree canopy for avoidance of loneliness, protection of memory, and potential prevention of Alzheimer’s disease as part of my NHMRC Leadership Fellowship, and supporting my PhD students in the completion of their theses and related publications.
What’s your fondest memory so far of working at UOW?
It’s a coin-toss between giving a talk at the 2019 Big Ideas Festival and giving my PhD students a platform to talk at the PowerFest conferences I’ve organised, which also featured guest speakers from government, industry, and top universities in Singapore, Sweden and Taiwan.
Random fact about you or hidden talent?
One fact about me is I’m a big fan of Dachshunds.
What’s your favourite place in the world and why?
Sydney. I love it’s variety of natural landscapes and diverse agglomeration of villages, communities and green spaces (especially the Royal Botanic Gardens). The ‘Auld Grey Toun’ of St Andrews in Scotland has a special place in my heart too.
Something on your bucket list you’d care to share?
I’d like to improve my Chinese language skills to a level where I could give a lecture series in Mandarin during a sabbatical at Peking Union Medical College and China CDC, where I currently hold Honorary Professorships.