CEPH nurtures future leads for impact, innovation

Head shot of PhD candidate Nicola Banwell, smiling to camera, who has received an Endeavour Postgraduate Scholarship to support her international studies
PhD candidate Nicola Banwell has received an Endeavour Postgraduate Scholarship to support her international studies

Griffith University’s Centre for Environment and Population Healthhas begun the new year full of optimism and inspiration after ending 2015 with a string of awards and acknowledgments for staff, PhD researchers and alumni.

These include —

At a special ceremony in Beijing in November, Mr Song Tie — Vice Director of China’s Guangdong Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention — received the Australia China Alumni Award for Research and Innovation.

Song’s connection with Griffith began in 2008 after he won a leadership fellowship to attend the University’s Master of Science in Public Health degree program.

Since studying in Australia, Song has implemented many initiatives to advance international health security.

Most notable of these was the establishment in 2010 of the Health Emergency Information Communication System in the Pearl River Delta Region, aninnovative information platform strategically linking Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao and which continues to prevent and control H1N1, H7N9 and Ebola.

Closer to home, the 2015 Griffith University PVC’s Science Excellence Awards saw CEPH and School of Environment Research Fellow Dr Dung Phung receive a Highly Commended award in the Early Career Research category.

Since completing his PhD, Dr Phung has published numerous papers in high ranking journals, nurtured PhD candidates and led research projects.

His commitment to research and the demonstration of influential outcomes are particularly evident through his work exploring climate variability and health impacts through water and temperature changes in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta, a region extremely vulnerable to climate change.

Meanwhile, PhD candidate Ms Nicola Banwell has received an Endeavour Postgraduate Scholarship to support her international research.

This highly competitive scholarship — only 30 were chosen from 5000 applicants — is sponsored through the Department of Education and Training and supports Australians as they undertake postgraduate studies and professional development overseas.

This year Nicola’s work will take her to the Philippines, where she will be focusing on disaster and climate-related health risks. This will be followed by six months in Geneva with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research on the Capacity for Disaster Reduction Initiative.

Nicola received a Prime Minister’s Award in 2012.

Esther Achieng Onyango addressing the 3rd GRF One Health Summit in Switzerland
Esther Achieng Onyango addresses the 3rd GRF One Health Summit in Switzerland

Among other notable achievements by CEPH PhD researchers,Ms Esther Achieng Onyango received a conference award certificate for her presentation — A Conceptual Framework for Conducting an Integrated Vulnerability Assessment in Climate Change and Malaria Transmission — at the 3rd GRF One Health Summit in Davos, Switzerland.

Furthermore, Ms Kultida Bunjongsiri won a USE 2015 Best Paper PhD Award for her presentation, Barriers and Challenges to Apply Health and Safety Criteria Regards to Eco-Industrial Regulation: A Case Study of Saha Groups — Sriracha, Thailand, at the Understanding Small Enterprises conference in the Netherlands.

And as the year gets underway, the CEPH welcomes Professor Scott Baum as Deputy Director-Research.

Professor Baum and Dr Shannon Rutherford (Deputy Director-Training and Capacity Building) recently visited Bangladesh where they discussed building collaborations, particularly in climate change and health.