Environment, Climate and Health

Environment, Climate and Health


Our research examines how environmental exposures affect health and disease. The three main prongs of our work are represented by our research programs: environmental epidemiology, with a particular focus on the health risks and benefits of sun exposure, particularly for disorders of immune function; mapping health and disease in relation to environmental factors to discover new links and build predictive models for disease risks; and ongoing research on the risks to health of global climate change and the role that health has to play in climate change advocacy.



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  • Lucas RM., Ponsonby A-L., Dear K., et al. Sun exposure and vitamin D are independent risk factors for CNS demyelination. Neurology, 2011; 76(1):540-548.
  • Lai JK., Lucas RM., Banks E., Ponsonby A-L and the Ausimmune Investigator Group. Variability in vitamin D assays impairs clinical assessment of vitamin D status. Internal Medicine Journal, 2012; 42(1):43-50
  • Lucas RM, Neale R. What is the optimal level of vitamin D? Separating the evidence from the rhetoric. Australian Family Physician 2014;43 (3): 119-122
  •  Williamson C*, Zepp R*, Lucas RM*, Madronich S*, Austin AT, Ballaré CL, Norval M, Sulzberger B, Bais A, McKenzie R, Robinson S, Häder D-P, Paul ND, Bornman JF. Solar Ultraviolet Radiation in a Changing Climate. Nature Climate Change 2014;4:434-441 *equal first author
  •  Lucas RM, Byrne S, Correale J, Ilschner S, Hart P. Ultraviolet radiation, vitamin D and multiple sclerosis. Neurodegenerative Disease Management 2015;5(5):413-24
  • Thomas P, Swaminathan A, Lucas RM. Climate change and health with an emphasis on interactions with ultraviolet radiation: a review. Global Change Biology, 2012; 18(8):2392-2405
  • McMichael AJ, Woodruffe RE, Hales S. Climate change and human health: present and future risks. Lancet 2006;367:859-69
  • Butler C, Harley D. Primary, secondary and tertiary effects of eco-climatic change: the medical response. Postgrad Med J 2010;86:230-23
  • Williams CR, Mincham G, Faddy H, Viennet E, Ritchie SA, Harley D. Projections of increased and decreased dengue incidence under climate change. Epidemiol Infect 2016.
  • Bowen K, Miller F, Dany V et al ‘The relevance of a coproductive capacity framework to climate change adaptation: Investigating the health and water sectors in Cambodia', Ecology and Society, 2015; vol. 20, no. 1, pp. 1-12.
  • Bowen K & Ebi K, 'Governing the health risks of climate change: Towards multi-sector responses', Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 2015; vol. 12, pp. 80-85.
  • Friel S, Bowen K, McMichael A et al  'Climate change, non-communicable diseases and development: The relationships and common policy opportunities.', Annual Review of Public Health, 2011; vol. 32, pp. 133-47.