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JCU Events TESS Seminar Series

JCU Events

Wed, 27 Apr 2022

TESS Seminar Series

Cairns, Online
When: 27 April 2022, 4pm -- 5pm

Where: A3.3 - Crowther Theatres, Cairns Campus

TESS seminars feature international, Australian, and local JCU researchers whose work falls within Tropical Environmental and Sustainability Sciences.

Citizen science and engaging communities in fighting environmental contamination

Pollution from multiple sources causes significant disease and death worldwide. Some sources are legacy, such as heavy metals accumulated in soils, and some are current, such as particulate matter. Because the global burden of disease from pollution is so high, and so unequally distributed, it is important to identify legacy and current sources and to develop and implement effective techniques to reduce human exposure. ​One technique is through citizen-science, which is helping communities without adequate resources measure their own environments, and in this way gain agency in controlling local pollution exposure sources and/or alerting authorities to environmental hazards. This approach can yield a low cost, high access pollution sensing network at the scale of where people live, providing relevant personal environmental exposure data, engaging participants in the scientific process, and yielding valuable research results.

Dr Gabriel and team have employed community-engaged research and citizen science, through the lens of lead poisoning, on a number of fronts. Several of them have developed and deployed large-scale garden soil programs to map the signature of lead contamination and to develop clear messaging to participants to mitigate hazards where needed. Additionally, they co-developed a global partnership to explore the indoor exposome which is already yielding scientific insights into potential indoor risks from exposures. Through engagement with communities, particular low-income communities of colour, they are attempting to eradicate environmental injustice and racism, enhance opportunities for training and youth development, and reach across the abyss that exists between universities and the very communities surrounding them. The future of GeoHealth will depend on building on these developments and others to protect a growing population from multiple pollution exposure risks.​

About Gabriel Filippelli

Gabriel Filippelli is a Chancellor’s Professor of Earth Sciences and Executive Director of the Indiana University Environmental Resilience Institute. Filippelli is a biogeochemist with broad training in climate change, exposure science, and environmental health. Filippelli has published broadly, including publications in Science, Nature and Geology as well as in specialty journals and in popular press. He has personally directed over $9M of research funding over his career. He is the Editor-in-Chief for the journal GeoHealth, published by the American Geophysical Union. Filippelli is a Fellow of the International Association of Geochemistry, a 2022 Fulbright Distinguished Chair, and former National Academy of Sciences Jefferson Science Fellow, where he served as a Senior Science Advisor for the U.S. Department of State.

The seminar will be followed by drinks and nibbles.

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Dr Yoko Ishida |