Environmental health expert from Down Under visits University Centre Weston

Website Editor

UCW recently welcomed Dr Kirstin Ross from Flinders University, Adelaide, to Weston-super-Mare for a series of talks and workshops.

Kirstin, the university’s Senior Lecturer in Environmental Health, gave a presentation on environmental health in Australia to south west public and environmental health professionals, lecturers and students in UCW’s seafront Winter Gardens building.

Attendees also discussed possible professional collaborations and student research projects.

The public and environmental health degrees at UCW are delivered in partnership with UWE Bristol and accredited by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health.

Sharon Smith, the professional body’s Network Manager for Membership, said: “It was very interesting to hear about the similarities and differences in managing environmental health in Australia.

“It seems we share the challenge of voice and visibility across the profession, particularly when it comes to public understanding of the impact and breadth of environmental health activity.

“I was also reassured to hear about the successes of public education approaches; there continues to be much we can learn from each other.”

Kirsten also delivered a session called ‘Zombie Apocalypse: Microbes and Toxins’, with the cultural hook aimed at persuading young people about the importance of environmental health topics such as water testing and purification, food preservation, disease control and emergency planning.

UCW Public and Environmental Health Coordinator David Lown said: “This is such a great approach, and something that we will definitely be trying at UCW as our brand new laboratory is next to our hair, make-up and prosthetics studio.

“It was so inspiring meeting Kirstin, who travelled over 10,000 miles for the love of environmental health.”

Photo from left: Dr Kirstin Ross, Phil Gilbert (Associate Head of Department, UWE Bristol), Sharon Humphries (Senior Lecturer Environmental Health, UWE Bristol), Sharon Smith.