About Doctors for the Environment Australia Scientific Advisory Committee

Scientific Advisory Committee

Experts from across the medical and environmental fields, our Scientific Advisory Committee lend their voices and expert knowledge to Doctors for the Environment Australia.

These voices support our goal of using our leadership, medical expertise and compelling scientific evidence to demonstrate the important health benefits of clean air and water, biodiverse natural places, stable climates and sustainable health care systems. ​

Please use the Contact Us page if you would like to contact any of our Scientific Advisory Committee, Board Members, or Administrative Staff.

Prof Stephen Boyden AM

From 1949 to 1965 Professor Stephen Boyden AM carried out research in bacteriology and immunology in Cambridge (UK), New York, Paris, Copenhagen and Canberra. From 1965 until his retirement, at the end of 1990, he pioneered work at the Australian National University on human ecology and biohistory. Since retirement he has been involved in the establishment and activities of the Nature and Society Forum (now called the Frank Fenner Foundation), which is a community-based organization committed to improving understanding, across the community, of the processes of life and human and ecological health. He has published ten books, the most recent of which are: Our place in nature: past, present and future. (2011) and The bionarrative: the story of life and hope for the future (2016). At present he maintains a website – thebionarrative.com

E/Prof Chris Burrell AO

Christopher Burrell AO is Emeritus Professor of Virology at the University of Adelaide. His research expertise lies in hepatitis viruses particularly hepatitis B; HIV and AIDS; influenza; virus diagnosis and pathogenesis; immunization and prevention of virus infections. For more than forty years he has taught medical undergraduates and graduates and doctoral students. He has also worked extensively with government research funding bodies including the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and the Australian Centre for Hepatitis and HIV (ACH2), and has been active in public health bodies dealing with blood-borne infections. He was formerly Head of the Infectious Diseases Laboratories, Institute of Medical and Veterinary Science, Adelaide, providing a virus diagnostic and reference laboratory service to the state of South Australia.

Hon Prof Colin Butler

Colin Butler is an honorary professor of public health at the Australian National University, with special expertise in eco-climatic change and health, limits to growth and health, and “planetary overload”. He co-founded the NGO BODHI Australia (1989), was a founding board member of DEA and is founding co-chair of Health-Earth (2014). He edited “Climate Change and Global Health” (CABI, 2014) with a second edition anticipated in 2022. He has contributed to almost 300 scientific articles, chapters, letters and reports, including for the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (“Ecosystems and Human Well-Being”), and the 5th Assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Peter Doherty

Prof Peter Doherty AC

Professor Peter Doherty AC, FRS, FAA is Laureate Professor of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Melbourne, Michael F. Tamer Chair of Biomedical Research at St Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital and Nobel Laureate for Physiology or Medicine. He received the Nobel Prize in 1996 and was Australian of the Year in 1997. Recognising the importance of the issue, Professor Doherty has written on aspects of climate change in his popular books (Melbourne University Publishing) “A Light History of Hot Air”, “Sentinel Chickens: what birds tell us about our health and the world” and “The Knowledge Wars”. He gives many public talks on the need to engage with evidence based reality in everything from his own research area of infectious disease to global warming. He is currently writing weekly ‘explainers’ around the science of COVID-19.

Michael Kidd

Prof Michael Kidd AM

Professor Michael Kidd AM is a general practitioner and Matthew Flinders Distinguished Professor and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at Flinders University. He is a past president of The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners and the current president of the World Organization of Family Doctors (WONCA). He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences and a member of the Council of the National Health and Medical Research Council.

David de Kretser

Prof David de Kretser AC

Professor David de Kretser AC, FAA is a reproductive endocrinologist whose academic career at Monash University has included appointments as Professor of Anatomy, the founding Director of the Monash Institute of Medical Research and the Associate Dean for Biotechnology Development. In 2003, he was named a Sir John Monash Distinguished Professor. He served as the 28th Governor of Victoria from 2006 to 2011 and is a companion of the Order of Australia. He resumed his research career at Monash University in April 2011. He has served on the Human Reproduction Program at the World Health Organisation. David has expressed dismay at the state of the climate change debate and supports efforts to provide people with clear and factual information on its impact and ways of addressing it.

Stephen Leeder

Stephen Leeder AO

Stephen Leeder AO is a Professor Emeritus of public health and community medicine at the University of Sydney. He is currently Chair of the Western Sydney Local Health District Board, and Director, Research Network, Western Sydney Local Health District. He has a long history of involvement in public health research, educational development and policy. His research interests as a clinical epidemiologist have been mainly asthma and cardiovascular disease. His interest in public health was stimulated by spending 1968 in the highlands of Papua New Guinea. In 2003-04, Professor Leeder worked at Columbia University, New York, in the Earth Institute and Mailman School of Public Health, developing a substantial report, based on research data and scientific interpretation, of the economic consequences of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in developing economies. The report, A Race against Time: the challenge of cardiovascular disease in developing economies , concentrated upon the macroeconomic consequences of CVD, and especially on the fact that one-third of CVD deaths in many developing countries were occurring among people of working age. In recent years, Professor Leeder has directed the development of the Menzies Centre for Health Policy, a collaborative centre between The Australian National University and the University of Sydney.

Ian Lowe

Prof Ian Lowe AO

Professor Ian Lowe AO is emeritus professor of science, technology and society at Griffith University in Brisbane and holds adjunct appointments at two other universities. His research concerns the influence of policy decisions on use of science and technology, especially in the fields of energy and environment. He directed Australia’s Commission for the Future in 1988 and chaired the advisory council that produced the first independent national report on the state of the environment in 1996. He was named Australian Humanist of the Year in 1988. In 2000 he received the Queensland Premier’s Millennium Award for Excellence in Science and the Australian Prime Minister’s Environmental Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement. He wrote a weekly column for New Scientist for thirteen years and received the 2002 Eureka Prize for Promotion of Science. He was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering in 2005 and the International Academy of Health, Sciences and Ecology recently awarded him the Konrad Lorenz gold medal for his contributions to sustainable futures.

Robyn McDermott

Prof Robyn McDermott

Professor Robyn McDermott is a public health physician who has worked as a clinician, health service manager and epidemiologist in rural Australia, South East Asia and the Pacific. She has served as President of the Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine in 2002-04 and as Pro Vice Chancellor of the Division of Health Sciences at the University of South Australia from 2004-9. She has undertaken consultancies with WHO, World Bank, AusAID and State and Commonwealth Departments of Health in the areas of primary health care, chronic disease prevention and management. Her research interests are in the determinants of health in disadvantaged and Indigenous populations, health system improvement and sustainability.

Lidia Morawska

Prof Lidia Morawska

Professor Lidia Morawska is a Professor at the Science and Engineering Faculty, Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in Brisbane and the Director of the International Laboratory for Air Quality and Health (ILAQH) at QUT, which is a Collaborating Centre of the World Health Organization on Research and Training in the field of Air Quality and Health. She is a co-director of the Australia-China Centre for Air Quality Science and Management. She conducts fundamental and applied research in the interdisciplinary field of air quality and its impact on human health and the environment, with a specific focus on science of airborne particulate matter (ultrafine and nanoparticles). Professor Morawska is a physicist and received her doctorate at the Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland for research on radon and its progeny. She is an author of over four hundred and fifty journal papers, book chapters and refereed conference papers. She has also been involved at the executive level with a number of relevant national and international professional bodies and has been acting as an advisor to the World Health Organization. She is a past President of the International Society of Indoor Air Quality and Climate.

Peter Newman

Prof Peter Newman

Peter Newman is the Professor of Sustainability at Curtin University in Perth, Australia. Peter is an academic who has written 20 books and over 350 papers on sustainable cities with a global reputation and has worked to deliver his ideas in all levels of government. Peter has worked in local government as an elected councilor in Fremantle, in Western Australia’s state government as an advisor to three Premiers and in the Australian Government on the Board of Infrastructure Australia and the Prime Minister’s Cities Reference Group. He is the Co-ordinating Lead Author for the UN’s IPCC on Transport. In 2014 he was awarded an Order of Australia for his contributions to urban design and sustainable transport particularly for his work in saving and rebuilding Perth’s rail system. In 2018/19 he was the WA Scientist of the Year. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the Springer journal Sustainable Earth.

Gustav Nossal

Sir Gustav Nossal

Sir Gustav Nossal AC, CBE, FAA, FRS was Director of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (1965-1996) and Professor of Medical Biology at The University of Melbourne. His research is in fundamental immunology with five books and 530 scientific articles in this and related fields. He has been President (1986-1989) of the International Union of Immunological Societies; President of the Australian Academy of Science (1994-1998); a member of the Prime Minister’s Science, Engineering and Innovation Council (1989 to 1998); and Chairman of the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (1987-1996).He has also served as Chairman of the committee overseeing the World Health Organization’s Vaccines and Biologicals Program (1993-2002) and Chairman of the Strategic Advisory Council of the Bill and Melinda Gates Children’s Vaccine Program (1998-2003). He was knighted in 1977, made a Companion of the Order of Australia in 1989 appointed Australian of the Year in 2000, and received the Centenary Medal for distinguished service to the study of antibody formation and immunological tolerance in 2001. The Nossal Institute for Global Health at the University of Melbourne and the Nossal High School at Monash University are both named in his honour. Other honours include Fellow of The Royal Society of London, Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences, Member of the Academie des Sciences, France, the Robert Koch Gold Medal, the Albert Einstein World Award of Science, the Emil von Behring Prize, the Rabbi Shai Shacknai Prize, Monash University Lifetime Achievement Award and over 120 named lectureships in ten countries.

Hugh Possingham

Prof Hugh Possingham

Aside from his day job, Professor Hugh Possingham FAA has a variety of broader public roles advising policy makers and managers by sitting on 11 committees and boards outside the University including: The Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists (founding member), Founding Editor of Conservation Letters (an international scientific journal), Queensland Rhodes Scholars selection committee and several Environmental NGO scientific advisory committees. He and Dr Barry Traill wrote “The Brigalow Declaration”, used by Premier Beattie to stop land clearing in Queensland thereby stopping 10% of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions and saving an area the size of Portugal from conversion into farmland. The Possingham lab developed the most widely used conservation planning software in the world. Hugh coauthored two scientific consensus statements that supported Australia’s new marine reserve system, that is a quarter the size of Europe. He is an advocate of wise decision-making and an informal advisor to several governments. He currently directs two research centres.

Lawrie Powell

Prof Lawrie Powell

Professor Lawrie Powell AC is currently Director of Research at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital and Professor Emeritus, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. He has made significant contributions to the understanding of inherited liver disease and cirrhosis especially haemochromatosis. In 1990 Professor Powell was appointed Director of The Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR). Professor Powell was instrumental in the successful development and planning of the new Comprehensive Cancer Research Centre at QIMR and the UQCCR on the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital site which was opened in 2008. Professor Powell has received numerous national and international awards in recognition of his research contributions including a Gold Medal from the Canadian Liver Foundation “for outstanding life time contributions to hepatology” and the Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) in 1990. He was elected President of the International Association for the Study of the Liver (1986 to 1988) and elected an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in London in 1990. In 1991 he was awarded the Marcel Simon Prize by the Société Francaise de Hémochromatose in recognition of scientific achievements in the field of genetic iron overload diseases. Professor Powell was awarded Alumnus of the Year for 1999 by The University of Queensland, the Premier’s Millennium Award for Excellence in Health for 2000, named a “Queensland Great” in the Premier’s awards 2002, and awarded a Centenary Medal by the Commonwealth of Australia, 2003. His most recent accolade was the 2008 Distinguished Achievement Award by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, the only Australian and only the third person outside North America to have received this award.

Fiona Stanley

Fiona Stanley AC

Fiona Stanley AC is the founding Director of the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research that was established in Perth in 1990. The Institute is multidisciplinary and researches the prevention of major childhood illnesses. Her particular interests are in strategies to enhance health and well-being in populations; the causes and prevention of birth defects and major neurological disorders: the causes and lifelong consequences of low birth weight; patterns of maternal and child health in Aboriginal and Caucasian populations. She is also the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth, a national organisation with an agenda to improve the health and well-being of young Australians. In 2003 Fiona Stanley was made Australian of the Year for her contribution to child health.

Rosemary Stanton

Dr Rosemary Stanton

Dr Rosemary Stanton OAM is a nutritionist whose work over the last 54 years has involved public health nutrition, education and consumer issues relating to nutrition. She is a Visiting Fellow in the School of Medical Sciences at the University of New South Wales, and is involved within her profession on issues relating to sustainable food production and consumption. In 2019, the Public Health Association of Australia presented Rosemary with their highest honour – the Sidney Sax Award “for providing a notable contribution to the protection and promotion of public health, solving public health problems, advancing community awareness of public health measures and advancing the ideals and practice of equity in the provision of healthcare”. As well as many peer-reviewed scientific papers, Rosemary has authored over 30 books on food and nutrition, including several textbooks, and continues to write on nutrition for both the public and the medical profession. She was a member of the NHMRC’s committee that developed the most recent dietary guidelines and infant feeding guidelines and she is working to ensure future guidelines give greater focus to the interrelationships between healthy diets and environmental factors.

Norman Swan

Dr Norman Swan

Dr Norman Swan qualified as a paediatrician but is best known for presenting and producing ABC Radio National programs: Health Report and Life Matters and hosting the ABC television program: Health Dimensions. He has contributed to many other radio and television programs. Norman has been Australian Producer of the Year and was awarded a Gold Citation in the United Nations Media Peace Prizes for his radio work. In 1988 he won the Australian Writers’ Guild Award for best documentary – on scientific fraud. He has also won three Walkley National Awards for Australian Journalism including the Gold and Australia’s top prize for Science Journalism, the Michael Daley Award, twice. In addition to his broadcasting Norman edits his own newsletter, The Health Reader.