Transforming our understanding of the chemical exposome

This Earmarked Scholarship project is aligned with a recently awarded Category 1 research grant. It offers you the opportunity to work with leading researchers and contribute to large projects of national significance.

Supervisor – Professor Jochen

Despite many benefits associated with the use of chemicals, there is consensus that their accelerated production and use is increasingly affecting environmental health. Effective tools to understand spatiotemporal trends and factors that drive chemical exposure are urgently needed. This project aims to develop these tools by combining established programs in systematic sampling and archiving with advanced informatics and analytical techniques.

The project expects to identify emerging chemicals of concern, assess factors that affect exposure and model exposure based on chemical production, use and fate. Outcomes will support evidence-based regulation and management of chemicals to minimise adverse impacts of chemical exposure in Australia.

Up to four PhD scholarships are available as part of this five year program of work, working with the ARC Laureate Fellow and a team of postdoctoral research fellows. Several projects are available and potential candidates should discuss their preferred topic with Prof Jochen Mueller prior to applying. The broad topics include:

  • Development and application of analytical methods – both target and non-target – for analysis of emerging chemicals of concern in environmental and human samples;
  • Evaluation of factors that drive human exposure to chemicals by assessing links between measured exposures (e.g. in blood or urine) and underlying metadata (e.g. age, gender, sources of chemicals, population lifestyle) using big data Bayesian and other statistical methods;
  • Integration of data from new and existing biomonitoring programs of human exposures (e.g. blood, urine, breast milk) and environmental monitoring programs (e.g. air, water, soil, food)  to establish spatiotemporal trends;
  • Application of mechanistic modelling to predict changes in human exposure to chemicals over time and space and thus assess effectiveness of policy and regulation for exposure control.

Preferred educational background

Applications will be judged on a competitive basis taking into account the applicant's previous academic record, publication record, honours and awards, and employment history.

A working knowledge of exposure science or chemical/data analysis methods would be of benefit to someone working on this project.

The applicant will demonstrate academic achievement in the field(s) of environmental science, analytical chemistry, exposure science, data analysis/modelling or related fields and the potential for scholastic success.

A background or knowledge of organic chemistry is highly desirable.

*The successful candidate must commence by Research Quarter 1, 2024. You should apply at least 3 months prior to the research quarter commencement date. International applicants may need to apply much earlier for visa reasons.

Apply now