Professor Martyn Kirk

BAppSci (WIAE), MAppEpid (ANU), PhD (ANU)
Associate Dean (Education)
ANU College of Health and Medicine
T: +61 2 6125 5609

Areas of expertise

  • Epidemiology 111706
  • Health Information Systems (Incl. Surveillance) 111711
  • Aged Health Care 111702
  • Infectious Diseases 110309

Research interests

I conduct research into infectious diseases and environmental health threats. I have estimated the burden of foodborne disease in Australia and globally. I have examined risk factors for a range of infections, such as COVID-19, influenza, salmonellosis, campylobacteriosis, listeriosis and Shiga Toxin producing E. coli. I assist health agencies respond to outbreaks of disease, building on my experience with a wide range of disease outbreaks, such as those caused by infectious agents, such as Legionella, Vibrio cholerae, intestinal trematodes, Salmonella, Shigella, and Campylobacter. This has lead to national collaborative research incorporating whole genome sequencing for public health surveillance. My goal is to improve how government agencies respond to human health threats.


Prior to joining the ANU in 2011, I worked for over twenty years in State, Territory and federal health departments in the areas of food, water and infectious diseases. Previously, I have run the Australian Field Epidemiology Training Program - the Master of Philosophy in Applied Epidemiology (MAE) program - and the Australian network for foodborne disease investigation - OzFoodNet. I consult for Australian government, the World Health Organization and other international agencies. I hold research grants with the National Health & Medical Research Council, and the Australian Research Council. I am the Associate Dean (Education) in the ANU College of Health and Medicine.

Researcher's projects

Estimating the burden of foodborne disease: Foodborne disease is a major cause of burden in Australia and globally. I conduct collaborative research to estimate the burden in terms of incidence, morbidity, mortality, cost and disability. I currently have research projects examining various aspects of the human health and societal impact of foodborne disease.

Using whole genome sequencing to understand foodborne disease: Whole genome sequencing is revolutionalising microbiology, including characterisation of human pathogens. I am conducting research with public health laboratories in Australia and in Europe to identify how to better use these tools to identify and track foodborne disease outbreaks occuring internationally.

Source attribution of enteric pathogens: I conduct research into the sources of enteric infections, such as salmonellosis and campylobacteriosis. This work with other ANU colleagues has used analysis of reported outbreaks of human disease, molecular typing of pathogens, or mathematical modelling.

The ACT Asbestos Health Study: In the 1960's and 70's, approximately 1100 houses in the Australian Capital Territory were insulated with loose fill amosite asbestos. In 2015, the ACT Government contracted the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health to conduct a study examining (1) the descriptive epidemiology of mesothelioma in the ACT, (2) focus groups of people living in these houses, (3) a cross sectional survey, and (4) a study examining the risks of developing mesothelioma from livining in an affected house.

The PFAS Health Study: I lead a team of people conducting studies to examine the health impact of per- and poly-fluorinated alkyl substances in the communities of Oakey, Queensland and Williamtown, NSW.


Projects and Grants

Grants information is drawn from ARIES. To add or update Projects or Grants information please contact your College Research Office.

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Updated:  14 April 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers