Dr Kayla Smurthwaite

BMEDS (Honours), PhD
Research Fellow, National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health
ANU College of Health and Medicine

Areas of expertise

  • Epidemiology 4202
  • Environmental Epidemiology 420203
  • Epidemiological Methods 420204
  • Pollution And Contamination 4105

Research interests

Environmental Health
  • Exposure measurement
  • Risk assessment
  • Risk communication
  • Health and social concerns
  • Current challenges of public interest

Special interest: Slow-moving environmental disasters

  • Community exposure to loose-fill asbestos insulation
  • Community exposure to Per and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)
  • Occupational exposure to PFAS in aviation firefighters
  • General population exposure to PFAS

Applied Epidemiology Methodology

  • Risk assessment
  • Systematic review and meta-analysis
  • Qualitative research


Kayla Smurthwaite is an applied epidemiologist and lecturer in environmental health at the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health. 

Kayla has experience in epidemiological study design and data analysis, environmental epidemiology investigation, systematic review and qualitative research. Her PhD research focused on exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in Australian communities affected by environmental contamination, through which she contributed to the PFAS Health Study, Air Services Australia Study of PFAS exposure, and an ongoing NHMRC study of longitudinal PFAS exposure assessment.

Kayla is the Convenor of the Human Health, Environment and Climate Change course for the Masters of Public Health, with experience in teaching environmental health. 

See Google Scholar page. 

Keywords: public health, applied epidemiology, environmental health, human exposure, risk assessment, persistent organic pollutants

Researcher's projects

Current student projects

  • The PFAS Health Study identified a range of perceptions and experiences of blood testing for PFAS in these communities, including concerns of the reporting of PFAS measurements by General Practitioners. We have an current student research project on clinician reporting of PFAS in Australia, which aims to inform the development of tailored strategies to report blood test results to individuals and communities.

Past student projects

  • Systematic review to assess the impact of temperature on the incursion and distribution of zoonotic pathogens in mammalian vertebrate livestock and wildlife populations (2021)


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:  24 July 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers