Professor Sotiris Vardoulakis

PhD, MSc, BSc (Honours)
Professor of Global Environmental Health
ANU College of Health and Medicine
T: +61 2 6125 0657

Areas of expertise

  • Public Health 4206
  • Environmental Epidemiology 420203
  • Occupational Epidemiology 420209
  • Preventative Health Care 420605
  • Climate Change Impacts And Adaptation 4101
  • Human Impacts Of Climate Change And Human Adaptation 410103
  • Environmental Assessment And Monitoring 410402
  • Air Pollution Modelling And Control 401101

Research interests

Cclimate change adaptation, bushfires, air pollution, heat and health, urban health, sustainable development, exposure assessment, environmental epidemiology, occupational hygiene, environmental health policy, public health communication.


Sotiris Vardoulakis is inaugural Professor of Global Environmental Health and Director of the NHMRC Healthy Environments And Lives (HEAL) National Research Network. He leads the Environment, Climate, and Health Group at the ANU National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health.

Previously, Sotiris held a number of senior academic, civil service and consultancy positions in the UK. He was Director of Research and Head of the WHO Collaborating Centre on Occupational Health at the Institute of Occupational Medicine in Edinburgh, Head of the Environmental Change Department, and of the Air Pollution and Climate Change Groups at Public Health England, and lecturer and course director at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the University of Birmingham. He is currently Honorary Professor at the European Centre for Environment and Human Health at the University of Exeter Medical School, and Adjunct Professor at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras.

Sotiris co-founded and co-chaired the International Consortium for Urban Environmental Health and Sustainability (Healthy-Polis), and the Clean Environment and Planetary Health in Asia (CEPHA) network. He was one of the lead authors of the first UK Climate Change Risk Assessment and contributor to the National Adaptation Programme. He served as a member of the NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, UK) Public Health Advisory Committee on Air Pollution, the UK Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health Group on Indoor Air Quality. He is a currently a Coordinating Lead Author of the UNEP Global Environmental Outlook (GEO-7) and of the WHO Climate Change and Urban Health Guide.

For more than 20 years, he has advised national and local governments and international organizations, such as the World Health Organization, the European Parliament, the UK Government, and the Australian Department of Health, on the health effects of climate change, air pollution, and extreme events, and on sustainable development, health impact assessment, risk communication, and public health. Sotiris has been involved in numerous research projects, including field studies, environmental monitoring and modelling, epidemiology, risk assessment, evidence reviews, and policy analysis in Europe, Australia, Africa, Asia, and the Pacific.

His main research interests include climate change adaptation, air pollution and health, sustainable cities, exposure assessment, environmental epidemiology, occupational hygiene, and public health communication and policy. He is Specialty Chief Editor (Health and Cities) for Frontiers in Sustainable Cities, and Associate Editor (Climate Change and Health) for the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. Sotiris frequently comments in the media (@SotirisVard).


Researcher's projects

  • NHMRC Healthy Environments And Lives (HEAL) National Research Network, funded by the NHMRC Special Initiative in Human Health & Environmental Change, 2022-27.
  • NHMRC Centre for Safe Air, funded by the NHMRC Centres Research Excellence, led by University of Tasmania, 2022-27.
  • ARC Indigenous Discovery: Healing Country, led by University of Sydney, 2021-25.
  • ARC Linkage Project: Promoting Active Travel and Public Transport for a post-pandemic world, led by University of Sydney, 2021-24.
  • National Health and Climate Strategy: Climate and health policy expertise to support the Australian Department of Health and Aged Care, 2023-24.
  • National Climate Risk Assessment: Health & social system expertise to support CSIRO and the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water, 2023.
  • Clean Energy for Healthy Environments And Lives (CE4HEAL) Australia-India collaboration, 2021-24.
  • International Consortium for Urban Environmental Health & Sustainability (Healthy-Polis), 2013-20. 
  • Clean Environment and Planetary Health in Asia (CEPHA), funded by UKRI, with the Indian Institute of Technology, 2019-23.  
  • Climate Emergencies and Health System Resilience (CHESS) collaborative research action, led by ANU and Kings College London, 2022-2023.
  • Asthma Australia Advocacy & Translation Research Program: Air pollution advice for people with asthma, led by ANU and UTAS, 2022-24.
  • Sustainable Urbanisation, funded by the Australian Centre on China in the World, led by ANU (Bai & Vardoulakis), 2021-23.
  • Australia-India ‘Unnati’ Research Collaboration Grant: Clean Energy for Healthy Environments and Lives in India, led by ANU, 2023.
  • National Foundation for Australia-China Relations: Research network on early warnings of infectious disease transmission in Australia & China led by QUT 2023-25.
  • National Asthma Research Program Environmental Health Grant: Effective wood heater replacement policy, led by University of Tasmania, 2023-26.
  • NSW Department of Planning & Environment: Evaluation of the effectiveness of air purification in reducing indoor air pollution and asthma deterioration in homes affected by wood heater smoke, led by ANU, 2023-25.
  • NSW Department of Planning & Environment Smart Places Acceleration Program: Operational Network of Air Quality Impact Resources (OPENAIR), led by UTS, 2022-23.
  • National Climate Change and Health Policy and Revised Action Plan for the Republic of Marshall Islands, funded by The Pacific Community, 2020-22.
  • Air Quality Monitoring Research Facility for Emergency Response, funded by ANU, 2020.   
  • Air Quality Monitoring Research Facility for Emergency Response, funded by ANU, 2020.   
  • AIM-HEALTH: Effectiveness of Agricultural Interventions to minimise the health impacts of air pollution, funded by NIHR, led by IOM, 2020-24.
  • Complex Urban Systems for Sustainability and Health (CUSSH), funded by the Wellcome Trust, led by UCL/LSHTM, 2018-22. 
  • Interventions to Improve Outdoor Air Quality: Rapid Evidence Assessments, funded by Public Health England, 2018. 
  • Indoor Air Pollution Exposure and Health: Systematic Literature Review, funded by Dyson, 2018-2019.  
  • Assessing the Health Impacts of Air Pollution in Thailand, MRC, led by IOM and MAHIDOL University, 2017-2020.
  • EURO-HEALTHY: Shaping European Policies to Promote Health Equity. EU Horizon 2020, led by University of Coimbra, 2015-2018.
  • National Institute for Health Research: Health Protection Research Unit in Environmental Change & Health. Healthy Sustainable Cities theme, 2014-2017
  • Multi-country analysis of temperature-mortality associations from a climate change perspective, Medical Research Council funded, led by LSHTM, 2015-2018
  • Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) Partnership Development Fund, 2018.
  • Perceptive assessment of health risks caused by climate change, air pollution and health co-benefits of low carbon transition in China, led by China CDC, 2015-16.

Available student projects

  • Climate change and health
  • Air pollution and health
  • Planetary health
  • Public health
  • Urban health
  • Sustainable cities
  • Global environmental health
  • Environmental pollution 
  • Sustainable development
  • Environmental health policy
  • Risk communication

Current student projects

  • Cathy Etherington (ANU), Bushfire smoke effects on people with asthma.
  • Lei Wan (ANU), Health and economic impact of air pollution in China.
  • Pattheera Somboonsin (ANU), Health effects of pollution in the Asia-Pacific.
  • Sara Haider (University of Sydney), Sustainable Urban Mobility.
  • Pratika Chawala (University of Canberra), Air quality, physical activity and health.
  • Sarup Das (Indian Institute of Technology Madras), Biomass burning, air quality, climate and health.

Past student projects

  • Will Mueller (LSHTM), Pathways of urban greenspace to respiratory health: air pollution and physical activity (completed 2022)
  • Katherine Arbuthnott (LSHTM),Temperature related effects on mortality and years of life lost in the UK for current and future climates (completed 2020)
  • Sara Fenech (University of Edinburgh), Multiple air pollutants and their health impacts for both present-day and future scenarios (completed 2018)
  • Clive Shrubsole (UCL), Changes in Exposure to PM2.5 in English Dwellings: an unintended consequence of energy efficient refurbishmentof the housing stock (completed 2017)
  • Caroline Ochieng (LSHTM), Sustainable household energy in rural Kenya (completed 2013)
  • Efisio Solazzo (University of Birmingham), Urban air quality modelling (completed 2008)



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Updated:  10 December 2023 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers