Dr Dwan Vilcins

Environmental Scientist

Child Health Research Centre
Faculty of Medicine

Overview

Dwan is an environmental epidemiologist, with a particular interest in children's environmental health. Her current research explores the following:

  • Environmentally persistent free radicals, air pollution, and children's lung outcomes
  • Maternal exposure to green space, ambient temperature and air pollution and the association with neonatal and child outcomes
  • The knowledge of GPs and naturopaths on environmental health issues for preconception care
  • Exposures to phthalates and allergic disease

Dwan has a background in public health and nutrition. She is a founder and co-host of the R Peer Group at UQ/QIMR

Research Interests

  • Environmental exposures and child health
    Understanding the links between exposure to environmental hazards—such as air pollution, endocrine disrupting chemicals and environmentally persistent free radicals— and the health of children.
  • Green space
    The role green space plays in the health and development of children

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland
  • Master of Public Health, The University of Queensland

Publications

View all Publications

Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision

Available Projects

  • Due to current funding and immigration restrictions we are only able to accept domestic students.

    There is an increasing body of evidence showing an association between plasticisers and allergic disease. Exposure to phthalates during pregnancy has been associated with increased risk of allergic diseases in resulting offspring. This study seeks to explore the association between phthalates and BPA measured in maternal urine during pregnancy, and the risk of allergic disease in children up to 4 years of age. Mediating factors will be explored, to test for potential casual mechanisms. Most notably the role of oxidative stress and genetic predisposition to oxidative stress will be explored as a potential modifying variable. This study will use a longitudinal cohort of children in Australia.

    This project will suit a student wanting to complete a PhD with skills in statistics, epidemiology, or public health. Experience working with cohort data, R or SNPs is highly desirable.

  • Due to current funding and immigration restrictions we are only able to accept domestic students.

    Exposure to environmental factors in early life has been associated with poorer respiratory health for children. Both indoor and ambient air pollutants can negatively affect respiratory health, and there is increasing evidence that environmental chemicals may also have deleterious effects on child health.

    This project aims to use existing data to explore the association of indoor and ambient air pollutants at home with children’s lung function in longitudinal cohort studies of Australian children, and to examine the role of modifying/mediating factors. Both modelled air pollution and stationary monitor data will be used to allocate exposure to ambient air pollutants. Air quality and environmental chemicals present in the home environment, as assessed in surveys, will be examined for association with lung function, wheeze and allergic disease. The role of oxidative stress and free radicals will be examined.

    This project would suit a student with skills in statistics, epidemiology, public health or geography. Experience working with environmental datasets, R or GIS, and an understanding of mediation analyses is essential.

View all Available Projects

Publications

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.

  • Due to current funding and immigration restrictions we are only able to accept domestic students.

    There is an increasing body of evidence showing an association between plasticisers and allergic disease. Exposure to phthalates during pregnancy has been associated with increased risk of allergic diseases in resulting offspring. This study seeks to explore the association between phthalates and BPA measured in maternal urine during pregnancy, and the risk of allergic disease in children up to 4 years of age. Mediating factors will be explored, to test for potential casual mechanisms. Most notably the role of oxidative stress and genetic predisposition to oxidative stress will be explored as a potential modifying variable. This study will use a longitudinal cohort of children in Australia.

    This project will suit a student wanting to complete a PhD with skills in statistics, epidemiology, or public health. Experience working with cohort data, R or SNPs is highly desirable.

  • Due to current funding and immigration restrictions we are only able to accept domestic students.

    Exposure to environmental factors in early life has been associated with poorer respiratory health for children. Both indoor and ambient air pollutants can negatively affect respiratory health, and there is increasing evidence that environmental chemicals may also have deleterious effects on child health.

    This project aims to use existing data to explore the association of indoor and ambient air pollutants at home with children’s lung function in longitudinal cohort studies of Australian children, and to examine the role of modifying/mediating factors. Both modelled air pollution and stationary monitor data will be used to allocate exposure to ambient air pollutants. Air quality and environmental chemicals present in the home environment, as assessed in surveys, will be examined for association with lung function, wheeze and allergic disease. The role of oxidative stress and free radicals will be examined.

    This project would suit a student with skills in statistics, epidemiology, public health or geography. Experience working with environmental datasets, R or GIS, and an understanding of mediation analyses is essential.