Professor Hilary Bambrick

Director, National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health
College of Health and Medicine

I am an environmental epidemiologist and anthropologist with a distinguished career in research, teaching and supervision, and academic leadership over 25 years and at three distinct institutions. 

I am nationally and internationally recognised for my work on climate change and health, in particular in adaptation strategies for building resilience, from small community-led interventions to multi-nation cross-sectoral plans.

I regularly consult and provide expert advice for governments in Australia and overseas on climate and health risk assessment and adaptation and I have worked as an international consultant to develop regional strategies for national health systems resilience and adaptation for the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

I led the health impacts assessment for Australia’s only national assessment of climate change to date, the Garnaut Climate Change Review (2008) and the Climate Adaptation Strategy for Health for Samoa (2013).

In 2022 I served as an expert witness in the pivotal decision of the Queensland Land Court to disallow a coal mine expansion on the basis of the health and human rights impacts on First Nations communities and on children and young people.

I am an expert reviewer for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC) Assessment Reports, and I have served as an expert witness in three Commonwealth parliamentary inquiries and have variously led/contributed to/reviewed several Australian State health adaptation plans.

I have worked throughout Australia (urban, rural, and remote, including Torres Strait and other First Nations communities), the Pacific (Samoa, Kiribati and Fiji), Ethiopia (informal communities), and Asia (Cambodia, Lao PDR, Timor-Leste).

I have over 180 research publications (h-index 30, i-10 index 81) and I have been a lead investigator in around $11 million successful research funding. My doctoral thesis (ANU, 2003) took a life course perspective on health, examining sociopolitical history, child growth and subsequent risk of adult diabetes in a First Nations community.

I am an award-winning researcher and teacher, sought-after public speaker and media commentator. In June 2016 I was appointed to Australia’s independent Climate Council and I have served as a non-Executive Director on the Research Committee of The Australia Institute since 2012.

Research interests

Health impacts of climate change and variability (scenario-based modelling and strategic planning)

  • asthma and allergy
  • vector-borne disease
  • impacts on indigenous communities and other vulnerable groups
  • urban adaptation opportunities

Role of the natural and built environment in disease prevention and health promotion

  • obesity and physical activity
  • healthy ageing
  • climate
  • housing
  • urban design
  • transport
  • Ng, S, Korda, R, Clements, M et al 2011, 'Validity of self-reported height and weight and derived body mass index in middle-aged and elderly individuals in Australia', Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, vol. 35, no. 6, pp. 557-563.
  • Lucas, R, Bambrick, H, Gatenby, P et al. 2010, 'Recruiting Child Controls', Epidemiology, vol. 21, no. 2, pp. 271-272.
  • Bambrick, H, Woodruff, R & Hanigan, I 2009, 'Climate change could threaten blood supply by altering the distribution of vector-borne disease: an Australian case-study', Global Health Action, vol. Dec 10, no. 2, pp. 1-11.
  • D'Souza, R, Bambrick, H, Kjellstrom, T et al 2007, 'Seasonal variation in acute hospital admissions and emergency room presentations among children in the Australian Capital Territory', Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, vol. 43, no. 5, pp. 359-65.
  • McMichael, A & Bambrick, H 2007, 'Greenhouse-gas costs of clinical trials', Lancet, The (UK edition), vol. 369, no. 9573, pp. 1584-5.
  • Bambrick, H 2006, 'Are boys more vulnerable to nutritional stress? Child weight growth in a Queensland Aboriginal community (1950-1982) in comparison with the new WHO references', Australian Indigenous Health Bulletin, vol. 6, no. 3, p. 13.
  • Beggs, P & Bambrick, H 2006, 'Será o crescimento mundial de incidênciada asma um impacto antecipado de mudançasclimáticas antropogênicas?', Ciencia & Saude Coletiva, vol. 11, no. 3, pp. 745-752.
  • Bambrick, H, Faunce, T & Johnston, K 2006, 'Potential impact of AUSFTA on Australia's blood supply', Medical Journal of Australia, vol. 185, no. 6, pp. 320-323.
  • Faunce, T, Johnston, K & Bambrick, H 2006, 'The Trans-Tasman Therapeutic Products Authority: Potential AUSFTA Impacts on Safety and Cost-Effectiveness Regulation for Medicines and Medical Devices in New Zealand', Victoria University of Wellington Law Review, vol. 37, no. 3, pp. 365-389.
  • Bambrick, H, D'Souza, R & Woodruff, R 2006, 'Back to School and Off to Hospital: Childhood Asthma and the Return-To-School Effect', Epidemiology, vol. 17, no. 6, pp. S275.
  • D'Souza, R, Bambrick, H, Woodruff, R et al. 2006, 'Emergency Hospital Admissions of Cardiovascular Disease and Heart Failure in 3 Australian Cities: Are They Associated With Climatic Factors?', Epidemiology, vol. 17, no. 6, pp. S127.
  • D'Souza, R, Becker, N, Hall, G et al 2005, 'Climatic factors associated with hospitalisations and emergency room presentations for diarrhoea in children', <>, pp. S60.
  • D'Souza, R, Becker, N, Kjellstrom, T et al 2005, 'Influence of climatic factors on hospitalisations and emergency room presentations for asthma and other (non-asthma) respiratory conditions in children', <>, pp. S50.
  • Bambrick, H 2005, 'Relationships between BMI, waist circumference, hypertension and fasting glucose: Rethinking risk factors in Indigenous diabetes', Australian Indigenous Health Bulletin, vol. 5, no. 4, pp. 1-15.
  • Bambrick, H 2005, 'Is globalisation bad for your health?', Home Economics Institute of Australia. Journal, vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 21-24.
  • Bambrick, H 2004, 'Type 2 diabetes and patterns of alcohol use in a Queensland Aboriginal community', Australian Indigenous Health Bulletin, vol. 4, no. 3, pp. 1-7.
  • Bambrick, H 2003, 'Globalisation: Public health threats - and opportunities', Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, vol. 27, no. 6, pp. 654-655.
  • Bambrick, H 2003, 'Child growth and Type 2 diabetes in a Queensland Aboriginal community', Australian Aboriginal Studies, vol. 2003/2, pp. 93-101.
  • Bambrick, H 2001, 'Prevalence of diagnosed and undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes in a Queensland Aboriginal community', Australian Indigenous Health Bulletin, vol. 1, no. 1.
  • Bambrick, H 2001, 'Book review: Health and social science: a transdisciplinary and complexity perspective', The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 162-164.
  • Bambrick, H 2000, 'Relationships between early life health and later adult illness: Type 2 diabetes in an Aboriginal community', Behavioral Medicine and Public Health in the New Millennium, ed. Lundberg, U., Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Hillsdale, NJ, p. 7.

Updated:  25 June 2024/Responsible Officer:  College of Science/Page Contact: