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Nicholas Osborne

Associate Professor, School of Public Health, The University of Queensland

Dr Osborne, BSc(Hons), MAgSc, PhD is an epidemiologist and toxicologist with research interests in using environmental epidemiology to examine aetiology and pathological pathways of disease. He has worked on a range of projects examining environmental exposures and health outcomes including exposure to metals, pollen, mould, chronic exposures to low levels of chemicals, pesticide and cyanotoxins. He also has experience examining how exposure to the environment may increase health and wellbeing (green/bluespace and solar irradiance and vitamin D).

He has developed skills in the linkage of environmental and population health data in an interdisciplinary context, and has expertise in design, linkage, hypothesis formulation, analysis, interpretation, translation and dissemination.

He has experience in designing and collecting epidemiological data and initiating studies of primary collected data (HealthIron, HealthNuts, Cornwall Housing Study, Survey of Recreational Water Users, Monitoring of Meniere's Symptoms).

He also has used secondary data from existing cohorts (NHANES, UK Biobank, 1958 Birth Cohort, British Household Survey, Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study, South Asian Clinical Toxicology Research Collaboration), as well as linkage of previously unconnected "big data" sets in mashups on novel platforms (MEDMI project). He has used traditional statistical methods such as linear/logistic regression, time series analysis, interrupted time series and Cox regression to ascertain associations between exposures and outcomes, as well as integrating confirmatory structured equation modelling with environmental/health data sets to construct conceptual diagrams of associations and assess pathway directions.

He currently researches pollen and health outcomes as well as chronic kidney disease in low to middle income countries.

He has supervised 6 PhD students to completion (2 primary supervisor, 4 co-supervisor) and currently supervises 4 PhD student. He has been associate editor of Archives of Environmental and Occupational Health since 2011 and is on the editorial board of International Journal of Epidemiology, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health and Pediatric Allergy, Immunology and Pulmonology. He is a member of Australasian Epidemiology Association, International Society of Environmental Epidemiology and International Epidemiology Association.

He has previously worked at the Universities of NSW, Sydney, Exeter, Melbourne, Portsmouth, Queensland and Flinders, the Murdoch Children's Research Institute and the Cancer Council Victoria. He completed his PhD at the School of Population Health, University of Queensland/National Research Centre of Environmental Toxicology working on the toxicology and public health effects of cyanobacterial toxins in southeast Queensland.


  • –present
    Associate Professor, School of Public Health, The University of Queensland