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Shannon Rutherford

Associate Professor, Public Health, Griffith University

With a background in environmental science, my career has focussed on researching the links between environmental change and human health and building capacity to understand and respond at local, national and global levels. I have been involved in research to solve public health problems, from pandemic risk communication in China, mosquito-borne diseases in Kenya and Bangladesh, coastal salinity and hypertension in Bangladesh, to disasters and climate change governance in China, Philippines and Indonesia.

My leadership and expertise in climate and health has developed from working with WHO on climate and water, teaching climate and health content into university postgraduate and short courses (Bangladesh and Pakistan), master supervision (food security and climate, heat and health adaptation policy in India, hope and climate action in young Australians, digital uptake in heat sensitive populations of Australia) and HDR supervision (flood vulnerability in China, climate and infectious disease in Vietnam, climate and dengue fever in Bangladesh, climate-health adaptation policy in the Philippines, heat and worker health in garment factory workers, heat and early warning systems in older people). I lead the Climate and Health Collective, a Griffith group of multi-disciplinary researchers committed to collaboration to solve climate and health problems. This collective has led to large external research grants, WHO projects and numerous health related Climate Action Beacon projects.

My research achievements are founded on quality HDR supervision, an extensive publication track record and a collaborative research leadership approach. I am committed to leading transdisciplinary research that improves the health of communities, focussing on climate and health impact and risk management research that aligns with Griffith’s Strategic Plan 2020-2025 high level goal of ‘providing research solutions to humankind’s greatest challenges’.

I currently teach into Griffith’s Master of Public Health and Master of Global Public Health programs producing public health professions capable of addressing the many complex and diverse current and emerging health issues that we face as a global community.


  • –present
    Associate Professor, Public Health, Griffith University