Sharyn Gaskin

Associate Professor Sharyn Gaskin

Associate Professor/Reader

School of Public Health

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD - email supervisor to discuss availability.

Dr Sharyn Gaskin is an Associate Professor in the School of Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Unit. She is the Director of Adelaide Exposure Science and Health laboratory (
Her field of expertise is in Occupational & Environmental Health having a primary focus on industry partnerships and relationships, including defence and security–related applied research in occupational and community health.
Her research program explores the pathways and impacts of environmental and occupational hazards on human health and society, and leads to the development of effective interventions to control and prevent exposure to hazards. Her work aims to provide empirical evidence through applied research, translated into policy and practice to support the protection and promotion of human health. Much of her research involves both laboratory analytical methods and, importantly, ‘real-world’ field-based study design, to approach a research question. Every program of research conducted has included an important translation of evidence component into policy and practice for stakeholders.

Research Interests

Adelaide Exposure Science and Health Research Group

Our research interests primarily focus on Occupational and Environmental Health Science including industry-wide studies in healthcare, agriculture, manufacturing, emergency services and mining industries. We have expertise in public health, exposure science, environmental and medical epidemiology and we work closely with government and industry stakeholders. We work in the assessment and control of health hazards in workplaces and the environment including hazardous chemical management.

Current research opportunities for students: 

Research Projects

  • Title: Preventing occupational lung disease: development of education materials to improve health literacy in at-risk workers.

Project description:

Australia is currently grappling with the re-emergence of severe lung disease, silicosis, in dust-generating industries. This is likely due to over-exposure of workers to high volumes of respirable crystalline silica (RCS) dust in their workplace. Targeted silicosis prevention education and awareness is essential if Australia is to make progress toward eliminating silicosis. These education awareness activities aim to:

  • Increase worker awareness and knowledge of the risks of dust exposure in all sectors and,
  • Increase industry knowledge of safe work practices and compliance with Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) duties.

This project will collate and further develop a range of educational resources (including online materials, infographics, fact sheets etc) for dissemination in platforms such as Breathe Freely Australia by the AIOH® and Clean Air. Clean Lungs by Safe Work Australia. These platforms currently campaign to improve risk awareness of silica exposure in occupational settings. The outcomes aim to build a comprehensive and targeted education, communication and awareness campaign that is tailored for and targets the core audiences for silicosis prevention education and awareness activities.

Project available for: Honours, Masters.


  • Title: Protecting your skin at work: Using online learning platforms to educate employees about workplace skin health. 

Project Description:

Skin diseases such as irritant and allergic contact dermatitis have previously been deemed an occupational disease by Safework Australia. These diseases mainly affect the hands and are common in occupations where the handling of alcohols, cutting fluids, degreasers, disinfectants, petroleum products, soaps and cleaners, solvents, chromates, cobalt, cosmetics and fragrances, epoxy resin, latex, nickel, plants, preservatives, resins an acrylics  and wet work are frequent tasks. In particular high risk industries include agricultural workers, beauticians, chemical workers, cleaners, construction workers, cooks and caterers, electronics workers, hairdressers, health care workers, machine operators, mechanics, metalworkers and vehicle assemblers. Whilst occupational skin disease is relatively common across a wide range of industries there are only limited resources available around skin health at work.

This project aims to design and develop a public health intervention in the form of an interactive online learning module on the prevention of occupational skin disease and workplace skin health more broadly and will build on a program of work at the University of Adelaide, on dermal exposure to chemicals. The outcome of this project will be a tangible prevention education platform that can be supplied to high risk industries with the aim of reducing the incidence of occupational skin disease in these industries.

Project available for: Honours, Masters.


contact me for other opportunities

For details on projects available please view the following booklet: School of Public Health Student Projects


  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2021 - ongoing Associate Professor University of Adelaide
    2017 - 2020 Senior Research Fellow Occupational and Environmental Health, University of Adelaide
    2011 - 2017 Research Fellow & Occupational Hygienist (Consultant) University of Adelaide
    2009 - 2010 Postdoctoral Fellow Australian Antarctic Division, Hobart
    2005 - 2009 PhD candidate Flinders University
    2004 - 2005 Environment Officer, Site Contamination Environment Protection Authority (SA)
    2002 - 2002 Research Assistant, Dept. Environmental Health Flinders University
  • Awards and Achievements

    Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount
    2017 Award Airmet Scientific Professional Advancement Award Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists Australia -
    2010 Award Thermo Fisher Scientific AIOH Conference Award (2010) - - -
    2008 Award Outstanding Achievement Award for media release Flinders University - -
    2008 Award International Society of Microbial Ecology (ISME) Travel Grant - - -
    2007 Award Flinders University research student conference travel grant - - -
    2005 Award Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) - - -
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    2005 - 2008 Flinders University Australia PhD in Environmental Health
    2003 - 2003 Flinders University Australia Honours Degree of Bachelor of Science (Awarded 1st Class)
    1999 - 2001 Flinders University Australia Degree of Bachelor of Environmental Health

Competitive Research Funding

Research Grants / Commissioned Projects

Date Project Investigators Collaborators Funding Body Funding
2021-2024 The role of particle size in the pathogenesis of engineered stone-associated silicosis. Graeme Zosky, Sharyn Gaskin, Yong Song, Dino Pisaniello, Jack Rivers-Auty UTas Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) - Silicosis Research $665,842



Risk-based Decision-making for Skin Decontamination for CBR Incidents – Phases 2-5 Sharyn Gaskin, Leigh Thredgold, Dino Pisaniello UoA, DSTG, QFES Australian Government (Defence) MOU with the US Government concerning Combating Terrorism Research and Development Grant $2,972,786
2021 Development of a measurement method to determine the TLV-Surface Limit concentration of o-phthalaldehyde. Sharyn Gaskin, Tara Pukala, Leigh Thredgold SA Health WorkSafe British Columbia CAD$74,805
2020-2021 Improving exposure science and dust control for engineered stone workers. Sharyn Gaskin, Leigh Thredgold, Richard Gun SWSA, SWA, AFOEM iCARE Dust Disease Care $224,872



Increasing the understanding of skin absorption of chemicals in hot environments: establishing an evidence base for existing firefighting work practices. Leigh Thredgold, Sharyn Gaskin, Scott Hanson-Easey, Dino Pisaniello UoA, SAMFS, CFS, SES & QFES Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC Tactical Research Fund $52,187
2018 Respirable crystalline silica exposures in engineered stone benchtop fabrication. Sharyn Gaskin, Richard Gun, Hubertus Jersmann, Dino Pisaniello UoA, RAH-Chest Clinic SafeWork SA WHS Commisioned Research $68,500
2013 A regulatory framework for carcinogens: Development and trial of an evidence-based audit tool for cytotoxic drugs in hospitals.       Sharyn Gaskin, Dino Pisaniello, Michael Tkaczuk UoA, SafeWork SA SafeWork SA WHS Research Grant Program  $95,589
2012 Formative study of human exposure to zinc phosphide during the on-farm preparation of mouse baits (Phase 1).   Dino Pisaniello, Sharyn Gaskin, Michael Tkaczuk, Ganyk Jankewicz UoA, UoSydney GRDC Research Grant Program $191,500
2012 - 2013 Human exposure to zinc phosphide during the on-farm preparation of mouse baits (Phase 2).    Dino Pisaniello, Sharyn Gaskin, Tony Lower UoA, UoSydney GRDC R&D Open Tender $120,000
2011 Understanding and managing occupational health risks from fungal contamination in indoor environments.   Sharyn Gaskin, Dino Pisaniello, Richard Bentham UoA, SafeWork SA SafeWork SA OHSW Small Grants Programme $37,478
2011 Area of research/professional development: The influence of cosmetics on the skin absorption of chemicals amongst female workers Sharyn Gaskin UoA, SafeWork SA SafeWork SA Augusta Zadow Scholarship
2010-2011 Hazard surveillance for the primary prevention of occupational asthma: a national demonstration project Pisaniello D, Rothmore P, Stewart S, Crea J, Thaczuk M, Jankewicz G, Gaskin S UoA, SafeWork SA SafeWork SA WHS Research Grant Program  $157,479
Teaching & Supervision


School of Public Health, University of Adelaide



2020 - current: Course Coordinator,  HLTH SC 3014: Work Integrated Learning (Public Health) (S1 & S2).

2017-2019: Course co-developer and Lecturer, PUB HLTH 2008 - Rural Australia: Health beyond the burbs.

Sessional lecturing and Tutoring/SGDE in the Bachelor of Health & Medical Sciences Degree program e.g. Public Health Theory and Practice III, PUB HLTH 1004 - Flies, Drains and Ebola.



2019-current: Course Coordinator, PUB HLTH 7113 - Environmental and Occupational Health.

2018: Course Coordinator, PUB HLTH Combined 4500/7300OL - Developing a Research Proposal (S1 & S2).


Supervision of PhD, Masters and Honours candidates and undergraduate student Internship projects (The Netherlands, France).

Honours completion:       Caitlin Hobbs Dermal absorption of cancer chemotherapeutic drugs in a clinical setting. Completed 2017.


  • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2023 Principal Supervisor Prevention of Occupational Lung Diseases from Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica in the Construction Industry: A Mixed- Methods Approach Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Gebisa Guyasa Kabito
  • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2017 - 2021 Principal Supervisor Analysing Work Environment and Chemical Risk Factors for Occupational Exposure to Pesticides in Horticulture Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Yonatal Mesfin Tefera
    2017 - 2020 Co-Supervisor Assessment of Blue Light Exposure in the Occupational Visual Field Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms So Young Lee
  • Committee Memberships

    Date Role Committee Institution Country
    2015 - ongoing Chair AIOH Newsletter Comittee Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists Australia
  • Memberships

    Date Role Membership Country
    2016 - ongoing Member British Occupational Hygiene Society United Kingdom
    2011 - ongoing Member Clean Air Society of Australia & New Zealand (CASANZ) -
    2010 - ongoing Member Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienist (AIOH) -
  • Position: Associate Professor/Reader
  • Phone: 83134958
  • Email:
  • Fax: 83134955
  • Campus: Thebarton
  • Building: Adelaide Exposure Science & Health Laboratory
  • Org Unit: Public Health

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