Sharyn Gaskin

Dr Sharyn Gaskin

Associate Professor

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 (www.ua.edu.au/aesh).
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.

Selected research opportunities for students:

contact me for other opportunities

Research Project 1

Title: Preventing occupational lung disease: integrating real-time sensors and videography to control exposure to toxic dusts.

Project Description: The Adelaide Exposure Science and Health (AESH) laboratory is a specialised facility in the School of Public Health which undertakes a range of collaborative research projects with industry and government. There is opportunity for a student to align with our current industry-focused research aiming to reduce respiratory health risks for workers in the stonemason industry.

The key to prevention of lung disease in this industry is rigorous dust monitoring and exposure control. The outcomes of this work will provide improved guidance on best practice for dust mitigation and therefore reduction of exposure in stone workers, which is relevant for disease prevention.

This project uses real-time sensors such as photometers (aerosol monitors) to allow for rapid, holistic personal exposure assessment, particularly when integrated with video exposure monitoring. Incorporating this instrument technology allows for collecting greater evidence for best practice for reducing dust exposure in the workplace. Video exposure monitoring involves gathering task information using a simple personal camera (e.g. GoPro) merged with logged data files from the real-time sensors and synchronised into  software (Enhanced Video Analysis of Dust Exposure; EVADE) developed by the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

Real-time sampling enables immediate results for:

  • Mapping high exposure areas/tasks
  • Prioritising dust mitigation measures
  • Evaluation of the effectiveness of mitigation measures
  • Informing training packages.

Project available for: Honours, Masters, PhD

 

Research Project 2

Title: Apps for Occupational Health and Safety: Are they useful risk management tools? 

Project Description:   With the rapid development of built-in smart sensors, users can do many things with only one portable device. Workplace health and safety apps are a fairly new addition to smart technologies, and provide an opportunity to transform the health and safety ecosystem. If designed appropriately, OHS apps have the potential to be useful risk management tools in order to prevent, predict, and reduce worker injury and illness.

This project will collate and describe currently available mobile device apps with relevance or potential application to occupational health and safety. An assessment of the quality of apps will be performed using the Mobile App Rating Scale (MARS). The outcomes hope to build a foundation for the implementation of high-quality apps in occupational health and safety practice.

Project available for: Honours, Masters.

 

Research Project 3

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.

 

Research Project 4

Title:   Bioaerosols in the indoor environment: Understanding and managing occupational health risks.

Project Description: The majority of people spend most of their working time in office environments. The assessment of indoor work environments is important because it potentially involves a range of hazards such as chemicals, lighting, and indoor air quality issues. Bioaerosol contamination of the indoor working environment is an increasingly common occupational health concern, yet there are limited published studies investigating typical office environments in Australia. This paucity of survey information limits the comparisons that can be made against measurements taken in workplaces that have indoor bioaerosol air quality issues. Exposure to airborne bioaerosols has the potential to exacerbate asthma, act as irritants and allergens and infrequently cause disease in susceptible individuals.

This project is part of a program of work exploring the working indoor environment and bioaerosol characterisation (identification and enumeration) and control (effectiveness of anti-microbial agents). It involves range of research approaches including field measurement, laboratory experimentation and engagement with regulatory bodies in the field of occupational health.

Project available for: Honours, Masters

 

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

 

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  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2021 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
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

2019-

2021

Risk-based Decision-making for Skin Decontamination for CBR Incidents – Phase 4 Sharyn Gaskin, Leigh Thredgold UoA, DSTG, QFES Australian Government (Defence) MOU with the US Government concerning Combating Terrorism Research and Development Grant $714,400

2019-

2020

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

2017- 2018

Risk-based Decision-making for Skin Decontamination for CBR Incidents – Phase 3. Sharyn Gaskin, Dino Pisaniello

UoA, Qld Fire & Emergency Service, DSTG

Australian Government (Defence) MOU with the US Government concerning Combating Terrorism Research and Development Grant $1,043,198
2013 - 2016 Risk-based Decision-making for Skin Decontamination for CBR Incidents – Phase 2. Dino Pisaniello, Sharyn Gaskin UoA, Qld Fire & Emergency Service, DSTG Australian Government (Defence) MOU with the US Government concerning Combating Terrorism Research and Development Grant
 
$840,188
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
 
$10,000
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

 

Undergraduate:

2020 - 2021: 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.

 

Postgraduate:

2019-2021: 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.

 

 
 
   
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  • 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)

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