Environmental Health Champion

Dr Luke Knibbs

Dr Luke Knibbs is a man on a mission and in his relatively young research career, he strives to make a significant impact on public health policy in Australia.

Luke studies airborne particles and the impact they have on the global health burden; a topic he says affects all of us.

"We all breathe about 10,000 litres of air per day and it doesn't matter who you are or where you are.

Dr Luke Knibbs

“Airborne particles include viruses, bacteria, and pollutants. Together they make a staggering contribution to allergies, cardiovascular and respiratory disease and cancer.

"It's a big problem globally, and by identifying ways to reduce them, I hope to make a positive contribution to public health policy."

The School of Public Health researcher and senior lecturer in environmental health won a Young Tall Poppy title in 2016 and his research was already creating change for the local community.

"The most satisfying research has been the work mycolleagues and I have done on respiratory infection among people with cysticfibrosis, which very quickly led to changes in clinical practice and infectioncontrol here in Brisbane and beyond.

Like many researchers, Luke acknowledges the hard work that goes into a discovery but says the feeling you get after a breakthrough is what makes it all worthwhile.

"Research is probably about 75 per cent failure and disappointment, but the 25 per cent of successes make the 75 per cent well worth it."

Dr Luke Knibbs

In addition to his research, Luke is Director of UQ's Master of Public Health, but the self-confessed sports nut always makes time for a spot of golf.

"I'm a big fan of all sports, but I do enjoy trying to hack my way around the golf course which keeps me busy.

"I'm also a Waratahs fan in the rugby union, but I've been keeping that pretty quiet in recent years!"

Dr Luke Knibbs is one of seven early career researchers profiled for UQ’s 2017 Research Week. To meet the other researchers and learn more about higher degrees at UQ, visit the Research Week page.

Watch Luke's Story