• The University of Western Australia (M431), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


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Personal profile


My participatory research and teaching focuses on ensuring that everyone has access to the sanitation services that they want to use, regardless of their income or the country they call home (watch a biref video on my work here). I use interactive methods to understand and help improve people’s experiences with toilets, menstrual health and hygiene, incontinence and water, with a focus on low-middle income contexts.

I am a Lecturer in Global Health within the School of Population and Global Health at The University of Western Australia and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. I am also a Visiting Lecturer in Water, Sanitation and Health within the School of Civil Engineering at The University of Leeds and an Honorary Fellow within the School of Public Health at The University of Queensland. I have worked in several countries, particularly in Oceania, South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.

I'm also a co-founder of the 'Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Failures' initiative, encouraging WASH professionals to be more honest about when things don't work out. Check out (and sign!) The Nakuru Accord, and follow us on Twitter!

In my undergraduate days, I was one of the founding members of the University of Western Australia Pantomime Society, where I honed my skill of engaging with audiences on taboo matters, particularly through making a fool of myself on stage.


Geographical Research Experience (*indicates extended periods of fieldwork experience)

Australia*, Bangladesh, Belize, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Fiji*, Ghana, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Malawi, Mexico, Mozambique, Nepal*, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Republic of South Africa, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands*, The Netherlands, Uganda, Vanuatu*, Zimbabwe, Zambia.


I am a proponent of the Amartya Sen philosophy of "Development as Freedom" and Robert Chambers' approach of participatory development. My work particularly focuses on the use of participatory action research (PAR) to engage with communities and local stakeholders so as to understand, navigate and improve complex water, sanitation and hygiene systems around the globe. Research projects that I am currently working on include: 

Principal Investigator


Current PhD students

PhD graduates

  • Mofwe Kapulu: Approach for scaling up citywide safely managed sanitation access and services: A study of Lusaka, Zambia (Twitter: @MofweK)


Previous research grants include:

Principal Investigator



Teaching overview

Honours and Dissertation Coordinator

PUBH1101: Health and Illness in Human Populations

PUBH1102: Health and Globalisation

PUBH3305: Health Research Design and Methods

PUBH5758: Public Health Practicum

Previous positions

Sept. 2017 – Mar. 2020, Lecturer in Water, Sanitation and Health, University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom

Jan. – Aug. 2017.  Research Fellow in Water Engineering for Developing Countries, Cranfield University, Cranfield, United Kingdom

Jun. 2013 – Dec. 2016, Research Fellow, Department of Marketing, Monash University & International WaterCentre, Melbourne, Australia            

Jun. 2016 -  Nov. 2016  Lecturer, Global Change Institute, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

Aug. 2016, Guest Lecturer, Shantou University Summer School on Environment Science and Engineering, Shantou, China

Jul. 2012 – May 2013, Research Associate, School of Environmental Systems Engineering, The University of Western Australia, Crawley, Australia

Jul. 2012 – Apr. 2013, Research Associate, School of Environmental Science, Murdoch University, Murdoch, Australia

Aug. 2011 – May 2012, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Engineer, Nepal Water for Health, Bharatpur, Nepal

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Award Date: 3 Dec 2019

PhD, The University of Western Australia

Award Date: 11 Jul 2012

Environmental Systems Engineering, B.E. (Hons), The University of Western Australia

Award Date: 1 Dec 2007

Chemistry/Environmental Chemistry, B.Sc., The University of Western Australia

Award Date: 1 Dec 2006

External positions

Visiting Lecturer in Water, Sanitation and Health, University of Leeds

14 Mar 2020 → …

Honorary Fellow, University of Queensland

1 May 2015 → …

Industry keywords

  • Environmental
  • Health
  • Not for Profit
  • Social and Welfare Issues

Research expertise keywords

  • Sanitation
  • Water supply
  • Menstruation
  • Participatory research
  • Wellbeing
  • Incontinence


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