Gareth Lingham

PhD, Dr

  • The University of Western Australia (M517), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth

    Australia

  • Source: Scopus
  • Calculated using citation counts from Scopus for publications in the UWA Profiles and Research Repository
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Personal profile

Biography

I am an orthoptist (BHealth Sciences/Master of Orthoptics, La Trobe University 2014) who was awarded a PhD from UWA (2020) investigating the association between past time spent outdoors and myopia in young adults using multiple subjective and objective markers to better measure time spent outside. 

Roles and responsibilities

I was recently appointed to the Arnold F. Graves Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Centre for Eye Research Ireland (CERI) and anticipate taking up this position in the first half of 2021. I currently hold an appointment as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Prof David Mackey's Genetics & Epidemiology research group at the UWA Centre of Ophthalmology & Visual Science (incorporating Lions Eye Institute) as well as Honorary Research Fellow at UWA. I am currently working on systematic reviews of eye care interventions with the World Health Organization.

Research

As an orthoptist, I have been involved in the collection of data for five epidemiological studies and over ten clinical trials at the Lions Eye Institute, including the Western Australian Atropine Treatment of Myopia Study (WA-ATOM) Study. The WA-ATOM Study is in collaboration with the Centre for Eye Research Ireland and it is anticipated that I will continue to assist in coordinating data across both studies. 

I have published 12 peer-reviewed articles, 8 of them as first author, on both the benefits and harms of sun exposure on the eye. I have also presented extensively on this topic, presenting  research at four international conferences, 12 national and local conferences and been an invited speaker at three local meetings. I have received three awards for outstanding research abstracts and an outstanding presentation and also awarded a research grant and PhD scholarships.

 

Current projects

My PhD investigated the relationship between time spent outdoors and myopia in an epidemiological setting. I investigated how best to measure time spent outdoors using subjective and objective markers and then how time spent outside during childhood and adolescence was related to myopia in young adulthood. During my PhD, I further honed my ophthalmic data collection skills and have taught these skills to many students and colleagues.  

I have also been involved in other studies including the Western Australian Atropine Treatment of Myopia (WA-ATOM) Study, the Raine Study 28-year follow-up and the Western Australian Twins Eye Study. Additionally, I have been involved in studies on topics other than myopia such as choroidal thickness, conjunctival ultraviolet autofluorescence, pterygium and retinal nerve fiber layer thickness. 

In 2020 I was invited to speak on the harms and benefits of spending time outside in the sun for eye health and participate in workshops at a summit that aimed to develop guidelines on the recommended amount of sun exposure for Australians. I recently also published an article on the potential impact of spending too much time indoors during the COVID-19 pandemic on eye health with an aim to spread the message that children and adolescents need to spend some time outside.

 

Community engagement

I have actively engaged with the research and public community. I coordinated two separate journal clubs over the last three years, was a member of the scientific committee for the 2017 Orthoptics Australian Annual Scientific Meeting and, in 2018, was involved in conducting a public lecture and workshop for the International Day of Light.

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