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

    6009 Perth


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Personal profile


Brief Biography: Professor Jane Heyworth
Professor Heyworth is an environmental epidemiologist with over thirty years’experience in environmental health research, policy and practice. She is currently Deputy Head of the School of Population and Global Health, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, The University of Western Australia.
Professor Heyworth’s specific research interests are in environmental causes of chronic illness and water quality and health. She has been involved in a number of large epidemiological studies in these areas, including studies on health effects of long term exposure to air pollution; effects of heat   and noise  in the workplace;  particulate and metal exposure in children in Port Hedland, Western Australia, environmental and occupational risk factors for breast cancer; environmental and genetic risk factors for left and right sided colorectal cancer (; maternal exposure to persistent toxic substances  and the health effects of rainwater consumption.  Currently Professor Heyworth is involved with studies investigating work-related hearing loss in Australia (NHMRC); Clean Air and Urban Landscapes (NESP) and occupational injury prevention in high temperature environments (ARC). She is CI on NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence on Air pollution, energy and health Research (CAR). Her research funding to date is over $14million.
Professor Heyworth has 120 publications in national and international publications. She has developed strategic collaborations with colleagues across a wide range of disciplines locally, nationally and internationally. Internationally she is collaborating with the Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology, Barcelona, Spain and the Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences, University Utrecht, Netherlands and College of Public Health, University of South Florida, USA in relation to air pollution research. She has collaborated with scientists from the Artic Monitoring and Assessment Program in Norway and Vietnam in relation to maternal exposure to persistent organic compounds; and with epidemiologists from Canada and Germany in relation to Breast Cancer research.
Professor Heyworth teaches public health and epidemiology within undergraduate and postgraduate public health programs. She took up her first academic position at Flinders University in 1992, where she developed the curricula for a new degree program in environmental health. Since then she developed the public health curricula for the Bachelor of Health Science, Honours program and Bachelor of Science at UWA. In October 2008 Dr Heyworth also worked with the Achutha Menon Centre for Health Sciences in Trivandrum, Kerala, India to revise their Masters level unit in Environmental Health. Following this Dr Heyworth had led a five trips for UWA students to work on public health issues in Southern India and the Pokhara district of Nepal.
Professor Heyworth has won nine excellence in teaching awards, in the categories of individual teaching, honours supervision and student support. This included a national award from the Office for Learning and Teaching Award for a Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning in 2014. Professor Heyworth has supervised eight PhD students to completion and is currently supervising three PhD and two Masters dissertation students.
Professor Heyworth has undertaken a number of professional service roles. She was inaugural chair of the WA Public Health Advocacy Institute’s Committee on Environment and Health, which was established in May 2010. This committee established the Local Government Report Card for Children’s Environmental Health and the Indigenous storybook series showcasing the achievements of Indigenous people and communities across Western Australia. Dr Heyworth has assisted non-government agencies in Sri Lanka, India, Hawaii and Brazil in assessing the risk associated with rainwater consumption and also provided advice to the WHO South East Asia Regional Office on a guidance document on water safety and health aspects of rainwater harvesting and storage. Within government she has been involved with evaluation of health risk associated with lead contamination in Port Pirie and Esperance and perception of environmental health risk. Other service roles have included membership of the State Government Air Quality Coordinating Committee; Silver Chain ethic Committee (2006-2013); membership officer/ secretary for the Australasian Epidemiological Association (2004-2007) and co-chair of the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology conference held in Perth in 2003.

Roles and responsibilities

Deputy Head of School
Coordinator of undergraduate and postgraduate teaching in epidemiology

Previous positions

Aug 11- Dec 15 Sub-Dean Health Sciences and Professor, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, The University of Western Australia.
Nov 05 Sub-Dean Health Sciences and Associate Professor Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, The University of Western Australia.
Aug 00-Nov 05 Lecturer and Coordinator of Public Health major,School of Population Health, The University of Western Australia
Feb 00 to Aug 00 0.5 FTE Lecturer School of Population Health, The University of Western Australia
July 97 to Feb 00 Leave of absence- full-time doctoral studies
Oct 91 to June 97 Lecturer in Environmental Health/ Program Coordinator, BAppSci (Environmental Health), School of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences,Flinders University
Jun 88 to Sep 91 Scientific Officer, Public and Environmental Health Division, South Australian Health Commission
May 87 to Jun 88Public Health Trainee, Environmental Health Branch, South Australian Health Commission
Apr 85 to May 87 Research Assistant, NHMRC Road Accident Research Unit, University of Adelaide, South Australia,
Dec 80 to Feb 84 Environmental Health Officer, Shire of Irwin; Shire of Bayswater; Shire of East Pilbara Western Australia

Current projects

Health effects of long-term air pollution exposure
Occupational injury prevention in high temperature environments.
Air pollution exposure estimation for cohort studies of long term exposure and health in Australia. .
Clean Air and Urban Landscapes; 2015-2020
Work-related hearing loss in Australia.

Teaching overview

PUBH2206 Foundations of Epidemiology
PUBH8750 Epidemiology 1


Environmental Epidemiology

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 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land

Research expertise keywords

  • Environmental epidemiology
  • Environmental health
  • Rainwater quality
  • Environmental causes of cancer
  • Health effects of long-term exposure to air pollution


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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