Member Profile

Charlotte Waudby

PhD Student

Climate Change Research Centre (CCRC)
University of New South Wales

c.m.waudby@student.unsw.edu.au

Biography

After graduating from the University of Hull with a Masters Degree in Physics with Medical Technology, Charlotte worked for the National Health Service as a Research Associate helping to optimise the delivery of cancer therapies and improve the efficiency of nebuliser delivered medication to cystic fibrosis patients for which she was awarded a Technology Transfer and Innovation prize for excellence. After completing work in Radiotherapy and Nuclear Medicine, Charlotte went on to conduct research at Leeds University using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Imaging to examine biomarker linkages between cardiovascular disease and insulin resistance. In 2011, Charlotte moved to Manchester and worked as a specialist radiation dosimetrist at The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, one of the largest cancer centres in Europe. Recently awarded a prestigious Scientia Scholarship from UNSW, she is currently undertaking multi-disciplinary research involving the School of Public Health and Community Medicine and the Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes.

THESIS: Thunderstorm Asthma, Physics and Climate Change

High pollen counts combined with severe thunderstorms have the potential to cause catastrophic epidemics of acute asthma attacks. The research will focus on improving our understanding of thunderstorm asthma events by examining thunderstorm dynamics and their interaction with asthma-causing pollen. Further, to estimate how the population risk is influenced by geographic distribution of pollen-generating plant species and its association with climate factors. Using statistical and meteorological modelling, examine in detail the links between acute asthma, weather patterns, flora distribution and the environment. Of particular interest is the role of water vapour within thunderstorms and its influence on pollen aerodynamics and fragmentation. The aims of the project are to produce a predictive tool to forecast thunderstorm asthma events, improve knowledge-transfer between climate and health scientists and advise government on implementing an early warning system for the provision of targeted health care.