Professor Simon Haberle is the Director of the ANU School of Culture, History and Languages (image: Jamie Kidston/ANU).

Professor Simon Haberle is the Director of the ANU School of Culture, History and Languages  (image: Jamie Kidston/ANU).

It is going to be a monster pollen year

Rose Schmedding talks to the pollen counting team at ANU about why Canberra is the hay fever capital of Australia, and some of the exiting things that pollens can tell us about the world, its history and even crime.  

Every day, all year round, on a roof on the ANU campus, a green device is gently swaying in the breeze, catching grains of pollen as they drift by 

It is a quiet sentinel that monitors how much, and what kind of pollen is in the atmosphere, and helps people take some mitigating steps if they are sensitive to it. Certain kinds of pollen can cause hay fever and asthma for up to one in three people in Canberra, particularly during the spring months.

Like many things, pollen is not consistent week on week, year on year, according to the University’s leading pollen expert, Professor Simon Haberle, Director of the ANU School of Culture, History and Language