Dr Liz Hanna is an Honorary Associate Professor at the Fenner School Environment and Society and the ANU Institute for Climate, Energy and Disaster Solutions.
Liz’s research expertise broadly canvasses climate change and human health. This covers exposure-related risks and health impacts arising from acute or slow onset of climate disasters (heat, floods, fires, droughts, storms etc), as well as adaptation, harm prevention and minimisation actions taken by the individual, communities and via government policy, and education needs for the health workforce as well as community health education, to allow people to prepare and protect themselves and their families.
With her clinical health background, Liz translates climate risks directly into how this effects our bodies, and the psychology of self-protective decision making.
In her media interviews, Liz stresses that Australia needs to fully understand climate risks, to all climate-related health threats, across the entire country (which differ from Hobart to Darwin to remote areas), and this needs adequate funding. She argues we also need mechanisms to transfer this knowledge to the population so they can make informed decisions about their own lives, their families, their communities and their industry/businesses.
At ANU, Liz directed research programs directly investigating heat exposure at home and at work, and convened Australia’s National Climate Change Adaptation Research Network for Human Health. Her services have been sought for national and international projects assessing vulnerability to climate change and devising climate protective policies.
Liz was President of the Climate and Health Alliance, and she currently chairs the Environmental Health Working Group for the World Federation of Public Health Associations. Her current global projects include an assessment of national polices to protect people’s health from climate change, health based climate litigation, and climate forced migration. Through this WFPHA role, she advises the World Health Organization and other international agencies on climate change and health and the path forward.