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Academic Staff Profile – Gavin Pereira

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Name: Gavin Pereira

Title: Senior Research Fellow

School: School of Public Health

Campus: Bentley

How long have you worked at Curtin? I’ve participated in lots of meetings. So many meetings. I’m hoping to start work soon.

Where did you work prior to starting at the University? Yale School of Public Health

What do you like best about your role? Intellectual freedom. If I have a great idea, I can run with it. (Between meetings. After morning tea.)

Why did you choose your current career path? To change the world… for the better.

First job? Believe it or not, my first job was here at Curtin. Staff didn’t seem to appreciate a 15 year old work experience student doing a software audit on their computers.

Worst job? In a period of weakness I worked as a consultant in the retail industry where I developed statistical models to predict customer spending patterns. Consequently many people bought much more junk that they never knew they needed.  I left a week before my £10k bonus.

What project are you currently working on and what does it involve? So many! It is currently difficult to ascertain population level exposure to certain outdoor air pollutants because government monitoring is sparse. My postdoc (Dr Mil Jacobs) and I are working with collaborators at NASA and UQ to address this issue via satellite remote sensing. This project involves big data and geographical information systems (GIS). I’ve used GIS to identify environmental inequalities in access to alcohol and tobacco, ascertain the health benefits of urban greenness, and understand the health effects of  air pollution exposure. I am currently developing Curtin’s GIS health capacity with help from the School of Spatial Sciences and Dr Stephen Ball, who was the Telethon Kids Institute’s Spatial Epidemiologist for many years and is now at Curtin. I’m also leading other projects – ascertaining effects of heatwaves, predicting stillbirth, revising WHO recommendations on birth spacing.

Your favourite place in the world and why? Home. It is always entertaining to see what new object my 18 month old son has thrown into the toilet. Despite my long commute, my second favourite place to be is on my bike.

Your favourite cuisine and why? Whatever my wife makes, however it tastes.

Tell us something about yourself that your colleagues wouldn’t know? I named my son (now 6 years old) after superman. I didn’t buy that pink work shirt – I share a washing machine with my 4 year old daughter. I can juggle.