Chapter Leader: Prof. Jochen Bundschuh, University of Southern Queensland, Faculty of Engineering and Surveying, West Street, Toowoomba, Queensland 4350, Australia
The Australian Chapter of the International Medical Geology Association (IMGA-Australia) has been hosted at the newly established Centre for Health Sciences Research (CHSR), which is home to health sciences researchers from the University of Southern Queensland and The University of Queensland with the mission to undertake collaborative, multi-disciplinary research that translates to improved community wellbeing.
The multi-disciplinary research approach of this centre fully aligns with the demands of Medical Geology for integrated, multi- and interdisciplinary approaches covering geological contaminants, their release through natural and anthropogenic processes such as mining, hy-drocarbon exploitation, and agriculture to water, sediments, soils, dust particles, aerosols, and gases and their impacts on human health and wellbeing. Such impacts on human health can be not only of physiological but also on psychological nature which makes the CHSR an ideal host of IMGA-Australia as this centre counts on research groups of epidemiology as well as of mental health.
Together with specific researchers of CHSR and the present and future members of IMGA-Australia we aim to developing the field of medical geology within the centre and across Australia, involving research and training on national and international scale and develop the Australian Chapter further which includes the organisation and coordination of events at the centre or elsewhere in Australia as well as the preparation of a homepage for the chapter and integrating it into the CHSR homepage (http://www.usq.edu.au/research/research-at-usq/institutes-centres/chsr). In this context, we further propose active participation in the international congress As2016, “Arsenic Research and Global Sustainability” to be held in in June 2016 in Stockholm (Sweden) where CHSR and IMGA-Australia could be co-organisers. This congress is the 6th congress of the biennial international congress “Arsenic in the Environment” of which I am the principal international organiser.
Since the IMGA-Australia host, i.e. the CHSR, is a USQ-UQ consortium, we hope to attract postgraduates from Australia and elsewhere as the topic of medical geology would make the centre to Australia’s unique academic research and training centre in the wide field of medical geology. This joint research assists to maximise research and training cooperation between USQ and UQ in this topic of medical geology.