Profiles

Emily Flies

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Emily Flies

Postdoctoral Fellow

Room 343 , Life Science

Biography

Emily’s undergraduate (Bachelor of Arts) degree was in anthropology and psychology from the University of Buffalo, USA. She then spent a few years teaching outdoor education and travelling. During this time, her physical anthropology interest in primates intersected with her passion for ecology and health. She conducted an independent study investigating the impact of environmental disruption on the faecal parasite loads in monkeys in Costa Rica. That experience ignited her passion for research and she returned to school to conduct her master’s degree at Michigan State University, USA. She investigated whether certain bird species could become infected with a tick-borne bacterium (Anaplasma phagocytophilum), whether they could pass on that infection and how the infection impacted their health.

During her master’s degree, she became more interested in the connections between human, animal and environmental health (One Health). In her PhD research, at the University of South Australia, she developed a novel mosquito-borne virus surveillance technique that used recycled milk cartons, pantyhose and nucleic acid-preserving paper coated in honey to identify infectious mosquitoes. She used her virus-detecting traps, combined with laboratory work and spatial analyses to determine the ecological factors influencing transmission of Ross River virus in South Australia.

In her current postdoctoral research work, Emily is exploring how anthropogenic (human-driven) changes to the environment are impacting human health. She is focusing on health of people in urban environments and how urbanisation and urbanicity (city living) impact the health of urban residents.

Emily is also passionate about improving public understanding of and engagement with science through better science communication. During her PhD, she co-founded Science in the Pub Adelaide (SciPubAdelaide.org.au) and, since moving to Hobart in 2015, Science in the Pub Tasmania (SciPubTas.org.au). These two ongoing organizations hold monthly meetings that bring a panel of 3 engaging, knowledgeable scientists into a pub to explain, and discuss a scientific topic with each other and the attendees. These events average 100 attendees each month! Emily and her partner Andy have acquired grants and sponsorship to provide free hot nibbles for the audience and free drinks for the panel at each event. Emily also organises other science engagement events and was named the STEM Communicator of the Year for Tasmania in 2017.

Career summary

Qualifications

Degree

Thesis title

University

Country

Date of award

PhD

Ecology and Epidemiology of Ross River virus in South Australia

 

University of South Australia

 

Australia

 

2016

MS

Anaplasma phagocytophilum infection in two species of passerine bird: an assessment of reservoir competence and disease

 

Michigan State University

 

USA

 

2011

BA

Psychology and Anthropology

 

University at Buffalo

 

USA

 

2006

Teaching

Teaching expertise

Emily has teaching experience in Comparative primate Anatomy (University of Buffalo), Fundamentals of Fisheries and Wildlife (Michigan State University; MSU), Field Techniques of Fisheries and Wildlife (MSU), Applications for Biological Science (MSU), Human Physiology (University of South Australia; UniSA) and Invertebrate Biology (UniSA). Her current role at UTas is research-focused and does not contain a teaching component. Nonetheless, she satisfies her desire to educate through her Science in the Pub events and community engagement activities.

View more on Dr Emily Flies in WARP

Research Themes

Emily’s research is aligned with three of the University's research themes: Better Health; Environment, Resources and Sustainability; Creativity, Culture and Society. Her current research aims are to identify how urbanization and city living (“urbanicity”) are affecting the health of city residents and what can be done to improve urban health. She is applying spatial, hierarchical, and predictive models to environmental and health data in order to answer these questions. The outcomes of Emily’s research can be applied to improve the health and resiliency of local and global urban communities. Emily also works more broadly in the realm of Planetary Health/One Health to understand how human, animal and environmental health are connected and how anthropogenic (human-driven) changes to the environment impact that dynamic. Her ultimate goal is to illuminate the forces shaping human health to provide a foundation for evidence-based health policy.

Fields of Research

  • Ecology (310399)
  • Occupational and workplace health and safety (350505)
  • Conservation and biodiversity (410401)
  • Microbial ecology (310703)
  • Medical biotechnology diagnostics (incl. biosensors) (320602)
  • Environmental rehabilitation and restoration (410405)
  • Land use and environmental planning (330404)
  • Urban and regional planning (330499)
  • Animal immunology (310905)
  • Ecological impacts of climate change and ecological adaptation (410102)
  • Infectious diseases (320211)
  • Health and community services (420305)
  • Community ecology (excl. invasive species ecology) (310302)
  • Global change biology (319902)
  • Natural resource management (410406)
  • Cellular immunology (320404)
  • Rural and regional geography (440609)
  • Decision support and group support systems (460902)
  • Immunology (320499)
  • Epidemiology (420299)
  • Human impacts of climate change and human adaptation (410103)
  • Health promotion (420603)
  • Environmental management (410404)
  • Environmental epidemiology (420203)
  • Medical microbiology (320799)
  • Infectious agents (310702)
  • Health services and systems (420399)
  • Environment policy (440704)
  • Veterinary immunology (300906)
  • Health equity (420602)

Research Objectives

  • Clinical health (200199)
  • Public health (excl. specific population health) (200499)
  • Terrestrial biodiversity (180606)
  • Other environmental management (189999)
  • Rural and remote area health (200508)
  • Expanding knowledge in the environmental sciences (280111)
  • Health education and promotion (200203)
  • Other information and communication services (229999)
  • Assessment and management of terrestrial ecosystems (180601)
  • Air quality (180101)
  • Health status (incl. wellbeing) (200407)
  • Air quality, atmosphere and weather (180199)
  • Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences (280102)
  • Social impacts of climate change and variability (190103)
  • Climate change mitigation strategies (190301)
  • Disease distribution and transmission (incl. surveillance and response) (200404)
  • Evaluation, allocation, and impacts of land use (180603)
  • Government and politics (230299)

Publications

Total publications

28

Journal Article

(21 outputs)
YearCitationAltmetrics
2020Breed MF, Cross AT, Wallace K, Bradby K, Flies E, et al., 'Ecosystem restoration - a public health intervention', EcoHealth ISSN 1612-9202 (2020) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1007/s10393-020-01480-1 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 5Web of Science - 2

Co-authors: Jones M

Tweet

2020Clarke LJ, Jones PJ, Ammitzboll H, Barmuta LA, Breed MF, et al., 'Mainstreaming microbes across biomes', Bioscience, 70, (7) pp. 589-596. ISSN 0006-3568 (2020) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1093/biosci/biaa057 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 1Web of Science - 1

Co-authors: Clarke LJ; Jones PJ; Ammitzboll H; Barmuta LA; Charleston M; Dakwa V; Eri R; Fountain-Jones NM; Kendal D; Sow SLS; Vemuri R

Tweet

2020Flies AS, Flies EJ, Fox S, Gilbert A, Johnson SR, et al., 'An oral bait vaccination approach for the Tasmanian devil facial tumor diseases', Expert Review of Vaccines, 19, (1) pp. 1-10. ISSN 1476-0584 (2020) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1080/14760584.2020.1711058 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 6Web of Science - 7

Co-authors: Flies AS; Liu G-S; Lyons AB; Patchett AL; Pye RJ

Tweet

2020Flies E, Clarke L, Brook BW, Jones P, 'Urbanisation reduces the abundance and diversity of airborne microbes - but what does that mean for our health? A systematic review', Science of The Total Environment Article 140337. ISSN 0048-9697 (2020) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.140337 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 4Web of Science - 4

Co-authors: Clarke L; Brook BW; Jones P

Tweet

2020Flies EJ, Jones P, Buettel JC, Brook BW, 'Compromised ecosystem services from urban aerial microbiomes: a review of impacts on human immune function', Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 8 Article 568902. ISSN 2296-701X (2020) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.3389/fevo.2020.568902 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 1Web of Science - 1

Co-authors: Jones P; Buettel JC; Brook BW

Tweet

2020Kendal D, Egerer M, Byrne JA, Jones PJ, Marsh P, et al., 'City-size bias in knowledge on the effects of urban nature on people and biodiversity', Environmental Research Letters, 15 Article 124035. ISSN 1748-9326 (2020) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/abc5e4 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 2Web of Science - 2

Co-authors: Kendal D; Byrne JA; Jones PJ; Marsh P; Allegretto G; Kaplan H; Nguyen HKD; Pearson S; Wright A

Tweet

2020Marsh P, Mallick S, Flies E, Jones P, Pearson S, et al., 'Trust, connection and equity: Can understanding context help to establish successful Campus Community Gardens?', International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17, (20) pp. 1-25. ISSN 1660-4601 (2020) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.3390/ijerph17207476 [eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Marsh P; Mallick S; Jones P; Pearson S; Koolhof I; Byrne J; Kendal D

Tweet

2019Flies EJ, Mavoa S, Zosky GR, Mantzioris E, Williams C, et al., 'Urban-associated diseases: candidate diseases, environmental risk factors, and a path forward', Environment International, 133, (Part A) Article 105187. ISSN 0160-4120 (2019) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.envint.2019.105187 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 16Web of Science - 10

Co-authors: Zosky GR; Eri R; Brook BW; Buettel JC

Tweet

2019Lai H, Flies EJ, Weinstein P, Woodward A, 'The impact of green space and biodiversity on health: synthesis and systematic review', Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 17, (7) pp. 383-390. ISSN 1540-9295 (2019) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1002/fee.2077 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 9Web of Science - 9

Tweet

2018Buettel JC, Brook BW, Cole A, Dickey J, Flies EJ, 'Astro-ecology? Shifting the interdisciplinary collaboration paradigm', Ecology and Evolution, 8, (19) pp. 9586-9589. ISSN 2045-7758 (2018) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1002/ece3.4455 [eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Buettel JC; Brook BW; Cole A; Dickey J

Tweet

2018Flies EJ, Brook BW, Blomqvist L, Buettel JC, 'Forecasting future global food demand: A systematic review and meta-analysis of model complexity', Environment International, 120 pp. 93-103. ISSN 0160-4120 (2018) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.envint.2018.07.019 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 5Web of Science - 2

Co-authors: Brook BW; Buettel JC

Tweet

2018Flies EJ, Lau CL, Carver S, Weinstein P, 'Another emerging mosquito-borne disease? Endemic Ross River Virus transmission in the absence of marsupial reservoirs', Bioscience, 68, (4) pp. 288-293. ISSN 0006-3568 (2018) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1093/biosci/biy011 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 9Web of Science - 9

Co-authors: Carver S

Tweet

2018Flies EJ, Skelly C, Lovell R, Breed MF, Phillips D, et al., 'Cities, biodiversity and health: we need healthy urban microbiome initiatives', Cities & Health ISSN 2374-8834 (2018) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1080/23748834.2018.1546641 [eCite] [Details]

Tweet

2017Flies EJ, Skelly C, Negi SS, Parbhakaran P, Liu Q, et al., 'Biodiverse green space: a prescription for global urban health', Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 15, (9) pp. 510-516. ISSN 1540-9295 (2017) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1002/fee.1630 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 36

Tweet

2017Flies EJ, Weinstein P, Anderson SJ, Koolhof I, Foufopoulos J, et al., 'Ross River virus and the necessity of multi-scale, eco-epidemiological analyses', The Journal of Infectious Disease, 217, (5) pp. 807-815. ISSN 0022-1899 (2017) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1093/infdis/jix615 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 8Web of Science - 7

Co-authors: Koolhof I

Tweet

2016Flies AS, Mansfield LS, Flies EJ, Grant CK, Holekamp KE, 'Socioecological predictors of immune defences in wild spotted hyenas', Functional Ecology, 30, (9) pp. 1549-1557. ISSN 0269-8463 (2016) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1111/1365-2435.12638 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 17Web of Science - 15

Co-authors: Flies AS

Tweet

2016Flies EJ, Flies AS, Fricker SR, Weinstein P, Williams CR, 'Regional comparison of mosquito bloodmeals in South Australia: implications for Ross River virus ecology', Journal of Medical Entomology, 53, (4) pp. 902-910. ISSN 0022-2585 (2016) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1093/jme/tjw035 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 10Web of Science - 10

Co-authors: Flies AS

Tweet

2016Flies EJ, Williams CR, Weinstein P, Anderson SJ, 'Improving public health intervention for mosquito-borne disease: the value of geovisualization using source of infection and LandScan data', Epidemiology and Infection, 144, (14) pp. 3108-3119. ISSN 0950-2688 (2016) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1017/S0950268816001357 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Web of Science - 5

Tweet

2015Flies EJ, Toi C, Weinstein P, Doggett SL, Williams CR, 'Converting mosquito surveillance to arbovirus surveillance with honey-baited nucleic acid preservation cards', Vector Borne and Zoonotic Diseases, 15, (7) pp. 397-403. ISSN 1530-3667 (2015) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1089/vbz.2014.1759 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 29Web of Science - 31

Tweet

2014Johnston E, Weinstein P, Slaney D, Johnson E, Fricker S, et al., 'Mosquito communities with trap height and urban-rural gradient in Adelaide, South Australia: implications for disease vector surveillance', Journal of Vector Ecology, 39, (1) pp. 48-55. ISSN 1081-1710 (2014) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1111/j.1948-7134.2014.12069.x [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 14Web of Science - 15

Tweet

2013Johnston E, Tsao JI, Munoz JD, Owen J, 'Anaplasma phagocytophilum infection in American robins and gray catbirds: an assessment of reservoir competence and disease in captive wildlife', Journal of Medical Entomology, 50, (1) Article 10.1603/ME12141. ISSN 0022-2585 (2013) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1603/ME12141 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 8Web of Science - 6

Tweet

Review

(1 outputs)
YearCitationAltmetrics
2018Flies EJ, 'Review of 'Impacts of Climate Change on Allergens and Allergic Diseases. Editor PJ Beggs. Cambridge University Press. ISBN: 978-1-107-04893-5. 2016'', Quarterly Review of Biology, 93, (2) pp. 131-131. ISSN 0033-5770 (2018) [Review Single Work]

[eCite] [Details]

Contract Report, Consultant's Report

(1 outputs)
YearCitationAltmetrics
2019Kendal D, Flies E, Marsh P, Jones P, Threlfall C, et al., 'Managing Urban Landscapes for Biodiversity Conservation and Human Health', Healthy Landscapes Research Group, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania (2019) [Contract Report]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Kendal D; Marsh P; Jones P; Jones M; Anders R; Collie N; Kaplan H; Nguyen HKD; Allegretto G

Thesis

(1 outputs)
YearCitationAltmetrics
2016Flies EJ, 'Ecology and epidemiology of Ross River virus in South Australia' (2016) [PhD]

[eCite] [Details]

Other Public Output

(4 outputs)
YearCitationAltmetrics
2020Aronson J, Goodwin N, Orlando L, Wickwire L, Bradby K, et al., 'The Hobart Declaration on EcoHealth: Ecological restoration that supports human health', EcoHealth Network (2020) [Government or Industry Research]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Jones ME; Kendal D

2019Stephenson E, Webb C, Flies EJ, 'How Australian wildlife spread and suppress Ross River virus', The Conversation, The Conversation Media Group Ltd, Australia, 15 January 2019 (2019) [Newspaper Article]

[eCite] [Details]

Tweet

2016Flies EJ, Webb C, 'Explainer: what are antibodies and why are viruses like dengue worse the second time?', The Conversation, The Conversation Media Group, Parkville, Victoria, Australia (2016) [Newspaper Article]

[eCite] [Details]

Tweet

2015Williams C, Flies EJ, 'How a new test is revolutionising what we know about viruses in our midst', The Conversation, The Conversation Media Group, Parkville, VIC 3010, Australia (2015) [Magazine Article]

[eCite] [Details]

Tweet

Grants & Funding

Funding Summary

Number of grants

7

Total funding

$586,040

Projects

ICG - GREYSCAN PTY LTD (2020)$259,020
Description
With GreyScan will repurpose the ETD-100 trace explosives system to detect viruses and create a new product range, TVD 1
Funding
GreyScan Pty Ltd ($259,020)
Scheme
Contract Research
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Breadmore MC; King AE; Karupiah G; Flies AS; Wilson CR; Flies E; Gell DA
Year
2020
Nguyen Hanh holsworth project (2020)$6,375
Description
The primary aim of the project in the year Im asking for funding is to quantify the impact of wild vertebrates on the composition and diversity of soil microbes in urban green spaces. To answer this question, I will combine fieldwork with laboratory and statistical analysis. The fieldwork portion will include setting up fenced and unfenced plots of sterile and unsterile soils in green spaces of different cities and collecting samples over a 1 year time series. Vertebrate communities will be quantified, soil microbial DNA will be extracted in the lab, and the16S rRNA gene will be amplified and sequenced. The study will use statistical models to calculate and compare microbe composition and diversity. Within the year that this project is funded, I expect to complete the fieldwork and some of the lab work. The outcomes of my PhD will provide a better understanding of the connection between vertebrate community composition and environmental microbial biodiversity and help informing urban restoration and conservation efforts.
Funding
Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment ($6,375)
Scheme
Grant
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Kendal DJ; Flies E; Jones PJ; Nguyen HKD
Year
2020
Healthy Future Environments and People (2019 - 2022)$233,172
Description
This grant will allow myself and colleagues to 1) form the Healthy Future Environments and People consortium as a new strategic area of research strength for the University and 2) conduct some original research to formalise and strengthen this collaboration. This diverse group includes ecological and health researchers (across career stages), students, government officials, and social scientists who want to understand and develop environmental solutions for health problems.
Funding
University of Tasmania ($233,172)
Scheme
Grant- Research Enhancement Program
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Flies E; Kendal DJ; Marsh P; Jones PJ; Clarke L; Ondei S
Period
2019 - 2022
Human health and the aerial microbiome: uncovering interactions across Australia (2019)$19,989
Description
This is a pilot project for a Category 1 funding application in 2020. It includes two core activities: (1) Holding a workshop to develop collaborations and methodologies; and (2) A pilot personal monitoring study collecting paired aerial microbiome and health symptom data from volunteers.
Funding
University of Tasmania ($19,989)
Scheme
Grant-Research Enhancement Program
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Jones PJ; Johnston F; Dickinson JL; Flies E
Year
2019
Understanding the effects of an inner-city student accommodation community garden project in Hobart: Melville St Community Garden Project @ the Hobart City Apartments (2019)$50,000
Description
The University of Tasmania is beginning a journey to shift the focus of the Hobart campuses from Sandy Bay into the Hobart CBD. One of the first steps on this journey is to improve the public landscape and integration of the Melville Street student accommodation through a community garden.
Funding
University of Tasmania ($50,000)
Scheme
null
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Marsh P; Kendal DJ; Flies E; Jones PJ; Owen CM; Byrne JA
Year
2019
Microbiomes in Tasmania: questions, collaboration and connection with industry (2018)$7,500
Description
Microbial communities are central to human health and ecosystem functioning and thus are of critical importance for us to understand. Microbiomes are being examined in different disciplines across the University (as they pertain to marine environments, forests, agriculture, human health and food safety) and at various government and private industries. However, there is very little cross-talk amongst research groups. This rapidly emerging field is ripe for exploration in Tasmania if skills can be transferred and institutional siloing can be overcome so researchers in different institutions (e.g. School of Natural Sciences, Menzies, College of Health and Medicine, CSIRO) can become aware of each others work. Fostering this collaboration could lead to more rapid advances and efficient research. With this grant, we will host a workshop with two days of presentations on health (day 1) and ecology (day 2) microbiome research, with a third day to discuss applications, industry interest, collaborations, and outline a working paper for publication.
Funding
University of Tasmania ($7,500)
Scheme
Grant- Research Enhancement Program
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Flies E; Clarke L; Kendal DJ
Year
2018
Anthropogenic impacts on environmental microbiomes (2018)$9,984
Description
The human microbiomes is central to our health and is influenced by the microbial communities in the surrounding environment. But we know little about how human actions shape environmental microbiomes. The aims of this project are to: 1.Characterise the microbial community across urban land use types2.Compare soil microbial community and chemical composition in paired urban and rural habitatsa.Determine the influence of human activities on soil chemistry and microbiomeb.Infer impacts on human health3.Conduct a proof-of-concept test on AirRater filter samples to determine if they can be used to sample aerosolised microbial communities a.Compare aerial microbial community composition changes over time
Funding
University of Tasmania ($9,984)
Scheme
Grant- Research Enhancement Program
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Flies E; Clarke L; Ondei S; Jones PJ
Year
2018

Research Supervision

Current

3

Current

DegreeTitleCommenced
PhDLandscape and Global-Scale Impacts of Agricultural Systems on Biological Diversity2017
PhDUnderstanding Healthy Landscapes2019
PhDInvestigating Perceived Effects of Artificial Light and Light Pollution in Urban Green Spaces2020