Organising Committee

Associate Professor Susan Jordan (Committee Co-Chair)

Susan has been working as an epidemiologist since 2002 and completed her PhD in ovarian cancer epidemiology in 2007 at the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute in Brisbane. Prior to this she worked as a general practitioner in rural and metropolitan general practice in NSW and Queensland. She has recently taken up a teaching and research position at the University of Queensland School of Public Health and prior to this was a Senior Research Fellow and Team Head at QIMR Berghofer. Susan’s current research interests include the aetiology of ovarian, endometrial, and thyroid cancer and she has a particular interest in how reproductive factors and chronic health conditions influence the development of these cancers.

Associate Professor Rachel Neale (Committee Co-Chair)

Rachel is an epidemiologist and head of the Cancer Aetiology and Prevention Group at the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute. After completing her PhD she spent two years in Oxford, United Kingdom, as a postdoctoral research fellowship where she focussed on childhood cancer and the role of human papilloma virus in skin cancer. Upon returning to Australia she established programs of research in pancreatic cancer and vitamin D. She now leads the world’s second largest randomised-controlled trial of vitamin D supplementation, with over 21,000 participants enrolled.

Professor Penny Webb (Committee Co-Chair)

Penny is a cancer epidemiologist specialising in women’s cancers. After completing her PhD at the University of Oxford, she spent a year at the International Agency for Research in Cancer in France before moving to Brisbane in 1995. She taught epidemiology at the University of Queensland for five years then moved to the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute where she is Coordinator of the Population Health Department. Her research interests cover all aspects of the epidemiology of ovarian and endometrial cancer from aetiology and prevention, to patterns of care, quality of life and survival. She is the lead author of Essential Epidemiology: An Introduction for Students and Health Professionals (CUP 2017)

Professor Adrian Barnett

Adrian Barnett is a statistician with over 20 years of experience in health and medical research. He has worked on many studies in environmental epidemiology, including examining associations between temperature and disease, and an increase in deaths due to the Hazelwood mine fire disaster. His current research concerns ways to improve how research is conducted, including better usage and understanding of statistics. He is the current president of the Statistical Society of Australia.

Dr Danielle Herbert

Dr Danielle Herbert is an Advanced Epidemiologist at the Queensland Department of Health, Prevention Division, and a co-writer of the 2018 Chief Health Officer report on the health of Queenslanders. In this role, the focus of her work is the prevention of disease, injury and health disparities through epidemiological surveillance and reporting.

Danielle has held research management roles with expertise in grants, ethics and operations in cancer and disability (NSW), and postdoctoral research positions in epidemiology, reproductive health and evidence-based funding (UQ and QUT). Danielle’s career in epidemiology builds on her scientific expertise in embryology and assisted reproductive technologies.

Professor Lennert Veerman

Lennert Veerman is professor and discipline lead Public Health in the School of Medicine, Griffith University. A Dutch-trained public health physician, his expertise is in population health, predictive modelling, health impact assessment, and the economics of prevention of non-communicable disease. He has an interest in obesity policy, with recent work focusing on the potential impact of taxing sugary drinks and the influence of urban environments and transport modes on physical activity, and the related health and economic outcomes.


Lennert has contributed to the Global Burden of Disease study, and holds appointments as Adjunct Associate Professor at the Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, and as Honorary Senior Fellow, School of Public Health, University of Queensland.

Ms Bonnie MacFarlane

Bonnie has more than 20 years’ experience and training in the science of epidemiology and application of epidemiological concepts and methods in academic, government and clinical settings. Bonnie currently works as an Advanced Epidemiologist at the Metro South Public Health Unit within Queensland Health. Bonnie’s role primarily involves communicable disease surveillance and reporting, identification and investigation of outbreaks, investigation of non-communicable disease clusters, surveillance of major chronic diseases and preventative health behaviours and the provision and interpretation of locally relevant epidemiological data for key stakeholders across her health region. Bonnie is a current council member and social media representative for the Australasian Epidemiological Association (AEA).  She was previously a Lecturer in Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Health Sociology at the Queensland University of Technology, School of Public Health.

Ms Susan Clemens

Susan has over 20 years of epidemiology experience in government, academic and non-profit settings. Since 2010, Susan has managed the Queensland Health preventive health surveillance system. The surveillance system monitors trends in key preventive health risk factors using annual general population surveys. Susan is also the co-convenor of the AEA Survey Methods special interest group (Survey SIG). In prior roles, Susan conducted clinical (child paediatric obesity) and community- or population-based research (paediatric oral health/nutrition and alcohol, tobacco, and other substance use).

Dr Abbey Diaz

Abbey is an early career epidemiologist in the cancer research team at the Menzies School of Health Research. Her expertise is in the analysis of administrative and linked datasets to investigate cancer and cardiovascular care and outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. She currently works across a number of projects, with a particular interest in care pathways and outcomes for patients with multimorbidity. Abbey is the coordinator of the Queensland chapter of the AEA. (Twitter handle: @AbbeyDiaz_says)

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