Nowhere is inclusive student involvement in ACEAS more clear than in the Australian aerobiology working group led by Dr Janet Davies of the University of Queensland. The group is collating and analysing historical published data and unpublished pollen-count data from regions of Australia, New Zealand and France to help answer a number of questions. Firstly, they want to understand phenological patterns, land-cover changes and pollen aerobiology; secondly, to gain insights into how the grass-pollen season is driven by current meteorology, and thus future climates. And, finally, they hope to establish a national pollen-count monitoring program to assist those who suffer from allergic respiratory disorders such as hay fever and asthma.
Pollen is an important substance produced by plants, but it can also cause problems for those of us who have allergies. Dr Ed Newbigin is a botanist from The University of Melbourne and he steps through the process of establishing a daily pollen count.
Allergy sufferers are being warned to prepare early for what is expected to be one of the worst hay fever seasons on record, Karen O'Sullivan reports.