Dr Andrew Dansie (Dansie) is a Senior Lecturer and Academic Lead, Humanitarian Engineering at UNSW specialising in large-scale environmental systems and international development to meet environmental and social SDGs. Dansie has 18 years of experience in the water and development sector spanning the private sector, the United Nations, universities and an NGO. He is currently a Senior Lecturer at the University of New South Wales (UNSW)...view more
Dr Andrew Dansie (Dansie) is a Senior Lecturer and Academic Lead, Humanitarian Engineering at UNSW specialising in large-scale environmental systems and international development to meet environmental and social SDGs. Dansie has 18 years of experience in the water and development sector spanning the private sector, the United Nations, universities and an NGO. He is currently a Senior Lecturer at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) specialising in water resources, water access, air pollution, and the biogeochemistry of dust. He has developed and led a research program since 2018 on airborne pollution and long-range dust transport in the South Pacific in partnership with the Ministries of Environment and Health in Fiji, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu. He completed his Doctorate at the University of Oxford School of Geography and the Environment as a Clarendon Scholar – where his research identified arid river valleys in southern Africa as sources of nutrient-rich dust that played a not-yet recognised fertilisation role in some of the planet’s most productive marine environments.
Dansie is on the UNDP vetted expert roster for international water resources management, an honorary research fellow at the University of Oxford, Editor-in-Chief for the UNESCO/Springer Nature book ‘Water, Energy and Food Security in the Pacific’, and UNSW Engineering Lead for Gulu University. He has prepared a series of policy briefs for the Global Environment Facility (GEF) on ecosystem approaches to fisheries management, coastal hazards and risk mitigation, and gender mainstreaming for improved livelihoods in coastal communities with particular attention on the Pacific and SE Asia. His time as a Research Fellow with the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health saw him work with projects and partners across six continents. As Project Director of a four-year global assessment of transboundary water projects, he coordinated over 100 scientists and stakeholders to better understand the scientific needs for managing the world’s rivers, lakes, aquifers, coastal and ocean environments. As a researcher with UNICEF/University of Oxford he was employed by the ‘REACH - improving water security for the poor’ program to undertake Ethiopian field visits, identify in-country working partners and develop interdisciplinary research foci during the inception phase of the program. He provided expertise on agricultural practices, microdams and land degradation, erosion loss of sediment and nutrients, and water security impacts on shallow aquifers and bore yield in rural areas.
Full Clarendon Fund Scholarship, University of Oxford (2012 - 2016)
University of Oxford Vice Chancellors Fund (2016)
Thomas Linacre Studentship (2014), Linacre College, University of Oxford
Full special ICAR-8 Student Conference Award (2014), International Society of Aeolian Research (ISAR)
Masters Medal Recipient (2005), Environmental Studies, University of Adelaide
My Research Activities
Examples of current research:
1. Assessing the Human Health Impact and Environmental Health Risk of Air Pollution in Pacific Island Countries
Project partners: UNSW, World Health Organisation, The Fijian Government, Fiji National University, University of Oxford, Queensland University of Technology
Identified Research Need:The increased incidence and unknown cause(s) of respiratory health illness in Pacific Island populations, most prevalent in children, reported by WHO and both the Fijian and Solomon Island Ministries of Health and discussed in Suva in September 2018.
Research Goal:To monitor air quality and reduce the occurrence of respiratory illness and disease associated with various sources of airborne particulates and compounds in the Pacific.
Methodology: To install a monitoring network for airborne particulates in Fiji (2019) and across the Pacific (2020-2025) that measures air quality in urban, non-urban environments and in relation to regional air quality. To then compare this data with existing health and mortality data to develop a risk and impact framework for total environment health and air quality in Pacific Island Countries.
2. Floating Mangrove Plantations
Project partner: UNESCO Regional UNESCO Office for Asia/Pacific
Identified Research Need: Mangrove forests are in severe decline in many countries due to legal and illegal clearing, resulting in the loss of their range of benefits to society and the environment, including livelihoods reliant on fishing and natural timber for energy production and shoreline stabilisation. UNESCO has conducted primary feasibility research into floating mangrove plantations to counter this demand.
Research Goal: To demonstrate the seaworthiness of floating pontoons for growing and harvesting mangrove forests is to be trailed.
Methodology: In partnership with UNESCO, an honours research project is underway to design and test scale model floating mangrove pontoons at UNSW’s Water Research Lab. This research is co-supervised by A. Dansie, W. Glamore and the B. Böers (Chief Scientist of the UNESCO Regional Office).
3. Plastic pollution at the river basin level – human behavior, waste management in river basins that serve as major sources of microplastic in the global ocean
Project partners: University of South Pacific (Fiji) plus Indonesian and Chinese University partners TBD
Identified Research Need: Plastic-choked rivers in many developing countries, concentrated in Asia, are a result of ineffective waste management practices and local government capacity, as well as a key source of ocean microplastics. Preventing macroplastics from entering the environment in the first place requires intervention in human behavior and societal systems. This project aims to address both of these factors alongside engineering and environmental management solutions to remove plastic already in our environment.
Research Goal: To improve the waste management practices and capacity at the river basin-level to reduce plastic pollution in rivers, and ultimately the ocean, and improve the quality of life of people in poor rural and urban slum communities.
Methodology: To send UNSW students to India, Fiji, Indonesia and China and immerse with both social and natural science educators at their host institution and develop monitoring and surveys in the surrounding communities and environment. Both household surveys and quantification of litter in waterways will be undertaken. Data and experiences collected in each country will be collected and published as both peer reviewed literature and country-specific policy recommendations.
My Research Supervision
Areas of supervision
I am interested in tackling the interconnected and multifaceted challenges of development. My experience is with transboundary management of freshwater and coastal resources, access to safe drinking water and sanitation, and airborne transport of nutrients and pollution. I am interested in multidisciplinary development projects across the water, food, energy nexus and working alongside co-supervisors with complimentary skills.
Core areas of supervision: transboundary water management, micro plastic management at river basin scales, SDG 6, air quality, macro nutrient and micronutrient cycling, aeolian processes, sediment transport and erosion, water-energy-food nexus approach.
Non-core areas: happy too have discussions on potential topics related to humanitarian efforts and co-supervision of candidates across Schools and Faculties.