Nikola Manos shares her journey

As Flinders University celebrates 30 years of teaching Environmental Health in 2024, we spoke to graduate Nikola Manos (BAppSc(EnvHlth) ’96) about her journey into the field and the role Flinders played in getting her career to this point.


What is your current role and responsibility?

Nature Conservation Project Officer at City of Onkaparinga.

Have you always had an interest in Environmental Health? If so, what sparked your interest and/or was there a turning point?

I have always had a natural curiosity for science and a passion for the natural environment. I don’t think I really understood the full extent of the role of an Environmental Health Officer until my second year of the course. It was through work placements and projects we worked on when I realised that health of the natural environment and communities are closely connected and that there are many different roles in the government sector where I can apply my knowledge and skills.

Is there any experience from your time at Flinders that has had a lasting impact on you professionally or personally?

Public speaking used to terrify me but the large number of group and individual presentations that we did during the course helped me overcome that fear and I gained confidence in sharing my knowledge with others.

What are your thoughts on the future trajectory of Environmental Health 30 years from now?

We are starting to see more and more connections between biodiversity and human health with growing research in this field, including at Flinders University. I believe that the fields of ecology and health will see more collaboration and overlap, particularly in specialist fields such as urban ecology from large flora and fauna down to the microbiology in the soil.

What advice do you have for your younger self, or for students beginning their career in Environmental Health?

Never say no to an opportunity. Try out different jobs to see what is out there, even if they are short term or not what you really want to do. Each job I have had has taught me important skills, usually leads to the next job and helped me work out what I really want to do.

Nikola Manos is looking forward to celebrating 30 years of Environmental Health being taught at Flinders University.

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College of Science and Engineering Environment

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