Get to know your College: Dr Joshua Trigg, Research Fellow, Public Health

Dr Joshua Trigg is a public health researcher with training and experience in psychological and population health research. His work focuses on lifestyle and occupational health risk factors, risk attitudes and motivators of risk behaviours. Dr Trigg came to Flinders from Cancer Council South Australia, where he researched tobacco and alcohol use, attitudes and behaviours, as well as community perceptions of culturally focused tobacco cessation messaging. His previous work has examined motivators and inhibitors of emergency risk taking behaviour, and wellbeing and quality of life domains, and has used various quantitative and qualitative methods.

What is your role? I’m a Research Fellow with Professor Billie Bonevski’s team, and a relatively new addition to Flinders University.

I’m particularly interested in risk attitudes and lifestyle behaviours that impact likelihood of chronic conditions. I’m also interested in health messaging and risk behaviour propensity. Currently, I’m working on grant writing about health education attitudes and tobacco industry research participation policy. I’ve also joined the NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence for Achieving the Tobacco Endgame and am planning data collection on attitudes to tobacco control strategies, like restricted retailing, lowering nicotine levels, and lifting the purchasing minimum age in South Australia.

Where did you work before joining CMPH? Most recently, I was a researcher at Cancer Council SA, where I studied community perceptions of health messaging by the SA Government. I also worked with population health data to track tobacco and alcohol use patterns, supporting education and screening work by preventive health and advocacy staff. Before that, I researched occupational health and emergency decision making. So, I’m always up for a chat about different topics—everyone here is working on something fascinating!

What do you like the most about working in public health? I get to be part of a discipline that covers a range of interesting social issues and benefits many different people. The fact that there are multiple epidemiologists in the news cycle, and that most of us can now name a few Chief Public Health Officers shows how relevant it is. I really enjoy that we get to focus on a problem in depth, explore how things work and suggest what the solutions might entail.


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