Biomass Smoke in the Human Environment (BISMITHE II): 17-19 June, 2019 - Melbourne, VIC

The Biomass Smoke in the Human Environment Workshop (BISMITHE II) is an interactive event designed to highlight the new and innovative techniques used to measure, assess and manage biomass smoke. Invited speakers will present on their specialist area, with a professional moderator used to facilitate the workshop panel sessions. Invited speakers include Dr Martin Cope (CSIRO) and Associate Professor Fay Johnston (University of Tasmania). The program also includes limited space for paper presentations. Submit an abstract to present your perspective on this important topic.

June 17, 2019
3 Days


University House - University of Melbourne - 10th Floor, Melbourne Law School, Pelham Street, Carlton   View map


Industry Training

BISMITHE II builds on the success of the 2016 BISMITHE event held in Deloraine, Tasmania.  These workshops aim to highlight the innovative, new and unique tools to assess and manage biomass smoke. Additionally, we hope to contribute to the field through providing a forum for collaboration and advancement of ideas by sharing knowledge and experiences.

The three-day workshop has daily themes covering all aspects of smoke assessment and management:

Day 1: Impact measurement, assessment and prediction

Day 2: Interventions and management

Day 3: Health impacts and harm minimisation

We welcome keynote presenters, invited speakers and paper presentations from a diverse group of participants ranging from Councils, Government departments, community members, forestry operations, environmental consultants and scientific researchers, industry environmental groups and individuals working in fields associated with biomass smoke generation and smoke impacts.


Smoke from burning vegetation (biomass smoke) is a key air pollutant in Australia and New Zealand. This will continue with our changing climate that is predicted to be drier with increased frequency of extreme weather events. Numerous sources of biomass smoke contribute to cumulative impacts for day/s or weeks depending on the prevailing meteorological conditions and the circumstances of the smoke generation. Tackling and managing the issue is challenging and requires a multifaceted, multidiscipline and innovative approach.

The following draft program is subject to change

Day 1 – Impact Measurement, Assessment & Prediction

8.30 am Registration
8.50 am Workshop Opening
9.00 am KEYNOTE:
Fire and Biomass smoke impacts in Australia
Dr Owen Price
Senior Research Fellow
University of Wollongong
9.45 am To be advised
10.30 am Morning Tea
11.00 am Incident Air Monitoring in Victoria
Dr Paul Torre – EPA Victoria
11.15 pm Measurement Smoke Impact in Tasmania
Dr John Innis – EPA Tasmania
11.30 am Assessing smoke impacts in NSW
NSW Office of Environment and Heritage
11.45 am Measurement, assessment and prediction invited speaker
To be advised
12.00 pm Community Observation Networks (CONA) for Air – via video link
Dr Ian Longley – NIWA
12.30 pm Lunch
1.15 pm Measurement, assessment and prediction invited speaker
To be advised
1.30 pm Smoke Weather Forecasting (AQFx)
Dr Martin Cope – CSIRO
1.45 pm Smoke forecasting in NSW
NSW Office of Environment and Heritage
2.00 pm Challenges of modelling smoke in NSW. Fire behaviour, scheduling, lighting patterns and ignition techniques.
Mr Laurence McCoy – NSW Rural Fire Service
2.30 pm Paper Presentations (3 papers at 10 minute each)
3.00 pm Afternoon Tea
3.30 pm Measurement, assessment and prediction invited speakers
Building a robust and tailored smoke impact and prediction systems to assess wide spread smoke impacts.
Facilitator: Paul Holper
5.00 pm Close

The draft program is subject to change.

Day 2 – Interventions & Management

9.00 am KEYNOTE:
Hazard Reduction Burns

To be advised
9.45 am Planned burn program in Victoria
To be advised
10.00 am Managing stubble without burning
Ms Liz Hamilton – Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions
10.15 am Smoke impact on wine grapes
Dr Ian Porter – Latrobe University
10.30 am Morning Tea
11.00 am Paper presentations
What interventions, programs and initiatives have been found to be effective and what is needed in the future to reduce smoke impacts from private and prescribed burning?
Facilitator: Paul Holper
12.30 pm Lunch
1.15 pm Keynote address: Woodheater management in NZ, including Nelson Case Study
Dr Emily Wilton – Environet
2.00 pm Strategic Policy and Program
2.15 pm Woodheater management in Tasmania
Dr John Innis – EPA Tasmania
2.30 pm Paper presentations (3 papers at 10 minutes each)
3.00 pm Afternoon Tea
3.30 pm Wood heater management invited speaker
Speake to be announced
4.15 pm Psychology of Wood Burning Behaviour
Dr Emily Wilton – Environet
What interventions, programs and initiatives have been found to be effective and what is needed in the future to reduce smoke impacts from woodheaters?
Facilitator: Paul Holper
5.30 pm Close

The following program is subject to change.

Day 3 – Health Impacts & Harm Minimisation

9.00 am KEYNOTE:
Smoke Health Impacts
A/Prof Fay Johnston
Public Health and Primary Care Theme
Menzies Institute for Medical Research
9.45 am KEYNOTE:
Smoke health impacts and interventions, the Canadian perspective

Dr Sarah B Henderson
British Colombia Centre for Disease Control
University of British Colombia
Via video link
10.30 am Morning Tea
11.00 am Indoor smoke impacts
Dr Fabienne Reinsen – CSIRO
11.30 am Air Rater Program
A/Prof Fay Johnston – Menzies Institute for Medical Research
12.00 pm Ventolin support program
Asthma Australia
12.15 pm STEM, low cost sensors and community awareness
Dr Fabienne Reisen – CSIRO
12.30 pm Lunch
1.15 pm Paper presentations (3 papers at 10 minutes each)
What initiatives and intervention programs are needed to better manage health impacts and reduce harm from smoke impacts in the future?
Facilitator: Paul Holper
3.00 pm Workshop Close

Paul Holper
Director, Scientell Pty Ltd

Paul Holper is co-Director of Scientell, a science and environment communication company established in 2015. The company specialises in distilling technical information into clear messages for non-technical audiences.

Paul previously worked for CSIRO in roles including State Relationship Manager for Victoria and Communication Manager for Atmospheric Research. From 2003 to 2014, Paul managed CSIRO’s involvement in the Australian Climate Change Science Program, the nation’s largest such research activity.

He was convenor of the high-profile Australian climate change science GREENHOUSE conference series. The conferences in 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2011 each attracted more than 400 Australian and international delegates.

Paul holds a Bachelor of Science (Honours) from the University of Melbourne and Graduate Diplomas in Education, and Science Communication. He is an award-winning author, and has written more than 20 science books for children and for adults.

Sarah B. Henderson PhD

Sarah Henderson is a Senior Scientist in Environmental Health Services at BCCDC. She is also an Associate Professor in the UBC School of Population & Public Health.


Dr. Henderson, as the senior environmental health scientist at BCCDC, leads a program of applied research and surveillance to support evidence-based policy for the province. This role requires her to be a generalist rather than a specialist, and her work spans a wide range of topics, including air pollution from all provincially relevant sources (wildfire smoke, residential woodsmoke, industry, road dust, shipping and vehicles), extreme weather events, radon gas, food safety, water quality and exposures managed by the Drug and Poison Information Centre (DPIC).

Most of her work requires the collection, processing, integration, analysis and visualization of large health and environmental datasets. Her team works exclusively with the computing environment R, and takes a leadership role in R training across BCCDC and UBC.


Sarah Henderson started her career as an environmental engineer (BASc, UBC, 2000), working on pollution abatement and control. She switched her focus to environmental epidemiology (PhD, UBC, 2009) when she first became interested in the public health consequences of engineering decisions.

Sarah joined the BCCDC in 2010. She enjoys the challenge and diversity of work in environmental public health, and is constantly inspired by the dedication of her colleagues.

Dr John Innis
EPA Tasmania

John Innis has a B.Ed.(Sci.) from Melbourne State College, and a B.Sc.(Hons) and Ph.D. in Physics from Monash University. He was a post-doctoral fellow working in astrophysics at the University of Birmingham, UK from 1987 to 1992. He then joined the Australian Antarctic Division, conducting upper atmosphere studies over winter at both Mawson and Davis stations. He was a visiting scholar at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, from 2001 to 2002, before returning to the AAD to the atmospheric lidar project. He commenced his current position at EPA Tasmania in 2007, and co-ordinates Tasmania’s ambient air monitoring programmes. He is best known for giving long and tedious talks about BLANkET with far too many graphs.

Associate Professor Fay Johnston
Associate Professor, Public Health and Primary Care Theme
Menzies Institute for Medical Research

A/Prof Fay Johnston is a medical doctor and epidemiologist who heads the Environmental Health research group at the Menzies Institute for Medical Research, University of Tasmania.

Fay is internationally recognised for her expertise in the health impacts of environmental hazards, especially outdoor smoke from bushfires, prescribed burns and solid fuels and has been active in this research area for around 20 years.

In 2016 she led the development a new pollen, smoke and health monitoring system, AirRater, which has won multiple awards for innovation and is now used in several states of Australia and she leads the long term follow up study of infants who were exposed to a severe pollution episode from a coal mine fire in 2014, as part of the Hazelwood Health Study.

A/Prof Johnston holds a concurrent appointment as a Specialist Medical Advisor in Public Health for the Tasmanian Department of Health.

Dr Ian Longley
Air Quality Scientist
Programme Leader – Atmospheric Environment, Health and Society

Programme leader for Impacts of Air Pollutants research programme for New Zealand. He has a degree in Engineering and a PhD in Atmospheric Physics, both from the University of Manchester. He joined NIWA in 2007.

Ian’s research mission is to apply the latest scientific understanding to the practical management of air quality, whilst expanding our understanding of the relationships between emissions and health. His principle expertise lies in observationally-based studies of the impacts of exposure to road traffic emissions, however the programme he leads spans research into domestic heating, urban meteorology, atmospheric composition, indoor air, urban planning, environmental information and citizen participation.

Ian regularly acts as a consultant to Auckland Council, the Ministry for the Environment, the New Zealand Transport Agency and the infrastructure industry, and is currently advising the New South Wales Government regarding road tunnels. Ian has published over 50 scientific papers and reports and given presentations at conferences and meetings around the world.

Mr Laurence McCoy
Supervisor, Bush Fire Analyst
Operational Services/Planning and Predictive Services
NSW Rural Fire Service

Laurence McCoy is a Senior Fire Behaviour Analyst with the NSW Rural Fire Service. In 2010, Laurence was seconded to NSW RFS Headquarters to project manage the establishment of a Fire Behaviour Analysis and Smoke Modelling capabilities with the NSW RFS and continues to work as a Supervisor in the NSW RFS Predictive Services Unit. Laurence holds a Degree in Applied Science majoring in Geography with Hons, an Advanced Diploma of Leadership and Management in addition to numerous Fire Fighting, training and Bush Regeneration certificates.

Dr Owen Price
Senior Research Fellow
School of Biological Sciences
University of Wollongong

Dr Fabienne Reisen
Team Leader | Principal Research Scientist
Oceans & Atmosphere | Climate Science Centre CSIRO

Dr Fabienne Reisen is a principal atmospheric research scientist in the Climate Science Centre of CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere with a strong research expertise in atmospheric and analytical chemistry, ambient air quality measurements of gases and particles, and personal and population exposures to toxic hazards. Her primary research focus is on biomass burning emissions and improving our understanding of the chemical composition of smoke plumes and how these impact air quality and public health.

Over the last 14 years, Fabienne has successfully led a number of co-investment projects addressing the issue of population exposures to toxics air contaminants and significantly contributed to research projects assessing the impact from prescribed burns, bushfires and domestic wood heating on regional air quality.

Dr Paul Torre

Senior Applied Scientist – Air & Odour Environmental Solutions

Environmental Protection Authority Victoria

Paul Torre is the Senior Applied Scientist Air & Odour in the Air Noise Odour Team in EPA Victoria and current EPA Principal Expert – Air Quality. Paul has developed specialist knowledge of air pollution science, gained extensive experience in measuring and assessing air quality impacts and managing air quality assessment programs spaning over 30 years. During this period, he has led numerous air quality monitoring and assessment programs for common and hazardous air pollutants including smoke impacts from bushfire, planned burning and wood heaters.

In his current role in EPA he provides technical and scientific advice for regulatory compliance and enforcement, informing policy and strategy development on air quality and air pollution issues He is active in CASANZ as current Victoria/Tasmania Branch President and spends too much time tracking air pollution plumes.

Dr Emily Wilton

Air Quality Scientist and Company Director

Environet Limited

Emily has been involved in the management of wood smoke dominated airsheds in New Zealand for over 20 years.  Specialist expertise includes wood burner testing (including real life testing programmes), emissions inventories, projections modelling, fuel poverty and cold homes evaluations, health impact assessments, designing incentives programmes, developing educational material, behaviour change and burner operation and technology evaluations.  Emily has prepared scientific material and expert evidence to support the implementation of regulatory methods for many Councils throughout New Zealand to manage urban air quality in wood smoke dominated areas.  She has observed areas where these measures have been effective and others where they have been less effective and has developed insight into what creates a successful regime in terms of science, implementation and the community.

Key areas of wood smoke expertise include:

  • Wood burner emissions – expertise in assessing emissions from wood burners, open fires, multi fuel burners, pellet fires including factors influencing emissions.
  • Improving wood smoke environments – scientific evaluations underpinning successful management of wood smoke (domestic heating) related airsheds.
  • Incentives programmes for burner swap outs – guidance on how to design and implement a programme.
  • Drivers of wood burning behaviours, gross emitters and behaviour change.
  • Wood burners and cold homes – impacts of regulations on fuel poverty/ health impact assessments.
  • Wood burner tests – real life and laboratory simulations including method and issues.
  • Wood smoke from outdoor burning – residential and rural burning of garden and tree waste.
  • Health impacts – health impacts of particulate pollution including acute and chronic impacts and relative significance of different size fractions.
  • Future issues – small section sizes/ townhouses/ your smoke/ my home – penetration of single storey smoke emissions to neighbouring two story dwellings.
  • Knowledge of the extent and causes of air quality issues as well as operative, proposed and draft air plans in many urban areas of New Zealand.

University House
University of Melbourne
10th floor
Melbourne Law School
Pelham Street


There are many accommodation options close to Melbourne University, Parkville Campus.

Recommended booking sites are:


How to get to the venue:

By Train

The closest City Loop station is Melbourne Central. From here you can catch a tram, or walk to campus.

By Tram

  • From Elizabeth Street catch tram number 19 to Stop 9 (Haymarket roundabout)
  • From Swanston Street catch tram number 1, 3/3a, 5, 6, 16, 64, 67 or 72 to Stop 3 (Lincoln Square)

On Foot

The Parkville campus is a 15 to 20 minute walk north of Melbourne’s CBD and 5 to 10 minute walk from Carlton.

By Car

Pay per use parking is available at:

  • University Square: Enter via Bouverie Street or Berkeley Street
  • Eastern Precinct: Enter via Cardigan Street, near the corner of Elgin Street


CASANZ relies on support from our generous partners and sponsors to be able to present relevant and important events, such as BISMITHE II.   Part of our objective is to ensure members and other stakeholders are well informed about air quality problems and solutions.  CASANZ welcomes sponsorship for this event and invites you to show your support.

Event Partner – A$10,000 (ex gst) – 1 available

CASANZ would welcome a partner for this important event.

As event partner you will be recognised during the opening address each day, throughout the three day event and also on event display materials.

In addition, your organisation will be prominently profiled in all email and social media campaigns, marketing materials and displayed on the CASANZ website as the event partner.

The event partner is also entitled to a free exhibition opportunity.

Event Sponsor – A$5,000 (ex gst)

As an event sponsor you will be recognised throughout the three day event and also on event display materials.

In addition, your company logo will be displayed in all email and social media campaigns, marketing materials and on the CASANZ website as an event sponsor.

Event sponsors are also entitled to a free exhibition opportunity.

Dinner Sponsor – A$3,000 (ex gst) – 1 available

Recognition during the opening address at event dinner as a sponsor and also on event display materials.

In addition, your company logo will be included in email and social media campaigns, marketing materials and displayed as a sponsor of the event on the CASANZ website.

Exhibition Opportunities – $1,000 (ex gst)

Exhibitions are provided via a clothed trestle table where you can display your products, services and related literature.  Exhibitors can also display pull up banners.

The exhibition space will be located within the catering area and may also extend into some of the conference space if available.  Floor plan available on request.

In addition, your company logo will be included in email and social media campaigns, marketing materials and displayed on the CASANZ website as an exhibitor at the event.

Other options:

  • Help student delegates attend
  • Provide support to the travel fund
  • Assist us with name tags and delegate materials
  • Other ideas – contact us to discuss!

Please contact Vicki Callaway, CASANZ General Manager, to discuss this opportunity via email or phone +61 3 9727 3911.

The success of this workshop is dependent on hearing from a wide range of speakers on biomass smoke and air quality. Limited places are available for ten minute paper presentations on any topic relevant to one of the daily themes:

Day 1: Impact measurement, assessment and prediction

Day 2: Interventions and management

Day 3: Health impacts and harm minimisation

To register your interest in presenting at this workshop please submit an abstract outlining the key premise of your presentation.  Abstracts should not exceed 1 A4 page.

Submit your abstract by 20 May 2019.

FULL EVENT – includes dinner on Day 2

Member – AUD$720

Non-Member  – AUD$1050

NOTE: It is cheaper to become an individual member of CASANZ than pay the non member price.  Join here.

Student/Retired  –  AUD$360

DAY 1 or 2

Member – AUD$300

Non-Member – AUD$440

Student/Retired – AUD$150

Council – AUD$280

Dinner – AUD$80 – Day 2 only


Member – AUD$250

Non-Member – AUD$390

Student/Retired – AUD$100

Council – AUD$230

Late Registration, after 5 June, 2019, will incur an additional administration fee: AUD$100

A limited number of travel grants are available for students and early career air quality professionals.  To apply, contact CASANZ via email detailing the reason why this travel award will assist in your attendance at this event.

Applications close 8 May, 2019.

Contact Vicki Callaway for more information. (email or phone +61 3 9727 3911)

Jacinda Shen Training Manager