Dr Andrew Dansie

Dr Andrew Dansie

Senior Lecturer
Civil and Environmental Engineering

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.  

+61 (02) 93856176
Civil Engineering Building (H20)
  • Journal articles | 2023
    Lodge JW; Dansie AP; Johnson F, 2023, 'A review of globally available data sources for modelling the Water-Energy-Food Nexus', Earth-Science Reviews, 243, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.earscirev.2023.104485
    Journal articles | 2023
    Stephens CM; Ho M; Schmeidl S; Pham HT; Dansie AP; Leslie GL; Marshall LA, 2023, 'International capacity building to achieve SDG6: insights from longitudinal analysis of five water operator partnerships', International Journal of Water Resources Development, 39, pp. 557 - 575, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07900627.2022.2109604
    Journal articles | 2022
    Al Nabhani K; Salzman S; Shimeta J; Dansie A; Allinson G, 2022, 'A temporal assessment of microplastics distribution on the beaches of three remote islands of the Yasawa archipelago, Fiji', Marine Pollution Bulletin, 185, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2022.114202
    Journal articles | 2022
    Angnunavuri PN; Attiogbe F; Dansie A; Mensah B, 2022, 'Evaluation of plastic packaged water quality using health risk indices: A case study of sachet and bottled water in Accra, Ghana', Science of the Total Environment, 832, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.155073
    Journal articles | 2022
    Dansie AP; Thomas DSG; Wiggs GFS; Baddock MC; Ashpole I, 2022, 'Plumes and blooms – Locally-sourced Fe-rich aeolian mineral dust drives phytoplankton growth off southwest Africa', Science of the Total Environment, 829, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.154562
    Journal articles | 2020
    Angnunavuri PN; Attiogbe F; Dansie A; Mensah B, 2020, 'Consideration of emerging environmental contaminants in africa: Review of occurrence, formation, fate, and toxicity of plastic particles', Scientific African, 9, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.sciaf.2020.e00546
    Journal articles | 2018
    Dansie AP; Thomas DSG; Wiggs GFS; Munkittrick KR, 2018, 'Spatial variability of ocean fertilizing nutrients in the dust-emitting ephemeral river catchments of Namibia', Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 43, pp. 563 - 578, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/esp.4207
    Journal articles | 2017
    Dansie A; Wiggs GFS; Thomas DSG, 2017, 'Iron and nutrient content of wind-erodible sediment in the ephemeralriver valleys of Namibia', Geomorphology, 290, pp. 335 - 346, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.geomorph.2017.03.016
    Journal articles | 2017
    Dansie AP; Wiggs GFS; Thomas DSG; Washington R, 2017, 'Measurements of windblown dust characteristics and ocean fertilization potential: The ephemeral river valleys of Namibia', Aeolian Research, 29, pp. 30 - 41, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aeolia.2017.08.002
    Journal articles | 2017
    Thomas DSG; Durcan JA; Dansie A; Wiggs GFS, 2017, 'Holocene fluvial valley fill sources of atmospheric mineral dust in the Skeleton Coast, Namibia', Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 42, pp. 1884 - 1894, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/esp.4151
  • Other | 2020
    Dansie A, 2020, GEF LME:LEARN (2019) CoastSnap and Ridge to Reef Project Twinning Workshop: Experience Note, , https://iwlearn.net/resolveuid/f48a14ca-8174-4472-94d6-af1085f45c3e
    Conference Posters | 2018
    Dansie A; Leslie G, 2018, 'Source to Sea: Water, sediment and nutrient fluxes in the Pacific Environment', presented at The Pacific Islands Science, Technology and Resources Network Conference 2018, 10 July 2018 - 13 July 2018
    Reports | 2018
    Dansie A; Schmeidl S; Spurway K; Chin M; Leslie G, 2018, Australia-Vietnam Water Utilities Twinning Program Monitoring Report, University of New South Wales Global Water Institute, Sydney

  • 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

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.