Dr Emma Miller

Senior Lecturer Flinders University – College of Medicine and Public Health
July 2021
Each issue we ask someone from the alcohol and other drugs sector to share a little about their work and life.

The next time I take leave I will…make sure to spend some time in my garden, with my cats and with my family. Hopefully, some travel restrictions will lift soon so that I can visit my family overseas as well.

I’ll never forget…all the experiences I have had in my life that have made it so rich and satisfying. The experiences of living in learning to love more than one city, travelling the world, engaging with the media around emerging health issues such as COVID-19 and around my research, performing on stage as a working musician, raising a family, being supported by a loving partner, meeting people form all walks of life, enjoying generations of wonderful cats, and every experience in between.                                      

If I could do one thing that scares me…I would love to go hot air ballooning and, possibly, sky diving.

The research that I am most proud of…I have enjoyed all my research projects, particularly my recent and current work in alcohol and cancer, but the most personally lifechanging research I have undertaken was actually doing my PhD way back when. This was a project looking at hepatitis C in the South Australian prison system. While the project was epidemiological, the experience of doing the fieldwork with prisoners was eye opening and awoke my passion for social justice, which remains strongly with me today.

My goal for the next year…is to make sure that I keep working on the projects that make a difference to population health and continue my teaching in epidemiology to enthuse the next generation of public health professionals.

What I’d love to tackle next… COVID-19 reminds us that infectious diseases are not yet done with us despite recent epidemiological shifts towards lifestyle and other non-communicable diseases. In addition to my work in alcohol and cancer, I would like to return to my roots in communicable disease research – particularly those disproportionately affecting marginalised populations, many of whom are also affected by substance use issues.

 Dr Emma Miller is an epidemiologist with particular expertise in hepatitis C, STI, and substance use. She has experience in the surveillance of communicable diseases and a history of research in this area. In recent years she has added another stream of research interest in alcohol behaviour and its links with cancer. In various government and academic roles, including in surveillance of influenza in Victoria and sexually transmissible infections in SA, she has worked extensively with priority populations primarily affected by substance use issues, including prisoners in the South Australian correctional system. She has held academic posts at Deakin University, La Trobe University, The University of Adelaide and is currently based at Flinders University. The primary focus of her teaching has been in research methods and epidemiology at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.

Check out Dr Miller’s latest publication; COVID-19, Alcohol Consumption and Stockpiling Practises in Midlife Women: Repeat Surveys During Lockdown in Australia and the United Kingdom