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First 1000 Days Australia – Multigenerational Family Environment Study


The First 1000 Days Australia – Multigenerational Family Environment Study is an Indigenous-led prospective study exploring specific exposures in the family environment, early years and service provision, and the outcomes for families and their children over time. The initial emphasis of the Study is to generate evidence that has immediate use for First 1000 Days Australia sites in improving service delivery, capacity building in families, and family outcomes incorporating Indigenous cultural knowledge, worldviews and lifeways. 

The First 1000 Days Australia – Multigenerational Family Environment Study aims to:

  1. Identify and quantify the characteristics of thriving, strong and resilient Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families
  2. Identify key determinants of environmental, cultural, familial, maternal and paternal, newborn and child health, and the predictors of health and wellbeing outcomes at two years of age and at school entry
  3. Evaluate and adjust strategies implemented through First 1000 Days Australia, according to the needs of families and communities, to improve health and wellbeing over time
  4. Develop a research infrastructure legacy that is Indigenous conceived and led for future Indigenous research and researchers to build upon.

The Study will use a prospective approach to follow the first 1000 days from conception to the age of two years within families engaged with First 1000 Days Australia.


Peer-reviewed journal articles

Arabena, K., Ritte, R. & Sutherland, G. 2016, 'The First 1000 Days Australia: An Australian interpretation of the 1000 Days movement and measuring the impact on families', (e1), FRSA 2016 Conference e-Journal

Ritte, R., Panozzo, S., Johnston, L., Agerholm, J., Kvernmo, S., Rowley, K. & Arabena, K. 2016, 'An Australian Model of the First 1000 Days: An Indigenous-led process to turn an international initiative into an early-life strategy benefiting Indigenous families', Global Health, Epidemiology and Genomics, 1(e11), 10

Microbiome blogs, labs and links

Check out this Howard Hughes Medical Institute funded brief podcast series of 'I Contain Multitudes', the recent non-fiction book by science journalists Ed Yong

WEHI studies on diabetes and the microbiome

The Environmental Determinants of Islet Autoimmunity (ENDIA) Study is finding out what causes type 1 diabetes so we can find ways to prevent it:

Monash immunology and diabetes

Dr Eliana Marino is investigating how diet and the gut microbiota through metabolites and their sensing receptors, the G protein couple receptors (GPCRs), affect immune tolerance, gut homeostasis and inflammation:

Ear health – UQ project

The POPI Study – or Prevention of Otitis media with Probiotics in Indigenous Children – is investigating whether ‘good bacteria’ specific to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children could be used to fight their ear infections. Professor Cervin is leading the project, in conjunction with Queensland Health’s award-winning ‘Deadly Ears’ program:

Urban microbiomes

Microbes play a key role in the function of ecosystems. They contribute to biodiversity (Fierer et al. 2012), nutrient cycling (Fenchel et al. 2012), pollutant detoxification (Kolvenbach et al. 2014), and human health (Gevers et al. 2012). Since they control the composition of the gases in the atmosphere, they also play an important role in climate change (Bardgett et al. 2008). In urban ecosystems, microbes account for most of the biodiversity and are major agents in nature’s material cycles and food webs (King 2014). Thus the sustainability of cities over the long term is inextricably linked to microbes and their evolution. But how does urbanisation affect the microbiome? Are urban microbes resilient in the face of rapid environmental changes? This is mostly unknown. See:

The hospital microbiome

This remarkable Chicago Hospital Microbiome project:

The microbiome of the built environment

The microbiology of the Built Environment network (aka microBEnet) is a project funded by a grant from Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s Program on the Indoor Environment to Jonathan A. Eisen at the University of California, Davis:

The main goals of the microBEnet project are:

  1. To catalyse communication and collaboration among researchers funded in the Sloan Program on the Indoor Environment.
  2. To reach out to researchers in related fields (e.g., microbial ecology, building sciences) and provide them with resources that would help them begin to study microbiology of the built environment.
  3. To provide outreach to 'stakeholders' outside of these fields (e.g., the general public, funding agency representatives, government staffers)

The Microbiome Digest

Since January 2017, the writing of the (nearly) daily global Microbiome Digest blog posts has been done by a fantastic team of scientists from all over the world, who all share their love of microbiology and science communication. It contains daily blogs and comments on new literature and global microbiome news:

Science Magazine (US Academy of Science)

A summary of key microbiome studies published in recent years in this world leading scientific journal:

...and for something completely fun!

The Microbiome game: