The Asthma Australia Adelaide Pollen Count will start reporting on daily grass pollen and other pollens in the air from September 14th, to help support those who suffer from seasonal allergies and asthma.
The partnership between Asthma Australia, the University of Adelaide, and the AusPollen Aeroallergen Collaboration Network headed up by the Queensland University of Technology will give people in Adelaide a report on the past 24hrs each day at asthma.org.au/pollen-monitoring/
When will the pollen count for Adelaide commence?
Pollen monitoring in Adelaide will commence in September.
Why do we monitor pollen?
By monitoring the pollen count in Adelaide’s air, we are able to inform people who suffer from serious allergy conditions, such as asthma and hay fever, of days that have high pollen levels. Knowing this information will allow people to understand what may be triggering their symptoms and to take preventative measures such as staying indoors, using preventative medication, and having their reliever medication close at hand.
Why only report grass pollen levels?
Only grass pollen is reported. Research has shown that grass pollen is one of the major outdoor allergen triggers across Australia. Read more about pollen here.
Why is pollen only monitored for part of the year?
In South Australia, most temperate grasses begin to flower in spring-time and peak over October to November. Daily pollen count monitoring is done during this peak pollen season. However, subtropical grasses, which are also present in Adelaide, may continue to flower throughout summer and autumn. Depending on the weather, there may also be days when pollen is high at these times of the year.
What factors affect the daily pollen levels?
A number of factors affect daily airborne levels. This includes changes in temperature, wind conditions, humidity and rain, and the biology of the grasses themselves.
Is the pollen season the same from year to year?
The beginning, end, peaks, and length of the grass pollen season will likely depend on the previous winter rainfall, as well as the seasonal rainfall in Adelaide and grass sources. There can be a lot of variability from year to year, and place to place, in the timing of the grass pollen season start and peaks. More research on the grass pollen season in South Australia is needed to understand local patterns.
Pollen monitoring information
Concentrations of grass pollen and other pollen types will be provided as grains per meter cubed of air (grains/m3). The level of airborne grass pollen concentrations will be rated according to the following categories. More research is needed to understand what levels of exposure in Adelaide lead to triggering symptoms of allergy including hay fever (allergic rhinitis) and allergic asthma. Tracking and knowing levels of exposure that trigger your own symptoms may help you understand how much pollen in the air affects you.
What is the pollen count in Adelaide
Daily pollen counting has finished for this season and is expected to resume again in September 2021.
Please note that Adelaide Pollen Count samples are collected each day at 9 am, counted in the laboratory, and reported daily at 11 am.
The Asthma Australia Adelaide Pollen Count is proudly supported by the South Australian Power Networks and without their support, there would be no pollen count this year as this service is yet to be funded by state or local government.
Data provided by The University of Adelaide Pollen Monitoring Site managed by WayCott and affiliated with AusPollen Aeroallergen Collaboration Network.
Professor Michelle Waycott
Michelle holds a joint appointment as Chief Botanist and Professor of Plant Systematics with the School of Biological Sciences, The University of Adelaide and Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium (Department for Environment and Water). Michelle is a botanist and evolutionary biologist who leads a diverse range of research and has more than 150 scientific publications. As the Head of Science and Conservation for the Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium and a Professor at the University of Adelaide, Michelle is working as a leader in botanical research in South Australia to improve our understanding of the botanical world, to communicate that to the wider community and to investigate environmental problems of state and national significance centred around plants.
Dr Korjent van Dijk
Dr. Kor-jent van Dijk is a research associate in Prof Michelle Waycott’s research group in the School of Biological Sciences, University of Adelaide. Kor-jent is one of the lead researchers in the group and specialises in population genetics and evolution of plants. To achieve this, a range of molecular genetic techniques – traditional and high throughput sequencing– are used to establish the relationship among species, populations and genetic individuals. In the recent years the research group has been developing novel Hybrid Capture methods to assess phylogenetic and phylogeographic relationships among plants using dozens of nuclear and plastid loci. Kor-jent is also coordinating the Adelaide pollen monitoring project for the AusPollen Aerobiology Collaboration Network. Kor-jent has a Master’s degree from the University of Groningen, the Netherlands and was awarded his PhD at the National Autonomous University of Mexico specialising in population genetics of tropical seagrasses in the Caribbean. He started his first postdoc in 2009 at James Cook University in Townsville and moved to Adelaide in 2012.
Emma O’Loughlin is a research assistant under Professor Michelle Waycott in the School of Biological Sciences. She joined the University of Adelaide in 2016 to undertake mesocosm experiments on Ruppia tuberosa for the Coorong Lower Lakes and Murray Mouth project. Emma successfully coordinated the 2017 Systematics Conservation and Ecology Conference and is currently running controlled experiments for the Healthy Coorong Healthy Basin Plan as well as implementing the Adelaide pollen monitoring project as part of the broader AusPollen Aerobiology Collaboration Network. She also manages the Global Initiative to Barcode Seagrasses database. After spending three years at SARDI Aquatic Sciences as a research assistant on the Adelaide Coastal Waters Study, she moved to the Algal and Biofuels facility. Emma completed honours in 2004 at the University of Adelaide in conjunction with SARDI Aquatic Sciences, having completed a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology at Flinders University.
For more information on pollen and how it may trigger asthma and allergies, click here.
If you are interested in pollen monitoring for other states, click here.