Caroline’s research field involves investigating sites and exposures of occupants to fungi and allergens in indoor built environments, looking specifically at how allergens accumulate and are removed from textiles in homes. Her studies have included applications of biocides to textiles to kill house dust mites; house dust mite allergen and fungal spore accumulation and disturbance from different flooring constructions; types and levels of fungi in wool and synthetic bedding, and the effect of carpet construction and wear on the removal of allergens by vacuuming.
Caroline’s current research role is with the Wellington Asthma Research Group, working on the Health Research Council-funded HOME study, which examines what housing factors may be associated with new-onset wheezing in children.
Her PhD research is about fungal levels in the home and their relationship to children’s respiratory health. This is particularly topical because of the worldwide increase over the last few decades of allergic diseases such as asthma. Identification of indoor allergens, their sites of accumulation, and an individual’s exposure levels are all critical to understanding how they can be reduced in the indoor environment.
- Walker, G.J. Stelzer‐Braid, S. Honeywill, C. Wynn, M. Willenborg, C. Barnes, P. Kang, J. Rawlinson, W.D.(2019).Viruses associated with acute respiratory infection in a community‐based cohort of healthy New Zealand children.Journal of Medical Virology,Open access.