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Dr Fabienne Reisen is a principal atmospheric research scientist in the Climate Science Centre of CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere who specialises in biomass burning emissions. Her research investigates the chemical composition of smoke plumes and how these impact air quality and public health.
She is a co-lead of the national prototype smoke forecasting (AQFx) project, a collaborative research between CSIRO, Bureau of Meteorology, the University of Tasmania, the University of Sydney, the University of Melbourne and DELWP, and funded by the Department of Home Affairs (

Fabienne joined CSIRO in 2004 as a Bushfire CRC funded post-doctoral research fellow. Her initial project investigated the risks of firefighters from exposure to toxic hazards on the fire ground. Since then she has led or contributed to a wide range of co-investment projects including understanding air toxics from fires at the rural urban interface, evaluating the air quality impact from the Hazelwood coal mine fire, studying nanoparticles produced by bushfires and developing emission factors from low intensity prescribed burns in Eucalypt forests and savanna fires.

Fabienne developed a STEM project targeted to Grade 6-8 students where students build and deploy their own Smoke Observation Gadget (SMOG), a low-cost particle sensor linked to a Raspberry Pi. Students use the SMOG units to monitor fine particles in the air. The collected data set feeds back into a larger project funded by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) aiming to develop a system that enables fire and land management agencies, communities and industries to better prepare, respond to and recover from smoke events due to prescribed burns or bushfires (

Fabienne is a co-leader of the Particle and Multiphase Atmospheric program at Cape Grim where she focuses on the analysis of the long-term records of carbonaceous aerosol measurements. She is also interested in exploring the long-term records of “non-baseline” data to understand the effects of pollution aerosols on the marine boundary layer. She was a highlighted speaker at the NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory Global Monitoring Annual Conference in 2017, where she presented the trends in black carbon measurements at Cape Grim.

Current Roles

  • Team leader
    Multi-Phase Atmospheric Chemistry

Academic Qualifications

  • 2003

    PhD Environmental Toxicology
    University of California Riverside

  • 1998

    M.A. Environmental Impact Assessment & Management
    University of Manchester, UK

  • 1997

    Environmental Engineering
    Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne (EPFL)

Professional Experiences

  • 2020-2021

    Lead author to the review of the 2018 statement of the use of low-cost air quality sensors
    World Meteorological Organization (WMO)

  • 2011-2014

    Member of the Scientific Reference Group for the Australian Firefighters’ Health Study
    Monash University Centre for Occupational and Environmental Health, VIC, Australia

  • 2013-2014

    Invited expert reviewer to develop consensus guidelines on public health response during forest fire smoke events
    British Columbia Centre for Disease Control, Canada

  • 2017-2020

    Team Leader - Reactive Gases

  • 2013-2016

    Team Leader - Aerosols

Achievements and Awards

  • 2020-2020

    CASANZ VIC/TAS branch Werner Strauss Clean Air Achievement Award
    Clean Air Society of Australia and New Zealand

  • 2014-2014

    Certificate of Recognition for significant contribution to the understanding of the air quality impacts of a major emergency on the local community and environment- Hazelwood Coal Mine Fire 2014
    Clean Air Society of Australia and New Zealand

  • 2013-2013

    Bushfire CRC award in recognition of outstanding contribution to the Bushfire CRC through high quality research
    Bushfire CRC