Kira Hughes

PhD Candidate
Deakin University
Research Scientist & Site Coordinator
Deakin AIRwatch
Teaching Academic
Deakin University

Melbourne, VIC

Contact me for

  • Mentoring
  • Sitting on boards or committees
  • Providing an expert opinion
  • Outreach activities
  • Conference presenting
  • Opportunities to collaborate


Award-winning PhD candidate starting my career in Science Communication. My research focuses on understanding the underlying factors of thunderstorm asthma and developing better ways to monitor airborne allergens. 

I have 5+ years experience with Science Communication and Outreach:
•I've presented at multiple conferences in Australia & New Zealand and held seminars for scientists, students, & the general public. 
•I have been interviewed by news organisations like SBS News & ABC Science as an expert source for articles on thunderstorm asthma, pollen seasons, and asthma-related deaths.
•I have won various awards for science communication and outreach. In 2023, I was named Runner Up & People's Choice at the Deakin University "Three Minute Thesis" Grand Final. In 2019, I was awarded the Deakin Hallmark for Communication Excellence in Biomedical Science and the Students Helping Students Award for Emerging Mentor. 
•Since 2020, I have taken part in multiple outreach events for secondary & tertiary students that include inductions, university tours, career workshops, and Open Days.
•In 2024, I was invited to speak as a guest researcher at the Peer Revue comedy show. I will also perform at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival as part of the "Future Science Talks: Comedy Edition" show and take part in the Einstein A Go-Go "20 PhDs in 20 Minutes" on 3RRR FM.

Currently, I work as a Research Scientist & Site Coordinator for Melbourne Pollen and Deakin AIRwatch. My team and I are responsible for providing critical health data to the Bureau of Meteorology and Victorian Department of Health for ongoing thunderstorm asthma research. I also work as a Teaching Academic at Deakin University leading Biomedical students through biology lab classes. 

I recently published a research paper on temporal analysis from the Melbourne 2016 thunderstorm asthma event and have published 3 literature reviews, one of which was awarded the 2022 IJMS Top Downloaded Paper. I was also one of 14 PhD candidates across Australia accepted into the 2023 Kathleen Fitzpatrick Laureate "PhD Thinkers Program" at the University of South Australia.

Kira identifies as neurodiverse.