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Caradee Wright
Dr Caradee Wright, CSIR Climate Studies, Modeling and Environmental Health Research Group.

Dunedin, New Zealand is a long way from Caradee Wright's hometown of Durban KwaZulu-Natal, but the concerns of the effects of sun exposure are the same in both places.

Caradee's interest in the relationship between sun exposure, sunburn and skin cancer has been pivotal through her entire academic career, and her work in this area has been awarded numerous prizes.

After being awarded a prestigious National Research Foundation Doctoral Degree Abroad Scholarship, Caradee embarked on her PhD at the Cancer Society Social and Behavioural Research Unit.

Working with Professor Tony Reeder (University of Otago) and Dr Greg Bodeker (NIWA), they were granted a New Zealand Cancer Society project grant to assess school children's sun exposure using a novel instrument designed by Dr Martin Allen (University of Canterbury).

Data was collected from 28 schools throughout New Zealand, "where I made the most of my travelling fieldwork campaign, visiting a different school each week as well as numerous beautiful places around New Zealand," Caradee notes.

"Findings of this study have assisted in a better understanding of factors influencing child sun exposure, implementation of school sun protection policy and an understanding that the relationship between knowledge and behaviour is mediated by attitudes," she adds.

Caradee's interest in skin cancer continues in her current role as Principal Researcher at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in South Africa. Within this role, she leads the SunSmart Research Programme and Lab.

"Several of my projects directly follow on from the work I did in New Zealand, namely considering sun exposure among children and other vulnerable groups in South African society."

Highlighting the passion Caradee still feels for her initial area of interest, she intends to focus intently on "sun exposure and health risks posed by solar UV radiation in a changing climate to determine appropriate mitigation and reduction strategies."