Epidemiologist Christopher Golden has conducted research which has quantified the relationship between environmental trends and human health. Golden’s research has specifically revealed a connection between disease and degraded biodiversity. His research not only demonstrates how environmental trends affect our health, he shows how the right interventions can solve problems for both sick people and sick ecosystems.
“The health of our planet can have powerful effects on the health of people.
Understanding that complex relationship has never been more critical,” Golden says.
His research demonstrates how changes in the environment can have a tangible impact on human health. He has elucidated the interrelationship of unsustainable hunting and adverse health impacts in Madagascar. He was also able to demonstrate that sustainable practices contributed to health. This approach is currently being used to explore how climate change is impacting the oceans which in turn impacts.
“Were helping quantify how global fishery collapse relates to rising worldwide malnutrition and other specific health outcomes. Our predictive models will link ocean acidification, pollution, warming, and coral bleaching to food insecurity. Conversely, we’ll measure how protecting marine areas can increase productivity of fish and boost food supplies,” he said.
Using his understanding of the interrelationship between the environment and human health, Golden has created an organization called HEAL (Health and Ecosystems: Analysis of Linkages). This program is a consortium of 25 institutions led by the Wildlife Conservation Society that aims to restore a more harmonious balance between humans and the biodiversity in which they live.