Events

Tuesday, February 13, 2018 -
12:00pm to 1:00pm
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HUCE Seminar Room 429, 26 Oxford St., Cambridge

Torrents, Turds, and Tilapia: Ecosystem Approaches to Mitigate Disaster Risk, Waterborne Disease and Aquatic Biodiversity Loss in Pacific Island Watersheds

The Planetary Health Alliance welcomes Aaron Jenkins, Inaugural Research Fellow in Planetary Health, University of Sydney and Edith Cowan University.

The health and well being of inhabitants in small Pacific Island watersheds are highly influenced by the interacting processes of climate (e.g. tropical cyclones and flooding) and land cover (e.g. deforestation and road building) change. A breadth of research conducted over the past decade has shown that prolonged rainfall and flooding in heavily altered watersheds is associated with loss of downstream biodiversity and increased incidence of waterborne bacterial disease. Environment, public health, and disaster agency interventions have been mostly piecemeal, with few attempts at watershed-scale preventative actions or joint assessment of downstream impacts on ecosystem services such as disease regulation or food provision. This talk will bring together existing and newly initiated research on watershed landscape condition, aquatic biodiversity, socio-cultural aspects of resource use, bacterial pathogens in aquatic environments, and incidence of waterborne diseases in Pacific Islands to explore some of the complex connections between waterborne diseases and aquatic biodiversity loss. This stream of research is helping to provide clearer guidance for cross-sectoral coordination of watershed management to improve both environmental provision services and public health outcomes.

Research Areas: 

Harvard University
Center for the Environment

Address: 26 Oxford Street, 4th Floor, Cambridge
Email: huce@environment.harvard.edu
Phone: (617) 495-0368

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Torrents, Turds, and Tilapia: Ecosystem Approaches to Mitigate Disaster Risk, Waterborne Disease and Aquatic Biodiversity Loss in Pacific Island Watersheds | Harvard University Center for the Environment

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