Christopher Golden

Christopher Golden

Assistant Professor of Nutrition and Planetary Health
Christopher Golden

Research Interests

Since 1999, he has been conducting ecological and public health research in Madagascar. Most broadly, he is interested in local people’s dependence on natural resources for obtaining adequate health. This interest has led to various studies into connections between marine and terrestrial wildlife consumption and the incidence of micronutrient deficiencies and the eco-epidemiology of infectious diseases given current trends in biodiversity loss and land use change. Beyond Madagascar, he has been leading a collaborative research program that evaluates the connections among climate change, fisheries management and ocean governance, and food security and human nutrition in coastal populations around the world. Given trends in mass fisheries declines, coral bleaching, and raising sea surface temperatures that will drive fisheries away from the Equator and toward the Poles, food-insecure populations across the globe will be deprived of a critical nutritional resource. His group tackles this subject by modeling potential health futures and determining what types of interventions may be able to buffer against these impacts.

Related Publications

Wilkinson, J. E. A. Franzosa, C. Everett, C. Li, C. D. Golden, …..F. B. Hu, D. F. Wirth, M. Song, A.T.

Chan, E. Rimm, W. S. Garrett, C. Huttenhower. 2021. A framework for microbiome science in public health. Nature Medicine.

Golden, C.D., B. Rice, et al. Study Protocol: A Cross-Sectional Examination of Socio-Demographic and Ecological Determinants of Nutrition and Disease Across Madagascar. Frontiers in Public Health.

Bennett, A., Basurto, X., Virdin, J., Lin, X., Betances, S. J., Smith, M. D., Allison, E.H., Best, B.A., Brownell, K.D., Campbell, L.M., Golden, C.D.,…Zoubek, S. 2021. Recognize fish as food in policy discourse and development funding. Ambio, 1-9.

Gephart, J.A., C.D. Golden, F. Asche, B. Belton, C. Brugere, H.E. Froehlich, J.P. Fry, B.S. Halpern, C. Hicks, R.C. Jones, D.H. Klinger, D.C. Little, D.J. McCauley, S.H. Thilsted, M. Troell, E.H. Allison. 2020. Scenarios for global aquaculture and its role in human nutrition. Reviews in Fisheries Science & Aquaculture.

Costello, C., L. Cao, S. Gelcich, M. A. Cisneros-Mata, C. M. Free, H. E. Froehlich, C. D. Golden, G. Ishimura, J. Maier, I. Macadam-Somer, T. Mangin, M. C. Melnychuk, M. Miyahara, C. L. de Moor, R. Naylor, L. Nøstbakken, E. Ojea, E. O’Reilly, A. M. Parma, A. J. Plantinga, S. H. Thilsted, and J. Lubchenco. 2020. The future of food from the sea. Nature 588: 95-100.

Morelli, T.L., A. Smith , A. Mancini , E. Balko , C. Borgerson , R. Dolch , Z. Farris , S. Federman , C. D. Golden, S. Holmes, M. Irwin, R. Jacobs, S. Johnson, T. King, S. Lehman, E. Louis, A. Murphy, . N. T. Randriahaingo, H. L. L. Randrianarimanana, J. Ratsimbazafy, O. Razafindratsima. 2020. The fate of Madagascar's rainforest habitat. Nature Climate Change 10: 89-96.

Borgerson, C., Razafindrapaoly, D., Rajaona, B., Rasolofoniaina, B. J. R. and C. D. Golden. 2019. Food Insecurity and the Unsustainable Hunting of Wildlife in a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems 3, 99.

Annapragada, A., Borgerson, C., Iams, S., Miharifetra, A., Crawford, G. C., Helin, M., and Golden, C. D. 2019. Modeling the impact of Newcastle disease virus vaccinations on chicken production systems in Northeastern Madagascar. Frontiers in Veterinary Science, 6, 305. doi: 10.3389/fvets.2019.00305

Arisco, N. J., Rice, B. L., Tantely, L. M., Girod, R., Emile, G. N., Randriamady, H. J., ... & Golden, C.D. (2020). Variation in Anopheles distribution and predictors of malaria infection risk across regions of Madagascar. Malaria journal, 19(1), 1-13.

Shepon, A., Gephart, J. A., Henriksson, P. J. G., Jones, R., Murshed-e-Jahan, K., Eshel, G., & Golden, C. D. (2020). Reorientation of aquaculture production systems can reduce environmental impacts and improve nutrition security in Bangladesh. Nature Food, 1(10), 640-647.

Golden, C.D., B. Vaitla, L. Ravaoliny, M.A. Vonona, E.J.G. Anjaranirina, H.J. Randriamady, R.P. Glahn, S.E. Guth, L.C.H. Fernald, and S.S. Myers. 2019. Seasonal trends of nutrient intake in  rainforest communities of north-eastern Madagascar. Public Health Nutrition 22(12): 2200-2209.

Naidoo, R., D. Gerkey, D. Hole, A. Pfaff, A.M. Ellis, C.D. Golden, D. Herrera, K. Johnson, M.Mulligan, T.H. Ricketts, B. Fisher. 2019. Evaluating the impacts of protected areas on human well-being across the developing world. Science Advances 5(4), eaav3006.

Pasolli, E., F. Asnicar, S. Manara, M. Zolfo, N. Karcher, F. Armanini, F. Beghini, P. Manghi, A. Tett, B. L. Rice, C. DuLong, X. C. Morgan, C. D. Golden, C. Huttenhower, and N. Segata. 2019. The human microbiome explored by over 150,000 genomes from geographically diverse metagenomes. Cell 176(3): 649-662.

Brook, C. E., Herrera, J. P., Borgerson, C., Fuller, E., Andriamahazoarivosoa, P., Rasolofoniaina, B. R., & Golden, CD. 2019. Population viability and harvest  sustainability for Madagascar lemurs. Conservation Biology 33(1): 99-111.

Golden, CD, A. Shapero, B. Vaitla, M.R. Smith, S.S. Myers, E. Stebbins, and J.A. Gephart. Impacts of hydropower development on fisheries and human nutrition in the Lower Mekong. 2019. Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems. doi: 10.3389/fsufs.2019.00093

Golden, C.D., Borgerson, C., Rice, B.L., Allen, L.H., Anjaranirina, E. J. G., Barrett, C.B., Gephart, J.A., Hampel, D., Hartl, D. L., Ralalason, D. H., Ramihantaniarivo, H., Randriamady, H. J., Shahab-Ferdows, S., Vaitla, B., Volkman, S. K., Vonona, M. A., and Myers, S. S. 2019. Cohort Profile: The Madagascar Health and Environmental Research-Antongil (MAHERY-Antongil) Study in Northeastern Madagascar. Frontiers in Nutrition doi: 10.3389/fnut.2019.00109

McCauley, D.J., C. Jablonicky, E. H. Allison, CD Golden, F. H. Joyce, J. Mayorga, D. Kroodsma. 2018. Wealthy countries dominate industrial fishing. Science Advances 4, eaau2161.

Vaitla, B., D. Collar, MR Smith, SS Myers, BL Rice, and CD Golden. 2018. Predicting nutrient content of ray-finned fishes using phylogenetic information. Nature Communications 9(1), 3742.

Myers, S.S., M. R. Smith, S. Guth, CD Golden, B.Vaitla, N. D. Mueller, A. D. Dangour, and P. Huybers. 2017. Climate Change and global food systems: potential impacts on food security and undernutrition. Annual Reviews of Public Health 38: 14.1-14.9.

Herrera, D., Ellis, A., Fisher, B., Golden, CD, Johnson, K., Mulligan, M., Pfaff, A., Treuer, T., and Ricketts, TH. 2017. Upstream watershed condition predicts rural children’s health across 35 developing countries. Nature Communications 8:811.

Golden, CD, Anjaranirina, E. J. G., Fernald, L. C. H., Hartl, D. L., Kremen, C., Ralalason, D. H., Ramihantaniarivo, H., Randriamady, H. J., Rice, B. L., Vaitla, B., Volkman, S. K., Vonona, M. A., and Myers, S. S. 2017. Cohort Profile: The Madagascar Health and Environmental Research (MAHERY) Study in Northeastern Madagascar. International Journal of Epidemiology 46: 1747-1748d.

Golden, CD, Seto, KL, Chen, OL, Cheung, WWL, Dey, MM, Halpern, BS, McCauley, DJ, Gephart, JA, Myers, SS, Smith, M, Vaitla, B, Zeller, D, Allison, EH. 2017. Does Aquaculture Support the Needs of Nutritionally Vulnerable Countries? Frontiers in Marine Science 4 (159). doi: 10.3389/fmars.2017.00159

Pascual, U., Balvanera, P., Diaz, S., Pataki, G.Roth, E., Stenseke, M., Watson, R., Başak Dessane, E., Breslow, S. J., Islar, M., Kelemen, E., Keune, H., Maris, V., Pengue, W., Quaas, M., Subramanian, S. M., Wittmer, H., Mohamed, A. A., Al-Hafedh, Y. S., Asah, S. T., Berry, P., Bilgin, A., Bullock, C., Cáceres, D., Golden, CD, Gómez-Baggethun, E., González-Jiménez, D., Houdet, J., Kumar, R., May, P. H., Mead, A., O'Farrell, P., Pacheco-Balanza, D., Pandit, R., Pichis-Madruga, R., Popa, F., Preston, S., Saarikoski, H., Strassburg, B. B., Verma, M., Yagi, N., Ahn, S., Amankwah, E., Daly-Hassen, H., Figueroa, E., Ma, K., van den Belt, M., Wickson, F. 2017. Valuing nature's contributions to people: The IPBES approach. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 26: 7-16.

Golden, CD, Allison, EH, Cheung, WWL, Dey, MM, Halpern, BS, McCauley, DJ, Smith, M, Vaitla, B, Zeller, D, Myers, SS. 2016. Fall in fish catch threatens human nutrition. Nature 534: 317-320.

Golden, CD, Gupta, AC, Vaitla, B, Myers, SS. 2016. Ecosystem services and food security: assessing inequality at community, household and individual scales. Environmental Conservation 43(4): 381-388.

Golden, CD and J. Comaroff. 2015. The effects of social change on wildlife consumption taboos in northeastern Madagascar. Ecology and Society 20(2): 41.

Golden, CD and J. Comaroff. 2015. The human health and conservation relevance of food taboos in northeastern Madagascar. Ecology and Society 20(2): 42.

Brashares, J., B. Abrahms, K. Fiorella, CD Golden, C. Hojnowski, R. Marsh, D. McCauley, T. Nunez, K. Seto and L. Withey. 2014. Wildlife decline and social conflict. Science 345(6145): 376-378.

Golden, CD, M. Bonds, J. S. Brashares, B. J. R. Rasolofoniaina and C. Kremen. 2014. Economic valuation of subsistence harvest of wildlife in Madagascar. Conservation Biology 28: 234-243.

Golden, CD  2014. Spiritual roots of the land:  hierarchy and relationships of the religious cosmologies of humans and their environment in the Maroantsetra region of Madagascar. Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology 18(3): 255-268.

Golden, CD, J. Rabehatonina, A. Rakotosoa, and M. Moore. 2014. Socio-ecological analysis of natural resource use in Betampona Strict Natural Reserve. Madagascar Conservation & Development 9(2). Available at: <>.

Golden, CD, R. W. Wrangham and J. S. Brashares. 2013. Assessing the accuracy of interviewed recall for rare, highly seasonal events: the case of wildlife consumption in Madagascar. Animal Conservation 16: 597-603.

Myers, S. S., CD  Golden, T. Ricketts, W. R. Turner, R. Ostfeld, K. H. Redford, L. Gaffikin, and S. A. Osofsky. 2013. Human health impacts of ecosystem alteration. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A. 110(47), 18753-18760.

Golden CD, Rasolofoniaina BJR, Anjaranirina EJG, Nicolas L, Ravaoliny L, and C. Kremen. 2012. Rainforest pharmacopeia in Madagascar provides high value for current local and prospective global uses. PLoS ONE 7(7): e41221. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0041221

Golden, CD, L. C. H. Fernald, J. S. Brashares, B. J. R. Rasolofoniaina, and C. Kremen. 2011. Benefits of wildlife consumption to child nutrition in a biodiversity hotspot. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A. 108:19653-19656.

Environmental Courses

  • NUT 209. Seminars in Food Science, Technology, and Sustainability
  • ID 220: An Introduction to Planetary Health

Contact Information

Building 2, 3rd Floor
665 Huntington Ave., Boston, MA

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