Programming Committee Biographies
Head of UK and Special Project Director for the ‘United in Diversity Foundation'
Alexandra studied Classics at Oxford University (Christ Church) followed by Law at the London College of Law. She worked in Parliament for 14 years, at the heart of the UK Government. Her favourite roles included developing social justice policy and legislation, engaging with constituents, and meeting representatives from all over the world. Under Dame Caroline Spelman, Alexandra was introduced to the UN’s SDGs and inclusive growth, and worked on the creation of the ‘Modern Day Slavery Act’ and a range of environmental topics at government level.
Alexandra now has the honour of being Head of UK and Special Project Director for the ‘United in Diversity Foundation’ based in Indonesia. The Foundation promotes science-based education and research in sustainability, with a focus on the Balinese philosophy of harmony as the basis for all progress. Alexandra is also greatly interested in seaweed farming, so please do contact her if you share this interest!
Co-Founder & Co-Facilitator, Alliance Santé Planétaire
Alexandre is a French registered nurse and global and planetary health specialist who currently works as a co-facilitator and co-founder of the French-speaking association Alliance Santé Planétaire.
Previously, Alexandre worked as a policy advisor at the European Federation of Nurses Associations in 2021. For more than 5 years, he worked at the United Nations in different roles in health emergency management (Ebola, COVID-19). He studied public health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and was a student and alumni ambassador for the Planetary Health Network.
In his MSc thesis, Alexandre produced a narrative synthesis on the implementation of the 'One Health' approach to health emergency preparedness in Guinea and Senegal. His current work covers preparedness and response to health and environmental crises as well as the critical implementation of holistic approaches such as 'One Health,' Planetary Health or Health in All Policies, as they relate to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
BSN, RN, PHN
Andrew Jensen is a critical care nurse interested in environmental justice and how our changing planetary systems impact human health. He currently works in a major metropolitan hospital as an ICU nurse and dedicates his free time to environmental issues.
Andrew graduated from the University of Minnesota School of Nursing with high distinction in May 2021. However, his passion for environmental health was ongoing throughout his educational career. His work includes volunteering for Nurses Climate Challenge, where he helped establish a social media presence for the organization. He also served as a student board member for the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments (ANHE), focusing on waste management, specifically composting. He transitioned onto ANHE’s steering committee in 2021, where he helped guide the organization’s focus in areas such as advocacy, education, and climate policy. Andrew recently spoke at CleanMed on a panel entitled “New Generation of health professionals leading with passion.” Andrew also volunteers weekly with the sustainability director at the hospital he works at to further his desire for change.
Although most of his time is spent providing direct patient care in multiple ICUs, he loves to dedicate his time to movement building within the planetary health community. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, working out, and spending time with family and friends.
Professor, University of São Paulo, Head of the Planetary Health Brazil, Institute of Advanced Studies
Antonio M Saraiva has been involved in transdisciplinary research for more than 30 years, bridging computing engineering, agriculture, biodiversity, environment and health. He has created and led pioneer research groups in Brazil on agricultural automation, biodiversity and computing and, more recently, planetary health. His works has always been solutions-oriented to safeguard our future.
Antonio is the head of the Planetary Health Brazil, hosted at the Institute of Advanced Studies, University of São Paulo (USP), that brings together members from various Brazilian institutions. He has been representing USP in the Planetary Health Alliance since USP joined PHA in early 2016. Antonio is currently a member of PHA steering committee.
He is a co-PI at the USP/IBM Center for Artificial Intelligence, leading its AgriBio Challenge, and he coordinates the USP node of the University Blockchain Research Initiative (UBRI), funded by Ripple.
Antonio’s current work and interests span several areas of planetary health, including: safeguarding crop pollination and pollinators in Brazil and South America; plant-pollination interaction data standardization and database development; citizen science & pollinators; data quality in citizen science; spatiotemporal data analysis of suicides in Brazil; data analysis of dengue cases and control in Brazil to help develop more effective policies; decision-making for a more sustainable agriculture and for mitigating hunger using data science and AI; use of blockchain to foster transparency, traceability and new businesses in agriculture, biodiversity and health.
Antonio has degrees in Electrical Engineering (1980) and on Agronomy (1987) from University of São Paulo, a Master and Ph.D. in Electric Engineering, also from USP, with a focus in IT applied to agriculture and the environment. He has been on the faculty at USP since 1989 and has served in many positions, including vice research provost. He has been a full professor since 2008. He has also served other national and international organizations such as the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES – task group on knowledge and data), Biodiversity Information Standards/TDWG (Executive Committee, Data quality Interest Group chair, Biological interactions data IG chair), FAO (Global Pollination Project, consultant), International Commission on Agricultural Engineering / CIGR (Section VII, Information Technology chair).
Associate Director, Planetary Health Alliance
Dr. Faerron is the co-founder and current director of the InterAmerican Center for Global Health (CISG). CISG is the first global health hub in Central America and seeks to redefine the meaning of leadership and global health through innovative educational approaches.
Dr. Faerron began his career as a primary care doctor in a rural area of Costa Rica where he worked closely with migrant and indigenous populations. His work follows a health equity and human rights framework as a guiding principle and firmly believes in progress in health through community empowerment, research and education. He is also an Assistant Professor and Director of Global Health Programs at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, Graduate School. He obtained his medical degree at the University of Costa Rica and his MSc. in International Health at Queen Mary University in Edinburgh and Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam.
Additional studies include Social Justice at the International Institute for Health and Development in Scotland and Social Innovation for Health from INCAE Business School. Dr. Faerron is a Fellow of the Central American Healthcare Initiative and adjunct faculty at the Department of Oral Health Policy and Epidemiology at Harvard University and at the University of Maryland Graduate School.
Professor of Environmental Epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Associate Professor of Medicine at the Harvard Medical School and the Brigham & Women’s Hospital
Dr. Francine Laden is Professor of Environmental Epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and an Associate Professor of Medicine at the Harvard Medical School and the Brigham & Women’s Hospital. Dr. Laden received her ScD in Epidemiology and MS in Environmental Health from the Harvard School of Public Health.
Her research interests focus on the environmental epidemiology of chronic diseases, including cancer, respiratory and cardiovascular disease. Her research has or is concentrated on the following categories of exposures: air pollution (from ambient and occupational sources), persistent organic pollutants (POPs; organochlorines), secondhand smoke, and the contextual environment (e.g. built environment and green spaces). She is specifically interested in the geographic distribution of disease risk, incorporating geographic information system technology into large cohort studies to explore risk factors such as the built environment and indicators of socioeconomic status, as well as air pollution. She has published key papers on the association of ambient particulate matter and all cause and cardiovascular mortality in the landmark Harvard Six Cities Study and the Nurses’ Health Study and on the association of diesel exhaust exposures and lung cancer mortality in the trucking industry.
She was Co-Director of the Harvard and Boston University Environmental Disparities Center: Center for Research on Environmental and Social Stressors in Housing Across the Life Course (CRESSH). The mission of the Center was to study environmental health disparities in low-income communities and throughout Massachusetts. Dr. Laden is a past member of the EPA Science Advisory Board, past President of the International Society of Environmental Epidemiology, and the Associate Chair of the Department of Environmental Health at the Harvard Chan School.
Special Projects Officer
At the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Genny manages grantmaking for the Office of the President with a focus on cross-foundation and cross-sectoral opportunities. Additionally, she works with the foundation’s Environmental Conservation Program on special projects and communications.
PhD Candidate London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, MD, MSc, MMSc
Iris Blom is a 26-year old PhD candidate at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine researching how to make health systems more sustainable and resilient in the context of climate change. She is a medical doctor from the Netherlands with a Master's Degree in Global Affairs from Tsinghua University. Iris is the Next Generation Representative of the Steering Committee of PHA in 2021 and has attended the COP25, COP26 and first-ever UN Youth Climate Summit to advocate for planetary health.
Senior Program Coordinator for the Planetary Health Alliance
Jeremy Pivor is the Senior Program Coordinator for the Planetary Health Alliance. For over a decade, he has worked in environmental conservation, international climate change diplomacy, and public health. His conservation efforts have brought him around the world from the United States, Madagascar, the Sargasso Sea, the Coral Triangle region in Southeast Asia, to Indonesia Borneo. He cherishes working with and bridging partnerships with organizations from the local to international scale.
Jeremy has particularly focused on conservation in Indonesia. As a Henry Luce Foundation Scholar, he served as a Program Support Officer with the Coral Triangle Center (CTC) in Bali. He traveled around the country helping to connect CTC’s local marine protected area efforts with government, international development, and non-profit partners. Following that experience, Jeremy was the research coordinator for a joint medical facility and forest conservation organization, Alam Sehat Lestari (ASRI), in Kalimantan where he organized and conducted a health and environment survey distributed in 23 villages surrounding a refuge for orangutans in Gunung Palung National Park. Beyond the beautiful natural environments found in Indonesia, Jeremy loves the language, food, and most of all the friendly people.
He now serves as an advisor to the executive director for ASRI's partner, Health in Harmony. As a cancer survivor, Jeremy cares passionately about health justice and regards health equity as intricately intertwined with environmental justice. When Jeremy is not focusing on environmental and public health, he passionately advocates for the brain tumor and young adult cancer communities through writing, public speaking, fundraising and lobbying. His work has been featured in the Washington Post, Cure, and several other publications. He loves to sail, play board games, and most of all spend time with his family and friends.
Jeremy received an MS from the University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health's Joint Medical Program, where he focused on the social determinants of health, and a BA in Environmental Biology from Washington University in St. Louis, where he graduated summa cum laude as an Ethan A.H. Shepley Scholar, the University's highest honor.
Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Global Food Policy and Ethics, Johns Hopkins University in the USA
Jessica Fanzo, PhD is the Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Global Food Policy and Ethics at the Johns Hopkins University in the USA.
At Hopkins, she holds appointments in the Berman Institute of Bioethics, the Bloomberg School of Public Health, and the Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). She also serves as the Vice Dean for Faculty Affairs and International Research Cooperation at SAIS, the Director of Hopkins’ Global Food Policy and Ethics Program, and the Director of Food & Nutrition Security at Hopkins’ Alliance for a Healthier World. She is the Editor-in-Chief for the Global Food Security Journal and leads on the development of the Food Systems Dashboard, in collaboration with GAIN.
From 2017 to 2021, Jessica served on the Food Systems Economic Commission, the Global Panel of Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition Foresight 2.0 report, and the EAT-Lancet Commission. She was also the Co-Chair of the Global Nutrition Report and Team Leader for the UN High-Level Panel of Experts on Food Systems and Nutrition. Before coming to Hopkins, she has also held positions at Columbia University’s Earth Institute and College of Medicine, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the UN World Food Programme, Bioversity International, and the Millennium Development Goal Centre at the World Agroforestry Center in Kenya.
In 2021, she published her first book, Can Fixing Dinner Fix the Planet?, and co-wrote Global Food Systems, Diets, and Nutrition: Linking Science, Economics, and Policy. Jessica holds a Ph.D. in nutrition from the University of Arizona and completed a Stephen I. Morse postdoctoral fellowship in immunology in the Department of Molecular Medicine at Columbia University.
Community Building and Outreach Coordinator, Planetary Health Alliance
Joanna Wagner is a Community Building and Outreach Coordinator with the Planetary Health Alliance, where she provides administrative and communications support for all aspects of PHA programs.
Before joining the team at the Planetary Health Alliance, Joanna graduated from Boston University’s Kilachand Honors College with a degree in International Relations and Environmental Analysis & Policy. During her undergraduate career, she served as the Digital Media Lead for Rocky Mountain Institute and interned with organizations such as the World Wildlife Fund, Rocky Mountain Institute, Habitat for Humanity, and the Fund for the Public Interest. She also served as a communications intern for Boston University’s Sustainability Department and as Secretary General for the 18th annual Boston Invitational Model United Nations Conference.
Joanna is especially interested in how planetary health encompasses topics such as climate change, public infrastructure, policy and public health. In her spare time, you can likely find Joanna experimenting with new vegetarian recipes, working out and pursuing her MLA in Sustainability Studies through Harvard's Extension School.
Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa | Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate | Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe
Assistant Professor, Department of Indigenous Health, School of Medicine and Health Sciences , University of North Dakota
Associate faculty, Center for American Indian Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Kyle X. Hill, Ph. D., M.P.H is Ojibwe (Turtle Mountain Band; Enrolled Citizen), Dakota (Sisseton-Wahpeton Sioux Tribe), Lakota (Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe). He is a licensed psychologist, currently an assistant professor with the University of North Dakota, school of medicine and health sciences, department of Indigenous Health. Dr. Hill is also an associate faculty within the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University.
He is active in community-based participatory research with American Indian and First Nations communities in the U.S. and Canada while also collaborating on research projects across social, behavioral and environmental health within Native communities. In particular, his research interests consider the social, political and ecological determinants of Indigenous health, as well as climate justice and decolonizing health and wellness in Indigenous communities.
Lise Van Sustern
Practicing General and Forensic Psychiatrist
Dr. Lise Van Susteren, a practicing general and forensic psychiatrist in Washington, DC, is an expert on the physical and mental health effects of climate change. Dr. Van Susteren has served as a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Georgetown University and has been a consultant to the Executive Branch of the US Government profiling world leaders.
After receiving her medical degree from the University of Paris, she practiced medicine in West Africa, at community health centers and homeless shelters in metropolitan Washington DC. In addition to community organizing on climate issues, Dr. Van Susteren has served on the Advisory Board of the Center for Health and the Global Environment at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and is currently on the board of Physicians for Social Responsibility, Earth Day Network, Eco-America and is co-founder of "Climate Psychiatry Alliance," a professional group dedicated to promoting awareness and action on climate from a mental health perspective.
In 2009 she co-convened the first panel on climate disruption and mental health with experts in climate disruption and national security, communication and messaging, animal and plant extinction, community organizing, and disaster psychiatry to discuss the unfolding crisis and its future impacts on the mental health of the public. In 2011 she co-authored "The Psychological Effects of Climate Warming on the U.S. - Why the US Mental Health System Is Not Prepared." Her book, Emotional Inflammation, co-authored with science writer Stacy Colino, was released in April 2020. She is a frequent contributor on television, radio and print media. In 2006, Dr. Van Susteren sought the Democratic nomination for the US Senate from Maryland.
Bachelor in drama (scenic arts) from Escola Superior de Artes Célia Helena
Business student at Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie
2021 PH Campus Ambassador
Member of the Brazilian Planetary Health Group
Co-founding member of the Brazilian Planetary Health Students Club
Lucas has a degree in drama (scenic arts) and is currently studying business at Mackenzie Presbyterian University in São Paulo, Brazil. He is a 2021 Planetary Health Campus Ambassador, a member of the Brazilian Planetary Health Group and one of the founding members of the Brazilian Planetary Health Students Club. He is interested in sustainable businesses, innovation and entrepreneurship and their applications to Planetary Health.
Head of Climate Impacts, Wellcome Trust
Prior to joining Wellcome, Madeleine worked as Senior Research Scientist at The International Research Institute for Climate and Society, Columbia University, where she directed the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre on ‘Malaria Early Warning Systems and other Climate Sensitive Diseases.' She was also a Senior Research Scholar at Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health.
Her research has involved the development of new data, methodologies and tools for improving climate-sensitive health interventions with a focus on infectious disease, public health outcomes of hydrometeorological disasters and nutrition.
Madeleine is a Visiting Professor at the Centre for Health Informatics, Computing and Statistics at Lancaster University Medical School.
Senior Program Manager, Planetary Health Alliance
Dr. Marie Studer is an executive leader with more than 20 years of scientific and education program and operational experience delivering results for mission-oriented organizations supporting sustainable community development and audience engagement.
As a collaborative leader, Marie has worked closely with stakeholders to create strategies, partnerships and innovative approaches to deliver programs that provide measurable outcomes. Her career has focused on public accessibility and understanding of science through government and public policy positions, to scientific and education leadership for international citizen science projects, to engaging formal and informal educators and youth in biodiversity learning using hands-on and online resources and tools. She is especially interested in creating awareness and action around the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and other international sustainability targets.
Marie has executive leadership experience in non-profit organizations and multi-institutional consortiums, with a proven record in strategic planning, strategic partnership development, organizational management and development, budgeting, fiscal control, staff development, stakeholder relations and fundraising. As a collaborative leader, she listens and finds common ground, while ensuring vision- and mission-guided decisions. She enjoys networking and connecting people, ideas and projects to deliver outcomes and impact. She has held positions as Staff Scientist for the Massachusetts Bays National Estuary Program, Chief Scientist for Earthwatch Institute, and as Director of Learning + Education for the Encyclopedia of Life (EOL). She serves on several boards and committees for organizations working to support sustainable communities and environments.
Director, Global Outreach Programs, American Geophysical Union
Mark Shimamoto, M.P.H, is the Director of Global Outreach Programs at the American Geophysical Union. In this capacity, Mark oversees the strategic growth and coordination of programs, partnerships, and initiatives to serve AGU’s global community of 130,000 earth and space scientists. Mark also developed AGU’s GeoHealth Program and oversees its integration across the organization to build stronger bridges between the Earth and space sciences and public health. This includes the partnership with the Planetary Health Alliance and allied communities of practice.
Previously, Mark was the Health Program Lead at the U.S. Global Change Research Program where he coordinated the Federal Interagency Crosscutting Group on Climate Change and Human Health to address key gaps in understanding how global change affects human health. Mark also supported the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy in delivering the health initiatives of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, which included his role in coordinating and authoring the 2016 Federal report "The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment."
President, KLUG - German Alliance Climate Change and Health.
The main focus of Martin's work over the last 30 years has been initiating and implementing transformational change in global settings. He lead a global network of senior consultants, focusing on the design and implementation of complex change in multinational commercial organisations. In the last decade he focused on global health consulting GAVI – The Vaccine Alliance, WHO, Unicef, KfW, DAAD. Since 2017 he has spent most of his time in the field of planetary health as a volunteer.
In addition, Martin does research in developing methodologies for organizational change and leadership education using the paradigm of complexity and Hannah Arendt´s perspective on action and power.
He is a Physician by training and teaches at the Center for International Health University of Munich, the School for Philosophy (HfP) Munich and the Planetary Health Academy.
The Next Generation Network Fellow, Planetary Health Alliance
Founder, Planetary Health Eastern Africa Hub
Melvine Otieno is the Next Generation Network Fellow of the Planetary Health Alliance, working to inspire, activate and convene the next generation of planetary health campus ambassadors from around the world, as well as conduct outreach to facilitate local and international collaborations through her leadership in growing the Planetary Health Eastern Africa regional hub.
She is an Associate Team member of Women Leaders for Planetary Health (WLPH) where she advocates for gender equality for sound environment and public health solutions. She is also a member of inVIVO Planetary Health, Society for Environmental Geochemistry and Health (SEGH), Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), Africa Network for Internationalization of Higher Education (ANIE), and International Alliance against Health Risks in Wildlife Trade (GIZ). She attained a BSc in Environmental Biology and Health and is an MSc candidate in Environmental Health at the University of Eldoret. She also participated in Climate Change and Health/Planetary Health Leadership online course-Transformational and transdisciplinary, supported by CIH LMU Munich and KLUG, where she served as one of the groups facilitators.
As an Early Career Researcher, Melvine has worked on several internationally funded projects where she played key roles, such as Research Assistant for Newton Utafiti fund on Aquaculture and BGS-UoE-MU research on dynamics of Environmental Geochemistry and Health in the Lake Victoria Basin and recently as a Co-Investigator on the GCRF QR Time Urgency Grant, led by Dr. Jennifer Cole (the coordinator of the Planetary Health Northern Europe Hub), to investigate the role of wet markets and backyard livestock in supporting nutrition of preschool-aged children in Kenya: challenges from COVID-19 influenced closure.
Her research interests include: nutrition, pathway to food security and aquaculture in Lake Victoria; land-use changes, on dynamics of Environmental Geochemistry and Health in the Lake Victoria Basin, investigating the transfer of micronutrients and potentially toxic elements into the Winam Gulf, LVB catchment, attributable to changes in land-use and subsequent implications for planetary health; climate change, especially how the indigenous communities are adapting to environmental changes and health issues caused by floods and drought; infectious diseases; research on Antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
Melvine has successfully implemented two projects supported by German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), geared towards strengthening the Planetary Health network, integrating Planetary Health education and developing short-, mid-and long-term coronavirus recovery measures in Eastern Africa.
Presently, she collaborates with local, regional and international partners and continuously participates with the global community in building planetary health and one health concepts to find solutions to environmental health challenges and imbalances.
Communications & Member Engagement Intern, Planetary Health Alliance
Mikayla is the Communications and Member Engagement Intern at Planetary Health Alliance. She is currently a student at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health working on her MPH in Health Management. Prior to her current role, she worked with the Peace Corps in Ecuador as a Community Health volunteer with special focus on the intersection of health and gender equity. She also has research and health advocacy experience with vulnerable populations in New York City.
Lead Environmental Specialist, Global Environment Facility (GEF) Secretariat
Mohamed Bakarr is Lead Environmental Specialist in the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Secretariat in Washington DC. He is responsible for overseeing all major GEF programs designed to advance holistic and integrated solutions to global environmental challenges. His expertise covers a broad range of issues related to the natural resource management in the tropics with focuses on linkages among biodiversity conservation, agricultural land use, and human well-being.
Prior to joining the GEF, Mohamed was at Conservation International where he served in several capacities including as Senior Vice President and Executive Director of the Center for Applied Biodiversity Science. He also served as Director of Strategic Initiatives and Assistant Director General at the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) based in Nairobi, Kenya, where he oversaw the Centre’s strategic planning processes, global partnerships and initiatives, communication and public awareness, and engagement in global policy processes.
Mohamed is from Sierra Leone where he completed a B.Sc. degree in Biological Sciences. He obtained a MS and PhD degrees in Tropical Ecology at the University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida.
Research Fellow, Centre for Global Health, University of Oslo (UiO), Norway
Campus Ambassador, Planetary Health Alliance
Dr. Muhammad Asaduzzaman is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Global Health, University of Oslo (UiO), Norway and current Campus Ambassador of PHA.
Asad has been a next generation member of PHA since 2018 and was a member of its global emerging scholars’ committee from 2018 through 2020. His research interests are focused on environmental epidemiology, transmission dynamics of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) particularly the environmental dimension, nature based solutions (NbS) of infectious diseases, migrant health, zoonoses, clinical trials, food safety and planetary health capacity building.
Asad passed his medical degree (MBBS) from University of Dhaka, Bangladesh in 2005. Later, he obtained his MPhil in Public Health under NOMA fellowship grant from UiO and MPH in Biosecurity under One Health Fellowship from Massey University, New Zealand. He is also a former GHES Fogarty fellow and Beahrs ELP alumni at UC Berkeley and visiting scholar at Vanderbilt University, USA.
After his medical graduation and postgraduate residency in pediatrics, Asad started his public health career as a local Nipah surveillance coordinator in a tertiary care hospital in Bangladesh. Subsequently, he has widened his expertise in multidisciplinary and diverse fields of research. In his research career of more than 15 years, Asad carried out multiple collaborative projects in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa on AMR, Vaccine trials, HPAI, Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic fever, Anthrax, Dengue and Food safety with established donors such as NIH, SIDA, EU, BMGF, IVI and MRC-UK.
In addition to his scientific role, Asad is passionate about popular science writing on planetary health issues.
Professor of Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health, UC Berkeley
Ndola Prata is a public health physician and medical demographer from Angola. She is the Fred H. Bixby Endowed Chair in Population and Family Planning and a Professor of Maternal and Child Health.
Omnia El Omrani
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Resident at Ain Shams University Hospital
Omnia El Omrani is a Plastic, Reconstructive, and Aesthetic Surgery Resident with a passion for planetary health education and advocacy. She is a Commissioner at the Lancet-Chatham House Commission on Post-COVID Population Health, a member of the first-ever Youth Sounding Board of the European Commission Department for International Partnerships, an associate at Women Leaders for Planetary Health, and a member of the Global Youth Coalition for Road Safety. She served the International Federation of Medical Students’ Association for six years where she coordinated their global advocacy work on planetary health and climate change with the WHO, UNFCCC, and GCHA, and attended 18 high-level intergovernmental conferences including the past 3 UN Climate Change Conferences. She also led 17 panels of students formulating a range of evidence-based policy documents, and modules for the medical curriculum, and published 14 research papers in the Lancet Planetary Health, the Medical Teacher, and others.
Co-founder & President, PlaHNet of Young Professionals
Doctoral Researcher, Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers
Pearl Ante-Testard is a co-founder and the President of the PlaHNet of Young Professionals which builds a young professional community to spread Planetary Health awareness. PlaHNet was founded during her time as a 2020 Planetary Health Campus Ambassador. She is a PhD Candidate in Epidemiology at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers in Paris, France investigating socioeconomic inequalities in HIV testing in sub-Saharan Africa. She has a clinical nursing background wherein she worked in the Makati Medical Center in the Philippines for almost four years. She also has an international master’s in Public Health specializing in Environmental and Occupational Health and Biostatistics from the EHESP French School of Public Health. She is passionate in advancing the health of both humans and the planet.
Co-Moderator, Health Information for All
Dr Poorvaprabha is a medical doctor and frontline worker from India; and is pursuing her MSc in Public Health through the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of London. She serves as the co-moderator of Healthcare Information For All (a global health network of professionals from 178+ countries), and is a part of Women for Global Health India's core team. She has a vast experience of leading national and multinational projects on planetary health; and has been working to build the capacity of health professionals to better understand the climate-health nexus and empower them to take action in their communities. She has served as the President of the Medical Students' Association of India, India's largest medical students' organization, where she led a network of 20,000+ young health professionals and students with planetary health as one of the key focus areas during her tenure (2020-21). She has led and worked on several grassroots projects on climate change and health, impacting over 5000 people in Asia, and has also been an active voice in climate change and health advocacy even at high level meetings including the UNGA.
Dr. Poorva has been awarded the ‘Indian Health Professional Award', and the 'V-Award' by United Nations Volunteers and the Indian Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in recognition of her work.
Learning Facilitator for United in Diversity Foundation, Indonesia
Pramita Indrarini (Mita) is a learning facilitator at United in Diversity Foundation based in Indonesia. Mita has a mission to understand how to work with diverse multi-stakeholders. Her experience of studying Biology at the University of Indonesia, encourages Mita to continue to be involved with various activities related to the environment and conservation of natural resources in Indonesia. In her downtime, Mita enjoys listening to music and gardening.
Associate Professor of Epidemiology, Montana State University. PI Bat One Health.
Dr. Raina Plowright investigates the dynamics of disease systems that connect animal and human populations. She focuses on stretching the boundaries of transdisciplinary science to solve complex research problems that are important to global health and to developing the science of pandemic prevention.
Her group focuses on WHO priority pathogens that have emerged from bats into humans and she leads www.batonehealth.org, a collaboration of scientists working to predict and prevent zoonotic spillover. Bat One Health has ongoing field, modeling, and lab-based studies focused on understanding the links between land-use change and the emergence of bat henipaviruses and coronaviruses in Bangladesh, Ghana, Madagascar, and Australia. She has been an Australian-American Fulbright Fellow, an Australian Centenary Scholar, a David H. Smith Fellow in Conservation Research, and the recipient of a DARPA Young Faculty Award.
Professor for Climate Change and Health, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin
Department Head, Climate Resilience, Postdam Institute für Climate Impact Research
Sabine Gabrysch is Head of Research Department 2 on Climate Resilience of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) as well as Professor for Climate Change and Health at Charité –Universitätsmedizin, Berlin.
Sabine studied medicine in Tübingen and Providence/Rhode Island (USA) and worked clinically in Sweden before completing an MSc and PhD in epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). After acting as head of the Unit of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Heidelberg Institute of Global Health (HIGH) and deputy head of the Institute, she joined PIK and Charité in June 2019. She holds an Honorary Professorship at LSHTM and continues her affiliation with HIGH.
Her research focus is maternal and child health in low-income settings, in particular early life malnutrition. Guided by the transdisciplinary concept of Planetary Health, she aims to assess health and nutrition impacts of global environmental change and evaluate win-win solutions for the transition towards climate-resilient, sustainable and healthy food systems. In 2018, she received the "Preis für mutige Wissenschaft" (Award for bold research) of the State of Baden-Württemberg for her research project FAARM (Food and Agricultural Approaches to Reducing Malnutrition) in Bangladesh.
Sabine served on the Boards of the Heidelberg Centre for the Environment (2014-2019), the German Society for Epidemiology (2017-2020) and the German Alliance for Global Health Research (in 2020). She is a member of the Advisory Council “One Health” of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (since 2020) and the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU, since 2020).
Director, Planetary Health Alliance
Samuel Myers, MD, MPH studies the human health impacts of accelerating disruptions to Earth’s natural systems, a field recently dubbed Planetary Health. He is a Principal Research Scientist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and is the founding Director of the Planetary Health Alliance (www.planetaryhealthalliance.org). Sam received his BA from Harvard College, MD from Yale University School of Medicine, and MPH from the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health. He performed his internal medicine residency at UCSF and is Board Certified in Internal Medicine.
Sam’s current work spans several areas of planetary health including 1) the global nutritional impacts of rising concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere; 2) the health impacts of land management decisions in SE Asia associated with biomass burning and particulate air pollution 3) the global consequences of fisheries decline for human nutrition and health; 4) the global impact of animal pollinator declines on human nutrition today and in the future; and 5) the impact of climate shocks on human nutrition as mediated through global food trade. As the Director of the Planetary Health Alliance, Sam oversees a multi-institutional effort (over 240 organizations in over 40 countries) focused on understanding and quantifying the human health impacts of disrupting Earth’s natural systems and translating that understanding into resource management decisions globally. Dr. Myers serves as a Commissioner on the Lancet-Rockefeller Foundation Commission on Planetary Health and a member of the Lead Expert Group of the Global Panel on Agriculture, Food Systems, and Nutrition. He was the inaugural recipient of the Arrell Global Food Innovation Award in 2018. He has also been awarded the Prince Albert II of Monaco—Institut Pasteur Award for research at the interface of global environmental change and human health. He is the co-editor with Howard Frumkin of Planetary Health: Protecting Nature to Protect Ourselves.
Medical Student, MSc Public Health from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
Sophie Gepp is a final year medical student and holds an MSc Public Health from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. She is currently pursuing her medical doctoral thesis in the working group Climate Change and Health at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. She is a board member of the German Alliance on Climate Change and Health and was part of the team organizing the Planetary Health Academy. She attended COP24 and COP26 and has worked as a consultant on climate change and health for international organizations. Sophie is a member of the steering committee of the Global Health Hub Germany and an Associate at Women Leaders for Planetary Health.
President | inVIVO Planetary Health Baltimore, USA
Editor-in-Chief | Challenges Journal Basel, Switzerland
Professor | Paediatrics, University of Western Australia
Director | ORIGINS PROJECT Telethon Kids Institute
Scholar | Nova Institute for Health—of People, Places and Planet, Baltimore, USA
Visiting Faculty | University of Maryland, Baltimore
Immunologist | Perth Children’s Hospital
Prof. Susan L. Prescott MD, PhD, is a pediatrician, immunologist, artist, advocate and award-winning author, internationally recognised for her work on the early environmental determinants of health and disease, and for promoting mutualistic value systems for both ecological and social justice. She is the Founding President of inVIVO Planetary Health, and Editor-in-Chief of Challenges journal which promotes interdisciplinary discourse for planetary health. She works as a Professor of Pediatrics at University of Western Australia, a physician at Perth Children's Hospital, a Scholar at the Nova Institute for Health of People, Places and Planet, in Baltimore, USA, and as Director of The ORIGINS project, an intervention birth cohort of 10,000 families aimed at improving all aspects of long-term physical and emotional health.
Tan Sri Dr. Jemilah Mahmood
Director and Professor, Sunway Center for Planetary Health
Dr. Mahmood is a medical professional with more than two decades experience managing crises in health, disasters and conflict settings. She is currently Professor and Director of the newly established Sunway Centre for Planetary Health in Malaysia. She is also the Pro-Chancellor of Heriot-Watt University Malaysia. She had been the Special Advisor to the Prime Minister of Malaysia on Public Health from April 2020- September 2021. She was also a member of the Government of Malaysia’s Economic Action Council, and currently on the Malaysian Climate Action Council and Consultative Council for Foreign Policy. In 2020, she was appointed a Senior Fellow of the Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Centre.
Her previous appointments include the Under Secretary General for Partnerships at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Chief of the World Humanitarian Summit secretariat at the United Nations, and Chief of the Humanitarian Response Branch at UNFPA. She is the founder of MERCY Malaysia, a southern based international humanitarian organisation.
Dr. Mahmood is currently on the board of the Employees Provident Fund of Malaysia, National University of Malaysia and ALAM Foundation in Malaysia and was the first independent Chair of Oxfam International until end 2021. In March 2022, she will join the board of Roche in Basel, Switzerland.
She is the recipient of numerous national and international awards for her work including the Merdeka Award, Isa Humanitarian Award, as well as the Gandhi, Ikeda, Luther King Award for her contribution to peace, community development and humanitarian work.
Dr Mahmood graduated as a Doctor of Medicine (MD) , has a Masters in Obstetrics & Gynecology from the same university and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists United Kingdom. She also completed executive education at the International Management and Development Centre, IMD Lausanne.
Director, Monash Sustainable Development Institute
Tony Capon directs the Monash Sustainable Development Institute and holds a chair in planetary health in the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Monash University. A public health physician and authority in environmental health and health promotion, his research focuses on urbanisation, sustainable development and human health. Tony is a former director of the International Institute for Global Health at United Nations University (UNU-IIGH), and has previously held professorial appointments at the University of Sydney and Australian National University. He is a member of the Rockefeller Foundation–Lancet Commission on Planetary Health that published its report Safeguarding human health in the Anthropocene epoch in 2015, and the International Advisory Board for The Lancet Planetary Health.