Print

The Earth has entered the age of the Anthropocene, when human actions have become not only the dominant ecological force on the planet but the dominant evolutionary force as well. Humans are exploiting natural resources such as forests, fisheries, and freshwater at unsustainable rates, resulting in biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation globally. At the same time, public health issues such as malnutrition, communicable diseases, non-communicable diseases, and mental illness cause significant hardship and millions of deaths annually, while global health disparities continue to grow. The impacts of changes in the natural world such as biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation on human health and well-being remain poorly understood.

Biodiversity Loss

Biodiversity, the term used to describe the wide variety of species on Earth, is being lost at rates not seen since the Cretaceous period 65 million years ago when most dinosaurs went extinct. The planet has experienced five mass extinctions in the past and scientists now believe that it is experiencing a sixth mass extinction, this one primarily attributed to human activity. Read more…

Declining Ecosystem Services

Biodiversity plays an essential role in healthy and productive ecosystems. Ecosystems are becoming degraded globally, with negative impacts on the ecosystem services that human communities depend on for their health and well-being. Read more…

Public Health Issues and Costs

Although significant progress has been made globally over the last several decades in addressing major public health issues, gains have not been made equally among (or even within) countries. Malnutrition, communicable diseases, non-communicable diseases, and mental illness cause significant hardship and millions of preventable deaths every year in low-income countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia. Read more…

Critical Knowledge Gaps

From the troposphere to the benthos, there is a growing understanding of the impact of human activities on the natural world. What is much less understood is the impact these changes to the natural world are having on humankind itself. Read more…

Global Collaborators

View all