CLIMATE & HEALTH RESEARCH FORUMS
Oxford researchers are engaging with climate and health research from a wide variety of perspectives and across a diverse range of geographical environments. Oxford’s key strengths are both our critical mass in many different disciplines relevant to climate and health, and the interdisciplinary networks already coordinating action across fields.
More than 150 University of Oxford researchers from more than 30 departments across the four academic Divisions are involved in climate and health research. While our researchers lead in many aspects of these areas, there is the opportunity to strengthen and expand existing collaborations, as well as building new ones across disciplines – hence opportunity for more in climate and health.
A series of pan-Divisional Climate and Health FORUM were held in October 2021 to further support this work. Very much focussed on linking across disciplinary boundaries, delivering multi and interdisciplinary research and innovation (MIDRI), this network aims to support researchers from all Divisions working at the intersection of climate and health, to talk together, discuss shared research interests and develop a common language for delivering interdisciplinary funding applications.
Research questions around climate and health cut across traditional subject boundaries. While some University of Oxford researchers with interests working on climate and health cluster broadly into thematic areas, there are many cross-cutting aspects, such as ethics, policy, economics, inequality, justice and methodology.
Pump Priming Funding
The focus of these forums is to build up inclusive and diverse interdisciplinary teams within the University of Oxford to respond to this challenge, and to crucially work in partnership with our networks of external organisations.
In support of this, we are launched the Climate and Health Pump Priming Fund, to enable groups of researchers to explore potential projects and collaborations.
This fund closed on 24 November 2021.
For further information click here >>>.
Summary of Successfully Funded Projects
The successful applications to the Climate and Health Pump-priming fund were led by departments from the Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences Division, Medical Sciences Division and Department of Continuing Education, and include a number of new collaborations and multidisciplinary groups. They consist of the following:
Healthcare systems’ adaptive capacity and resilience to climate shocks
Rafael Perera (Primary Care Health Sciences) leads a new collaboration involving researchers based in Oxford, Kenya, Thailand and Vietnam to work on healthcare systems adaptive capacity and resilience in the face of climate shocks. This group brings together researchers from Tropical Medicine, Engineering Science, the Big Data Institute, the department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics, NDORMS and the Social Sciences Division, and will partner with regional partners on the ground to better understand the gaps and priorities that can help build adaptive capacity.
Dengue forecasting tool
Sarah Sparrow (Engineering Science) leads the development of a dengue forecasting tool. This new, cross-Divisional, multi-disciplinary team bring together researchers from Engineering Science, the Oxford Clinical Research Unit in Vietnam, the School of Geography and the Environment and the department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics.
Monitoring the environmental and nutritional performance of food companies
Lauren Bandy (Primary Care Health Sciences) and Michael Clark (School of Geography and the Environment), in collaboration with colleagues from Population Health and Zoology, will develop a tool – Benchmark for Food – for monitoring the environmental and nutritional performance of food companies.
Finding fair and effective solutions to traffic-related air pollution and climate change
David Howard (Continuing Education) and colleagues in Department of Primary Care will work with the Oxfordshire County Council towards finding fair and effective solutions to traffic-related air pollution and climate change using the mechanism of a citizens’ jury.
Understanding and modifying public views and behaviours
Laurence Roope (Population Health) will use a global multidisciplinary approach to tackling climate change and its health impacts by understanding and modifying public views and behaviours, leveraging access to CANDOUR and working with colleagues from Population Health, Politics and International Relations and Tropical Medicine.
In Michaelmas Term 2021 (October 2021) a series of Climate and Health Forums brought together researchers for discussion under three broad thematic areas. Co-chaired by Prof Jim Hall (Professor of Climate and Environmental Risks at the School of Geography and the Environment) and Dr Neven Fučkar (Environmental Change Unit, School of Geography and the Environment), each seminar included an expert panel specifically selected to discuss the key arguments and cross-cutting issues inherent in each theme, and break out space to enable deeper discussion and exploration of potential collaborations.
Summary of Forum Themes
These forums identified key areas of strength and future work, facilitating novel collaborations and strengthening existing ones.
A combined summary from all three forums of potential topics for collaboration that arose from the breakout room discussions can be found here.
Disease Impacts: Mon 18th October.
Session Chair: Dr Sophie Yacoub (Dengue Research Group lead at Oxford University Clinical Research Unit (OUCRU) – Vietnam).
- Prof Philip Stier: Air pollution – climatic science and health perspectives
- Dr Marc Choisy: Epidemiology, vector borne disease risk, zoonoses, infectious disease
- Dr Peter Scarborough: Nutrition and diet
- Prof Mike Rayner: Non-communicable diseases
- Dr Katrina Charles: Water and sanitation
- Dr Laurence Wainwright: Mental health
Healthcare System Impacts
Healthcare System Impacts: Mon 25th October.
Session Chair: Dr Neven Fučkar (Environmental Change Unit, School of Geography and the Environment).
- Dr Olivia Bush: Carbon emissions from healthcare systems
- Dr Anant Jani: Increasing temperatures, health and healthcare systems
- Prof Mike English: Large Scale Change in Health Care Systems
Summary of Breakout Room Discussions
Climatic Extremes Impacts
Climatic Extremes Impacts: Wed 27th October.
- Dr Nicola Ranger: Humanitarian assistance and risk analysis under snagging extreme events
- Dr John Ingram: Impacts of extreme events on agriculture and food systems
- Dr Giulio Boccaletti: Impacts of extreme events on water resources, usage and sanitation
Summary of Breakout Room Discussions
Other relevant groups
Some of our networks that already have a significant climate and health focus include a number of programmes at the Oxford Martin School, the Climate Research Network, Global Priorities Institute, the Centre on Population Approaches for Non-Communicable Disease Prevention (a WHO Collaborating Centre) and the Oxford Networks for the Environment (ONE). Through bringing together participants across these networks we are positioning Oxford researchers to capitalise on new research funding streams, such as Wellcome Trust’s Climate and Health.