Health and Climate Change in Europe

The Lancet Countdown: Health and Climate Change in Europe

The Lancet Countdown: Health and Climate Change in Europe is tracking the connections between public health and climate change across Europe. The Lancet Countdown in Europe is established as a research collaboration in 2021 whose mission is to monitor health and climate change in the region. Building on the work of the global Lancet Countdown and other regions, it will leverage on the wealth of data and cross disciplinary expertise in Europe, to develop high-resolution Europe-specific indicators that explore in further depth aspects of particular relevance to the region.

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Meet the team

Meet the Lancet Countdown team.

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Director Prof. Rachel Lowe

Rachel Lowe recently joined the Barcelona Supercomputing Center’s Earth Sciences department with an ICREA Professorship. Rachel leads the Global Health Resilience Team, whose mission is to apply a transdisciplinary approach to co-designing policy-relevant methodological solutions, to enhance surveillance, preparedness and response to climate-sensitive disease outbreaks and emergence. Rachel obtained a PhD in Mathematics at the University of Exeter in 2011. Her thesis focused on spatiotemporal modelling of dengue epidemics in Brazil. She held postdoctoral positions at the International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Italy and the Catalan Institute for Climate Sciences in Spain, working at the interface of climate prediction science and public health decision-making. In 2017, Rachel joined the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine with a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship, where she continues to serve on the management committee of the Centre for Climate Change and Planetary Health. Since her PhD, she has conducted cutting-edge methodological research on disentangling the impacts of global environmental change on infectious disease risk and developing impact-based forecasting models to inform disease control and prevention strategies. She has published analysis and policy papers on modelling climate-sensitive diseases, with a focus on integrating seasonal climate forecasts in dengue early warning systems in the Americas and Southeast Asia. In 2018, she won the International Society for Neglected Tropical Diseases Water Award for Research, in recognition of the quality of her research on the linkages between hydrometeorological extremes and dengue outbreaks and the multi-sectoral relevance for policy and practice. Rachel has served as a consultant and advisor for impact-based forecasting projects for the Red Cross, Médecins Sans Frontières, and UNICEF/European Space Agency. She regularly engages with the media, public and policy makers via radio and TV, speaking with journalists, featuring on podcasts and writing blogs on a range of research topics, from the risk of mosquito-borne diseases in a warmer and more populated world, seasonality and covid-19, and linking climate information and infectious disease modelling for anticipatory action planning.

Consultant Kim Robin van Daalen

Kim van Daalen is a PhD Candidate and Gates Scholar at the University of Cambridge. Her current PhD research focuses on environmental arsenic pollution and risk of cardiovascular disease. Kim has co-authored multiple peer-reviewed publications reflecting her broad research interests at the intersections of environmental epidemiology with climate change, policy, planetary health, and (gender) inequities. She also pursues her interests through part-time work including as a Consultant for the Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change, as a Research Associate and Coordinator for the NGO Women in Global Health, and previously as a Research Consultant for the World Bank. Kim has also held many positions in global student organizations, including six years in leadership roles for the International Federation of Medical Students Associations.

Chair Prof. Maria Nilsson

Prof. Maria Nilsson is a professor in public health with the orientation climate change and health at the department of Epidemiology and Global Health, Umeå University, Sweden; a social scientist who holds a PhD in epidemiology and public health sciences. Her main focus is climate change and health, with a specific interest in adaptation and vulnerable populations, health and risk communication and knowledge translation. She was the integrating editor for health in the 2015 "Lancet Commission - Health and climate change: policy responses to protect public health" and co-leads the working group on adaptation, planning, and resilience for health in the global “Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change". She is Editor in chief for Global Health Action, an international journal publishing research in the field of global health, addressing transnational health and policy issues. She was awarded a fellowship from the Swedish Institute for Global Health Transformation (SIGHT), under the auspices of the Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences, for global health leadership. Recently, she has also become the chair of the Lancet Countdown in Europe.

Co-Chair Prof. Josep M. Antó

Josep M. Antó is a Senior Research Professor (ISGlobal) and Professor of Medicine at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Spain. He is a respiratory physician and epidemiologist whose research has focused on the epidemiology of asthma and COPD with special interest on the environmental determinants and prevention of these diseases. He is Professor at Barcelona Institute of Global Health (ISGlobal) and at Universitat Pompeu Fabra. Among other leading positions, he has been the Founding Director of Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL) (2005-2016) and Founding Scientific Director of ISGlobal (2016-2019). In the past years, he has been increasingly devoted to adapt environmental health strategies to the fight against climate change and to promote the concept of planetary health locally and internationally. Recently, he became the co-chair of the Lancet Countdown in Europe.