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.