Christopher Golden

Research Scientist

Department of Environmental Health

The MAHERY (Madagascar Health and Environmental Research) team in one of their focal research sites.

I am an ecologist and epidemiologist interested in the interface of ecosystem service provisioning and human health, specifically in the context of global trends in biodiversity loss and ecosystem transformation. With a wide range of colleagues at the Harvard School of Public Health, I am studying the human health impacts of ecosystem services. Since 1999, I have been conducting ecological and public health research in Madagascar and am fluent in several local dialects of Malagasy. Most broadly, I am interested in local people’s dependence on natural resources for obtaining adequate health. This interest has led to various studies into connections between marine and terrestrial wildlife consumption and the incidence of micronutrient deficiencies, the importance of botanical ethnomedicines and geophagy to local health, the eco-epidemiology of malaria and the human microbiome given current trends in biodiversity loss and land use change, and the role of green spaces and national parks in benefiting mental health. Through funding from the Wellcome Trust, Rockefeller Foundation, National Science Foundation, and the Darwin Initiative, I am able to work on a breadth of topics under the umbrella of planetary health.