Christopher Golden
Primary Faculty

Christopher Golden

Assistant Professor of Nutrition and Planetary Health


Other Positions

Faculty Affiliate in the Department of Global Health and Population

Global Health and Population

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Faculty Affiliate in the Department of Environmental Health

Environmental Health

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Director of MPH Program in Nutrition


Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health


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. Since 1999, I have been conducting ecological and public health research in Madagascar. 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, and the eco-epidemiology of malaria and the human microbiome given current trends in biodiversity loss and land use change. Beyond Madagascar, I have been leading a collaborative research program that evaluates the connections among climate change, fisheries management and ocean governance, and food security and human nutrition in coastal populations around the world. Given trends in mass fisheries declines, coral bleaching, and raising sea surface temperatures that will drive fisheries away from the Equator and toward the Poles, food-insecure populations across the globe will be deprived of a critical nutritional resource. Our group tackles this subject by modeling potential health futures and determining what types of interventions may be able to buffer against these impacts.

MPH, 05/2010, Epidemiology
UC Berkeley, Berkeley, CA

PhD, 05/2011, Environmental Science, Policy, and Management
UC Berkeley, Berkeley, CA

BA, 06/2005, Environmental Conservation
Harvard College, Cambridge, MA

Post-doc, 06/2013, Planetary Health
Harvard University Center for the Environment, Cambridge, MA


Environmental performance of blue foods.

Gephart JA, Henriksson PJG, Parker RWR, Shepon A, Gorospe KD, Bergman K, Eshel G, Golden CD, Halpern BS, Hornborg S, Jonell M, Metian M, Mifflin K, Newton R, Tyedmers P, Zhang W, Ziegler F, Troell M.

Nature. 2021 09. 597(7876):360-365. PMID: 34526707

Aquatic foods to nourish nations.

Golden CD, Koehn JZ, Shepon A, Passarelli S, Free CM, Viana DF, Matthey H, Eurich JG, Gephart JA, Fluet-Chouinard E, Nyboer EA, Lynch AJ, Kjellevold M, Bromage S, Charlebois P, Barange M, Vannuccini S, Cao L, Kleisner KM, Rimm EB, Danaei G, DeSisto C, Kelahan H, Fiorella KJ, Little DC, Allison EH, Fanzo J, Thilsted SH.

Nature. 2021 10. 598(7880):315-320. PMID: 34526720


Getting to know … Will Koh, MPH ’21

Will Koh’s childhood interest in the origins of the food on his plate has taken him from an apprenticeship at a whole-animal butcher shop to a position he started in January as a scientist on the nutrition, health,…

Getting to know … SM student Haley Barravecchia

May 1, 2020—While working toward her master of science in exposure science in the Department of Environmental Health, Haley Barravecchia has studied coral reef health in the Pacific island nation Kiribati, transitioned to remote learning amidst the COVID-19…