Research topic

Health-environment connection

Woman standing on edge of a cliff overlooking a scenic lake where a ship is departing between the cliffs in the distance

The importance of the environmental factors in shaping human health is widely acknowledged, highlighting their critical role as determinants of human health and wellbeing. The achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal 3 – good health and wellbeing – is not possible without considering issues such as water and sanitation, climate change, affordable and clean energy, sustainable cities and communities, and sustainable production and consumption. Understanding how the physical and social environment affects individuals and population health at global, regional, national, and local level is central to our research. Our research not only focuses on the direct impact of the environmental determinants of health but also on how these indirectly improves productivity and wealth across the population using a variety of data and methodologies developed to untangle the complexity of these issue. Our research is also focused on understanding how environmental monitoring can support public health responses in a timely and sustainable manner.

Research projects

Environmental monitoring in prisons

Project aims: To explore the means and public health advantages of environmental monitoring, such as wastewater-based surveillance and air sampling among vulnerable populations, such as prison settings.

Team members

Wastewater surveillance in schools

Project aims: To use a wastewater surveillance system to detect SARS-CoV-2 and other public health markers in schools in England to inform public health response.

Team members

  • Dr Shadi Rahimzadeh - Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Institute of Public Health and Wellbeing, University of Essex
  • Prof. Mariachiara di Cesare - Director of the Institute of Public Health and Wellbeing, University of Essex
  • Andrew Singer - Principal Scientist, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
  • Prof. Lian Lundy - Professor of Natural Sciences, Middlesex University
  • Dr Francis Hassard - Senior Lecturer at the Cranfield Water Science Institute, Cranfield University

Evaluation of the Environmental Monitoring for Public Health programme

Project aims: To evaluate the Environmental Monitoring for Public Health (EMPH) programme in terms of impacts on science, policies, beneficiaries and effects on decision-makers to understand if, how, when and where the EM value for money. Findings are used to identify practicable and transferable lessons, including the development of an impact evaluation framework to guide the operation and strategic delivery of EMHP into the future.

Team members

Community Connections Essex

Project aims: To establish a methodology, through 'street conversations' with people in four local areas across Essex, to find out about people's local connections, the areas that they would to be locally developed or addressed, and their motivations and the support they would need to be involved in community development activities, based on local assets. A multi-agency core group of organisations and people has led the direction of this project and is seeking funding to implement further.

Further information can be found here.

Team members