We are products of our environment. Our health depends on how healthy our environment is.
Physical, chemical, and biological hazards in the environment threaten human health. The inextricable linkages between humans, animals and the environment reflect the concept of ‘One-Health.' Similarly, globalization of food, water and natural resources has led to a greater interaction of the human species across geographical boundaries, expanding our accessible environments but also diversifying human health threats.
In this context we are ‘One-World.' The ‘One-World-One Health’ concept represents a renewed focus in public health; an emerging paradigm in which disease prevention is viewed in the context of the environment.
Biological hazards are particularly relevant to global human health. Of the more than 1400 infectious diseases known to man, approximately 60% are zoonotic. It is estimated that 75% of all newly emerging infectious diseases are zoonotic.
Some of the more notorious examples include pandemic influenza, E. coli O157, and prion diseases (i.e., BSE). Even the perception that a health risk exists can be economically crippling, as exemplified by the recent outbreaks of BSE and listeriosis in Canada. Therefore, comprehensive public health strategies for infectious disease prevention must include environmental protection.
My research program focuses on development of novel approaches and tools for detecting, tracking and assessing human health risks associated with biological hazards in the environment (viruses, bacteria, protozoans, prions).
Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Alberta, 2000
PhD, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, 1999
BSc, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, 1992