School of Public Health research works to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015 the United Nations Member States agreed to an agenda for people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnership. At the heart of the universal agenda are 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to be achieved by 2030. 

The SDGs are global calls to action to end poverty and deprivation, while improving health and education, reducing inequality, encouraging economic growth and stability and protecting the planet. 

These goals align with the principles and values of public health that seek to improve, protect and promote good health and well-being, equitably. 

Learn how faculty members at the School of Public Health are advancing the SDGs through research and innovation to improve the lives of populations locally and globally.

See what students are doing to achieve the SDGs.

Candace Nykiforuk

Addressing Financial Strain-related Health Impacts of COVID-19, a project being undertaken by the Centre for Healthy Communities, is developing a public health framework and indicator toolkit to support interventions targeting financial strain and financial well-being.

Denise Spitzer

The Lives of Migrant Remittances follows the material and social remittances sent by Filipino and Indonesian migrant workers in Hong Kong back to their home communities to see whether these contributions truly lift people out of poverty.

Mary Beckie

Prairie Food System Vision: Kwayeskastasowin Wahkohtowin is a project taking place in Treaty 4 Territory, which focuses on restoring an equitable relationship between Indigenous people and settler populations through collaborative transformation of the food system.

Food: Locally Embedded, Globally Engaged (FLEdGE) is a community-university research project that strives to create sustainable and transformative food systems that are socially just, support local economies, are ecologically regenerative and foster citizen engagement.

Simon Otto

The Human-Environment-Animal Transdisciplinary Antimicrobial Resistance Group (HEAT-AMR) promotes and provides new antimicrobial stewardship tools for food animal production. This will maintain global trade of food products and allow the domestic supply chains to produce healthy food while minimizing threats to animal health and welfare.

Rebecca Gokiert 

The Evaluation Capacity Network is focused on building the evaluation capacity of the early childhood sector. This includes training, education, consulting and research aimed at gathering evidence and using that evidence to improve programs, practices, and policies for young children and their families.


Stephanie Montesanti 

Leads a knowledge sharing and exchange platform that promotes inclusive, equitable and evidence-informed policy and practice on non-communicable diseases and improved health outcomes for Indigenous peoples globally. The platform fosters new partnerships among/across Indigenous groups and communities at national, regional or local levels.

Stephanie Yanow

An ongoing program of research is focused on different aspects of malaria including developing new diagnostic tools for use in low-resource settings, studying the effects of malaria in pregnancy and working to design a cross-species malaria vaccine.

Stephen Hodgins

With expertise in strengthening primary health care in low and middle-income countries, frequently provides advice to World Health Organization, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, United States Agency for International Development, and others, on matters including community health worker programs, maternal-newborn and child health and nutrition in low-income countries. He is a technical advisor to health projects in Nepal and Nigeria.

Candace Nykiforuk and Kim Raine

The Chronic Disease Prevention Survey (led by PLACE Lab) collects data on the knowledge, attitudes and beliefs of policy influencers (provincial, municipal, workplace, school, and media) and the public on healthy public policy options to address modifiable risk factors for chronic diseases, including addictions and promoting mental health. The survey has been fielded nine times in multiple provinces/territories since 2009 and will be fielded again in March 2021.

Fay Fletcher

The Metis Settlement Life Skills Journey program is a community-grounded, participatory research project that delivers life skills training with a focus on individual and community resiliency. The program is planned, implemented and evaluated by Metis Settlements across Alberta.

Kate Storey

Settings-based Intervention Research through Changes in Lifestyles & Environments SIRCLE) aims to create wellness supporting environments for kids, their families and their communities by focusing on school- and community-based strategies to promote wellbeing, prevent chronic diseases and reduce health inequities. It creates a culture of wellness and systems-level change through programs that foster resilience and empowerment. 

Zubia Mumtaz

Focused on improving access to skilled and respectful birth attendance and emergency obstetric care for all women, but particularly disadvantaged women in remote, rural Pakistan, her research is addressing the quality of care of maternity services provided in Pakistan's Basic Health Units.

Denise Spitzer

With funding from the World Universities Network, Women's Leadership in the Context of Covid-19 will investigate the role of women’s leadership in responding to the pandemic, and preparing for equitable and sustainable recovery. 

Patrick Hanington

Many freshwater parasites, such as human schistosomes result from having limited access to clean drinking water and poor sanitation and cause significant disease in human populations that live in endemic areas. Hanington’s team merges disciplines of molecular biology, ecology and community engagement to develop new tools for detecting these parasites, and new approaches for controlling their transmission.

Maria Mayan

With expertise on the causes of marginalization and how to mobilize against systems of inequity, she is a board member of End Poverty Edmonton, working at the intersection of government, not-for-profit and disadvantaged communities. 

Denise Spitzer

The Black Equity Alberta Rainforest (the BEAR will uncover not only the challenges faced by Black African and Caribbean Albertans but also the resources they possess that can be mobilized to reduce health and social disparities.

Zubia Mumtaz

Aims to understand and address how class, caste and gender inequities are structured, their influence on the formulation of healthcare policy, allocation of resources, and the design and delivery of maternal health services in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

Shelby Yamamoto

Works in the Health and Environment Epidemiology Research Group to enhance climate change adaptive capacity, build resilience, foster community collaborations, and advance community-level actions in Edmonton. 

The Centre for Healthy Communities and Policy, Location and Access in Community Environments Lab (PLACE Lab) draw on the expertise and work of the School of Public Health broadly. Both consider how the social and built environments, and an individual’s characteristics and behaviours work together to shape opportunities and barriers for individual and community health to address complex issues that impact community health, well-being and sustainability.

Sherilee Harper

Lead author on the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate, which assessed a number of SDGs, including the intersection between SDG13 and 14 (

Shelby Yamamoto

Within the Health and Environment Epidemiology Research Group explores environmental factors that impact vulnerable populations, primarily focusing on air pollution and climate change.