Planetary health

Our research

Admin lead: Maya Gislason

Planetary health is an emerging and multidisciplinary field that is informed by environmental health, ecosystem approaches to health, built environment, planning, earth sciences, agriculture and many other fields. As an international discipline, planetary health is expressed differently in different regions. At its heart, this discipline strives to answer the questions, how we can live within our planetary boundaries, and how do we do that for generations to come? There is a wealth of knowledge to draw upon about the problems, but we need to get better at working together on finding and testing sustainable solutions and turning these into policy. The interdisciplinary approach of FHS makes it possible to work collaboratively in tackling some of these big, complex challenges facing our planet.

For more information, please visit the Planetary Health Research Group Website.



  • Ryan Allen Environmental health, air pollution, exposure assessment & analysis, epidemiology
  • Paola Ardiles Gamboa Community-Engaged Education and Research; Mental Health Promotion; Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship; Experiential Learning and Teaching; Health Promoting Universities; Organizational Development; Justice, Equity and Inclusion.
  • Timothy Beischlag Pharmacology, molecular toxicology, carcinogenesis, poly-chlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
  • Chris Buse Environmental Health; Planetary Health; Health Impacts of Climate Change; Ecosystem Approaches to Health (Ecohealth); Ecological Determinants of Health; Health Equity; Health Impact Assessment; Cumulative Impacts of Resource Extraction; Mixed-Methods Research; Public Health Policy; Knowledge Synthesis
  • Kaylee Byers One Health; Planetary Health; Wildlife Health; Human-Animal Relationships; Human Dimension; Health Equity; Social Determinants of Health; Ecological Determinants of Health; Health Communications; Implementation Science; Knowledge Mobilization; Community-Based Research
  • Kiffer Card The Social Determinants of Infectious Disease; The Health Effects of Loneliness, Social Isolation, and Social Disconnection; Climate Related Ecological Distress; Recreational and Therapeutic Use of Psychoactive and Psychedelic Substances; The Socio-Political Determinants of Health and Health Inequities; Motivated Social Cognition and Behaviour; Stigmatized Behaviour; Health and Social Policy; Implementation Science and Knowledge Mobilization
  • Stephanie Cleland Environmental health, climate change, environmental epidemiology, exposure assessment, health impact assessment, climate change-related environmental exposures (wildfire smoke, extreme heat), health equity, GIS
  • Maya Gislason Social inequities in health, eco-social health, planetary health, ecosystem approaches to health, climate change, intergenerational climate equity, cumulative impacts of intensive resource extraction, Indigenous health and wellness, community participation, Patient-Oriented Research, critical pedagogy, public health, equity informed mixed methods evidence building, interplay between human, animal and ecosystem health, governance, structural and epistemic justice.
  • Robert Hogg HIV/AIDS, antiretroviral therapy, marginalized populations, population health
  • Dawn Hoogeveen Resource extraction and health, Environmental health/policy, Health Impact Assessment, Health and wellness indicator development, climate change and health, planetary health, social and environmental justice, community-based research, addressing racism in health care, Indigenous public health, resource management and control
  • Bruce Lanphear Early childhood health, environmental neurotoxins, lead poisoning, epidemiology of asthma
  • Lawrence McCandless Biostatistics, epidemiology and environmental health
  • Pablo Nepomnaschy Human biology, anthropology, human ecology & health, stress & reproductive health
  • Anne-Marie Nicol Health communication; toxicology; social marketing; risk perception; risk assessment
  • Hasina Samji Epidemiology, biostatistics, infectious diseases, implementation science methods, marginalized populations, health services provision, global health, health innovation
  • Malcolm Steinberg Occupational health, epidemiology, program management, HIV/AIDS, public health consulting
  • Kate Tairyan Preventive medicine, global health, computer-assisted technology, knowledge translation
  • Tim Takaro Occupational & environmental health, toxicology, asthma, community-based interventions, health impacts of climate change, planetary health
  • Scott Venners Epidemiology, Indigenous health, environmental health
  • Meghan Winters Epidemiology, GIS applications, built environment & health, transportation & city design


Our external partners

With thanks to our external colleagues and partner organizations, for their continued support and collaboration.


Webinar Series: Early Lessons from a Pandemic

As we face one of the greatest challenges for public health in several generations with the COVID-19 pandemic, we also have an unprecedented opportunity as governments and citizens prepare for a post-COVID future that we hope will not be simply restoring everything to the way it was. The pandemic has been described as climate change at warp speed. But the response to this "greatest challenge" has been quite different. Since this is such a ripe opportunity for learning, the SFU Planetary Health research group has organized a series of webinars.

Learn more

Recent theses

February 2018 – present:

MSc thesis defence: Jaclyn Parks, Exploring Low Cotinine Levels as a Biomarker of Tobacco Use & Dietary Intake. Senior Supervisor: T Takaro

MSc thesis defence: Emily Carpenter, Principles of Justice and Natural Disasters. Senior Supervisor: J Snyder

PhD thesis defence: Christopher Card, Examining the Social, Sexual and Technological Behaviour of Gay Bisexual and Other Men who have Sex with Men. Senior Supervisor: R Hogg

MSc thesis defence: Crista Bartolomeu, A Randomized Controlled Trial of Prenatal Air Pollution Exposure and the Development of Allergic Sensitization in the First Year of Life. Senior Supervisor: R Allen

MSc thesis defence: Brendan Bernardo, Assessing the Relation Between Plasma PCB Concentrations and Elevated Autistic Behaviours using Bayesian Predictive Odds Ratios. Senior Supervisor: L McCandless

MSc thesis defence: Lief Pagalan, Prenatal Exposures to Air Pollution and Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Population-based Cohort Study in Metro Vancouver, BC.  Senior Supervisor: B Lanphear

PhD thesis defence: Prabjit Barn, A Randomized Air Filter Intervention Study of Air Pollution and Fetal Growth in a Highly Polluted Community: The Ulaanbaatar Gestation and Air Pollution Research (UGAAR) Study. Senior Supervisor: R Allen

MSc thesis defence: Kate Hosford, Understanding a Public Bicycle Share Program in Vancouver, Canada: Program Uptake and Impacts on Bicycling. Senior Supervisor: M Winters

PhD thesis defence: Tessa Chen, Nonmedical Prescription Opioid Initiation, Ongoing Use, and Related Overdose Among People who use Drugs in Vancouver, Canada. Senior Supervisor: P Nepomnaschy

MSc thesis defence: Fredrick Omondi, HIV Subtype and Nef-mediated Immune Evasion Function Correlate with Viral Reservoir Size in Early-treated Individuals.  Senior Supervisor: S Venners

MSc thesis defence: Cecilia Sierra Heredia, Temporal and Geographic Variation in Aeroallergen Measurements Across Four Canadian Cities from 2008–2012. Senior Supervisor: T Takaro