HERA Papers


Third HERA Paper Published

Work of HERA WP4 colleagues on under-researched areas has just been published in Environment International Journal. Their contribution entitled "Setting the European environment and health research agenda –under-researched areas and solution-oriented research" outlines research gaps were identified for 21 predefined areas within 3 main categories: i) classical environment and health paradigm; ii) problem or sector-based research areas and approaches and iii) holistic research areas and concepts.

Second HERA paper published

Work of HERA colleagues on resilience and transformational change and research has just been published in Environment International Journal. Their contribution entitled "Getting out of crises: Environmental, social-ecological and evolutionary research is needed to avoid future risks of pandemics” outlines seven long-term research questions regarding COVID-19 and emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) that are based on effective integration of environmental, ecological, evolutionary, and social sciences to better anticipate and mitigate EIDs. Research needs cover the social ecology of infectious disease agents, their evolution, the determinants of susceptibility of humans and animals to infections, and the human and ecological factors accelerating infectious disease emergence.

In support of this research, the authors propose the implementation of innovative multidisciplinary facilities embedded in social ecosystems locally: ecological health observatories and living laboratories.


HERA published first research paper

The outbreak of COVID-19 raised numerous questions on the interactions between the occurrence of new infections, the environment, climate and health. The European Union requested the HERA consortium to identify relevant research needs regarding Covid-19. And so we did and prepared an article"The COVID-19 pandemic and global environmental change: emerging research needs”.

The article was published in a peer reviewed Environment International journal and is now available online and these are our findings:
The emergence and spread of SARS-CoV-2 appears to be related to urbanization, habitat destruction, live animal trade, intensive livestock farming and global travel. The contribution of climate and air pollution requires additional studies. Importantly, the severity of COVID-19 depends on the interactions between the viral infection, ageing and chronic diseases such as metabolic, respiratory and cardiovascular diseases and obesity which are themselves influenced by environmental stressors. The mechanisms of these interactions deserve additional scrutiny. Both the pandemic and the social response to the disease have elicited an array of behavioural and societal changes that may remain long after the pandemic and that may have long term health effects including on mental health. Recovery plans are currently being discussed or implemented and the environmental and health impacts of those plans are not clearly foreseen. Clearly, COVID-19 will have a long-lasting impact on the environmental health field and will open new research perspectives and policy needs.