Samuel Myers | An Island Press Author

Samuel Myers

Sam Myers works at the intersection of human health and global environmental change. He received his BA from Harvard College, his MD from Yale Medical School, performed his residency in internal medicine at the University of California, San Francisco and received his MPH from the Harvard School of Public Health. He is a Principle Research Scientist, Planetary Health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Director of the Planetary Health Alliance. He is an Instructor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and is Board Certified in Internal Medicine.

For two years, Dr. Myers was the founding Field Manager of an integrated conservation and human health project in the Qomolangma Nature Preserve in Tibet. He then worked in the Global Health Bureau of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) as an AAAS fellow where he designed a new mechanism for administering and studying projects that integrate human health, population growth, and environmental change in developing countries. After two years as an AAAS fellow, Dr. Myers was hired by Conservation International as a Senior Director to run the Healthy Communities Initiative, a $5 million project to design and implement integrated conservation and human health activities in biodiversity hotspot regions around the world.

After finishing a clinical research fellowship in General Medicine at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Dr. Myers began a research career focused on quantifying the human health impacts of large scale, anthropogenic environmental change. He is currently the principle investigator on four transdisciplinary research projects that include: 1) quantifying the impact of rising concentrations of atmospheric CO2 on the nutrient content of crops and the impacts of these changes on the distribution of deficiencies of micronutrients like iron and zinc for the national populations of 176 countries; 2) quantifying the importance of access to terrestrial and marine wildlife species as a source of macro and micronutrients in the diets of subsistence populations; 3) quantifying the human health impacts of landscape fires in SE Asia and developing new tools that allow fine-grained modeling of the specific morbidity and mortality for a particular population attributable to specific land use types and geographic locations; and 4) modeling the nutritional vulnerability of different populations around the world to loss of animal pollinators with respect to specific micronutrients. In addition, he is co-leading new research efforts focused on quantifying the nutritional importance of access to fisheries at both local (in Madagascar) and global scales. Dr. Myers is a Commissioner on the Rockefeller Foundation—Lancet Commission on Planetary Health and is the recipient of the Prince Albert II of Monaco—Institut Pasteur Award 2015 for “outstanding contributions to the field of global environmental and climatic changes and their impacts on human health.”

Planetary Health: Protecting nature to protect ourselves in the time of COVID-19 and emerging infectious disease

Friday, September 25, 2020 - 12:00pm EDT

A talk by Dr. Sam Myers, Director of the Planetary Health Alliance & Principal Research Scientist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, on his recently published book, ...

A talk by Dr. Sam Myers, Director of the Planetary Health Alliance & Principal Research Scientist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, on his recently published book, Planetary Health.

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Webinar: A New Deal for Planetary Health

Wednesday, September 9, 2020 - 4:15pm EDT

In spite of lingering global public health problems, human wellbeing has never been better. In the past 65 years through scientific advancement, for example, the proportion of the world’s people living in extreme poverty has dropped from 63% to...

In spite of lingering global public health problems, human wellbeing has never been better. In the past 65 years through scientific advancement, for example, the proportion of the world’s people living in extreme poverty has dropped from 63% to 10% in spite of a tripling of the global population. That same technological advancement that has pulled much of humanity out of extreme poverty and provided other dramatic human benefits, has also increased man’s the human ecological footprint and exploded consumption of natural resources.

The impacts on the planet’s natural systems have been extraordinary measured by the composition of the atmosphere, loss of biodiversity, acidification of the oceans and loss of tropical forests as well as rapidly changing environmental conditions led by climate change. Planetary Heath recognizes that the well being of humanity and degradation of the rest of the biosphere cannot remain disconnected much longer. Rapidly changing environmental conditions alter our exposures to infectious diseases, such as COVID 19, and natural hazards including heat waves, droughts, floods, fires, and tropical storms. Our species has been slow to systematically address the devastating impact we have had on the planet that also threatens continued human wellbeing in spite of 40 years of international attempts by the United Nations and other international bodies. COVID 19 is forcing all sectors of society to rethink how they operate and remain resilient in a post COVID future.

Join Island Press and Security and Sustainability Forum in an insightful discussion about the potential for A New Deal for Planetary Health. Building on the new Island Press Publication, Planetary Health: Protecting Nature to Protect Ourselves, the webinar, led by the book editors Howard Frumkin and Samuel Myers, will explore reframing planetary health thinking to reimagine food, energy, placemaking, chemistry, and the economy in ways that can leads to a convergence of human wellbeing and the protection of natural systems.

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