Exploring the Health Effects of Miami’s Changing Environment - 10.13.2015

September 30th, 2015 kicked off the start of COSEE Florida’s fall series which focuses on climate change. The first event in a 4-event series, Exploring the Health Effects of Miami’s Changing Environment, examined the impacts of climate change on human health, and was hosted at The Grove Spot in Coconut Grove, Miami.

The first guest speaker, Dr. Maribeth Gidley, Scientist at University of Miami’s Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, gave an overview of the many health impacts that can come with climate change, such as food shortage, vector borne diseases, respiratory issues, increased mental illness and much more.

Julie Dick, Staff Attorney at the Everglades Law Center, then spoke of some of the work they are doing to increase water flow to the Everglades. In doing so this keeps salinity low, which protects drinking water and also decreases harmful algal blooms which can be a threat to human health.

Temitope Alimi, Ph.D. Candidate at University of Miami’s Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy, works with Dr. John Beier on vector borne diseases. She shared her work on predicting where various mosquitos may move to in the future and some of the worries for Miami.

The event wrapped up with Dr. Larry Brand, Professor at University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences. Dr. Brand used to work with Dr. Gidley on a collaborative effort called the Oceans and Human Health Center, which brought atmospheric and ocean scientists together with medical doctors to determine what the connections might be currently and into the future. Dr. Brand shared his work on harmful algal blooms and how they are tied to respiratory issues and may also be tied to longer-term illnesses such as Alzheimer’s. This is a burgeoning field of science with much more to explore for moving forward, but the evidence was compelling.

If you weren’t able to make it out to this event and want to find out what was discussed, check out the storified twitter-convo.

For more science café events, follow COSEE Florida on Twitter @COSEEFlorida, Instagram @COSEEFlorida, or Facebook at COSEE Florida. Or search #COSEEMIA on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook for events in Miami.

Return to News Archive