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Christopher D. Golden

Christopher D. Golden  PhD, MPH
Director of HEAL (Health & Ecosystems: Analysis of Linkages), Wildlife Conservation Society
Research Associate, Department of Environmental Health, and
Visiting Scientist, Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health
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Christopher Golden, PhD MPH works jointly as the Director of Wildlife Conservation Society’s HEAL (Health & Ecosystems: Analysis of Linkages) Program and with the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health within both the Departments of Environmental Health and Nutrition. He is an ecologist and epidemiologist interested in the interface of ecosystem service provisioning and human health, specifically in the context of global trends in biodiversity loss and ecosystem transformation. Since 1999, Christopher has been conducting ecological and public health research in Madagascar, where his work focuses on local people’s dependence on natural resources for attaining adequate health. This interest has led to various studies into connections between wildlife consumption and the incidence of anemia in children, and the importance of botanical ethnomedicines and geophagy to local health.

Presently, Christopher is working on three main projects: 1) as Director of HEAL (, he is managing a 25-institution consortium that is designed to tackle gaps in knowledge linking trends in environmental change to human health outcomes; 2) estimating the nutritional impacts of global fishery collapses; and 3) leading a longitudinal study embedded within a socio-ecological system in northeastern Madagascar analyzing the interaction between local reliance on natural resources, conservation governance and human health (

Christopher received his doctoral degree in Environmental Sciences, Policy and Management and his MPH in Epidemiology from UC Berkeley. He finished a post-doctoral fellowship at the Harvard University Center for the Environment where his work focused on evaluating the impact of global wildlife declines on human food security and human nutrition using a case study from Madagascar. He also was an undergraduate at Harvard College where he took CHGE’s course in Global Environmental Change and Human Health with his mentors, Eric Chivian and Paul Epstein. He also worked as a research assistant in the preparation of the award winning Oxford University Press book Sustaining Life, edited by the Center's former director, Eric Chivian, and the Center's associate director, Aaron Bernstein.