Global Health and Conservation Biology in Northeastern Madagascar
Madagascar is one of the poorest countries on Earth. It is also a biodiversity hotspot that is characterized by unique and biologically important organisms that are under intense threat by human activities. We are developing a series of global health projects with a special focus on the ecological crisis in Madagascar; these projects integrate human health and conservation goals in an explicit research context. We are launching this program in the SAVA region in Northeastern Madagascar, an area that includes Marojejy National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and adjoining protected areas, some of which have experienced significant human encroachment and habitat loss in the past decade. The research and development activities dovetail with Professor Charles Nunn's research on wildlife diseases, which involves vector-borne diseases of birds and mammals and zoonotic diseases in wild rodents. The effort also builds on a conservation initiative launched by the Duke Lemur Center. For global health projects, we are focusing on: malaria and other vector-borne diseases; traditional cooking practices, human health and deforestation; and environmental influences on sleep.