I am an ecologist and epidemiologist interested in the human health impacts of environmental change, specifically in the context of global trends in biodiversity loss and ecosystem transformation. With a wide range of colleagues at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and beyond, I am studying the nutritional implications of terrestrial wildlife declines and fishery declines. Since 1999, I have been conducting ecological and public health research in Madagascar and am fluent in several local dialects of Malagasy.

In Madagascar, I am interested in local people’s dependence on natural resources for obtaining adequate health. This interest has led to various studies into connections between marine and terrestrial wildlife consumption and the incidence of micronutrient deficiencies, the importance of botanical ethnomedicines and geophagy to local health, and the eco-epidemiology of malaria and other diseases given current trends in biodiversity loss and land use change.

At the age of nine, I was asked to do an animal report on any animal of my choice. I flipped through an Encyclopedia of Animals and serendipitously decided upon the ring-tailed lemur. From that day forward, I decided that I wanted to spend time in Madagascar and committed myself to working there. After reading Gerald Durrell's book, The Aye-Aye and I, and a 1988 National Geographic magazine entitled "The Wilds of Madagascar," I was even more convinced that I wanted to work there. In 1999, I spent part of my summer working with Luke Dollar on a research project investigating endemic carnivores in the northwestern dry, deciduous forests in Ankarafantsika National Park.

Since then, I have returned to Madagascar as frequently as possible, always spending at least 3 months a year in country, and having done stints as long as 13 months. In 2004, I began my own work in the Maroantsetra region of the northeastern rainforests in Madagascar to conduct my senior thesis research on the prevalence of bushmeat hunting, and its socio-economic and cultural importance to local Malagasy. I received an A.B. in Environmental Conservation (Special Concentrations) from Harvard College in 2005. 

During my final year at Harvard, I took a course investigating linkages between biodiversity and human health with Eric Chivian and became a research assistant for him on his book, Sustaining Life: How Human Health Depends on Biodiversity. In 2010, I received an MPH in Epidemiology and in 2011, my Ph.D. in Environmental Science, Policy and Management at the University of California, Berkeley, advised by Claire Kremen, Lia Fernald, Justin Brashares and Kirk Smith.

After my doctoral work, I finished a 2-year post-doctoral fellowship at the Harvard University Center for the Environment in 2013 working with Sam Myers and Walter Willett, while leading a large-scale prospective cohort study in Madagascar. In 2014, I was honored as a National Geographic Society Emerging Explorer for my dedication in pushing the boundaries of traditional public health and environmental science. Most recently, I have been a Research Scientist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Associate Director of the Planetary Health Alliance, continuing to conduct research in Madagascar and elsewhere on the nutritional implications of ecosystem transformation.

Ekôlôjista sy epidemiôlôjista ny tenako izay manao fikarohana momba ny fiantraikan’ny fiovan’ny tontolo iainana amin’ny fahasalamana, ary mifantoka indrindra amin’ny fahasimban’ny zavaboary sy ny fiovany. Miaraka amin’ireo mpiara-miasa amiko ao amin’ny Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health sy ireo mpikaroka hafa, dia manao fikarohana momba ny faharipaky ny bibidia an-tanety sy ny fitotonganan’ny trondron-dranomasina aho. Nanomboka tamin’ny taona 2009 aho no nanao fikarohana momba ny tontonlo iainana sy ny fahasalaman-bahoaka tany Madagasikara ary mahafehy fitenim-paritra Malagasy maro.

Eto Madagasikara dia tena mahaliana ahy ny fiankinan’ny olona amin’ny zavaboary mba ahazoany toe-pahasalamana tsara. Izany indrindra no nitarika ahy ny hanao fikarohana maro momba ny: fifandraisan’ny fihinanana hazan-dranomasina sy bididia amin’ny tsy fahampiana otrikaina amin’ny vatana, ny mahazava-dehibe ny fanafody nenti-paharazana avy amin’ireo zavamaniry, ary ny vokatry ny fihinankinanam-poana “goephagy” eo amin’ny fahasalamana, ny tazo moka sy ireo karazana aretina hafa vokatry ny fahasimban’ny tontolo iainana sy fiovan’ny fampiasana ny tany.

Tamin’izaho 9 taona dia nasaina nanao fikarohana momba ny bidy izay tena tiako. Namadibadika ny “Encyclopedia” mikasika ny bidy aho ary sendra ny pejy nisy ny gidro lemur catta (makia na hira), ka io biby io no nofidiko. Nanomboka tamin’izay fotoana izay ka hatramin’izao dia nanapa-kevitra aho fa handany ny fotoanako any Madagasikara sy ny hiasa any. Vao maika nandrisika ahy ny hiasa any Madagasikara ny namakiako ilay boky nosoratan’i Gerald Durrell, “The Aye-Aye and I” sy ilay bokin’ny National Geographic nivoaka tamin’ny 1998 hoe “The Wilds of Madagascar”. Tamin’ny taona 2009, tamin’ny vanim-potoana “summer” dia niara-niasa tamin’i Luke Dollar aho momba ny fikarohana mikasika ireo bibidia tsy fahita raha tsy eto Madagasikara tany amin’ny faritra maina tany amin’ avaratrandrefan’i Madagasikara, tao amin’ny valan-javaboarin’i Ankarafantsika.

Nanomboka teo aho dia niverina matetika tany Madagasikara ary nijanona 3 volana farafahakeliny tany, ary saika nanao izany tao anatin’ny 13 volana misesy. Nanomboka tamin’ny taona 2004 aho dia nanao fanadihadiana tany amin’ny faritra manodidinan’i Maroantsetra any amin’ny tapany avaratratsinanan’ny nosy izay ahitana ala mando tamin’ny nanomanako ny “these” momba ny fihinanana sy fihazana bididia, ary ny atony ara-tsôsialy sy ara-toekarena sy ny lafiny ara-kolontsaina Malagasy mahatonga ny olona manao izany. Nahazo ny mari-pahaizana A.B momba ny Fiarovana Tontolo iainana na “A.B in Environmental Conservation” avy amin’ny Harvard aho ny taona 2005.

Tamin’ny taona farany nandratovako ny fianarako tao Harvard dia naka taranja mikasika ny fifandraisan’ny tontolo iainana sy ny fahasalaman’ny olona aho izay nampianarin’i Eric Chivian ka lasa mpikaroka mpanampy azy tamin’ny boky nosoratany “Sustaining Life: How Human Health Depends on Biodiversity”. Tamin’ny taona 2011 aho dia nahazo ny mari-pahaizana MPH ary ny taona 2011 dia nahazo ny mari-pahaizana “Ph.D. in Environmental Science, Policy and Management” tao amin’ny University of California, Berkeley. Nanoro hevitra ahy tamin’ny nanantanterahako izany i Claire Kremen, Lia Fernald, Justin Brashares ary Kirk Smith.

Tamin’ny taona 2013, nony vita ny fianarako ka nahazoako ny mari-pahaizana “Doctorat”, dia nanohy fikarohana nandritra ny 2 taona (post-doctoral fellowship) tao Harvard University Center for the Environment aho, ary niara-niasa tamin’i Sam Myers sy Walter Willett no sady nitantana fikarohana lehibe tany Madagasikara. Tamin’ny taona 2014 aho dia anisan’ireo olona voasafidy ho “National Geographic Society Emerging Explorer” noho ny fikarohana izay nataoko mikasika ny tontolo iainana sy ny fahasalam-bahoaka. Vao tsy ela, dia lasa mpikarako “Research Scientist” ao amin’ny Havard T.H. Chan School of Public Health ary Associate Director amin’ny Planetary Health Alliance, ary mbola manohy ny fikarohana any Madagasikara sy any amin’ny toerana hafa maro momba ny fanjariantsakafo sy ny fiovan’ny tontolo iainana.