UCL Events


VIRTUAL EVENT: Our Planet, Our Health

21 May 2020, 1:00 pm–1:30 pm

A man rides a motorbike in front of a wall covered in Ebola graffiti

This UCL East Lunch Hour Lecture will discuss how recent advances can help to prevent and manage future epidemics. 

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Sanaa Al-Busaidy


Virtual event

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About the lecture:

Today we live longer and more prosperous lives than ever before, as a species, we have made huge advances to create conditions for better health for billions of people, however, this progress is taking a heavy toll on the planet's natural systems. I will explore the links and interdependencies between our health and the health of our planet with particular reference to understanding how rapid global environmental change impacts the emergence and spread of high impact infectious diseases like COVID-19, Ebola or SARS. I will discuss how recent advances in the resolution and coverage of remote-sensing satellite data and cutting-edge machine-learning algorithms open up the possibilities of developing global early warning systems to prevent and manage future epidemics. 

About the Speaker

Kate Jones

Professor of Ecology and Biodiversity at UCL

Kate Jones is Professor of Ecology and Biodiversity at University College London and has held appointments at the Zoological Society of London, University of Cambridge, Columbia University and Imperial College London. Her research investigates the interface of ecological and human health, using statistical and mathematical modelling to understand the impact of global land use and climate change on ecological and human systems. In 2008, Kate won the Leverhulme Prize for outstanding contributions to Zoology. Kate is the director of the Nature Smart Research Centre in the Institute of Future Living at the new UCL campus at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park opening in 2022.