MBChB, MAS, PhD
Canada Research Chair in Health, Ecosystems and Society; Associate Professor, School of Health Sciences, UNBC; Cross Appointed, Northern Medical Program, UBC
Dr. Parkes comes to northern BC to examine the effect of changing ecosystems on the health and well-being of communities, with a focus on water as a common resource for livelihoods, food security, culture and economies.
Dr. Parkes research orientation originated during training and work as a medical doctor in New Zealand and subsequently in public health, human ecology, and the emerging field of ecohealth, or ecosystem approaches to health. My interest in water-related determinants of health began with a focus on watershed management and public health in rural river catchments in New Zealand and has developed through work in Europe, Hawaii, Ecuador and Canada. My current research focuses on impacts of ecosystem change on social determinants of health especially in the context of watersheds in rural, remote and Indigenous communities. Another focus includes the design of education, research and governance options to address the converging objectives of health, social equity and ecosystem sustainability. Informed by the intersectoral, interdisciplinary and boundary-crossing nature of this work, I have specific interests in the collaborative and multi-stakeholder processes required to address complex issues at the interface of health and sustainability.
Her ongoing commitment to developing and expanding the emerging field of ecohealth is reflected in my involvement as founding board member and past President of the International Association for Ecology & Health, as a co-founder of the Canadian Community of Practice in Ecosystem Approaches to Health (CoPEH-Canada) and as founding Managing Editor (2003-2007) of the international peer-reviewed journal EcoHealth published by Springer.