11. Life on Land
SDG 15: Life on Land, focuses on sustainable management of forests, combatting desertification, halting and reversing land degradation, and halting biodiversity loss.
In this episode, Ophelia Michaelides speaks to two researchers that are working towards improving our understanding of zoonotic diseases, or, diseases transmitted between animals and humans. Discussions focus on unpacking what zoonotic diseases are; how social and environmental factors impact their spread; and the actions we can take at individual, national, and global scales to develop more sustainable prevention and mitigation strategies for managing zoonotic disease emergence.
Dr. Samira Mubareka is a virologist, medical microbiologist and infectious disease physician at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology at the University of Toronto. Samira has been working on SARS-CoV-2 since the outset of the pandemic in North America with a focus on virus biology, bioaerosols and exposure, genomics and diagnostics through close and cross-disciplinary collaborations across engineering, computational biology, molecular virology and animal health. Samira serves on the Chief Science Advisor of Canada, Dr. M. Nemer’s COVID-19 Expert Panel, the Implementation Committee of the Genome Canada-led Canadian COVID-19 Genomics Network (CanCOGeN) VirusSeq project, and the Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table. She is currently focused on understanding the biology and transmission of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern and on coronavirus zoonotic spillover. Samira holds an MD from Dalhousie University, completed training in Internal Medicine at McGill University, and specialized in Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology at the University of Manitoba.
Isha Berry is a PhD Candidate in Epidemiology at the University of Toronto Dalla Lana School of Public Health. She is also a Fellow in the Emerging Leaders in Biosecurity Initiative at the Johns Hopkins Centre for Health Security. Isha has expertise in infectious disease epidemiology and mathematical modelling and has experience conducting infectious disease research in low-, middle-, and high-income settings. Her primary area of research is understanding the socio-behavioral drivers of global emerging infectious diseases at the human-animal interface. She holds an MSc in Epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a BSc in Environmental Science from McGill University.
CREDITS: This podcast is co-hosted by Dr. Erica Di Ruggiero, Director of the Centre for Global Health, and Ophelia Michaelides, Manager of the Centre for Global Health, at the DLSPH, U of T, and produced by Elizabeth Loftus. Audio editing is by Sylvia Lorico. Music is produced by Julien Fortier and Patrick May. It is made with the support of the School of Cities at U of T.