Lea BerrangFord

Socio-ecological determinants of health

Associate Professor in the Department of Geography

Office: Burnside Hall Room 419 (Post to: Room 705)
Tel.: (514) 398-4944
Fax.: (514) 398-7437

lea.berrangford [at] mcgill.ca (E-mail)

Academic background

  • PhD Epidemiology, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph (Ontario, Canada), 2006

  • MSc Environmental Change & Management, Oxford University (Oxford, UK), 2001

  • BSc(Env) Geography, University of Guelph (Ontario, Canada), 2000


Research interests

As an epidemiologist, geographer, and environmental scientist, my research focuses on the socio-environmental determinants of global health and infectious disease, with particular emphasis on neglected vectorborne and zoonotic diseases.  I have worked extensively on the determinants of sleeping sickness in Uganda, and more recently on the health impacts of – and adaptation to – climate change. I am particularly interested in distal socio-ecological determinants of transmission using datasets that are sparse or difficult to quantify and requiring mixed qualitative-quantitative methodologies. I am the co-editor of the 2011 Springer book, “Adaptation in Developed Nations: from theory to practice.” I currently co-lead an international, interdisciplinary research team investigating vulnerability and adaptation to the health effects of climate change among remote Indigenous populations in Peru, Uganda, and the Canadian Arctic. My current research also explores global determinants of emerging disease, and development of innovative methodologies for climate change adaptation tracking. Research foci and interests:

  1. Socio-ecological determinants of neglected infectious (particularly vectorborne) disease
  2. Climate change and health in vulnerable populations: impacts, vulnerability, adaptation
  3. Systematic approaches for tracking climate change adaptation policy
  4. Global determinants of emerging infectious disease
  5. Integrated metrics for zoonotic disease burden


Current projects

    1. Indigenous Health Adaptation to Climate Change (IHACC)
      Funding: IDRC/CIHR/SSHRC/NSERC (IRIACC program)
      Collaborators: Public Health Agency of Canada, University of Guelph, University of Makerere (Uganda), Ministry of Health (Uganda), Cayetano Heredia University (Peru),
    2. Adaptation to the Health Effects of Climate Change among Indigenous Peoples in the Global South (IP-Adapt)
      Funding: CIHR, FRSQ
      Collaborators: Public Health Agency of Canada, University of Guelph, University of Makerere (Uganda), Ministry of Health (Uganda)
    3. Environmental indicators for public health policy
      Funding: Trottier Public Science Policy Fellowship
      Collaborator: Public Health Agency of Canada
    4. Socio-ecological determinants of Human African Trypanosomisis (a.k.a. sleeping sickness) in sub-Saharan Africa
      Previous Funding: CIHR, CFCAS
      Collaborators: Ugandan Ministry of Health, Ugandan Ministry of Agriculture
    5. What drives national adaptation policy? 
      Collaborators: Institute of Health and Social Policy (McGill), Health Canada, Public Health Agency of Canada


Some recent publications

Berrang-Ford, L. and K. Garton (2013) Expert sourcing for national tsetse mapping in Uganda. Social Science and Medicine 91:246-55.

Berrang-Ford, L., K. Dingle, J.D. Ford, C. Lee, S. Lwasa, D. Namanya, J. Henderson, A. Llanos, C. Carcamo, and V. Edge (2012) Vulnerability of Indigenous health to climate change: a case study of Uganda’s Batwa pygmies. Social Science and Medicine 75:1067-77.

Berrang-Ford, L., J.D. Ford, and J.A. Paterson (2011) Are we adapting to climate change? Global Environmental Change 21: 25-33.

Berrang-Ford, L., J. Lundine, and S. Breau (2011) Conflict and Human African Trypanosomiasis. Social Science and Medicine 72: 398-407.

Back to top