The McGill Institute for Health and Social Policy and the McGill Department of Geography are happy to welcome Dr. Myriam Fillion, Postdoctoral fellow in the Biology Department at the University of Ottawa.
Dr. Fillion will present her talk titled: Connecting places and people through ecosystem approaches: Food security, contaminants and the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal, traditional and rural populations
As the environment, human activities and health are inextricably linked, focusing on the connection between places and people is key to understanding the determinants of human health. One of the major ways in which people connect to their environment is through their diet, and understanding the complex interactions between human health and the environment through the food system is a significant challenge. Ecosystem approaches to human health (also called ecohealth) offer holistic methodologies to address these issues in a way that encourages interdisciplinarity and community participation, accounts for issues of gender and social equity, and recognizes dynamics at multiple scales. My research addresses environmental health issues associated with local diet, with a primary focus on the Inuit population of the Canadian Arctic, and also on traditional and rural populations in Brazil and Haiti. It is organized around two axes, food security and exposure to environmental contaminants, and aims to (1) improve understandings of the connections among human health, environment and society; (2) account for the diversity of biological, environmental, social, cultural, and economic determinants that influence food security and exposure to environmental contaminants; and (3) produce evidence to support the development of appropriate interventions and policies, in collaboration with communities, local stakeholders and policymakers.