Health and the Environment

The Health and the Environment research theme has been established to pursue research which explores the connection between the health of people and the environment.

A block of flats in Sheffield

The intersection and interrelationships between our health and our environment are essential, as exemplified by the effects of climate change on the physical and mental health of individuals,  health system sustainability and resilience, and the inequalities and marginalisation of communities adversely affected by extreme weather. 

This theme draws from the expertise available across ScHARR to encompass a broad range of research activity that has been completed, is currently underway, or that we plan to undertake. 

Theme information


Primary focus on the United Kingdom, and ongoing work with individuals and organisations in Nepal, Canada, USA, Australia, Ghana, Thailand, and Taiwan.


  • Evidence synthesis
  • Survey development
  • Epidemiology
  • Qualitative approaches
  • Community engagement and involvement

Our interests

  • Health systems resilience for extreme weather emergencies
  • Health system sustainability initiatives and cost-effectiveness
  • Disaster management and climate change
  • Health security
  • Sustainability and adaptation initiatives
  • Air pollution and health
  • Greenspaces
  • Geographical disparities
  • One health approach (multi-sectoral coordination) 

Selected publications

Health System Resilience

Tochkin J, Richmond J & Hertelendy A (2022) Healthcare system leadership and climate change: five lessons for improving health systems resiliency. BMJ Leader

Richmond, J., & Hill, R. (2023) Rethinking local resilience for extreme heat events, Public Health.

Waste Management 

Karki A, Karki J, Joshi S, Black MN, Rijal B, Basnet S, Makai P, Fossier Heckmann A, Baral YR & Lee A (2022) Mental health risks among informal waste workers in Kathmandu Valley, Nepal. INQUIRY: The Journal of Health Care Organization, Provision, and Financing, 59. 

Sapkota S, Lee A, Karki J, Makai P, Adhikari S, Chaudhuri N & Fossier-Heckmann A (2020) Risks and risk mitigation in waste-work: A qualitative study of informal waste workers in Nepal. Public Health in Practice, 1.

Black M, Karki J, Lee ACK, Makai P, Baral YR, Kritsotakis EI, Bernier A & Fossier Heckmann A (2019) The health risks of informal waste workers in the Kathmandu Valley: a cross-sectional survey. Public Health, 166, 10-18. View this article in WRRO

Karki J, Pohl G, Baral YR, Makai P, Black M, Lee A, Kritsotakis E, Fossier-Heckman A, Poudel S & Bernier A (2018) Health Status and Occupational Risks in Informal Waste Workers in Nepal View this article in WRRO 


Mears M, Brindley P, Barrows P, Richardson M & Maheswaran R (2021) Mapping urban greenspace use from mobile phone GPS data. PLoS ONE, 16(7). View this article in WRRO 

Mears M, Brindley P, Baxter I, Maheswaran R & Jorgensen A (2020) Neighbourhood greenspace influences on childhood obesity in Sheffield, UK. Pediatric Obesity. View this article in WRRO

Mears M, Brindley P, Jorgensen A & Maheswaran R (2020) Population-level linkages between urban greenspace and health inequality: the case for using multiple indicators of neighbourhood greenspace. Health & Place. View this article in WRRO

Mears M, Brindley P, Jorgensen A, Ersoy E & Maheswaran R (2019) Greenspace spatial characteristics and human health in an urban environment: an epidemiological study using landscape metrics in Sheffield, UK. Ecological Indicators, 106. View this article in WRRO

Lee A, Jordan H & Horsley J (2015) Value of urban green spaces in promoting healthy living and wellbeing: prospects for planning. Risk Management and Healthcare Policy, 8, 131-137

Air Pollution

Maheswaran R. Air pollution and stroke - an overview of the evidence base. Spatial and Spatio-temporal Epidemiology 2016;18:74-81.

Maheswaran R, Pearson T, Beevers SD, Campbell MJ, Wolfe CD. Air pollution and subtypes, severity and vulnerability to ischemic stroke - a population-based case-crossover study. PLoS One; 2016:11(6):e0158556.

Maheswaran R, Pearson T, Beevers SD, Campbell MJ, Wolfe CD. Outdoor air pollution, subtypes and severity of ischemic stroke - a small-area level ecological study. International Journal of Health Geographics; 2014;13:23.

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