Spending time in nature could alleviate many of the stresses of modern life. A regular “dose” of nature reduces the risk of depression, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and other non-communicable diseases. It reduces heat stress in our cities, and could encourage people to care more deeply about environmental issues, fostering stronger conservation attitudes and behavior. As more ecologically complex environments seem to deliver greater health benefits, designing landscapes that simultaneously benefit both human health and biodiversity could create important public health and conservation outcomes. Here, I will share several of our recent work on the interplay between our nature experiences, and health and conservation outcomes are complex, using studies from Australia, Singapore and Europe.
Dr Rachel Oh is a Research Associate at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research and the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research in Germany. While originally from Singapore, she holds a PhD from the University of Queensland. Rachel works across the disciplines of conservation, ecology, epidemiology and public health to develop solutions that co benefit nature conservation and people, with a priority on biodiversity hotpots and underrepresented populations. When not a lab-rat or data-crunching potato, Rachel is likely blissfully mucking around in the great outdoors with her binoculars or swim-googles.
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