Converging Threats, Cascading Health Risks: Climate Change, Food Security, and Migration

April 15, 2021

This is the second session of a 3-part Climate Change and Health Speaker Series hosted by the UCSF Office of Population Health and Health Equity and the UCSF Center for Climate, Health, and EquitySee here for information on the full series.

Climate change is anticipated to unleash unprecedented threats to global food security and drive the largest wave of human migration in history. This session evaluates the intersection of climate change with the social determinants of health, emphasizing the compounding connections between a warming climate, food and water security, and migration.


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  • 2:30-2:35pm PDT Welcome by Arianne Teherani, PhD, UCSF
  • 2:35-2:45pm PDT Introductory Remarks by Sheri Weiser, MD, MPH, MA, UCSF
  • 2:45-3:00pm PDT Presentations Facilitated by Arianne Teherani, PhD, UCSF
    • Veerabhadran Ramanathan, PhD, MS, UCSD
    • Samuel S. Myers, MD, MPH, Planetary Health Alliance, Harvard University
  • 3:00-3:50pm PDT Panel Discussion Moderated by Sheri Weiser, MD, MPH, MA, UCSF
    • Lujain Alqodmani, BMSc, MBBS, MIHMEP, EAT
    • Tere Almaguer, PODER
    • Edwin J. Castellanos, PhD, MS, Universidad del Valle de Guatemala
    • Samuel S. Myers, MD, MPH, Planetary Health Alliance, Harvard University
    • Veerabhadran Ramanathan, PhD, MS, UCSD
  • 3:50-4:00pm PDT Closing Remarks by Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, PhD, MD, MAS, UCSF


Tere Almaguer

Tere Almaguer is an Environmental Justice Organizer at People Organizing to Demand Environmental and Economic Justice (PODER), a grassroots organization that works to create people-powered solutions to the profound environmental and economic inequities facing low-income Latino immigrants and other communities of color in San Francisco. In this role, she works to create spaces for community to reconnect with land, grow healthy food, practice herbal healing traditions, provide job training, and create community governance structures.


Lujain Al-Qodmani, MD

Lujain Alqodmani, BMSc, MBBS, MIHMEP is Director of Global Action and Advisor to the Executive Chair at EAT, a global non-profit startup dedicated to transforming our global food system through sound science, impatient disruption, and novel partnerships. She currently co-chairs the World Medical Association Environment Caucus and is the International Officer of Kuwait Medical Association. She is a medical physician specialized in global health and climate issues. @LujainAlqodmani


Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, PhD, MD, MAS

Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, PhD, MD, MAS is Professor and Chair of the UCSF Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. She is also inaugural Vice Dean for Population Health and Health Equity in the UCSF School of Medicine. She is co-founder and core faculty at the UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. @KBibbinsDomingo


Edwin Josue Castellanos Lopez, PhD

Edwin J. Castellanos, PhD, MS is Director of the Sustainable Economic Observatory and former Dean of Research at Universidad del Valle de Guatemala. He has served on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and has received several awards, including Guatemala's National Medal of Science and Technology in 2016. He is a leading researcher in both climate change mitigation, with a focus on carbon sequestration, and climate change adaptation, with a focus on rural communities in Mesoamerica, particularly indigenous groups and small holder farmers.


Samuel S. Myers, MD, MPH

Samuel S. Myers, MD, MPH is a UCSF-trained internist and a Principal Research Scientist in the Department of Environmental Health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He is also founding Director of the Plantery Health Alliance, a multi-institutional, international effort to understand and quantify the human health impacts of disrupting Earth's natural systems and inform policy and resource management. 


Arianne Teherani, PhD

Arianne Teherani, PhD is a Professor of Medicine at UCSF and is Founding Co-Director of UCSF's new Center for Climate, Health, and Equity. She is an education scientist whose research interests are in the areas of educational equity and justice, professionalism, and education for climate and ecosystem change and health. Her research has focused on education as a core solution to the climate change and health crisis. She has identified the vital role of education that occurs in the local context and through community-engaged medical education to learning and sustainable thinking. She leads the Climate Change and Health course for UCSF medical and pharmacy students. She developed and led (with Dr. Sheri Weiser) the UC-wide Climate and Health Education Faculty Development initiative which has trained faculty members across the UC Health Science schools to integrate climate and health into their ongoing teaching. Dr. Teherani was part of the original leadership team who founded the UCSF Academic Senate Committee on Sustainability and served as vice-chair and then, chair of the committee. @arianneteherani [email protected]


Veerabhadran Ramanathan, PhD, MS

Veerabhadran Ramanathan, PhD, MS is a Distinguished Professor of atmospheric and climate sciences at UC San Diego and UNESCO Professor of Climate and Policy at TERI University in New Delhi, India. He discovered the greenhouse effect of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and led the first international assessment on the climate effects of non-CO2 greenhouse gases. He has won numerous awards, including the Tyler Prize, the top environmental prize given in the US, and the Champions of Earth for Science and Innovation, the top environmental prize from the UN. He now leads a UC climate solutions effort; directs a project to characterize and mitigate environmental impacts of black carbon, ozone, and methane in rural India; and serves on Pope Francis' Council for the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.


Sheri Weiser, MD, MPH, MA

Sheri Weiser, MD, MPH, MA is a Professor and Internist in the UCSF Division of HIV, Infectious Disease, and Global Medicine and is founding Co-Director of UCSF's new Center for Climate, Health, and Equity. She is a leading international researcher on food insecurity, social and structural drivers of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and, more recently, on links between climate change, food insecurity, and infectious diseases. She has worked closely with Dr. Arianne Teherani to spearhead educational initiatives across UCSF and the UC system to incorporate climate change and sustainability into health professional education.