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Prof. Jacqueline McGlade

Professor, Resilience and Prosperity, University College London


Professor Jacqueline McGlade FLS, FRSA … (more)

Professor Jacqueline McGlade FLS, FRSA

Professor Jacqueline McGlade is a Professor at the Institute for Global Prosperity and in the Faculty of Engineering at University College London, UK and Professor and Director of the Sekenani Research Centre for Resilience and Space Research at the Maasai Mara University, Kenya . Prior to this she was UN Environment’s Chief Scientist, Director of Science and Chief Statistician, leading on climate change and ecosystem modelling, environmental monitoring and indicators and assessments for the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development. Before this, she was Executive Director of the European Environment Agency, Director of the UK Centre for Coastal and Marine Sciences, Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Warwick, Director of Theoretical Ecology at the FZ Jülich and Senior Scientist at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography in the Federal Government of Canada. She is a Fellow of Darwin College, University of Cambridge, a Fellow of the Linnean Society and the Royal Society for Arts and Manufacturing, and a Knight of the Order of St James (Monaco) for services to marine sciences. She is the recipient of a number of honours and prizes for her research and work, especially on citizen science, ecology and spatial data and information. She is holds a number of key advisory roles including for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, China Council, and the European Space Agency. She is a leading expert in ecosystem dynamics, sustainable development, environmental informatics, web intelligence and early warning systems, sensor web enabled monitoring systems, and citizen science and has produced more than 200 publications plus award winning films and radio series. More recently she has become a member of the Maasai tribe and is co-located in the Maasai Mara where she is a involved in community based activities and space research and Green Growth Development of the Rift Valley.


The impacts of childhood malnutrition in the face of climate change … (more)

The impacts of childhood malnutrition in the face of climate change

One third of children under 5 are born or develop in an undernourished state; half of all child deaths are associated with undernutrition; twenty million children suffer annually from severe acute malnutrition; and 160 million from stunting. The annual costs of severe acute malnutrition alone are estimated to be 3.5 trillion USD. Evidence from a wide range of studies and experiments shows that this type of adversity in early life, especially during the first 1000 days of life, is having far-reaching impacts not only on individual survival but also on long-term health and social stability due to cardiovascular disease, cognitive impairment, behavioural disorders, loss of executive function and dementia. Left unchecked, undernutrition can potentially create an intergenerational, self-reinforcing pathogenic cycle of violence and behavioural disruption, which can spread through human displacement and migration, and exacerbated by climate change.

Eradicating childhood undernutrition, especially in low and medium income countries and populations at risk such as pastoralists and small islanders, is therefore fundamental to achieving the sustainable development goals of ending poverty and hunger, achieving food security and improved nutrition, ensuring healthy lives, and inclusive, equitable societies. 

Tackling the occurrence and long-term effects of childhood undernutrition requires policies and actions that range from public and maternal health to long-term treatment of mental health and behavioural disorders, cognitive impairment, restoration of degraded landscapes, creation of livelihoods and sustainable nutritious food production.

Beyond this, is the deeper question of whether is it possible to restore the cognitive loss that follows on from exposure to undernutrition. Can we develop new artificial intelligence and cognitive models based on social and epigenetic mechanisms to ameliorate the intergenerational impacts of undernutrition on human lives?


Environmental SDGs through the eyes of an insider … (more)

Environmental SDGs through the eyes of an insider


Solving many of the today’s challenges addressed by the Sustainable Development Goals will rely on how well the interconnectedness of the natural world and society is reflected in global, regional and national socio-economic policies and agreements. One area of particular concern is the link between environment and health.

It has been recently estimated that approximately 19 million premature deaths occur annually because of the way that natural resources are used to support human society, economic production and consumption patterns. The impacts include widespread environmental pollution, poor soil productivity, antimicrobial contamination, and long-term exposures to persistent organic pollutants, hazardous chemicals, radionuclides and heavy metals in our food, clothing and buildings. This behind the scenes look at the SDGs shows how the interlinkages between a healthy environment and human health developed within the global framework of indicators and highlights how making use of the synergies between many differing aims and objectives still remains elusive.