Planetary and Human Well-Being

MIT anthropologist Amy Moran-Thomas draws connections between human health and disease, climate change, and agriculture.

When anthropologist Amy Moran-Thomas first went to Belize to begin ethnographic research in 2008, she planned to chronicle human health concerns, focusing on diabetes. Then she learned that local diets contributing to such chronic conditions were changing, in part due to losses in ocean food webs, and kept hearing stories about how local plants were in trouble.

“Listening and trying to learn from what people were saying, over the years I came to see human health and planetary health as deeply interconnected,” says Moran-Thomas, the Morrison Hayes Career Development Associate Professor of Anthropology at MIT. “When I think of health now, I think of disarray in bigger ecosystems and infrastructures that’s also landing in human bodies.”

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