Habitat loss and human health - understanding the links between ecosystem degradation and infectious disease outbreaks

10 Nov 2020 18:00 - 19:30

As people around the world increasingly disturb natural habitats and convert them to agricultural and urban areas, the way that local communities interact with the animal species around them also changes. These processes can potentially drive greater contact between people and animals carrying viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens that can also infect people (e.g. Ebola, Plague, Monkey malaria , SARS-COV-2). Recent findings have shown that the large-scale and ongoing degradation of natural landscapes causes an increase in the number of host species that people can come into contact with and, in some instances, there is evidence that the number of disease cases increases as biodiversity is lost. Here, we examine the latest research in this area and show that there is a strong need to carefully manage future landscape change across the world, to protect biodiversity, and by doing so potentially limit human exposure to dangerous pathogens.


We are excited to bring back our Science and Conservation Events series in a new online format, please read the following information carefully:

  • This interactive online event will be livestreamed to our YouTube channel – we will provide a link here, along with tips and a Code of Conduct in due course, so please check back again soon.
  • The event will run from 6:00pm until 7:30pm, and will be recorded and available to watch on our YouTube channel afterwards. 
  • Each event will comprise of 3-4 presentations from experts in the topic, similar to our previous event series. 
  • There will be opportunities for questions from the audience to be answered after each presentation. We will ask audience members to submit their questions during the event via the comments section below the livestream on YouTube, and via email to scientific.events@zsl.org.
  • There is no charge for this event, and you do not need to enter any personal information or register in advance to watch the livestream (but please be aware you will need to log in to YouTube if you would like to ask a question in the comments section there).
  • If you would like to submit a question to the speakers before the event, please email it to scientific.events@zsl.org with the event title in the Subject line.


ZSL Wild Science Podcast

We will be creating a fascinating podcast episode featuring some of the speakers from this event, so keep an ear out in the following months! Listen to previous episodes from our award winning ZSL Wild Science podcast episodes produced by Dr Monika Bohm and Eleanor Darbey here


Further Information

  • For more information about ZSL Fellowship, please click here.
  • Sign up here to receive email updates about forthcoming ZSL and Conservation Events.
  • Read the latest blog posts from our scientists and conservationists here.
  • Follow us on Twitter @ZSLScience to hear about new publications from our researchers, upcoming events and podcast episode releases.