Epidemiologist and National Geographic Emerging Explorer Christopher Golden's research has revealed that Madagascar's reliance on bush meat is both ravaging the country's wildlife and impacting the health of the Malagasy people. Golden now dedicates his work to protecting the country's unique animals while promoting a healthy diet for the Malagasy.
Christopher Golden is studying the effects of global environmental trends on human health. His goal is to quantify how problems like wildlife depletion, land-use change, or climate change affect the well-being of people and then to link those results to actionable policies. Based at the Harvard School of Public Health, he was recently appointed director of the Wildlife Conservation Society's Health & Ecosystems: Analysis of Linkages (HEAL). Golden has conducted ecological and public health fieldwork in Madagascar since 1999. His study on wildlife hunting in that country proved people and wildlife were in peril and inspired efforts to replace hunting with chicken husbandry. Two HEAL projects Golden is involved with are quantifying how the global fishery collapse affects food security and worldwide malnutrition; and in a partnership with Facebook, he is studying the role of green spaces and national parks in providing mental health benefits, increasing happiness, and alleviating stress.