Global Health and Biosphere Stewardship

Human health intimately depends on the living environment in which humans have evolved.

This research theme explores the connection between global human health and wellbeing and the human life support system – the biosphere.

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Health has been one of the most dynamic fields of study in recent years and integrating global environmental science  have led to significant innovations. In this theme we want to investigate some of the critical ways human health and well-being depend on the living environment, from the individual to the societal scale. 

The work centres around four topics:

New diseases and Agricultural pests

The Anthropocene, the age dominated by human influence on climate and environment, brings societal challenges like new diseases and pests due to land changes and global connectivity.  Global antimicrobial resistance - pathogens' growing immunity to antimicrobials, is escalating infections, and mortality risk. Emerging invasive species, such as agricultural pests, endanger food security and livelihoods by damaging crops.  Our research aims to understand and counter these phenomena.

Food systems

Food production is driving biodiversity loss, marine resource overexploitation, and eutrophication. Our research delves into the Global Production Ecosystem (GPE), an interconnected network shaping much of the biosphere, focusing on Blue Food systems - aquatic-based food from marine and freshwater environments.  We are also active within the Seafood Business for Ocean Stewardship (SeaBOS) initiative, where researchers collaborates with major seafood companies to transform the seafood sector sustainably. 


How does biodiversity affect human well-being and health, and at what scales can these contributions be measured? This is the central question of this focus area, with an extra emphasis on child health. We combine research on biodiversity in relationship to ecosystem services, earth system processes and human well-being. We aim to deliver a systematic map for strategic prioritisation of future research and policy. 

Novel entities

The term 'novel entities' refers to new substances, or new forms of existing substances, and modified life forms that potentially can alter the Earth's functioning. These include chemicals and biotechnology that profoundly affect our environment and health. We explore how novel entities can push our planet beyond its safe operating space and how marine genetic resources and biotechnology can impact marine ecosystems and how they can be used sustainably.



Retail for sustainability
Sustainable seafood in Japan

Retail for sustainability

The overarching goal of this project is to leverage the unrealized potential of retailers in enabling the shift to sustainable production.

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Retail for sustainability
Sustainable seafood in Japan

Sustainable seafood in Japan

This project investigates sustainability schemes in the seafood sector can be tailored to better suit different countries, using Japan as an Asian case study.

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Get in touch


Peter Søgaard Jørgensen

Deputy Executive Director, PhD

We study the links between biosphere and societies for a thriving planet and healthy people.

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