Defra Fellowship: Natural Environments and Human Health

This Defra Research Fellowship aims to improve understanding of the ways different environments can relate to health and how this can be more effectively considered in future decision making.

There is now good evidence that natural environments can have a significant positive effect on health. Yet whilst the evidence of this positive relationship is compelling and persuasive – and as such has been recognised within existing UK health and environmental policy – it represents just one of many influences on decision making.

The fellowship will shed light on how decision makers might better use existing evidence of the multiple values of environments to human health. The research will incorporate an evidence review, assessment of the contribution of different forms of evidence to existing policy and practice, and the collaborative development of future research, policy and practice relating to the use of natural environments to promote health.

Supported by Defra and led by Dr Becca Lovell, the fellowship runs for 12 months from December 2014 and is hosted at the European Centre for Environment and Human Health.

Substantive periods of time will be spent working directly with Defra, Natural England, Natural Resources Wales and other departments and organisations. The outcomes of the work will contribute to Defra’s Evidence Strategy, specifically by helping to ensure that ‘Natural resources are managed sustainably and equitably to promote economic growth, public health and healthy ecosystems’.

For more information please contact Dr Becca Lovell at or