South Africa

Exploring whether SRM can reduce risks to biodiversity and human health

Host institution

University of Cape Town

Grant year


Project summary

Climate change is expected to have a severe impact on biodiversity and health, yet there is limited knowledge about whether SRM – a proposed approach to reduce climate risk – would have on those key outcomes.  Dr Andreas Schwarz Meyer and his team from South Africa plan to fill an important gap in the research by conducting the first detailed overview – globally and for developing countries – of the temporal and spatial dynamics of biodiversity risks under future climate scenarios with and without SRM. This will include estimates of the future distribution of Aedes and Culex mosquitoes, which carry diseases such as dengue, Zika virus, chikungunya, Rift Valley fever, and yellow fever. The results will provide crucial new information for policymakers and other stakeholders in developing countries about the potential of SRM to influence climate change risks to people and ecosystems.

The team

University of Cape Town
Andreas Luiz Schwarz Meyer is a biodiversity scientist interested in understanding the impacts of climate on biodiversity at both the macroecological and macroevolutionary scales. He is currently a post-doctoral research fellow at the African Climate & Development Initiative (ACDI), University of Cape Town, South Africa.
University of Cape Town
Christopher Trisos directs the Climate Risk Lab at the University of Cape Town. His research combines climate, biodiversity, and social sciences to predict where and when climate change risks appear for people and ecosystems, and to better understand how societies can respond. Christopher was the Coordinating Lead Author on the IPCC 6thAR Working Group II Report (Chapter 9, Africa and cross-working group assessment on solar radiation modification), and is a member of the Core Writing Team of the IPCC Synthesis Report.
University of Cape Town
Romaric Odoulami is a junior researcher with the ACDI, which is an interdisciplinary research and training institute situated within the University of Cape Town. His research focuses on understanding climate change risks in Africa. He aims to improve African communities’ understanding and management of climate risks and to reduce their vulnerabilities by quantifying weather and climate extreme risks, their implications for human communities, and identifying ways to manage these risks. Romaric’s vision is to assess climate change risks from the perspective of those dealing with risk, by working collaboratively with practitioners to provide policymakers with robust tools to influence policy and practice.
University of Cape Town
Trisha Patel holds a Master’s degree in climate change and sustainable development from the ACDI-UCT. Her dissertation looked at the potential impact of Stratospheric Aerosol Geoengineering on projected temperature and precipitation extremes in South Africa giving her a solid foundation in SRM research. Aspects such as the implications of SRM for human health and the spread of diseases were also included in her research, with the impacts of SRM on biodiversity being identified as an area requiring further research.
Federal University of Rio de Janeiro
Mariana Vale is a Professor of Ecology at the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) in Brazil. She holds a PhD in ecology from Duke University, USA. She is a member of several international bodies, including: the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the International Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), and the Coalition for Pandemic Prevention. Prof. Vale works on biodiversity and ecosystem services in the tropics, with a conservation biogeography approach, and a focus on the impacts of climate change and deforestation in South America’s rainforests and on its fauna. With the onset of COVID-19, Prof. Vale began working on, and advocating for, pandemic prevention through environmental protection.

Photo credits

Banner: Circular cultivated areas along Crocodile River, Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission Credit: ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO.

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