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The European Centre for Environment and Human Health

The European Centre for Environment and Human Health

Based in the Peter Lanyon building at the University of Exeter’s Penryn Campus in Cornwall, the European Centre for Environment and Human Health conducts world-class research into the complex connections between the environment and health.

As part of the University of Exeter Medical School, our research falls into two major areas:

  • emerging threats to health and wellbeing posed by the environment, and
  • the health and wellbeing benefits the natural environment can provide.

Our aim is to produce research that will contribute to the economy of the South West and impact policy at a national and international level.

The Centre focuses on the interconnections between the environment, human health and wellbeing, specifically on emerging threats from climate change, chemical pollutants (including pharmaceuticals and nanomaterials) and antibiotic-resistant pathogens. It also explores the benefits to health and wellbeing from time spent in the natural environment, particularly in relation to coastal areas.


We’re home to experts from diverse disciplines that include epidemiology, policy analysis, systematic reviews, health economics, psychology and microbiology. Our academics form a team that is encouraged to break from traditional silos; conceiving and undertaking projects that deliberately cross disciplinary boundaries. The Centre also shares laboratories with the Environment and Sustainability Institute at the University’s Penryn Campus.

National and international collaborations with business, government and the third sector are key to the Centre’s work. Through collaborative research, PhD projects, forums and other mechanisms, the Centre’s academics are working with enterprise to produce findings that will have local and global applications.

Centre staff work closely with leading research centres across Europe, in North America, India, and China; we also serve as experts on national and international advisory bodies such as the World Health Organisation and publish extensively in high-impact internationally peer reviewed journals.

Placing business needs and expertise at the heart of our research is fundamental to our collaborative philosophy. Through joint studies, PhD projects, forums and interest groups, we are working with a range of organisations to ensure our research is informed by local issues and real world challenges.


The Centre was launched in May 2011 with support from the European Regional Development Fund and European Social Fund Convergence programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

In January 2013, the Centre secured a second phase of funding from the European Regional Development Fund. This crucial achievement marked our progress from a fledgling research centre to a fully functioning academic hub, and recognised the huge efforts and achievements of everyone involved in our formation.

Contact Us

Phone: +44 (0) 1326 371859

European Regional Development Fund and European Social Fund Convergence programme logos