Photo of Dr. Margot Parkes

Margot W. Parkes (MBChB, MAS, PhD)
Professor, School of Health Sciences and Northern Medical Program,
University of Northern British Columbia

Honorary Professor, Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Otago,
Dunedin, New Zealand

Canada Research Chair in Health, Ecosystems and Society (2009-2019).

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Born in Aoteaora/New Zealand, I have been fortunate to live, learn, live and work across Oceania, Europe and the Americas. In 2009, I came to UNBC as Canada Research Chair in Health, Ecosystems and Society and since then, I have mostly lived on unceded Lheidli T’enneh territory, in northern BC. I serve as professor in the UNBC School of Health Sciences, cross-appointed in the Northern Medical Program, alongside ongoing journeys as a daughter, sister, partner, friend, and relation. I prioritise working and learning with others – across regions, cultural contexts, disciplines and sectors – to foster better understanding of land, water and living systems (ecosystems) as foundational for health, equity and well-being; and to strengthen collaborations that reflect these connections. My research focuses on integrative, partnered and Indigenous-informed approaches, especially those that connect social and ecological influences on health within watersheds, and in rural, remote and Indigenous communities. My work draws on my background in clinical medicine, public health, human ecology, ecohealth, and life-experience: seeking to understand and challenge the harmful, colonizing, degenerative, and unjust patterns of cumulative impacts on environments, communities and health, while also prioritizing actions and approaches that amplify co-benefits for people, place, and planet. Working with others, I progress this work as co-lead of the Environment, Community, Health Observatory (ECHO) Network, focused on the cumulative health, equity and ecological challenges of resource extraction and climate change; as founding co-lead of the Canadian Community of Practice in Ecosystem Approaches to Health; as co-chair of  EDGE (Ecological Determinants Group on Education) in Canada; as a member of the Global Working Group on Waiora Planetary Health for the International Union of Health Promotion and Education; as honorary professor at the University of Otago, Aotearoa/NZ; as a member of the Editorial Advisory Group for The Lancet Planetary Health, and as co-lead of UNBC’s Health Research Institute.