sari kovats london school of hygiene and tropical medicine

sari kovats london school of hygiene and tropical medicine

Dr Sari Kovats


Sari Kovats is an Associate Professor in the Department of Social and Environmental Research in the Faculty of Public Health and Policy. She has been actively researching the effects of weather and climate on human health for more than 15 years and has published widely on this topic; including 60 peer-reviewed journal papers and more than 20 book chapters. Her particular areas of interest include health impact assessment of climate change and epidemiological studies of the effects of climate, weather and weather events in urban and rural populations.

Sari is Director of the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit (NIHR HPRU) in Environmental Change and Health, led by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine in partnership with Public Health England (PHE). It is an interdisciplinary research collaboration involving the European Centre for Environment and Human Health at the University of Exeter, the UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering, and the Met Office. The HPRU will identify the emerging health effects of large scale changes in our environment and evaluate public health responses for addressing climate change.

Sari has been employed by LSHTM since 1994 when she joined the Dept of Epidemiology and Population Health to work as a research assistant on one of the first comprehensive books on climate change and health: McMichael AJ, Haines A, Slooff R, and Kovats S, eds. Climate Change and Human Health: an assessment prepared by a Task Group on behalf of the World Health Organization, the World Meteorological Organization, and the United Nations Environment Programme. Geneva, WHO, 1996 [WHO/EHG/96.7].  In 1997, Sari was promoted to Research Fellow and in 2003 to Lecturer, and in 2010 to Senior Lecturer. Sari has a Masters Degree in Social Policy from the SouthBank University in London and completed a part-time PhD in epidemiology in 2010 at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Sari was the co-Coordinating Lead Author for Chapter 23 on Europe in the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, published in 2014. Sari also co-authored the evidence review of the UK Second Climate Change Risk Assessment (Chapter 5: People and the Built Environment) published in 2016.


Faculty of Public Health and Policy
Department of Social and Environmental Health Research


Sari teaches postgraduates in the field of environment, health and sustainable development. Sari organises the Module “Environment, Health and Sustainable Development” for the in-house MSc Public Health at LSHTM. She tutors students on the MSc Public Health course and supervises two PhD students. Sari has given lectures on climate and health to various academic institutions. Sari co-edited the book “Environment, Health and Sustainable Development” to be published by Open University Press in 2017.


Current Research Projects include

  • NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Environmental Change and Health [2014-2019]
  • IMPRESSIONS – the impacts of high end climate scenarios in Europe, funded by the European Commission [2013-2017]
  • Limits to Habitability Under Climate Change, funded by the Wellcome Trust, in collaboration with the Tyndall Centre, UEA [2016-2017]


Research Area
Climate change
Health inequalities
Public health
Systematic reviews
Environmental Health
Natural disasters

Selected Publications

Modelling the influences of climate change-associated sea-level rise and socioeconomic development on future storm surge mortality
Lloyd, S.J.; Kovats, R.S.; Chalabi, Z.; Brown, S.; Nicholls, R.J.
Climatic Change
Health Protection and Heatwaves: The need for Systematic Reviews.
Kovats, S. ; Bickler, G. ;
Cochrane Database Syst Rev
Global health and environmental change: linking research and policy
Kovats, R.S.; Butler, C.D.
Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability
The effect of high temperatures on cause-specific mortality in England and Wales.
Gasparrini, A.; Armstrong, B.; Kovats, S.; Wilkinson, P.;
Occup Environ Med
Climate Change, Crop Yields, and Undernutrition: Development of a Model to Quantify the Impact of Climate Scenarios on Child Undernutrition.
Lloyd, S.J.; Kovats, R.S.; Chalabi, Z.;
Environ Health Perspect
Heat Stress and Public Health: A Critical Review.
Kovats, R.S.; Hajat, S.;
Annu Rev Public Health
Climate, climate change and human health in Asian cities
Kovats, RS.; Akhtar, R.
Environment and Urbanization