That’s a good question, and one of the things that I’m looking at in my own research. I’m mostly interested in how pollution affects our aquatic environments – things like lakes, streams, and estuaries.
When pollution ends up in bodies of water like these, it can cause diseases for humans. This is an especially big problem in developing countries (places like Kenya, for example), where not everybody has access to clean drinking water.
My research uses flamingos as an indicator, to determine just how polluted their environments is – and then I’m trying to link this to human health, to see if I can make predictions about the risk to humans.
So that’s just one example of another consequence of polluted environments – that is very important for us, as humans, to consider.
One of the biggest challenges facing humans is the loss of species from Earth. This is occurring because of lots of humankind’s actions including climate change, removal of forests, building of larger cities, pollution, fishing and farming. We now know that keeping a diverse amount of species alive and in our surrounding habitats is really important for lots of reasons. These ecosystems that comprise lots of animals and plants, perform really important jobs for us that we often forget about. They provide natural food and resources for us, and also do important things like bees pollinating our plants or reed beds preventing flooding.
Its important that we learn more about our environment and how we might better live in harmony with the ecosystems nearby and use this information to improve our food production while conserving biodiversity.