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CAROL ZAVALETA

About me

Medical surgeon, researcher and specialist in climate change, food security, intercultural health and the health of Indigenous populations. I have extensive experience in the development and management of scientific research, budget administration, study design, fieldwork and supervision, especially in health programs in the Indigenous communities of the Peruvian Amazon.

My interest in the development of health sciences has been present since the beginning of my career, when I started working in the Loreto jungle in Peru. I have been the leader of the team that conducted the first HIV studies in remote Indigenous populations of the Amazon in my country. I also set up the first Indigenous Health Unit (USI) at a Peruvian university, first at the Cayetano Heredia Foundation (2011), which subsequently became the Indigenous Health and Intercultural Health Unit (UCISI) at the Faculty of Public Health of the Peruvian Cayetano Heredia University (UPCH).

I left my country in 2012 to obtain a PhD in Health Geography at McGill University (Quebec, Canada), thanks to a scholarship which was awarded to me by the international program Indigenous Health and Climate Change Adaptation (SIACC). 

Upon my return to Peru in 2016, I continued my research in partnership with the University of Guelph in Canada, focusing on the cultural, social and environmental determinants of Amazonian Indigenous health.

 

My research allowed me to discover the critical importance linking biodiversity to the diet and health of Indigenous peoples. It demonstrates that deforestation, climate change and social exclusion might influence their health in a complex way, which makes it necessary to promote sustainable interventions by working and empowering local Indigenous populations.

 

As part of my postdoctoral research, I am currently investigating the impacts of food biodiversity on Indigenous nutrition and resilience that helps them adapt to extreme flooding that could potentially be related to climate change. This proposal is funded by the Wellcome Trust Foundation (London, United Kingdom) and is developed from the Peruvian Cayetano Heredia University (Lima, Peru). This position has given me the opportunity to communicate to the world the disparities and vulnerability of the Amazonian Indigenous population in light of COVID-19.

Education

PHD IN HEALTH GEOGRAPHY

McGill University, Canada

“Food insecurity and adaptation to climate change among the Indigenous Shawi peoples of Peru”

 

MASTER'S DEGREE IN TROPICAL AND INFECTIOUS DISEASE CONTROL

Alexander von Humboldt Institute of Tropical Medicine, Peruvian Cayetano Heredia University

 

MEDICAL SURGEON

Faculty of Medicine, Peruvian Cayetano Heredia University

Software Skills

Stata

WHO Anthro Plus

NVivo

 

Languages

Spanish (first language)

English (advanced level, written and spoken)

Shawi (basic level)

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