Climate-smart soils: testing soil health in Western Kenya

New open-source dataset and interactive web portal unlocks hidden potential for health and climate research

A team led by Principal Enterprise Fellow Dr Natalia-Tejedor-Garavito has recently completed a ground-breaking initiative aimed at improving our understanding of the impact of climate on human health. Through this Wellcome Trust-funded project the team developed an open-source geospatial dataset and interactive web portal that demonstrates the potential for combining health monitoring data with climate datasets.

The project supports the Wellcome Trust’s Climate and Health strategic program that seeks “a transformation in the scale of research into the impacts of climate change on human health”1. Understanding the interactions between climate and health is a priority area of research by the Wellcome Trust 2. To better facilitate this research, we produced a standardised and open-source geospatial dataset of selected Longitudinal Population Studies (LPS) sites which had previously lacked open geographic data or standardised site information.

We collected and organised LPS metadata and digitized site boundaries to produce a harmonised open-source geospatial dataset. This dataset allows researchers to streamline their analyses which, when combined with the new interactive web visualisation, facilitates an inclusive environment for innovative interdisciplinary collaboration.

The Interactive LPS Mapper Web Portal
The Wellcome Trust are delighted about the achievements of this project. LPS data are not widely used in climate and health research and the outputs of this project have the potential to reverse this and catalyse new and innovative research. This project has been a fantastic interdisciplinary collaboration and we look forward to seeing how this new dataset and portal are adopted by the wider health community
Portrait of Isabel Fletcher, Technology manager at the Wellcome Trust
Dr Isabel Fletcher
Technology Manager, Wellcome Trust

The accompanying report, “Piloting the collection of geographic information from Longitudinal Population Studies (LPS) for future
climate-health research”, details a comprehensive and reproduceable methodology with suggestions for further development of the dataset and use of LPS data in understanding health-climate interactions.

Main image: Climate-smart soils: testing soil health in Western Kenya, Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT, 2016 CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 DEED