Michael H Depledge

Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust, Truro, England, United Kingdom

Are you Michael H Depledge?

Claim your profile

Publications (242)986.49 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Exposure to natural environments can have calming and stress-reducing effects on humans. Moreover, previous studies suggest that these benefits may be greater in areas with higher species richness. Our study took advantage of a “natural experiment” to examine people’s behavioral, physiological, and psychological reactions to increases in levels of marine biota in a large aquarium exhibit during three stages of restocking: Unstocked, Partially stocked, and Fully stocked. We found that increased biota levels were associated with longer spontaneous viewing of the exhibit, greater reductions in heart rate, greater increases in self-reported mood, and higher interest. We suggest that higher biota levels, even in managed settings, may be associated with important well-being and health benefits, particularly for individuals not able to access the natural analogues of managed environments.
    Environment and Behavior 07/2015; DOI:10.1177/0013916515597512 · 1.27 Impact Factor
  • Philip L Staddon · Michael H Depledge
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Addressing climate change and meeting our energy needs are two of the greatest challenges that societies face. Many obstacles hinder progress. The search for inexpensive and plentiful energy supplies appears to be at odds with climate change mitigation commitments. The desire for short-term (next 30 years) energy security has re-invigorated investment in fossil fuel technologies and led to a North American boom in hydraulic fracturing for shale gas (fracking). However, fracking contributes both directly and indirectly to greenhouse gas emissions, further driving anthropogenic climate change. Here we consider the implications and conclude that the expansion of fracking is incompatible with climate change mitigation.
    Journal of Environmental Science and Technology 07/2015; 49(14). DOI:10.1021/acs.est.5b02441
  • Philip L Staddon · michael depledge
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Addressing climate change and meeting our energy needs are two of the greatest challenges that societies face. Many obstacles hinder progress. The search for inexpensive and plentiful energy supplies appears to be at odds with climate change mitigation commitments. The desire for short-term (next 30 years) energy security has re-invigorated investment in fossil fuel technologies and led to a North American boom in hydraulic fracturing for shale gas (fracking). However, fracking contributes both directly and indirectly to greenhouse gas emissions, further driving anthropogenic climate change. Here we consider the implications and conclude that the expansion of fracking is incompatible with climate change mitigation.
    Environmental Science & Technology 07/2015; · 5.48 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Many studies suggest that exposure to natural environments ('greenspace') enhances human health and wellbeing. Benefits potentially arise via several mechanisms including stress reduction, opportunity and motivation for physical activity, and reduced air pollution exposure. However, the evidence is mixed and sometimes inconclusive. One explanation may be that "greenspace" is typically treated as a homogenous environment type. However, recent research has revealed that different types and qualities of natural environments may influence health and wellbeing to different extents. This ecological study explores this issue further using data on land cover type, bird species richness, water quality and protected or designated status to create small-area environmental indicators across Great Britain. Associations between these indicators and age/sex standardised prevalence of both good and bad health from the 2011 Census were assessed using linear regression models. Models were adjusted for indicators of socio-economic deprivation and rurality, and also investigated effect modification by these contextual characteristics. Positive associations were observed between good health prevalence and the density of the greenspace types, "broadleaf woodland", "arable and horticulture", "improved grassland", "saltwater" and "coastal", after adjusting for potential confounders. Inverse associations with bad health prevalence were observed for the same greenspace types, with the exception of "saltwater". Land cover diversity and density of protected/designated areas were also associated with good and bad health in the predicted manner. Bird species richness (an indicator of local biodiversity) was only associated with good health prevalence. Surface water quality, an indicator of general local environmental condition, was associated with good and bad health prevalence contrary to the manner expected, with poorer water quality associated with better population health. Effect modification by income deprivation and urban/rural status was observed for several of the indicators. The findings indicate that the type, quality and context of 'greenspace' should be considered in the assessment of relationships between greenspace and human health and wellbeing. Opportunities exist to further integrate approaches from ecosystem services and public health perspectives to maximise opportunities to inform policies for health and environmental improvement and protection.
    International Journal of Health Geographics 04/2015; 14(1):17. DOI:10.1186/s12942-015-0009-5 · 2.62 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The United States shale gas boom has precipitated global interest in the development of unconventional oil and gas resources. Recently, government ministers in the United Kingdom started granting licenses that will enable companies to begin initial exploration for shale gas. Meanwhile, concern is increasing among the scientific community about the potential impacts of shale gas and other types of unconventional natural gas development (UGD) on human health and the environment. Although significant data gaps remain, there has been a surge in the number of articles appearing in the scientific literature, nearly three-quarters of which has been published since the beginning of 2013. Important lessons can be drawn from the UGD experience in the United States. Here we explore these considerations and argue that shale gas development policies in the UK and elsewhere should be informed by empirical evidence generated on environmental, public health, and social risks. Additionally, policy decisions should take into account the measured effectiveness of harm reduction strategies as opposed to hypothetical scenarios and purported best practices that lack empirical support.
    Science of The Total Environment 04/2015; 512. DOI:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.01.004 · 4.10 Impact Factor
  • Source
    Philip L Staddon · Michael Depledge
    The Human and Environmental Impact of Fracking: How Fracturing Shale for Gas Affects Us and Our World, Edited by M Finkel, 03/2015: chapter Implications of Unconventional Gas Extraction on Climate Change: a Global Perspective; Praeger.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Increases in gross domestic product (GDP) beyond a threshold of basic needs do not lead to further increases in well-being. An explanation is that material consumption (MC) also results in negative health externalities. We assess how these externalities influence six factors critical for well-being: (i) healthy food; (ii) active body; (iii) healthy mind; (iv) community links; (v) contact with nature; and (vi) attachment to possessions. If environmentally sustainable consumption (ESC) were increasingly substituted for MC, thus improving well-being and stocks of natural and social capital, and sustainable behaviours involving non-material consumption (SBs-NMC) became more prevalent, then well-being would increase regardless of levels of GDP. In the UK, the individualised annual health costs of negative consumption externalities (NCEs) currently amount to £62 billion for the National Health Service, and £184 billion for the economy (for mental ill-health, dementia, obesity, physical inactivity, diabetes, loneliness and cardiovascular disease). A dividend is available if substitution by ESC and SBs-NMC could limit the prevalence of these conditions.
    International Journal of Environmental Health Research 02/2015; DOI:10.1080/09603123.2015.1007841 · 1.51 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This paper presents the results of our sixth annual horizon scan, which aims to identify phenomena that may have substantial effects on the global environment, but are not widely known or well understood. A group of professional horizon scanners, researchers, practitioners, and a journalist identified 15 topics via an iterative, Delphi-like process. The topics include a novel class of insecticide compounds, legalisation of recreational drugs, and the emergence of a new ecosystem associated with ice retreat in the Antarctic.
    Trends in Ecology & Evolution 01/2015; 30(1):17-24. DOI:10.1016/j.tree.2014.11.002 · 15.35 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Anthropogenic climate change is progressively transforming the environment despite political and technological attempts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to tackle global warming. Here we propose that greater insight and understanding of the health-related impacts of climate change can be gained by integrating the positivist approaches used in public health and epidemiology, with holistic social science perspectives on health in which the concept of ‘wellbeing’ is more explicitly recognised. Such an approach enables us to acknowledge and explore a wide range of more subtle, yet important health-related outcomes of climate change. At the same time, incorporating notions of wellbeing enables recognition of both the health co-benefits and dis-benefits of climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies across different population groups and geographical contexts. The paper recommends that future adaptation and mitigation policies seek to ensure that benefits are available for all since current evidence suggests that they are spatially and socially differentiated, and their accessibility is dependent on a range of contextually specific socio-cultural factors.
    Environmental Science & Policy 12/2014; 44:271–278. DOI:10.1016/j.envsci.2014.08.011 · 3.51 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background Recent findings suggest that individuals living near the coast are healthier than those living inland. Here we investigated whether this may be related to higher levels of physical activity among coastal dwellers in England, arising in part as a result of more visits to outdoor coastal settings. Method Participants (n = 183,755) were drawn from Natural England’s Monitor of Engagement with the Natural Environment Survey (2009-2012). Analyses were based on self-reported physical activity for leisure and transport. Results A small, but significant coastal proximity gradient was seen for the likelihood of achieving recommended guidelines of physical activity a week after adjusting for relevant area and individual level controls. This effect was statistically mediated by the likelihood of having visited the coast in the last seven days. Stratification by region, however, suggested that while the main effect was relatively strong for west coast regions, it was not significant for those in the east. Conclusions In general, our findings replicate and extend work from Australia and New Zealand. Further work is needed to explain the marked regional differences in the relationship between coastal proximity and physical activity in England to better understand the coast’s potential role as a public health resource.
    Preventive Medicine 10/2014; 69. DOI:10.1016/j.ypmed.2014.09.016 · 2.93 Impact Factor
  • Source
    F. Galgani · F. Claro · M. Depledge · C. Fossi
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In its decision (2010/477/EU) relating to the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD, 2008/56/EC), the European Commission identified the following points as focuses for monitoring: (i) 10.1.1: Trends in the amount, source and composition of litter washed ashore and/or deposited on coastlines, (ii) 10.1.2: Trends in the amount and composition of litter in the water column and accumulation on the sea floor, (iii) 10.1.3: Trends in the amount, distribution and composition of micro-particles (mainly microplastics), and (iv) 10.2.1 Trends in the amount and composition of litter ingested by marine animals. Monitoring the impacts of litter will be considered further in 2014. At that time, the strategy will be discussed in the context of the Mediterranean Sea, providing information on constraints, protocols, existing harm and research needed to support monitoring efforts. The definition of targets and acceptable levels of harm must take all factors into account, whether entanglement, ingestion, the transport and release of pollutants, the transport of alien species and socio-economic impacts. It must also reflect on the practical deployment of "ingestion" measures (10.2.1). The analysis of existing data will reveal the potential and suitability of some higher trophic level organisms (fish, turtles, birds and mammals) for monitoring the adverse effects of litter. Sea turtles appear to be useful indicator species, but the definition of an ecological quality objective is still needed, as well as research on alternative potential indicator species.
    Marine environmental research 09/2014; 100. DOI:10.1016/j.marenvres.2014.02.003 · 2.33 Impact Factor
  • Source
    Philip L Staddon · hugh montgomery · michael depledge
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: opinion & comment Reply to 'A note of caution about the excess winter deaths measure' Staddon et al. reply—Hajat and Kovats 1 question our conclusion that climate change may no longer be assumed to bring a health dividend due to the warming of winters 2 . We accept that the excess winter deaths (EWDs) measure is not perfect; more work is required to develop better temperature and health metrics relevant to seasons and years (rather than extrapolating from daily observations) as has been done for air pollution 3 . However, we do not agree that the EWDs measure is so flawed as to prevent its use in drawing conclusions about relationships between weather and mortality. Cold-related deaths that occur outside the December–March period are irrelevant because our study has focussed on winter deaths. We did this specifically because winter deaths have been predicted to fall as winters warm. The Health Protection Agency stated that "the number of cold-related deaths will likely decrease due to milder winters" 4 . The UK Climate Change Risk Assessment 5 concluded that "increased winter temperatures may lead to decreased levels of mortality and morbidity due to cold". The estimate made by Hajat and Kovats that 70% of all cold-related deaths occur on days warmer than the 5°C threshold is misleading: this conclusion is based on the assumption that deaths occurring on days below 20°C are cold-related and deaths on days above 20°C are warm-related 6
    Nature Climate Change 07/2014; 4:648. DOI:10.1038/nclimate2304 · 15.30 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Water is often a feature of preferred landscapes. Three experimental studies explored possible boundary conditions and extensions of this finding. Study 1 examined the role of weather and found that landscape preferences were moderated by climatic conditions. While waterscape preferences were significantly higher under clement than inclement conditions, urban/built landscape preferences were unaffected. Studies 2a and 2b explored reactions to sub-aquatic compared to above the waterline views, using colour and monochrome images respectively. In both cases, reactions to sub-aquatic scenes were broadly similar to those of green space. Findings are discussed in terms of possible evolutionary, cultural and personal mechanisms.
    Landscape Research 07/2014; 39(4). DOI:10.1080/01426397.2012.759919 · 0.68 Impact Factor
  • Maria Cristina Fossi · Michael H Depledge
    Marine Environmental Research 06/2014; 100. DOI:10.1016/j.marenvres.2014.06.001 · 2.33 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The European Marine Board recently published a position paper on linking oceans and human health as a strategic research priority for Europe. With this position paper as a reference, the March 2014 Cornwall Oceans and Human Health Workshop brought together key scientists, policy makers, funders, business, and non governmental organisations from Europe and the US to review the recent interdisciplinary and cutting edge research in oceans and human health specifically the growing evidence of the impacts of oceans and seas on human health and wellbeing (and the effects of humans on the oceans). These impacts are a complex mixture of negative influences (e.g. from climate change and extreme weather to harmful algal blooms and chemical pollution) and beneficial factors (e.g. from natural products including seafood to marine renewable energy and wellbeing from interactions with coastal environments). Integrated approaches across disciplines, institutions, and nations in science and policy are needed to protect both the oceans and human health and wellbeing now and in the future.
    Marine Environmental Research 06/2014; 99. DOI:10.1016/j.marenvres.2014.05.010 · 2.33 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of all the information (the "Content") contained in the publications on our platform. However, Taylor & Francis, our agents, and our licensors make no representations or warranties whatsoever as to the accuracy, completeness, or suitability for any purpose of the Content. Any opinions and views expressed in this publication are the opinions and views of the authors, and are not the views of or endorsed by Taylor & Francis. The accuracy of the Content should not be relied upon and should be independently verified with primary sources of information. Taylor and Francis shall not be liable for any losses, actions, claims, proceedings, demands, costs, expenses, damages, and other liabilities whatsoever or howsoever caused arising directly or indirectly in connection with, in relation to or arising out of the use of the Content. This article may be used for research, teaching, and private study purposes. Any substantial or systematic reproduction, redistribution, reselling, loan, sub-licensing, systematic supply, or distribution in any form to anyone is expressly forbidden. Terms & Conditions of access and use can be found at
    Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health Part B 03/2014; 171:1-20856361. · 5.15 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Recent ecosystem service models have placed biodiversity as a central factor in the processes that link the natural environment to health. While it is recognized that disturbed ecosystems might negatively affect human well-being, it is not clear whether biodiversity is related to or can promote "good" human health and well-being. The aim of this study was to systematically identify, summarize, and synthesize research that had examined whether biodiverse environments are health promoting. The objectives were twofold: (1) to map the interdisciplinary field of enquiry and (2) to assess whether current evidence enables us to characterize the relationship. Due to the heterogeneity of available evidence a narrative synthesis approach was used, which is textual rather than statistical. Extensive searches identified 17 papers that met the inclusion criteria: 15 quantitative and 2 qualitative. The evidence was varied in disciplinary origin, with authors approaching the question using different study designs and methods, and conceptualizations of biodiversity, health, and well-being. There is some evidence to suggest that biodiverse natural environments promote better health through exposure to pleasant environments or the encouragement of health-promoting behaviors. There was also evidence of inverse relationships, particularly at a larger scale (global analyses). However, overall the evidence is inconclusive and fails to identify a specific role for biodiversity in the promotion of better health. High-quality interdisciplinary research is needed to produce a more reliable evidence base. Of particular importance is identifying the specific ecosystem services, goods, and processes through which biodiversity may generate good health and well-being.
    Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health Part B 03/2014; 17(1):1-20. DOI:10.1080/10937404.2013.856361 · 5.15 Impact Factor
  • Source
    The Lancet 03/2014; 383(9919):757-8. DOI:10.1016/S0140-6736(13)62700-2 · 45.22 Impact Factor
  • Source
    Philip L Staddon · Hugh E Montgomery · Michael H Depledge
  • Source
    Philip L Staddon · Hugh E Montgomery · Michael H Depledge
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: It is widely assumed by policymakers and health professionals that the harmful health impacts of anthropogenic climate change1-3 will be partially offset by a decline in excess winter deaths (EWDs) in temperate countries, as winters warm.4-6 Recent UK government reports state that winter warming will decrease EWDs.7-8 Over the past few decades however, the UK and other temperate countries have simultaneously experienced better housing, improved health care, higher incomes, and greater awareness of the risks of cold. The link between winter temperatures and EWDs may therefore no longer be as strong as previously. Here we report on the key drivers which underlie year-to-year variations in EWDs. We found that the association of year-to-year variation in EWDs with the number of cold days in winter (< 5ºC), evident until the mid 1970s, has disappeared, leaving only the incidence of influenza-like illnesses to explain any of the year-to-year variation in EWDs in the last decade. Whilst excess winter deaths evidently do exist, winter cold severity no longer predicts the numbers affected. We conclude that no evidence exists that EWDs in England and Wales will fall if winters warm with climate change. These findings have important implications for climate change health adaptation policies.
    Nature Climate Change 02/2014; 4(3). DOI:10.1038/NCLIMATE2121 · 15.30 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

8k Citations
986.49 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2011–2015
    • Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust
      Truro, England, United Kingdom
  • 2008–2015
    • University of Exeter
      • Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry
      Exeter, England, United Kingdom
  • 2010–2011
    • Catholic University of Louvain
      Лувен-ла-Нев, Wallonia, Belgium
  • 2009–2010
    • The Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry
      Plymouth, England, United Kingdom
  • 1995–2009
    • Plymouth Marine Laboratory
      Plymouth, England, United Kingdom
    • Natural Environment Research Council
      Swindon, England, United Kingdom
  • 1994–2009
    • University of Plymouth
      • School of Biological Sciences
      Plymouth, ENG, United Kingdom
  • 2006
    • University of Massachusetts Boston
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2004–2006
    • Environment Agency UK
      Rotherdam, England, United Kingdom
    • VU University Amsterdam
      • Department of Animal Ecology
      Amsterdamo, North Holland, Netherlands
  • 1998
    • University of Reading
      • Department of Animal Science
      Reading, England, United Kingdom
  • 1988–1996
    • Odense University Hospital
      • Molecular biology laboratory
      Odense, South Denmark, Denmark
  • 1984–1987
    • The University of Hong Kong
      • Department of Physiology
      Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  • 1984–1985
    • Westfield State College
      Westfield, Massachusetts, United States