Health and Environment International Trust

Climate Heat Impact Research Program (CHIRP)

The Health and Environment International Trust (HEIT) is based in Mapua, Nelson, New Zealand. It undertakes, collaborates in, and disseminates research into the direct impacts of climate conditions on human health with a particular focus on heat stress.  For example, field studies documenting exposures and effects have shown the serious implications of workplace heat stress for certain occupations and our analysis indicates that the work capacity and economic losses may be as high as several percent of GDP in the worst affected countries. We disseminate our research primarily through keynote speeches, academic journals, commissioned reports, book chapters, and a website. HEIT has been supported from government and academic agencies in Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, Norway, United Kingdom, USA, Singapore, as well as from The United Nations University, International Institute of Global Health (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) and the World Health Organization (Geneva). HEIT has cooperated with researchers and professionals in the countries mentioned above as well as in India, Thailand, Vietnam, China, Ethiopia, South Africa, Central America, and the European Union.

The research team includes experienced scientists from different backgrounds and with significant track records (see list of team members below; the number of publications by the team exceeds 500). The expertise includes: public health, occupational and environmental health, geographical information science, environmental modeling, exposure analysis, health risk and impact analysis, urban planning, development economics, physiology, physics, mathematics, and computer science. A major feature of the current work is the global Hothaps programme (High Occupational Temperature Health and Productivity Suppression), which has resulted in more than 100 publications on heat stress effects on working people, national and regional heat exposure maps, occupational health impact assessments, and related topics. A database and software called Hothaps-Soft has been developed and made available for other researchers.


ClimateCHIP Team


Tord Kjellstrom: Medical doctor (PhD) and Master of Engineering, originally from Sweden, but now mostly based in New Zealand. Forty years experience of university teaching and research in environmental and occupational health, with a focus on epidemiology, has produced more than 400 publications on exposure and health impacts of different hazards. His current work deals mainly with the occupational health impacts of climate change in different parts of the world.



Bruno Lemke: A PhD in Physics and 20+ years teaching of Human Physiology at Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology. This is an excellent background for researching heat stress that spans these two disciplines (plus others). His main role in the team is to do the early exploratory work to test out ideas using mainly the versatile spread sheet as a tool. If this early work produces worthwhile results, other members of the team pick up different aspects of the research either with GIS, the web or a database to develop these ideas further. He also does research on tools to measure heat stress and has developed a low cost (less than $100) heat stress meter based around the LASCAR data loggers. Recent work includes heat stress studies based on India, Australia, the USA and South East Asia. He has been involved in an extensive WHO report on “Global Assessment of the Health Impacts of Climate Change: Occupational Heat Stress”.

Chris Freyberg: MSc in Computer Science, BSc in Pure and Applied Mathematics. Chris started his career as a systems programmer and ended up in management. Now retired, he was previously Director of Information Technology (CIO) for Massey University, Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Information Systems, and Associate Dean (Quality and Accreditation) of the College of Business. Chris's current interests include conservation, geophysics, wireless sensor networks, and for this team his role is bulk computation on climate model data.

David Briggs: Emeritus professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Imperial College London. A geographer and environmental scientist by background, he has researched extensively in the areas of GIS, exposure assessment, environmental modelling, and health impact analysis for policy support. He was a regular consultant to WHO, the European Commission and national government agencies, and has compiled state of environment reports amd environmental health indicators for the European Community, Scotland, local authorities and a range of government agencies NGOs and IGOs. He was a co-ordinator or principal investigator on more than 60 research council, EU and industry funded projects and has published over 120 peer-reviewed papers and ca. 20 books and research monographs/reports. He retired in July 2009, and now lives in Nelson, New Zealand. 

Matthias Otto: Master of Engineering, originally from Germany, formerly Senior Lecturer of Information Communication Technology, now Volunteer Researcher at the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology, New Zealand.  He is currently working on software solutions and database asnd website development for the analysis and evaluation of climate data and its impact on human health.  The outputs generated by these software tools have been published and further publications are ongoing.



Lloyd Hasson: Bachelor of Science in Physics and Energy Studies and Graduate Diploma in Information Technology. He teaches Information Technology and Electronics Programming in a tertiary institute in China. He makes Android apps as a hobby and is currently assisting with further developments of the ClimateCHIP website, improving the user interface adding new features.



Francesco Brogi: Bachelor of Industrial Design at Univervisity of Florence. He works as freelance graphic and web designer (The wee design crew) in Ruby Bay, Nelson, New Zealand. He is currently serving the ClimateCHIP team to improve, develop and maintain the website.

Cactus Software Ltd: A local website hosting and support company located in Nelson, New Zealand, that has been supporting small businesses and NGOs in the region for decades.  After site hosting problems in terms of continuity, support and reliability became apparent, the kind and knowledgeable staff at Cactus have supported the team and this project on a voluntary basis for a successful migration to their hosting service.  In addition to what you see, Cactus is hosting a database with access for the affiliated researchers to all the data presented on this website and beyond.
Olivia Hyatt, Ryan Clarke, Lauren Lines, Elaine Asquit, Meryn Whitehead.