Global Systems

Climate change, air quality, infectious diseases, and oceans. None of those issues are limited to one country, or continent, they affect multiple countries, and are controlled by global dynamics. Global systems span wide in reach in terms of spatial scale and impact, and encompass connections between small and large. We focus on issues impacting the entire globe and associated natural and human-made systems.


Key areas include:

  • Population growth (e.g. urbanization)
  • Climate, e.g.: modeling the aerosols in our atmosphere
  • Oceans, e.g. the global genetic repertoire of Prochlorococcus
  • Global health, e.g. from regional pulse vaccination to global disease eradication
  • Logistics and supply chains, e.g. Ford’s Supply Chain: The Challenge
  • System dynamics, e.g. what malaria and dengue can tell us about Zika

Colette Heald
Modeling the Aerosols in our Atmosphere

Aerosols are a major component of air pollution. They alter the climate, impact ecosystem health, and lead to over 3 million premature deaths per year world-wide. Professor Heald’s group develops models that describe how these particles are produced.