Kliniken &… Institute Heidelberger Institut… Staff Schwerdtke,…

Patricia Nayna Schwerdtle

Senior Researcher

Patricia (Trish) Nayna Schwerdtle is a global public health academic, with a background in epidemiology and health sociology. Her research area is broadly climate change and health, with a focus on 3 sub-areas: Climate change-related migration and health; Climate-resilient and environmentally sustainable health systems; Climate change and emergency, medical humanitarian assistance.

Trish is based at the Heidelberg Institute of Global Health (HIGH) and works in the Climate Change and Health AI Lab in the Interdisciplinary Centre for Scientific Computing (IWR). She is also a research affiliate with the Climate Action Accelerator (Geneva) and an affiliated researcher of the Hugo Observatory, at The University of Liège (Belgium). Trish is also part of the WHO Alliance for Action on Climate Change and Health (ATACH).

Trish was previously a clinical nurse specialist in Emergency/ICU and she worked with patients and communities in many settings in Australia, the Pacific, Sub Saharan Africa and Europe. With a humanitarian background, Trish was previously the Vice President of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Australia and has been affiliated with MSF since 2007.

Trish is committed to the principles of open inquiry, viewpoint diversity, and constructive disagreement to improve higher education and academic research. Her research vision is dedicated to producing robust and impactful science that makes a difference to real people, by working at the nexus between research and policy and research and practice.

2019-2023: Dr.Sci.Hum. Heidelberg University, Germany.
2015-2016: Post Graduate Diploma in Health Professions Education. Monash University, Australia.
2005-2007: Masters of International Public Health. Curtin University, Australia.
2000-2002: Post Graduate Diploma in Critical Care (Emergency). La Trobe University, Australia.
1997-1999: Bachelor of Health Promotion/Bachelor of Nursing. Deakin University, Australia.


  • Climate change, migration and health: An agent-based model in Burkina Faso.
  • Climate-resilient and environmentally sustainable health facilities (CRESH) in Chad and South Africa; The creation of a facility-based vulnerability, adaptation and capacity assessment tool and implementation science project.
  • The impacts of, and responses to climate change in humanitarian assistance.


DFG - Climate Change and health in Sub Saharan Africa. 2022 - 2026.


PhD Publications
• Nayna Schwerdtle P, Bowen K, McMichael C. (2018) ‘The health impacts of climate migration’. BMC Med.
• Nayna Schwerdtle P, McMichael C, Mank I, Sauerborn R, Danquah I, Bowen K. (2020) ‘Health and migration in the context of a changing climate: A systematic literature assessment. Environmental Research Letters’. 15 103006. 
• Nayna Schwerdtle P, Stockemer J, Bowen K, Sauerborn R, McMichael C and Danquah I (2020). A Meta-Synthesis of Policy Recommendations Regarding Human Mobility in the Context of Climate Change. Int J Environ Res Public Health; 17(24). 
• Nayna Schwerdtle, P., Baernighausen, K., Karim, S., Raihan, T. S., Selim, S., Baernighausen, T., & Danquah, I. (2021). A Risk Exchange: Health and Mobility in the Context of Climate and Environmental Change in Bangladesh—A Qualitative Study. Int J of Environ Res Public Health, 18(5). 

Highest Impact Publications
• Berrang-Ford, L., Siders, A. R., Lesnikowski, A., Fischer, A. P., Callaghan, M. W., Haddaway, N. R., Nayna Schwerdtle, P... & Abu, T. Z. (2021). A systematic global stocktake of evidence on human adaptation to climate change. Nature Climate Change, 1-12. 
• Scheelbeek, P. F., Dangour, A. D., Jarmul, S., Turner, G., Sietsma, A. J., Minx, J. C., Nayna Schwerdtle, P, ... & Berrang-Ford, L. (2021). The effects on public health of climate change adaptation responses: a systematic review of evidence from low-and middle-income countries. Environmental Research Letters, 16(7). 
• Guevara M, Devine C, Smiley S, Nayna Schwerdtle P, Bowen K, McMichael C, Voûte C, Okonta C, Mabaye F, Tremblay L, Zahid H, Luquero F, Willett B (2020) ‘The Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change: Policy brief on humanitarian impacts’. The Lancet Countdown on Climate Change and Health and Medecins Sans Frontieres. The Lancet. 
• Jochum B, Delfosse F, Guevara M, Collet O, Xue K, Nayna Schwerdtle P, Biorklund Belliveau L, Devine C, Ali I, Gueuning L, Tremblay L, McIver L, Lamb C, (2018) ‘MSF Briefing Paper on Climate Change, Health and Humanitarianism: Lancet Countdown’. 

Other Publications
• Lokotola, C. L., Mash, R., Naidoo, K., Mubangizi, V., Mofolo, N., & Nayna Schwerdtle, P. (2023). Climate change and primary health care in Africa: A scoping review. The Journal of Climate Change and Health, 100229. 
• Savolainen, J., Casey, P. J., McBrayer, J. P., & Nayna Schwerdtle, P. (2023). Positionality and Its Problems: Questioning the Value of Reflexivity Statements in Research. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 17456916221144988. 
• Bowen, K. J., Ebi, K. L., Woodward, A., McIver, L., Tukuitonga, C., & Nayna Schwerdtle, P. (2023). Human health and climate change in the Pacific: a review of current knowledge. Climate and Development, 1-15. 
• Hellowell, M., & Schwerdtle, P. N. (2022). Powerful ideas? Decolonisation and the future of global health. BMJ Global Health, 7(1). 
• Shaw, E., Walpole, S., McLean, M., Alvarez-Nieto, C., Barna, S., Bazin, K., Nayna Schwerdtle, P ... & Woollard, R. (2021). AMEE Consensus Statement: Planetary health and education for sustainable healthcare. Medical Teacher, 43(3), 272-286. 
• Wright, C. Y., Moore, C. E., Chersich, M., Hester, R., Nayna Schwerdtle, P., Mbayo, G. K., ... & Butler, C. D. (2021). A Transdisciplinary Approach to Address Climate Change Adaptation for Human Health and Well-Being in Africa. Int J Environ Res Public Health, 18(8), 4258. 
• Voûte, C., Guevara, M., & Schwerdtle, P. N. (2021). A failure of ambition on climate action will amplify humanitarian needs. British Medical Journal. BMJ; 375. 
• Turek-Hankins, L. L., de Perez, E. C., Scarpa, G., Ruiz-Diaz, R., Nayna Schwerdtle, P., Joe, E. T., ... & Mach, K. J. (2021). Climate change adaptation to extreme heat: A global systematic review of implemented action. Oxford Open Climate Change. 
• Sitati, A., Joe, E., Pentz, B., Grayson, C., Jaime, C., Gilmore, E., Nayna Schwerdtle, P … & de Perez, E. C. (2021). Climate change adaptation in conflict-affected countries: A systematic assessment of evidence. Discover Sustainability, 2(1), 1-15. 
• Guevara M, Devine C, Smiley S, Nayna Schwerdtle P (2021) ‘The Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change: Policy brief on humanitarian impacts’. The Lancet Countdown on Climate Change and Health and Medecins Sans Frontieres. The Lancet. 
• Vinke, K., Rottmann, S., Gornott, C., Zabre, Pascal., Nayna Schwerdtle, P., Sauerborn, R. (2021) Is migration an effective adaptation to climate-related agricultural distress in sub-Saharan Africa?. Popul Environ. 
• Brand G, Collins J, Bedi G, Bonnamy J, Barbour L, Ilangakoon C, Wotherspoon R, Simmons M, Kim M, Nayna Schwerdtle P (2020). ‘I teach it because it is the biggest threat to health’: Integrating sustainable healthcare into health professions education. Medical Teacher; 12:1. 
• Nayna Schwerdtle P, Irvine E, Brockington S, Devine C, Guevara M, Bowen KJ (2020). Calibrating to scale: a framework for humanitarian health organizations to anticipate, prevent, prepare for and manage climate-related health risks. Global Health 16, 54. 
• Nayna Schwerdtle P, Horton G, Kent F, Walker L, McLean M. ‘Education for sustainable healthcare: A transdisciplinary approach to transversal environmental threats’. (2019) Medical Teacher, 42:10. 
• Wright C, Godfrey L, Armiento G, Haywood LK, Roula I-L, Lyne K, Nayna Schwerdtle P, (2019) 
‘Environmental health and the circular economy in the Global South: A call for action’, WHO Bulletin. 
• Nayna Schwerdtle P, Bowen K, McMichael C, Sauerborn R (2019) ‘Human mobility in a warming world’, Travel Medicine. 

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Contact Information

E-Mail: patricia.schwerdtle(at)uni-heidelberg.de