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Faculty of Health

Butler, Prof Colin

Professor Colin Butler

ARC Future Fellow, Public Health
Faculty of Health

Telephone: (02) 6201 2194
Facsimile: (02) 6201 5999

  • Summary
  • Qualifications
  • Publications
  • Grants & Awards


Colin is an Australian Research Council Future Fellow, the topic of which is "Health and sustainability: Australia in a global context". Colin is especially interested in future global health, including the consequences of global environmental changes such as to the climate, ecosystems, energy sources and resource depletion. He has published widely, and given many invited talks on topics including food security, population growth, ecology and infectious diseases. Collaborations include with the World Health Organization, the Special Programme on Tropical Diseases Research and the World Medical Association. He is co-founder of the NGO BODHI.

Research Interests

  • Sustainability
  • Human health
  • Human rights

Qualifications Obtained

  • BMedSci(Hons) (Newcastle, 1984)
  • BMed (Newcastle, 1987)
  • DTM&H (Royal College of Physicians, 1990)
  • MSc (London, 1997)
  • PhD (ANU, 2002) - Topic: Inequality and Sustainability

Recent Publications

  • Butler CD. (2012) Infectious disease emergence and global change: thinking systemically in a shrinking world. Infectious Diseases of Poverty 1:5
  • Hanigan, I.C., Butler, C.D., Kokic, P.N., & Hutchinson, M.F. (2012) Suicide and drought in New South Wales, Australia, 1970-2007. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (USA) 109: 13950-13955.
  • Jeggo M., Butler C.D., Fang J., Weinstein P., Daszak P. (2012) EcoHealth and the Influenza A/H5N1 dual use issue. EcoHealth. 9: 1-3
    Kovats R.S., Butler C.D. (2012), Global health and the global environment: linking research and policy Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 4: 44-50.
  • Butler C.D., Weinstein P. (2011) Global ecology, global health, ecohealth. EcoHealth 8(3): 253-254 DOI: 10.1007/s10393-011-0735-5
  • McMichael A.J. and Butler C.D. (2011) Promoting global population health while constraining the environmental footprint Annual Review of Public Health 32: 179-197.
  • Butler C.D. (2011) A stormy future for population health in Southeast Asia? Lancet 377: 885-886.
  • Butler C.D. (2010) Climate change, crop yields and the future SCN News 38 18-25.
  • Butler C.D. (2010) Lightening our carbon footprint: economics, norms and doctors Medical Journal of Australia (editorial) 192:485-486.
  • Butler C.D., Harley D. (2010) Primary, secondary and tertiary effects of the eco-climate crisis: the medical response. Postgraduate Medical Journal 86:230-234
  • Butler C.D. (2010) The climate crisis, global health, and the medical response. World Medical Journal 56(2):56-58.
  • Butler C.D. and McMichael A.J. (2010) Population health: where demography, environment and equity converge, Journal of Public Health 32: 157-158.
  • Butler C.D. (2009) Food Security in the Asia-Pacific: Malthus, limits and environmental challenges Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition 18(4) 577-584.
  • Butler C.D. (2009) Food Security in the Asia-Pacific: climate change, phosphorus, ozone and other environmental challenges Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition 18(4) 590-597.
  • Bryant L, Carver L, Butler C.D., Anage A. (2009) Climate change and family planning: least developed countries define the agenda. Bulletin of the World Health Organisation 87: 852-857.
  • Butler C.D. (2008): Do we face a third revolution in human history? If so, how will public health respond? (commentary) Journal of Public Health 30: 364-365.
  • Butler C.D. (2008): Sustainable health for all by the year 2100? International Journal of Public Health 53:1-2
  • Butler C.D. (2008): Environmental change, injustice and sustainability. Journal of Bioethical Enquiry 5(1): 11-19.
  • McMichael A.J., Powles J., Butler C.D. and Uauy R. (2007) Food, livestock production, energy, climate change and health. Lancet 370: 1253-1263.

Recent chapters (selected)

  • Butler C.D. and McMichael A.J.(In press): Environmental health. In: Social Injustice and Public Health (Editors: B.S. Levy, V.W. Sidel) Oxford: Oxford University Press, second edition.
  • Butler C.D. Hanna, E.G.(In press): Ecosystems,biodiversity, climate change and health. In: Climate Vulnerability, Vol 1 Vulnerability of Human Health to Climate, (Editors: R Pielke et al,) Elsevier
  • Butler C.D. (In press) Towards Buddhist economics, building on EF Schumacher. In Volume 5 Culture and Civilization (Ed: G. Ricci) Transaction Publishers
  • Butler C.D. (In press) Health, population and climate change: In Australia 2050, (Editors: M Raupach et al)Australian Academy of Science.
  • Butler C.D., Soskolne C.L., (2013) Ecosystems – stable and sustainable. In: Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine, Springer, Edited by M.D. Gellman, J.R. Turner Vol 5, 649-654.
  • Smith K.R., Balakrishnan K., Butler C.D., Chafe Z., Fairlie I., Kinney P., Kjellstrom T., Mauzerall D., McKone T., McMichael A.J., Schneider M., Wilkinson P. (2012): Energy and health. In Global Energy Assessment: Toward a Sustainable Future. (Eds: L Gomez-Echeverri, et al),IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria and Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA., pp 255-324.
  • Butler C.D. (2012) Population Trends and the Environment. Praeger Handbook of Environmental Health. (Editor R. H. Friis), Westport, CT: Praegar, pp 215-231.
  • Butler C.D. (2012) Malnutrition. In: Juergensmeyer M, Anheier HK, editors. Encyclopedia of Global Studies Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, pp 1095-1100.
  • Butler C.D. Powles J., McMichael A.J.: (2012) Human Disease: Effects of Economic Development. In: Encyclopedia of Life Sciences. (Editor J. Hillier): John Wiley & Sons; eLS 2012,: Chichester [DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0003292.pub2]
  • Butler C.D. Dixon J. (2012) Plentiful food. Nutritious food? In: Food Systems Failure: The Global Food Crisis and the Future of Agriculture. Editor: C. Rosin, P. Stock, H. Campbell, London: Earthscan, pp. 98-113.
  • Friel S., Butler CD., McMichael A.J. (2011) Climate change and health: risks and inequities, In: Global Health Ethics, Editors: Benatar S., Brock, G. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press pp 198-209.
  • Butler C.D. (2008): Human health and forests: an overview. In: Human Health and Forests: A Global Overview of Issues, Practice and Policy. (Editor: C. J.P. Colfer). London: Earthscan, Bogor, Indonesia, Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), pp 13-33.
  • Australian Research Council Future Fellowship (2011-2015)
    Health and Sustainability: Australia in a Global Context