Rachel Lowe

Rachel Lowe

Barcelona Supercomputing Center - Centro Nacional de Supercomputación

Life & Medical Sciences

Rachel obtained a PhD in Mathematics at the University of Exeter in 2011. Her thesis focused on spatiotemporal modelling of dengue epidemics in Brazil. She held postdoctoral positions at the International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Italy and the Catalan Institute for Climate Sciences, working at the interface of climate prediction science and public health decision-making. In 2017 she was awarded a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship, which allowed her to create the Planetary Health & Infectious Diseases Lab at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). Rachel now leads the Earth Sciences - Global Health Resilience group at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC). She is also the Director of the Lancet Countdown in Europe, a transdisciplinary collaboration tracking progress on health and climate change.

Research interests

Rachel’s research involves modelling the impact of environmental change on infectious disease epidemics, to inform disease control and prevention strategies. She has published high impact research on modelling climate-sensitive disease risk, with a focus on integrating seasonal climate forecasts in dengue early warning systems in Latin America, the Caribbean and Southeast Asia. Her group works on diverse projects including disentangling the role of land-use change and socio-economic pressures on malaria resurgence in the Amazon, modelling zoonotic disease risk at the human-animal-environment interface, and understanding the role of climate, cities and spatial connectivity on dengue transmission regimes. In 2018, she won the International Society for Neglected Tropical Diseases (ISNTD) Water Award for Research, in recognition of the quality of her research on the linkages between hydrometeorological extremes and dengue outbreaks and the multi-sectoral relevance for policy and practice. 

Selected publications

- Vega MS, Lowe R, Anselin L, Desai V, Vaishnav KG, Naik A & Pascual M 2023, 'Quantifying climatic and socioeconomic drivers of urban malaria in Surat, India: a statistical spatiotemporal modelling study', Lancet planetary health, 7 - 12.
- Rocklöv J, Semenza JC, Dasgupta S, et al. 2023, 'Decision-support
Regional Health-europe, 32, 100701.
- Colón-González FJ, Gibb R, Khan K, Watts A, Lowe R & Brady OJ 2023, 'Projecting
Communications, 14, 1, 5439-5439.
- Lotto Batista M, Rees EM, Gómez A, et al. 2023, 'Towards a leptospirosis early warning system in
northeastern Argentina', Journal Of The Royal
Society Interface, 20, 202, 20230069
- Ryan SJ, Lippi CA, Caplan T, et al. 2023, 'The
Planetary Health, 7, 6, E527 - E536.

Selected research activities

  • Member of the World Meteorological Organization Steering Group for Sub-seasonal Applications for Agriculture and Environment (SAGE) project of the World Weather Research Programme (WWRP)
  • Commissioner for the Lancet Commission for Strengthening the Use of Epidemiological Modelling of Emerging and Pandemic Infectious Diseases.
  • Director of the Lancet Countdown in Europe
  • Principal Investigator of Wellcome Trust digital technology awards for climate-sensitive infectious diseases: HARMONIZE and IDExtremes