Dr. Elfatih Eltahir, professor of civil and environmental engineering at MIT. Dr. Eltahir earned a B.S. in civil engineering from the University of Khartoum in Sudan in 1985; an M.S. in hydrology from the National University of Ireland in 1988; and the S.M. in meteorology and the Sc.D. in hydroclimatology, both from MIT in 1993. Dr. Eltahir’s research focuses on the regional climate and hydrology of tropical regions. He developed a theory for how regional-scale vegetation distribution shapes the dynamics of monsoons, and studied the impact of deforestation on the hydrology and climate of the Amazon and West Africa. He explored the connections between natural variability in the Nile flow and the El Nino phenomenon, and demonstrated the potential for using such connections to improve predictability of the Nile floods. His recent work focuses on the connections of water and disease in Africa.
Climate, Water, and Public Health in Africa
The connections between climate, water, and disease will be explored using the example of malaria transmission in a couple of villages in the Sahel region of West Africa. Field observations provide evidence for a strong relationship between climate variability and malaria transmission in Africa. A detailed network of observations covering two villages will be reviewed and discussed to illustrate the mechanistic relationship between rainfall occurrence and mosquito population dynamics at the village scale. The role of numerical models as tools for prediction of the impact of climate change on malaria transmission will be discussed.