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Hussein Khalil

Hussein Khalil
My research focuses on improving human and ecosystem health by studying the pathways that link eco-environmental, infrastructural, socioeconomic, and behavioral factors, especially in low-income urban settings. I am especially interested in interdisciplinary and participatory tools and methods, and interventions that are nature-based, involve local communities and stakeholders, and adopt a broad view of health and quality of life.


Zoology (Course leader - Department of Wildlife, Fish, and Environmental Studies, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences)

Statistical Methods for Epidemiology (Guest lecturer - Collective Health Intitute, Federal University of Bahia, Brasil)

Applied Population Ecology (Guest lecturer - Department of Wildlife, Fish, and Environmental Studies, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences)


Main Projects:

Building healthy communities in urban Brazilian slums (Medical Research Council, UK 2021-2023)

Identification of best practices for biodiversity recovery and public health interventions to prevent future epidemics and pandemics (EU Horizon, 2022 - 2026)

Local participation as a catalyst for uplifting health and the environment in urban Brazilian slums (FORMAS, 2020 - 2022)



I collaborate extensively with researchers from the Federal University of Bahia and the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (FIOCRUZ) in Brasil.

In the UK, my collaborations include the University of Liverpool, London School of Tropical Hygiene and Medicine, and the University of Lancaster.

Additionally, I am part of a global consortium (EU Horizon project), focused on the links between public health, biodiversity, and restoration. 


My background is in disease ecology, but after my PhD, my focus shifted to interdisciplinary approaches to human health, with a focus on sustainable and locally supported iniatives towards improving human health and the environment.


PhD students

Caio Zeppelini (Federal University of Bahia) - disputation 2022

Michael Adedayo Awoniyi (Federal University of Bahia) - disputation 2022

Aninha Barreto (Federal University of Bahia) - disputation 2026

Masters' thesis projects:

Fabiana Palma - thesis presentation 2021

Aninha Barreto - thesis presentation 2021

Selected publications

1.     Zeppelini, C. G., Carvalho-Pereira, T., Alves, R. S., Santiago, D. C. C., Santo, V. F. E., Begon, M., Costa, F., & Khalil, H. (2021). Demographic drivers of Norway rat populations from urban slums in Brazil. Urban Ecosystems, 24(4), 801–809.

2.     Awoniyi, A. M., Souza, F. N., Zeppelini, C. G., Xavier, B. I. A., Barreto, A. M., Santiago, D. C. C., Santana, J. O., da Silva, E. M., Costa, F., Begon, M., & Khalil, H. (2021). Using Rhodamine B to assess the movement of small mammals in an urban slum. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 12(11), 2234–2242.

3.     Meheretu, Y., Granberg, Å., Berhane, G., Khalil, H., Lwande, O. W., Mitiku, M., Welegerima, K., Bellocq, J. G. de, Bryja, J., Abreha, H., Leirs, H., Ecke, F., & Evander, M. (2021). Prevalence of Orthohantavirus-Reactive Antibodies in Humans and Peri-Domestic Rodents in Northern Ethiopia. Viruses, 13(6), 1054.

4.     Khalil, H., Santana, R., de Oliveira, D., Palma, F., Lustosa, R., Eyre, M. T., Carvalho-Pereira, T., Reis, M. G., Ko, A. I., Diggle, P. J., Alzate Lopez, Y., Begon, M., & Costa, F. (2021). Poverty, sanitation, and Leptospira transmission pathways in residents from four Brazilian slums. PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 15(3), e0009256.

5.     Eyre, M. T., Carvalho-Pereira, T. S. A., Souza, F. N., Khalil, H., Hacker, K. P., Serrano, S., Taylor, J. P., Reis, M. G., Ko, A. I., Begon, M., Diggle, P. J., Costa, F., & Giorgi, E. (2020). A multivariate geostatistical framework for combining multiple indices of abundance for disease vectors and reservoirs: a case study of rattiness in a low-income urban Brazilian community. Journal of The Royal Society Interface, 17(170), 20200398.

6.     Ecke, F., Nematollahi Mahani, S. A., Evander, M., Hörnfeldt, B., & Khalil, H. (2019). Wildfire‐induced short‐term changes in a small mammal community increase prevalence of a zoonotic pathogen? Ecology and Evolution, 9(22), 12459–12470.

7.     Khalil, H., Ecke, F., Evander, M., Bucht, G., & Hörnfeldt, B. (2019). Population Dynamics of Bank Voles Predicts Human Puumala Hantavirus Risk. EcoHealth, 16(3), 545–557.

8.     Khalil, H., Olsson, G., Magnusson, M., Evander, M., Hörnfeldt, B., & Ecke, F. (2017). Spatial prediction and validation of zoonotic hazard through micro-habitat properties: where does Puumala hantavirus hole – up? BMC Infectious Diseases, 17(1), 523.

9.     Ecke, F., Angeler, D. G., Magnusson, M., Khalil, H., & Hörnfeldt, B. (2017). Dampening of population cycles in voles affects small mammal community structure, decreases diversity, and increases prevalence of a zoonotic disease. Ecology and Evolution, 7(14), 5331–5342.

10.  Khalil, H., Ecke, F., Evander, M., Magnusson, M., & Hörnfeldt, B. (2016). Declining ecosystem health and the dilution effect. Scientific Reports, 6(1), 31314.