Research group Biodiversity & Health

Biodiversity and Health in Urban Areas – LIFE Adult cohort analysis

Contacts Partners Funding Publications

Short description

In Europe, preventable, noncommunicable disease accounts for 77% of the total disease burden (World Health Organization, 2017). These preventable diseases are expensive to treat (World Health Organization, 2016). As such, governments need to reduce these health costs by implementing cost-effective measures for health prevention and promotion (ten Brick et al., 2016; World Health Organization, 2016).The natural environment is a novel, cost-effective, approach for the prevention of these preventable health issues (Bird, 2007; Frumkin & Fox, 2011; Maller et al., 2005) with studies showing a health benefit from exposure to green and/or blue spaces (Gascon et al., 2015; Van den Berg et al., 2015).

However, in these studies, the natural environment is often treated as homogenous - without consideration of its type or biological quality.

To do this, we conduct analyses of secondary health data, using the University of Leipzig Medical Faculty’s LIFE-Adult-Study, with GIS datasets of the natural environment.

Aims and objectives

The aim of the research project is to assess the influence that different types of urban greenspace and biodiversity have on human mental health and wellbeing. We will investigate the following:

  1. Examine the influence of land use types and residential biodiversity on mental health (i.e. depression and  anxiety), and well-being (i.e. satisfaction with life).
  2. Test the mediating pathways through which land use types and biodiversity influence mental health and      wellbeing.
  3. Investigate how frequency of contact with greenspace affects mental health and well-being


Dr. Melissa Marselle

Phone: +49 (0)341 97 33151


Prof. Dr. Aletta Bonn

Phone: +49 (0)341 97 33153




This project is funded through the iDiv Flexpool and supported by UFZ.