bioPhilly 4: Birds, Bees, and Us: Circadian Health in Urban Environments

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Light pollution in urban environments has been a growing problem for decades. Paradoxically, the introduction of energy-efficient LED bulbs is making cities glow even brighter. Current research, including the 2017 Nobel Prize-winning research into the Circadian Clock Gene has determined that increased nighttime illumination has disruptive consequences for all forms of life: plants, animals, pollinators and humans alike. Studies have shown that light pollution unravels the intertwined tapestry of day and night pollinators, that it speeds up the circadian rhythm of birds and other city dwellers, including ours. We now know that circadian disruption in humans leads to elevated stress hormone levels, increased inflammation and reduced immune function among other significant health challenges, such as melatonin sensitive cancers.
BioPhilly 4 brings together a diverse panel of experts from the City of Philadelphia Office of Sustainability, the fields of entomology, occupational and environmental medicine, ornithology, urban landscape design, urban wildlife. and Philadelphia Parks & Recreation environmental education to discuss these shared challenges.
Adam Agalloco, CEM, LEED AP, Energy Manager City of Philadelphia
John Cambridge, Ph.D., MPH, CEO Philadelphia Insectarium, and Butterfly Pavilion
Tony Croasdale, Environmental Educator Philadelphia Parks & Rec, The Urban Wildlife Podcast
Kim Douglas, M. Land. Arch, College of Architecture and Built Environment Jefferson University
Keith Russell, Program Manager for Urban Conservation, Audubon Pennsylvania
Pouné Saberi, M.D., Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Physicians for Social Responsibility
Helena van Vliet, AIA, BioPhilly founding member, Biophilic Cities Project steering committee.


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