ISGlobal | Barcelona Institute for GlobalHealth

Our Team

Xavier Rodó López

Research Professor

Xavier Rodó (Terrassa, 1965), ICREA Research Professor, was founding director of the Catalan Institute of Climate Sciences (IC3) in Barcelona and former head of the Climate Research Laboratory at the PCB (University of Barcelona, UB). He currently leads the CLIMA Program in ISGlobal. His background is in numerical ecology, climate dynamics and the understanding/detection/simulation of climate impacts, as well as topics central to climate dynamics, such as the origin and teleconnections of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon, and the predictability and role of climate variability in greenhouse gases. He also participated in atmospheric chemistry studies and was responsible for setting the first network of climate change stations in Spain ( In particular, his main interest lies in the area of climate and health, where he attempts to uncover how climate impacts a wide range of diseases and ailments. He also works to better derive translational services for health stemming from climate information and accurate predictions. He worked in the development of techniques for isolating local signatures and models (statistical, dynamical) of different levels of complexity, to disentangle the interplay between intrinsic (e.g. immunity, demography, malnutrition) and extrinsic factors (e.g. climate, environment). He has also worked in modeling extremes in climate and their effects on human health. But his focus, since long, has been on the modeling of climate-driven infectious diseases, namely waterborne diseases (e.g. cholera, shigellosis, rotavirus, adenovirus), food borne diseases (Giardia, Entoameba, E.coli, Iodamaeba), vectorborne diseases (malaria, chikungunya, dengue) and zoonosis (cutaneous leishmaniasis, plague), both in endemic regions and in epidemic conditions (e.g. fringe areas of deserts and highlands in Africa and Asia). Through the AeroBioHealth Lab at ISGlobal, he actively researches on both the effects of atmospheric physical and chemical determinants in vasculitis like Kawasaki disease ( In particular the group is interested to understand how the atmospheric microbiome and its byproducts found in the lower troposphere might contribute to producing new ailments to human health.

He has been postdoctoral and visiting scientist at Princeton University, COLA in Maryland and Scripps Oceanographic Institution in La Jolla. He published in the most prestigious journals (Science, Nature, PNAS, Lancet, eLife) and led and participated in 36 research projects, and has vast experience in coordinating large groups of scientists towards a common endeavor, as well as in mentoring young scientists as reflected in the over 20 postdoctoral fellows he has advised. He acted as a contributing author and expert reviewer for the AR4 IPCC 2007 assessment report, he is a member of the SSC of the Observatoire Pyréneen du Changement Climatique and of the Drought Integration Group of the WCRP, the MEDCLIVAR ESF network and served as co-chair of CLIVAR-Spain.

Lines of Research

  • Climate & health
  • Extremes in climate and their effects on health
  • Climate-driven infectious diseases

Main Publications*

Ballester, J., Rodó, X., Robine, J.-M., Herrmann, F.R. (2016). European seasonal mortality and influenza incidence due to winter temperature variability. Nat. Clim. Change, doi:10.1038/nclimate3070 (2016).

Laneri K., Paul R.E., Tall A., Faye J., Diene-Sarr F., Sokhna C., Trape J.-F., Rodó, X. (2015). Dynamical malaria models reveal how immunity buffers effect of climate variability. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 112(28), 8786-8791.

Rodó, X., Curcoll, R., Robinson, M., Ballester, J., Burns, J., Cayan, D., Lipkin, I., Williams, B., Couto-Rodriguez, M., Nakamura, Y., Uehara, R., Tanimoto, H., Morguí, J.A. (2014). Tropospheric winds from northeastern China carry the etiologic agent of Kawasaki disease from its source to Japan. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA, June 3, 2014 vol. 111 no. 22 7952-7957.

Lowe R., Barcellos C., Coelho C. A. S., Bailey T. C., Coelho E. G., Jupp T., Graham R., Massa Ramalho W., Sá Carvalho M., Stephenson D. B., Rodó X (2014). Dengue outlook for the World Cup in Brazil: an early warning model framework driven by real-time seasonal climate forecasts. Lancet Infectious Diseases, doi: 10.1016/S1473-3099(14)70781-9.

Cash, B., Rodó. X., J. Ballester , M.J. Bouma , R. Dhiman and M. Pascual (2013).Malaria epidemics highlight influence of the Tropical South Atlantic on the Indian monsoons. Nature Climate Change 3,502-507.

*Five most recent relevant publications