Andrea Rother

Designation: Head: Health Risk Management Programme, UCT Medical School
Expertise: Impact of chemicals on climate change and health, chemical/pesticide risk management/governance, risk communication, risk perceptions, capacity building for regulators; impact of climate change on worker health, agriculture, vector borne diseases and nuis


Associate Professor Andrea Rother


Andrea Rother is the Head of the Environmental Health Division and Associate Professor in the School of Public Health and Family Medicine at UCT. She is also deputy director of the Centre for Environmental and Occupational Health Research (CEOHR) in the School.

As an environmental sociologist and environmental/public health professional her expertise are in the areas of chemical/pesticide risk management, risk communication, health literacy, exposure assessment, intervention development and policy analysis. Andrea is extensively involved in national and international policy development around reducing chemical and pesticide health and environmental health risks, an area she has been working in for over 25 years. She is currently leading the development of a FAO guidance document on Highly Hazardous Pesticides.

Andrea also has wide-ranging experience in facilitation and capacity building, particularly in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. She also convenes a post graduate diploma in pesticide risk management which has a large e-learning component for building the capacity of professionals in Low and Middle Income Countries. Andrea also facilitates an e-networking forum and bi-monthly virtual seminar with regulators, students, and international experts particular in new and complex areas (e.g., regulating pesticides taking climate change into account, regulating nanoparticles, regulating endocrine disrupting chemicals).

Her current climate change projects and PhD student research are on the impact of climate change on heat stress for herbicide sprayers removing alien invasive vegetation, and assessing the factors influencing negative impacts from climate change and exposures to endocrine disrupting pesticides.


Research Interests

  • Risk communication, risk perception, risk management and health literacy issues related to public health, environmental and occupational health, and chemical management (with a particular focus on pesticides)

  • Appropriate research methods for conducting risk communication and risk perception research in developing countries

  • Behavioural and social marketing methods in chemical awareness raising programmes

  • Intervention research (especially development of risk communication tools for low literacy populations)

  • Chemical policy and international conventions/instruments analysis, and capacity building initiatives

  • Climate change and health associations (particularly with pesticides, pests and vector borne diseases)

  • Policy and training development for pesticide health, environmental and safety issues especially for vulnerable population groups


Current and former positions

  • Programme Convener - University of Cape Town's (UCT) Post Graduate Programme in Pesticide Risk Management ( Download Programme Brochure for 2013/14

  • Member - South Africa's Multi-stakeholder Committee on Chemicals Management

  • Nominated Expert - to WHO's Expert Advisory Panel on Vector Biology and Control which partakes in the Joint Meetings with the UN FAO on Pesticide Management

  • Expert member of core executive group - the United Nations Environmental Programme's (UNEP) Scientific Expert Group on Chemicals and the Environment (SECE)

  • Editorial board member - Journal of Public Health Policy

  • Exco member - UCT's Academics Union

  • Member - UCT's Senate

  • Board member - Women on Farm's Project NGO

  • Moderator - electronic list servers on pesticides and for pesticide regulators