The Ruby Coast Research Centre based in Mapua, Nelson, New Zealand, undertakes, collaborates in, and disseminates research into the direct impacts of climate conditions on human health with a particular focus on heat stress. For example, field studies documenting exposures and effects have shown the serious implications of workplace heat stress for certain occupations and our analysis indicates that the work capacity and economic losses may be as high as several percent of GDP in large global regions. We disseminate our research primarily through keynote speeches, academic journals, commissioned reports, book chapters, and a website. The Health and Environment International Trust Ltd (a small independent consultancy group in Mapua working on Environmental and Occupational Health issues) supports the Research Centre and the input from the experienced research team. The Trust has benefitted from funding support from government and academic agencies in Australia, Sweden, Norway, USA as well as from The United Nations University, International Institute of Global Health (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) and the World Health Organization (Geneva). New cooperation partners and new sources of funding are actively sought.
The research team includes experienced scientists from different backgrounds and with significant track records (see list of team members below; the number of publications by the team exceeds 500). The expertise includes: public health, occupational and environmental health, geographical information science, environmental modeling, exposure analysis, health risk and impact analysis, urban planning, development economics, physiology, physics, mathematics, and computer science. A major feature of the current work is the global Hothaps programme (High Occupational Temperature Health and Productivity Suppression), which has resulted in more than 80 publications on heat stress effects on working people, national and regional heat exposure maps, occupational health impact assessments, and related topics. A database and software called Hothaps-Soft has been developed and made available for other researchers.