[Error loading the WebPart 'LeftTreeMenu' of type 'cmstreemenu']

Atanu Sarkar

Community Health and Humanities
MBBS (Burdwan, India), MCH & PhD (JNU, New Delhi, India), MES (Queen’s University, Canada)

Associate Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health

Rm: M4M110
t: 709 864-4920
f: 709 864-4991



Course Instructor:

  • Environmental health (MED 6722) (for MPH students)
  • Critical Appraisal (MED 6770) (for MD students)
  • Occupational diseases and injuries (OHS 6002) (for MOHS students)

Course coordinator:

  • Undergraduate (MD) teaching: Introduction to community health
  • Undergraduate (MD) teaching: Environmental health

Research Interests:

  • Environmental contamination and ecosystem health
  • Climate change and health
  • Indigenous health
  • Agriculture and health
  • Food Security
  • Occupational hazards
  • Global health
  • Social epidemiology

Research Grants:


  • Contamination of marine ecosystem by Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) originating from landfills, current waste management practices, public perceptions, and sustainable solutions: a study by knowledge synthesis methods. (Principal Investigator). Source: SSHRC Knowledge Synthesis Grant (2020-2022).
  • Food Security and Climate Change in Subarctic Canada: Challenges and Opportunities. (Co-Applicant) Source: CIHR Project grant (Fall 2019).
  • Community Resources + Memorial University = a partnership to sustain local food production using the Earth Sheltered Greenhouse. (Principal Investigator) Source: Public engagement accelerator fund, Memorial University.
  • Land-based Approaches to Health and Wellness in Isolated Indigenous Communities: Agroforestry Stewardship Practices and Traditional Pursuits. (Principal Applicant) Source: CIHR Project Grant (Spring 2019).
  • NSERC CREATE training program in Persistent, Emerging, and Oil PoLlution in cold marine Environments (PEOPLE CREATE). Source: NSERC. Co-Applicant [Role: lead - theme 7 (health effect)] (2019-2025)
  • A population-based study to explore the associations between environmental contaminants and cancer incidences in Newfoundland and Labrador (Principal Investigator) Source: Memorial University of Newfoundland – Research Grant and Contract Services (RGCS) Seed, Bridge and Multidisciplinary Fund  (2018-2021)
  • A study of mosquito population diversity and distribution, viral pathogens and the potential impact of climate change on human health risks in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador and the French overseas territory of St. Pierre and Miquelon (Principal Investigator) Source: Public Health Agency of Canada/Health Canada (2018-2021)

  • Distribution of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in Newfoundland diet: Possible connection to hypothyroidism (Principal Investigator) Newfoundland Labrador Centre for Applied Health Research (NLCAHR)
  • Planning to explore the social determinants of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in Sikkim, India (Co-Principal Investigator) Source: CIHR Planning and Dissemination Grant - Institute Community Support competition
  • Study of utilization of a recreational facility in small communities: A case study of a YMCA facility in Marystown, Newfoundland (Co-Principal Investigator) Source: YMCA - Newfoundland Labrador
  • Investigating the Main Operational Challenges and Opportunities for Developing Sustainable Greenhouses in Newfoundland (Principal Investigator) Source: Harris Centre Applied Research Fund
  • From the northern edge of subarctic Canada to the subtropics of Australia: Improving food security and wellbeing in Indigenous communities through agroforestry stewardship practices using Indigenous knowledge and western science as complementary constructs (Co-applicant), Source: CIHR Transitional Open Operating Grant Program (T-OOGP)
  • Perceiving Climate Variability: A Community-based Study to Identify Frameworks for Understanding and Interpretation (Co-Principal Applicant) Source: SSHRC Insight Development Grant Competition
  • Water Insecurity in Black Tickle: Moving Toward Solutions (Co-Investigator), Source: Office of the President, Memorial University
  • A framework for better understanding drinking-water quality in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Labrador: Implications for optimization and protection of municipally supplied water (Co-Investigator),  Source: Harris Centre RBC Water Research and Outreach Fund
  • Study of trends and determinants of employment benefit of Memorial University. (Principal Investigator) Internal grant from Vice-President Administration, Memorial University
  • Radiation Exposure in Makkovik, Labrador and Environmental Health Risk - Part 1: Measurement of Radio Nuclides in the Environment and Local Food Sources; Part 2: Assessment of Population Perspectives and Needs (Principal Investigator), Source: Newfoundland Labrador Centre for Applied Health Research (NLCAHR) and Labrador Institute
  • Assessment of Exposure to Radiation in Makkovik, Labrador: Measurement of Nuclides in the Environment and Local Food Sources (Principal Investigator), Source: Atlantic Aboriginal Health Research Program (AAHRP)
  • A study of food insufficiency and food insecurity among elderly population and single parents in St John’s (Principal Investigator), Source: Harris Centre Applied Research Fund
  • Exploring appropriate business models for establishment of water quality monitoring service in Newfoundland and Labrador (Principal Investigator), Source: Harris Centre RBC Water Research and Outreach Fund
  • Developing a community-based monitoring program for drinking water supplies in the Indian Bay Watershed: A baseline study of surface water quality, contamination sources and resident practices and perceptions (Co-Principal Investigator), Source: Harris Centre RBC Water Research and Outreach Fund
  • Water quality in Aboriginal communities in Labrador: a study of the Southern Inuit community of Black Tickle (Co-Principal Investigator), Source: Harris Centre RBC Water Research and Outreach Fund, and Labrador Institute
  • Community-based case-control study of Type 1 diabetes mellitus incidence and drinking water content in Newfoundland and Labrador (Co-Investigator), Source: Harris Centre RBC Water Research and Outreach Fund
  • Seeking innovative policy and governance solutions for sustainable drinking water systems in rural and small towns in Newfoundland and Labrador (Co-Investigator), Source: Harris Centre RBC Water Research and Outreach Fund
  • Multiple environmental stressors contaminating water and food chain: an exploratory study assessing human health risk in the Humber River Basin  (Principal Investigator), Source: Humber River Basin Project
  • A study of groundwater quality of private wells in Western Newfoundland communities (Principal Investigator), Source: Harris Centre RBC Water Research and Outreach Fund 


Peer-Reviewed Articles (*lead author)

  • Sarkar, A.*, Traverso-Yepez, M., Gadag, V., (2020) Food insecurity among single parents and the senior population: a case study in an urban population in Canada. Canadian Studies in Population (accepted)
  • Sarkar, A.* (2019) Nuclear Power and Uranium Mining: Current Global Perspectives and Emerging Public Health Risks. Journal of Public Health Policy. Jul 10. doi: 10.1057/s41271-019-00177-2.  
  • Rahman, A., Sarkar, A.* (2019) Risk Factors for Fatal Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus Infections in Saudi Arabia: Analysis of the WHO Line List, 2013-2018. American Journal of Public Health. Sep;109(9):1288-1293. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2019.305186.  
  • Sarkar, A.* (2019) Environmental Impact Assessment of Uranium Mining on Indigenous Land in Labrador (Canada): Biases and Manipulations. Environmental Justice. 12(2):61-68. DOI: 10.1089/env.2018.0036
  • Thomson, K.K., Rahman, A., Cooper, T.J., Sarkar, A.,* (2019) Exploring Relevance, Public Perceptions and Business Models for Establishment of Private Well Water Quality Monitoring Service. Int. J. Health Planning Management. Apr;34(2):e1098-e1118. doi: 10.1002/hpm.2747.  
  • Lau, N., Norman, A., Smith, M.J., Sarkar, A., Gao, Z.* (2018) Association between Traffic Related Air Pollution and the Development of Asthma Phenotypes in Children: A Systematic Review. International Journal of Chronic Diseases
  • Sarkar, A.*, Wilton, D.H.C., Fitzgerald, E., Sharma, A., Sharma, A., Sathya A.J. (2018) Environmental impact assessment of uranium exploration and development on Indigenous land in Labrador (Canada): a community-driven initiative. Environ Geochem Health. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10653-018-0191-z [Impact Factor 3 (2017)]
  • Chafe, R., Aslanov, R., Sarkar, A., Gregory, P., Comeau, A., Newhook, L.A*. (2018). The Association of Type 1 Diabetes and Concentrations of Drinking Water Components in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care
  • Sarkar, A.*, Wilton, D.H.C., Fitzgerald, E. (2017) Indoor Radon in Micro-geological Setting of an Indigenous Community in Canada: A Pilot Study for Hazard Identification. Int J Occup Environ Med. 8(2):69-79. doi: 10.15171/ijoem.2017.1001.
  • Rahman, M.A., Sarkar, A*. (2017) Extensively Drug-resistant Tuberculosis (XDR-TB): A daunting challenge to the current End TB Strategy and policy recommendations. Indian J Tuberc. 64(3):153-160. doi: 10.1016/j.ijtb.2017.03.006
  • Ochoo, B., Valcour, J.E., Sarkar, A*. (2017) Association between perceptions of public drinking water quality and actual drinking water quality: A community-based exploratory study in Newfoundland (Canada). Environ Res. 159:435-443. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2017.08.019
  • Hanrahan, M.*, Sarkar, A., Hudson, A. (2016) Water insecurity in indigenous Canada: a community based inter-disciplinary approach Water Quality Research Journal of Canada (DOI: 10.2166/wqrjc.2015.010)
  • Sarkar, A.*, Hanrahan, M., Hudson, A. (2015) Water Insecurity in Canadian Indigenous communities: Some Inconvenient Truths Rural and Remote Health 15(4):3354
  • Sarkar, A.*, Knight, J.C., Babichuk, N.A., Mulay, S. (2015) Skewed distribution of hypothyroidism in the coastal communities of Newfoundland, Canada Environment International 83:171–175. [http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2015.05.017] [5 year Impact Factor 6.7 (2014)]
  • Sarkar, A.*, vanLoon, G. (2015) Modern Agriculture and Food and Nutrition Insecurity: paradox in India Public Health 1-3 [http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.puhe.2015.04.003] [5 year Impact Factor 1.6 (2014)]
  • Finnis, J., Sarkar, A.*, Stoddart, M. (2015) Bridging science and community knowledge? The complicating role of natural variability in perceptions of climate change Global Environmental Change 32:1–10. [http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2014.12.011] [5 year Impact Factor 7.8 (2014)] (all authors made equal contribution)
  • Hanrahan, M., Sarkar, A., Hudson, A., (2014) Exploring Water Insecurity in a Northern Indigenous Community in Canada: The “Never Ending Job” of the Southern Inuit of Black Tickle, Labrador Arctic Anthropology 51(2):9–22
  • Sarkar, A.*, Patil, S.G., Hugar, L.B., vanLoon, G.W. (2013) Modern Agriculture Practices and Associated Health Risks: An Indian Study. J. Indian Soc. Agriculture Statistics. 67(2): 279-285.
  • Chakraborti, D.*, Rahman, M.M., Murill, M., Das, R., Siddayya, Patil, S.G., Sarkar, A., Dadapeer H.J., Yendigeri, S., Ahmed, R., Das, K.K. (2013), Environmental arsenic contamination and its health effects in a historic gold mining area of the Mangalur greenstone belt of Northeastern Karnataka, India. J. Hazard. Mater. 262:1048-55 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2012.10.002 [5 year Impact factor 5.3 (2014)]
  • Sarkar, A.*, Aronson, K.J., Patil, S.G., Hugar, L.B., vanLoon, G.W. (2012) Emerging health risks associated with modern agriculture practices: A comprehensive study in India. Environmental Research. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2012.03.005  [5 year Impact Factor 4.2 (2014)]
  • Sarkar, A.*, Patil, S.G., Hugar, L.B., vanLoon, G.W. (2011) Sustainability of current agriculture practices, community perception and implications for ecosystem health: an Indian study EcoHealth. 8(4). DOI: 10.1007/s10393-011-0723-9 [Impact factor 2.5 (2014)]
  • Sarkar, A.* (2010) Ecosystem Perspective of Groundwater Arsenic Contamination in India and Relevance in Policy. EcoHealth. 7(1): 114-126. [Impact factor 2.5 (2014)] (one of the most downloaded articles in 2011, 2012, 2013)
  • Sarkar, A.* (2010) Assessing Vulnerability and Adaptation of Arsenic Exposed Population in India, Asian Journal of Water, Environment and Pollution. 7(1): 35-43.
  • Muntaner, C.*, Chung, H., Solar, O., Santana, V., Castedo, A., Benach, J., and the EMCONET Network. (2010) A Macro-level Model of Employment Relations and Health Inequalities, International Journal of Health Services. 40(2): 215-221. [Impact factor – 1.24 (2013)] [I am one of the members of EMCONET Network]
  • Sarkar, A.* (2009) Role of Inequality and Inequity in the Occurrence and Consequences of Chronic Arsenicosis in India and Policy Implications, Environmental Justice. 2(3): 147 – 152.
  • Sarkar, A.* (2008) Climate Change and Health: Methodological Issues and Introduction to Climate Epidemiology, Indian Journal of Public Health. 52(2): 100-106.

Edited volume (* lead editor)
  • Sarkar, A.,* Sensharma S., vanLoon, G.W. (editors) Sustainable Solutions for Food Security - Combating climate change by adaptation (Publisher – Springer AG, Switzerland) (the volume contains 24 chapters contributed by 70 odd authors from around 18 countries. https://www.springer.com/gp/book/9783319778778

  • Sarkar, A. (2011) Climate Change: Adverse Health Impacts and Roles of Health Professionals. International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. 2(1): 5-8.

  • Sarkar, A. Social epidemiology of arsenic poisoning in West Bengal, India. (2012) Lap Lambert Academic Publishing, Germany.
  • Sensharma S., Sarkar, A. (editors) (2012) Disaster Risk Management: Local, Regional and International Level Cooperation. Concept Publisher, New Delhi.
  • Sarkar, A., Panigrahi, S. Anand, M. (2007) Vector Borne Diseases in India - Environmental Health and Policy Perspectives, Manak Publications, New Delhi, India. p 210.
  • Sarkar, A., Panigrahi, S. (2007) Water Borne Diseases in India - Environmental Health and Policy Perspectives, Manak Publications, New Delhi, India. p 230.
  • Lal, P., Sarkar, A., Chaturvedi, B., Madan, V. (2006) Stealthy Intruders – How Persistent Organic Pollutants are Harming the Health of Indian Women, Chintan, New Delhi, India. p 52.

Edited Books (chapters)
  • Traverso-Yepez, M., Sarkar, A., Gadag, V., Hunter, K. (2018) The lived experience of food (in)security among seniors and single parents in St. John’s, NL. In: Keske C (Ed) Food Futures: Growing a Sustainable Food System for Newfoundland and Labrador. Publisher ISER, pp 141-168. St. John’s, NL.
  • Sarkar, A. (2009) Sustainable solutions to arsenic contamination of ground water: a review of existing opportunities in the Ganga-Meghna-Brahmaputra basin. In: Pascual, U., Bandyopadhyay, J., & Shah, A. (Eds) Water, Agriculture and Sustainable Wellbeing. Oxford University Press, pp 54-74, New Delhi, India.
  • Mukherjee, A.B., Bhattacharya P., Sarkar, A., Zevenhoven, R. (2009) Mercury emissions from industrial sources in India and its effects in the environment, In: Pirrone, N & Mason R, (Eds) Mercury Fate and Transport in the Global Atmosphere Emissions, Measurements and Models, Springer, pp 81-112, New York, USA.
  • Sarkar, A. (2008) Role of social factors as determinants for chronic arsenicosis in India. In: Bhattacharya P., Mukherjee, A.B. & Bundschuh J. (Eds) Groundwater for Sustainable Development – Problems, Perspectives and Challenges. Taylor & Francis/Balkema, pp 365-376, Leiden, The Netherlands.
  • Sarkar, A. (2008) Occupational and environmental health perspectives of e-waste recycling in India: a review. In: Johri, R. (Ed) E-waste in India: Implications, Regulations and Management in India. TERI Press, pp 121-148, New Delhi, India.
  • Sarkar, A. (2008) Arsenic contamination of ground water: Social determinants of an environmental crisis in India. In: Lahiri-Dutt K. & Wasson R. (Eds) Water First: Issues and Challenges for Nations and Communities in South Asia. SAGE-India, pp 160-184, New Delhi, India.
  • Sarkar, A. (2007) E-waste in India: Environmental health perspective and possible actions. In: Rajeshwari, K.V., Basu, S. & Johri, R. (Eds) Tackling e-waste: towards efficient management techniques. pp. 19-34, TERI Press, New Delhi, India.

Presentation of papers in international conferences/workshops (last 10 years) (* presenting author)
  • Babichuk N*, Sarkar A, Mulay S, Knight J, Bautista J, Young C. (2019). Distribution of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in Newfoundland seafood and associations with human serum concentrations. International Society for Environmental Epidemiology. Aug 25-28. Utrecht, Netherlands
  • Sarkar A*, Rahman A, McCrate F. (2019). Arsenic and disinfection by-products (DBPs) in drinking water in Canada: a population-based study to explore any association with relevant cancers. International Society for Environmental Epidemiology, Aug 25-28. Utrecht, Netherlands
  • Babichuk N*, Sarkar A, Mulay S, Knight J. (2019). Associations between endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and thyroid hormones: a community-based survey in rural Newfoundland (Canada). International society for environmental epidemiology, Aug 25-28. Utrecht, Netherlands
  • Greene, B; Sarkar, A.* (2018). Disinfection By-Products in Public Drinking Water Systems in Newfoundland and Labrador (Canada): a Population-based Study for Assessment of the Environmental Health Risks. Joint Annual Meeting of the International Society of Exposure Science and the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology. Aug 26-31. Ottawa. Canada.
  • Babichuk, N, Sarkar, A.*Young C, Mulay S, Knight K. (2018). Distribution of Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in Newfoundland diet: possible connections to hypothyroidism. Joint Annual Meeting of the International Society of Exposure Science and the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology. Aug 26-31. Ottawa. Canada
  • Sarkar, A., Sensharma S. (2015) Reduction of Arctic sea ice cover: emerging risks due to new commercial activities. 6th Conference of the International Society for Integrated Disaster Risk Management (IDRiM), entitled “Disaster Risk Reduction: Challenges and Opportunities for Sustainable Growth”. 28-30 October, New Delhi, India.
  • Sarkar, A., Gadag, V., Traverso-Yepez, M.  (2015) Assessment of food security among single parents and seniors: a community-based survey in St. John’s, Canada. 2nd International Conference on Global Food Security, 11-14 October, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA. Hosted by Cornell University and Columbia University.
  • Sarkar, A., Knight, J.C., Babichuk, N.A., Mulay, S. (2015) Is exposure to Thyroid Disrupting Chemicals responsible for higher rates of hypothyroidism in some coastal communities of Newfoundland, Canada? 27th Annual International Society for Environmental Epidemiology Conference. 30 August – 3 September, Sao Paulo, Brazil.
  • Sarkar, A., Wilton, D.H., Fitzgerald, E. (2015) Radon (Rn) induced health risk assessment: need to re-examine current policy and to act beyond disciplinary boundaries. 27th Annual International Society for Environmental Epidemiology Conference. 30 August – 3 September, Sao Paulo, Brazil.
  • Babichuk, N.A., Sarkar, A. (2015) Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) contamination in the Gulf of St Lawrence: a critical environmental health issue for the population of Newfoundland (Canada). 27th Annual International Society for Environmental Epidemiology Conference. 30 August – 3 September, Sao Paulo, Brazil.
  • Sarkar, A., Wilton, D.H. (2014) A Study of Environmental Impacts Due to Uranium Exploration and Development in Labrador, Canada. 26th Annual International Society for Environmental Epidemiology Conference. 24 - 28 August, Seattle, USA.
  • Sarkar, A., vanLoon, G.W. (2014) Evidence of Epidemiological Transition in Rural India: Are Modern Agriculture and Changing Ecology Responsible? The 5th Biennial Conference of the International Association for Ecology and Health. 11 – 15 August, Montreal, Canada.
  • Sarkar, A., Hanrahan, M., Hudson, A. (2014) Exploring Water Insecurity and Health Risks in the Southern Inuit Community of Black Tickle, Labrador, Canada The 5th Biennial Conference of the International Association for Ecology and Health. 11 – 15 August, Montreal, Canada.
  • Hanrahan, M., Sarkar, A., Hudson, A. (2014) Water Insecurity in Indigenous Canada: A Case Study of Illnesses, Neglect, and Urgency, The 2014 International Conference on Marine and Freshwater Environments (iMFE). 6 – 8 August, St John’s, Canada
  • Thomson, K.K., Sarkar, A., Cooper, T.J. (2014) Potential Health Risks of Contaminants in Private Groundwater Sources in Newfoundland and Labrador, The 2014 International Conference on Marine and Freshwater Environments (iMFE). 6 – 8 August, St John’s, Canada (Awarded as a best oral presentation)
  • Sarkar, A., vanLoon, G.W. (2013) Modern agriculture and health: need for a robust risk assessment model, Stat 2013 - Socio-Economic Challenges and Sustainable Solutions. 28 – 31 Dec, Hyderabad, India.
  • Sarkar, A. (2013) Agricultural practices, food production, food security and governance in South Asia, International conference on environmental epidemiology. 19 – 23 August, Basel, Switzerland. 
  • Sarkar, A. Finnis, J (2013) Changing Climate in Rural Canada: Linking Scientific Evidence and Population Perspectives. International conference on environmental epidemiology. 19 – 23 August, Basel, Switzerland.
  • Sarkar, A. (2011) Climate epidemiology: a pressing need for the developing world, in Global Health Conference, on Nov 13-15, Montreal, Canada.
  • Sarkar, A. vanLoon, G., Aronson, K., Goebel, A. (2010) Modern Agriculture Practice and Emergence of New Health Crisis in Rural India in Canadian Conference on Global Health 2010, on 31Oct – 3 Nov, Ottawa, Canada.
  • Sarkar, A. (2009) The Impact of Agricultural Practices on Environmental Health: A Comparative Analysis in India in the Environment, Health and Development Network Inaugural Symposium, on 15 – 17 June, University of East Anglia (UEA), Norwich, United Kingdom.

Highlighted Accomplishments:

  • Certificate of Honour, UNESCO/UNITWIN Network Web Seminar, August, BLDE Univ,. India (2020)
  • Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University Outstanding Research Excellence Award (2015)
  • SSHRC Travel Grants Competition, Annual conference of International Society of Environmental Epidemiology, Basel, Switzerland (2013)
  • Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research, Faculty of Health Sciences, Queen’s University (2010)
  • Core Team Member: Employment condition and health dimension (EMCONET), Commission of Social Determinants of Health, World Health Organization (WHO)
  • Team Member: Global Partnership on Atmospheric Mercury Transport and Fate Research, United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP)

Creative Activity

Directional debut: short documentary Broken Rocks. Based on research on uranium exploration in Labrador. 
Available in YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGJ5_qDCjsg