Marcia Castro is a founding member of the Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital’s Scientific Advisory Board. At Harvard, Castro serves as a member of the Faculty Advisory Committee of the Brazil Studies Program, a member of the Brazil Studies Program Steering Group of the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies (DRCLAS), and a member of the Center for Geographic Analysis (CGA) Steering Committee. Her research focuses on:
- the identification of social, biological, and environmental risks associated with vector-borne diseases in the tropics
- modeling determinants of malaria transmission, with particular emphasis on generating evidence for better control strategies
- expansion of the Brazilian Amazon frontier and the social and environmental impacts of large-scale development projects implemented in the region
- urbanization and health
- use of spatial analysis in the Social Sciences
- population dynamics and mortality models
Castro has applied geographical information systems, remote sensing, and spatial statistics to her research, as well as proposed novel methods in spatial analysis. She has done extensive work in the Brazilian Amazon, and has experience working in Africa. Since 2004, she has been working on the Dar es Salaam Urban Malaria Control Program, promoting the use of environmental management approaches to improve urban health. She is currently working on a project that is measuring health, poverty and place by modeling inequalities in Accra, Ghana using RS and GIS. She is also investigating the use of remotely sensed imagery to predict urban malaria in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Castro is leading a project to assess the malaria poverty vicious cycle, and she started a project to propose a new methodology to assess spatio-temporal trends in a scenario of multiple control interventions. She is also working on the issues of human mobility and asymptomatic malaria infections in the Brazilian Amazon, as well as on the potential impacts of extreme climatic events on malaria transmission in the Amazon.