Through inefficient and inequitable resource use, society has pushed natural systems beyond their planetary boundaries, such that our own well-being is being undermined. This idea roused my curiosity during my BSc in Environmental Sciences, and the need for a better understanding of the complex relationship between environmental and human health has motivated much of my academic career. While completing my MSc in Geography at Western University, Canada, I traveled to Uganda as part of a Global Health Systems program. This experience was perspective-building; reinforcing the idea that the most under-privileged and impoverished in our global village are the most vulnerable to harm associated with environmental degradation. In Uganda, I worked with communities to address environmental and social issues and facilitated a partnership with a local women’s handcraft group forming a Not-for-Profit organization that aims to support the entrepreneurship of women through the sale of the group’s handwork. My PhD in Plant Sciences will further develop the understanding of the risks human activity poses to ecosystem stability by exploring the link between forestry management practices and the protection of aquatic ecosystems. The broader aim is to ensure that resources are being managed efficiently so that human well-being is not compromised. I am honoured to join the Gates Cambridge Community, a community not only interested in intellectual progress, but in the betterment of humanity.