Campus Schools

34 posts

Claudia Gunsch  

Pratt School of Engineering                

Identifying genetic adaptation mechanisms resulting from anthropogenic contaminant exposure; developing biosensors capable of pathogen and contaminant detection in water and air; studying the impact of emerging contaminants on aquatic microbial ecology; and the development of novel techniques for controlling pathogen proliferation

Environmental factors driving changes in the microbiome; developing environmental sensors of microbial community shifts

John Poulsen

Nicholas School of the Environment              

I work on forest community ecologist and conservation biology, and  primarily study how human disturbances modify the abundance and composition of vertebrate communities and the knock-on effects on forest composition and structure and ecosystem services.

Tropical forest carbon stocks and dynamics; citizen science (paraecology); effects of defaunation (loss of biodiversity) on ecological processes and human livelihoods; biodiversity modeling; movement ecology

Heather Huntington         

Trinity School of Arts and Sciences                

My research focuses on land tenure, land-use change, natural resource governance and land administration. I study these topics in the context of impact evaluations of donor funded development projects to strengthen land governance and improve conservation outcomes, primarily in Africa. My work involves close collaboration with implementing partners  and policy makers to conduct actionable and policy relevant research and evaluations.         

I am working with an interdisciplinary team to produce a Forest+ research report on Natural Climate Solution pathways, biodiversity conservation, and zoonotic disease risk mitigation, which will ultimately inform the research agenda  for USAID’s Natural Environment Branch. Also, I am currently leading a feasibility assessment for an impact evaluation focused on biodiversity and forest conservation in  Zambia. 

Nishad Jayasundara          

Nicholas School of the Environment              

Broadly our research is focused on health outcomes of drinking water contaminants. On going studies are specifically focused on renal health outcomes in agricultural communities and links to chemical and heat exposure.

Heat stress characterization in farming communities in South Asia; ground water contamination and health outcomes; fish models to characterize molecular initiation and progression of heat and chemical induced biological outcomes.                 

Dana Hunt

Nicholas School of the Environment

The Hunt lab’s research focus is on understanding the ecology of microbes through examination of their genes and lifestyles. Bacteria are the most diverse organisms on earth and play a pivotal role in planetary cycling of nutrients and energy. Yet, we have a poor understanding of the factors that drive their diversity and dynamics in the environment. We are specifically studying bacterial interactions with the environment at the appropriate temporal and spatial scale including the effect of temperature changes on bacterial populations and bacterial interactions with other organisms. Another area of active research is the response and adaptation of bacteria to emerging pollutants such as antibiotics and nanomaterials.

Microbial responses to environmental change (including temperature, pH) and interactions between organisms           

Peter Harrell 

Nicholas School of the Environment 

My research focuses on geospatial analysis of landscape level change and recently, spatial analysis of human health issues, particularly cardiac arrest .  Most of my previous work has used remote sensing to look at change and the potential impacts and mitigation of climate change. 

I have taught GIS and remote sensing in the Nicholas School for 30 years.  My research experience has focused on landscape change using remote sensing.  The most applicable was a 10 year long DCERP grant at Marine Corp Base Camp Lejeune.  This involved a large team of researchers examining every aspect of Camp Lejeune’s ecosystem to help the base develop a better, long term ecosystem based management methodology to help the base adjust to climate change.  My role was developing a history of change at the base using satellite data.  More recently, I have been involved in spatial analysis of human health issues, in particular cardiac arrest.  The grant I am working with now is to help develop the spatial data to examine the feasibility of drone deployed AED’s for cardiac arrest following a 911 call. 

Sarah Bermeo       

Sanford School of Public Policy

We are looking to better understand the link between climate impacts, health outcomes linked to food insecurity and malnutrition, and adaptation strategies. A particular focus will be on when increases in food insecurity lead to migration (internal and international) and alternative adaptation strategies that can increase resilience and allow people to build livelihoods with adequate nutrition without feeling forced to choose migration as the only viable alternative.

We are carrying out an ongoing study on climate impacts that affect food security and nutrition in Central America and how those interact with other factors, such as levels of violence and available of outside aid to determine adaptation strategies. We are looking to expand this work, including through the use of remote sensing data and machine learning techniques to better measure both climate impacts and human mobility.

Aaron Reuben      

Trinity School of Arts and Sciences

I study environmental contributions to mental health and brain integrity across the lifespan

As a clinical psychologist I am well versed in the assessment of brain and mental health outcomes and trajectories of development and aging. I also have experience in environmental exposure assessment, including to toxicants, neighborhood conditions and amenities, and climate-relevant conditions, such as heat and flooding.

John Fay

Nicholas School of the Environment

Environmental applications of geospatial analysis & data analytics: Conservation, resource management, environmental health, environmental accounting, ecosystem services, environmental justice

Organized and managed local, regional, and global datasets of physical, environmental, and demographic variables. Expert in geospatial and data analytical software and coding platforms (ArcGIS, R, Python, Git/GitHub). Experience working across and integrating ideas from multiple disciplines

Ranaivo Rasolofoson


Nicholas School of the Environment

I am interested in planetary health, i.e., how human alteration of natural systems affects human health. I am a postdoctoral researcher. I have investigated the impacts of nature conservation programs and environmental change on environmental, human well-being, health, and nutritional outcomes. I have used different methods such as participatory research, rigorous causal inference designs, structural equation modeling, and geospatial analysis. I have done multi-country, national (Madagascar, Haiti, Honduras), and case study analyses. I am interested in designing, testing, and evaluating the impacts of nature-based climate mitigation solutions, such as forest conservation, to ensure that they deliver climate, environmental, and human health and nutrition co-benefits.

Causal Inference, Environmental Change, Food Security, Human Wellbeing, Impact evaluation, Nature-Based Solution, Nature Conservation, Nutrition, Planetary Health, Low and Middle-Income Countries

Lisa Satterwhite

Pratt School of Engineering               

Development of transcriptomic and epigenetic exposure models to predict risk for disease. Prospective cohort studies of rural agricultural communities. Community engaged research to build resilience in vulnerable people with race/ethnicity-based health disparities.

Genomic/epigenetic data analysis and environmental exposure profiling of prospective cohorts. Field work in the coastal plain heavily impacted by climate change.

Akhenaton-Andrew Jones

Pratt School of Engineering

We solve global challenges in water and health using engineering and policy analysis. Our mission is to develop novel systems to improve the environmental health and safety and understand what policies will lead to their equitable deployment. We study how external stresses impacts biofilm formation, viability, and susceptibility with applications towards infection, medical devices, food, water and wastewater treatment systems. We study past water and air policy outcomes as guidelines for future technology.            

Biofilms, environmental microbiology, resilient systems, water quality monitoring

Jennifer Swenson

Nicholas School of the Environment

tracking changes in terrestrial Earth’s living surface at the landscape to region scale with remote sensing and geospatial analysis: drought, deforestation & degradation, species distributions

Spatial analysis of climate, landcover, human demographics, remotely-sensed data (vegetation, temperature time series)

Monica Iyer   

School of Law             

I am generally interested in the intersection of climate change/environmental justice and human rights. I have spent several years working on environment and climate change issues with various sections of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Some of my recent work with direct relevance to climate and health included leading the drafting of a 2020 report to the Human Rights Council on Climate Change and the Rights of Older Persons and serving as principle drafter on an amicus brief to the European Court of Human Rights on a climate case brought by an organization of older women from Switzerland involving allegations about the negative health effects of climate change on their demographic.

Wenhong Li        

Nicholas School of the Environment             

my current research is to understand how the hydrological cycle changes in the current and future climate and their impacts on the ecosystems, subtropical high variability and change, unforced global temperature variability, and climate and health issues.

Impact of extreme events such as heatwave analysis on health, Machine learning techniques