My research seeks to illuminate what individuals, communities, and policymakers can do to make the biggest and most lasting improvements in public health by improving the quality of our environment.

We examine environmental risks to health at the scale of communities, building models that integrate knowledge of how pollutants are distributed through communities, how people become exposed to pollutants and other environmental risks factors, and how these exposures, in turn, increase risks of illness or premature death.

Current Research

  • Predicting and Communicating PFAS Exposure Risks from Rural Private Wells
  • Water Infrastructure to Improve Childhood Outcomes and Decrease Childhood Lead Exposure
  • Targeting Homes with High Lead Exposure Risks by Leveraging Big Data and Advanced Machine-Learning Algorithms
  • Water and Health Infrastructure, Resilience, and Learning (WHIRL)
  • Evaluating the Effectiveness of Point-Of-Use (POU) Water Filters for Mitigating Waterborne Contaminants from Private Drinking Water Wells in North Carolina

She conducts interdisciplinary research on the quantification of risks due to environmental contamination and on the quantitative comparison policy options for controlling environmental risks.

Current Research

  • Water and Health Infrastructure, Resilience, and Learning (WHIRL)
  • The Impact of Intensive Livestock Production on the Disease Ecology of Antibiotic Resistant Staphylococcus
  • Evaluating the Effectiveness of Point-Of-Use (POU) Water Filters for Mitigating Waterborne Contaminants from Private Drinking Water Wells in North Carolina
  • Racial Disparities in Access to Public Water and Sewer Service in North Carolina

Research: Environmental risk assessment and decision-making; Water-health

Research Area:

  • Environment and Human Health
  • Environmental Policy and Management
  • Environmental Science
Public Health, Public Health
PhD, Carnegie Mellon University, Civil and Environmental Engineering, 2007
PhD, Carnegie Mellon University, Engineering and Public Policy, 2007
MS, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Environmental Science in Civil Engineering, 1990
BA, Bryn Mawr College, Mathematics, 1986

RTI University Scholar, 2017-2018

IBM Junior Faculty Development Award, University of North Carolina, 2014

Newton Underwood Award for Excellence in Teaching, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, 2013

Mentored Research Scientist Development Award, Public Health Systems and Services Research, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 2012-2014

Graduate Research Fellowship, National Science Foundation, 2003-2006

Merit Bonus Award, RAND Corporation, 2003

National Research Council Individual Staff Award for Distinguished Service, 1996

National Research Council Group Recognition Award, 1995

National Research Council Commission on Geosciences, Environment, and Resources Certificate of Appreciation for Outstanding Service, 1993, 1999

University Fellowship, University of Illinois, 1988-1990

Brundage Scholarship, University of Illinois, 1989

Scott Math Prize, Bryn Mawr College, 1986

Thesis honors, Bryn Mawr College, 1986

Alumnae Regional Scholarship, Bryn Mawr College, 1982-1986

Society for Risk Analysis Conferences and Workshops Committee
Society for Risk Analysis Membership Committee
NIH Social Sciences and Population Studies Study Section Review Panel
Research Foundation of Flanders Strategic Basic Research Funding Programme
USDA NIFA AFRI Water for Food Production Systems Challenge Area Competitive Grants Program
EPA Science to Achieve Results Graduate Fellowship Program
Department of Defense Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program
NIH/NIEHS Special Emphasis Panel Scientific Review Group
NIH/NIEHS Conference Grant Awards
Environmental Protection Agency C-FERST and T-FERST web-based decision support tools