Current Research Projects
Racial Disparities in Access to Public Water and Sewer Service in North Carolina
For the past five years, my students and I have been analyzing publicly available data to document racial disparities in access to community water and sewer service in North Carolina. We have mapped locations where such disparities exist, analyzed water quality in selected communities lacking access to public water, and analyzed the health implications. Our research is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the IBM Junior Faculty Development Award.
I also talk about the project in this video.
An overview of my project on racial disparities in water access.
Students analyze microbiological quality of drinking water collected from homes unserved by a public water supply, in order to analyze health risks
The Impact of Intensive Livestock Production on the Disease Ecology of Antibiotic Resistant Staphylococcus
I am part of a multi-investigator team analyzing the risks for human health of antibiotic use in high-density hog farms. My students and I are developing a Bayesian belief network model to predict the risks that humans will become infected with multi-drug-resistant Staphyloccocus aureus as a result of intensive antiobiotic use in hog farms. This research is funded by the National Science Foundation.
You can see a news story about the research project here.
On-Line Decision Support Tools for Managing Emerging Pathogen Risks in Wastewater
With post-doctoral research Kelsey Pieper, my team is building a Bayesian belief network model to predict risks to wastewater workers exposed to sewage from hospitals and other healthcare facilities treating patients infected by Ebola and other emerging pathogens. We are analyzing the magnitude of these risks plus alternative approaches for improving worker protection. This work is funded by the Water-Environment Research Foundation.
Effects of Urban Form on Public Health
With doctoral student Ted Mansfield and others, my team is exploring how alternative designs for cities affect public health through effects on air quality and opportunities for walking and cycling. Our goal is to identify urban design features that minimize adverse environmental and health impacts—representing a re-establishment of links between urban planners and environmental engineers that began with the sanitarian movement in the late nineteenth century.
This work has been funded by the BlueCross BlueShield Foundation of North Carolina and by the North Carolina Department of Transportation. You can read news about some of our research here.