Environmental Health Microbiology Lab at UNC

My research interests are in environmental health microbiology, with a focus on water quality.  I am developing novel tools and technologies to detect and track pathogens in water.  I am also interested in evaluating impacts of non-point source pollution, and in evaluating the manner in which land-based activities (e.g. development, storm water management or agricultural practices) can affect human exposure to microbial contaminants.  Overall, this research is leading to a greater understanding of how environmental conditions can affect human health, and how humans themselves influence this process.

Current areas of research include:

  • Developing tools and technologies to measure microbial contaminants in water
  • Studying recreational waters impacted by nonpoint source pollution
  • Evaluating relationships between land use and water quality
  • Modeling how storm events affect pathogen loading into waterbodies
  • Characterizing the emergence and dissemination of antibiotic resistant bacteria, particularly MRSA


Recent News:

  • Sarah Hatcher (PhD, 2015) was accepted to CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service for a 2-year term starting in June 2016
  • Sarah Hatcher (PhD, 2015) and Elizabeth Christenson (PhD, in progress) are both recipients of the UNC Graduate School 2016 Impact Awards for research directly contributing to the well-being of North Carolina citizens
  • Congratulations to Brianna Young (MS, 2016) and Allie Nguyen (BSPH, 2016) for successfully defending their theses!

The Stewart Lab Gingerbread Dream Team collaborates to win the annual departmental holiday gingerbread contest