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!