Sarah is a postdoctoral trainee investigating the association between occupational and environmental exposure to industrial livestock operations and antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus aureus nasal carriage and infection. She is also working on pilot research to validate microbial source tracking (MST) markers in air samples. Sarah was a NSF GRFP Fellow and received her Ph.D. from the Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering at UNC-Chapel Hill. Under the direction of Dr. Stewart, her doctoral research investigated exposure to antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus aureus among industrial hog operation workers and their <7 year old household members, compared to a group of community referent participants. As a graduate student, she also mentored undergraduate students investigating beach water quality in the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. Her interests include microbial source tracking, emerging infectious disease viewed through a One Health lens, and applied epidemiology. Sarah is also interested in science communication and the use of citizen science and community-driven research to investigate environmental health disparities and empower communities.
Patsy (PhD student) is interested in microbial water quality. She is currently completing her dissertation on the impact of land applied biosolids on the environment and human health. This environmental concern is exactly the type of work that Ms. Polston is excited about researching as there is an environmental justice component that correlates to the health of populations that are usually disenfranchised due to the color of their skin or socioeconomic status.