Meet the 2024 cohort and scroll down to learn about fellows from prior cohorts
Aalayna R. Green is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Natural Resources & the Environment, with affiliations in the Department of Feminist, Gender & Sexuality Studies, at Cornell University. She obtained her B.S. in Zoology from Michigan State University. Green is a Sloan Scholar and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow.
Brandon Rothrock (he/him) is a queer, (dis)abled geographer hailing from New Jersey. He holds a B.S. in Geography from Penn State University and a M.A. in Geography from West Virginia University. He is a first-year Geography PhD student and EmPOWERment NSF Research Trainee at The Ohio State University studying human-environment interactions and sustainable energy systems.
Greer Hamilton (she/her/hers) is a Transitional Postdoctoral Fellow and incoming Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan School of Social Work. Her research interests focus on exploring how systems of oppression inform and shape the urban built environment and people’s relationship to places of meaning (e.g., neighborhoods).
Jose Ramon Becerra Vera is a PhD candidate in the Department of Anthropology at Purdue University, working in the Farmer Learning, Agriculture, Culture, Humanities, and Social science laboratory. He specializes in the political ecology of pollution, uneven exposure, and environmental and climate justice. Currently a National Geographic Explorer, he collects dissertation field data with citizen scientists in Southern California’s Inland Empire, examining uneven exposure to wildfire smoke and logistics transportation pollution.
Laura is a Ph.D. student in Environmental Health Sciences at UC Berkeley where she studies how biomarkers of mitochondrial dysfunction can shed light on the underpinnings between exposure to social and environmental stressors on atopic disease among children in frontline environmental justice communities.
Lili (she/her) is a Honduran Ph.D. candidate at the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara. As an interdisciplinary seafood scientist, she merges her expertise in marine ecology, fishery sciences, social sciences, and anthropology to unravel the intricate dynamics of marine social-ecological systems. With a profound commitment to environmental justice, Lili’s research revolves around small-scale fisheries and aquaculture.
Trained as an economist, Mokshda received her master’s and bachelor’s degree in economics from Mumbai University in India. Currently, she is a PhD candidate in the PhD in Sustainable Energy program at the School of Sustainability at Arizona State University. While her motivating research question relates to understanding the process of policy design, the mainstay of her research interests lies in the justice and equity implications of the clean energy transition.
Pradnya Garud is an environmental health data equity strategist for the Oregon Health Authority in the Data and Epidemiology Unit. Pradnya completed a Ph.D. in geography from the School of Geography, Development & Environment at the University of Arizona and received a Master of Science in Environmental Sciences from Mumbai University. Her scholarly work has engaged with human and environmental relationships, and her research interests include social movements, political ecology, and environmental justice.
Timnit Kefela is an Eritrean American environmental scientist and educator who seeks to better understand (micro)plastic pathways, fates and impacts in effort to inform and design liberatory and community-driven infrastructural solutions for pollution and waste management. She holds a BSc and MSc in Biology from Rutgers University-Camden and was the first Black woman to receive her PhD in Environmental Science and Management from the Bren School at UC Santa Barbara.
Ufuoma (oo-fwo-ma) Ovienmhada is an engineer by education, and remote sensing scientist by training, harnessing community-based research methods to advance the design and application of satellite remote sensing technology for environmental justice. She is a PhD candidate in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT.
Wellington Onyenwe is currently serving as a Health Scientist, Environmental Toxicologist and Public Health Emergency Responder at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as consulting ongoing research projects with the Environmental Protection Agency/Food and Drug Administration. His talents have led him to lend technical assistance to Exposure Science and Emergency Response matters including the Ebola, Zika, Flint, Monkeypox, EVALI Responses, amongst other projects, in various capacities and roles.
Alexa White is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Michigan. Alexa is working to increase the number of scientists and engineers of color involved in community-led environmental justice research through her role as co-founder and executive director of her think tank, the AYA Research Institute.
Dr. Candis M. Hunter is an Environmental Health Scientist with research interests in environmental justice, food accessibility, community engagement, implementation science, and children’s health to advance health equity and multisector partnerships. She received her BS in Chemistry from Spelman College and her MSPH with a dual concentration in Environmental & Occupational Health and Epidemiology from Emory University Rollins School of Public Health.
Carolyn E. Ramírez completed their Ph.D. in chemical engineering at Northwestern University in June of 2022. They studied physical organic chemistry in graduate school, focusing on nonlinear spectroscopy of artificial photosynthetic compounds for use in solar cells.
Denise is a Mexican Indigenous Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Center for Toxicology and Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health at The University of Arizona (UA). Her research focuses on understanding how volatile organic compounds interact in workplace air and impact low-wage, minority workers in small business beauty salons and auto shops in Tucson, Arizona.
Gabriel is a native of North Carolina and a Ph.D. student of Environmental Sciences at Yale University’s School of the Environment, interested in the interface of energy justice, urban ecology, and health. For his dissertation, he focuses on how disparities in energy-efficient housing are affecting urban rodent disease and allergen exposure in Philadelphia.
Jan-Michael Archer is a PhD Candidate and National Science Foundation Research Trainee at the University of Maryland School of Public Health. Jan’s research pursues better practices for using community science to increase environmental health literacy and reduce poor health outcomes in neighborhoods suffering from air pollution overburden.
JoRee LaFrance – also known as Iichiinmáatchileesh/Fortunate with Horses – comes from the Apsáalooke/Crow Nation located in southeastern Montana. She holds a B.A. in Earth Sciences and Native American Studies from Dartmouth College and is now a doctoral student in the Department of Environmental Science at the University of Arizona.
Kevin is an incoming Diné PhD student in Environmental Health Sciences at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. His research investigates the distribution of metal exposures (uranium, arsenic, etc.) in groundwater and diet across US indigenous communities and their relationship with related health outcomes.
Dr. Iglesias-Ríos’s research interests are the intersection of environmental and occupational health with precarious employment and labor exploitation in vulnerable populations. Her previous research assessed the impact of labor trafficking by studying how patterns of violence and coercion affect the mental health of female and male trafficking survivors including children, adolescents and adults.
Marissa Chan is an Afro-Caribbean and Chinese PhD student in Population Health Sciences within the Department of Environmental Health at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Her research interests and work experience surround environmental justice and beauty justice, specifically focusing on the intersection of place-based environmental hazards and product-based exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in personal care products.
Nsilo Berry is Health Impact Researcher for Healthy Building Network, where he works to research the health associated outcomes of building products in historically marginalized communities, as well as the environment. Previously, Nsilo worked with nonprofit organizations such as Global Health Brigades and Power-Up Gambia, where he was responsible for sustainable health projects in Central America and Africa.
As an environmental epidemiologist with a background in physics, Dr. Robbie M. Parks has diverse experience in large-scale multi-disciplinary quantitative research focused on climate-related exposures and public health. He is currently a NIH NIEHS K99/R00 Fellow at Columbia University, and will be an Assistant Professor at Columbia University in Environmental Health Sciences from Spring 2023.
Sabah Usmani is an PhD student in the Climate and Health Program at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. She is an urban planner and interdisciplinary researcher from India with experience across geographic scales in air pollution and health disparities, transportation, energy and water, and climate mitigation and adaptation planning in India, USA, Ecuador, and Malaysia.
Dr. Valerisa Joe-Gaddy is originally from Gallup, NM and is of the Diné (Navajo) people. Dr. Joe-Gaddy is an Alumna of the University of Arizona receiving both her PhD ad MS in Environmental Science with an emphasis in microbiology. Prior to UArizona, she received her BS in Microbiology from New Mexico State University.
Theresa received a Ph.D. in Marine Biomedicine and Environmental Health Sciences from the Medical University of South Carolina. Her dissertation work focused on environmental contaminants and associated health effects in Nile crocodiles. Theresa is currently an Environmental Scientist II at Arcadis.
MyDzung T. Chu, PhD, MSPH, is the Faculty Investigator at the Center for Community-Engaged Medicine in the Institute for Clinical Research and Health Policy Studies and the Director of the ADAPT (Addressing Disparities in Asian Populations through Translational Research) Coalition at Tufts Clinical and Translational Science Institute.