Jeffrey Shaman, PhDJeff Shaman EHS Environmental Health Sciences

Associate Professor of Environmental Health Sciences
Director of the Climate and Health Program
Link: Faculty pageShaman groupInfluenza forecasts

Dr. Jeff Shaman’s background is in climate, atmospheric science and hydrology, as well as biology. Dr. Shaman studies the environmental determinants of infectious disease transmission. In particular, he investigates how hydrologic variability affects mosquito ecology and mosquito-borne disease transmission, and how atmospheric conditions impact the survival, transmission and seasonality of pathogens. More broadly, Dr. Shaman is interested in how meteorology affects human health. Dr. Shaman is now working to develop systems to forecast infectious disease outbreaks at a range of time scales. In addition, he studies a number of climate phenomena, including Rossby wave dynamics, atmospheric jet waveguides, the coupled South Asian monsoon-ENSO system, extratropical precipitation, and tropical cyclogenesis.


Associate Professor of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology
Link: Faculty Page

Dr. Maria Diuk-Wasser studies the ecology, evolution and epidemiology of vector-borne pathogens, in particular those transmitted by ticks such as the Lyme disease bacterium. Her research focuses on how anthropogenic environmental change, such as climate and land use change, influence human disease risk by altering the complex interactions among pathogens, vectors and hosts. Dr. Diuk-Wasser uses a combination of laboratory transmission experiments, molecular tools, field studies, and mathematical and statistical modeling to identify the factors driving pathogen transmission, persistence and human infection risk. Her current focus is on how climate-driven tick behavior and infection dynamics in natural hosts affect local pathogen abundance, diversity and geographic spread. 

Kinney newDarby Jack, PhD

Assistant Professor of Environmental Health Sciences
Link: Faculty page

Dr. Darby Jack studies environmental health risks in developing countries, the health impacts of climate change, and the role of the urban environment in shaping health. For the last several years his primary focus has been the health effects of exposure to indoor air pollution from biomass fuels. With support from the Center for Environmental Health in Northern Manhattan, he has helped to develop a Columbia-wide biomass working group, which coordinates and supports interdisciplinary research on the topic. These collaborations have given rise to current efforts to measure the health benefits of clean cookstoves in Ghana, Kenya, and India. He holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University and an undergraduate degree from Williams College.

Marianthi-Anna Kioumourtzoglou, ScD

Assistant Professor of Environmental Health Sciences
Link: Faculty page

Dr. Marianthi-Anna Kioumourtzoglou is an environmental engineer and an environmental epidemiologist. Her research focuses on assessing the impact of ambient air pollution exposures on human health. She is very interested in exploring statistical issues related to air pollution epidemiology, such as quantifying and addressing exposure measurement error and assessing exposure to mixtures. Furthermore, her research also involves exploring life-style, neighborhood and weather-related factors that change vulnerability to air pollution exposures.


Senior Scientist at National Resource Defense Council
Assistant Clinical Professor of Environmental Health Sciences
Chair of Global Climate Change and Health Topic Committee of American Public Health Association
Link: Faculty pageNatural Resources Defense Council

Dr. Kim Knowlton’s research focuses on the health effects of climate change; advocating for strategies to prepare for and prevent these impacts, especially for our most vulnerable communities; and making health a more central feature of national, state, and local climate change adaptation plans. She has researched heat- and ozone-related mortality and illnesses; connections between climate change, pollen, allergies and asthma, as well as infectious diseases like dengue fever; the health costs of climate change; and domestic and international climate-health preparedness strategies. She holds a Master’s degree in Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences from Hunter College, and received her Doctorate in Public Health from Columbia University.

Micaela Martinez-Bakker, PhD

Assistant Professor of Environmental Health Sciences
Link: Martinez lab

Dr. Martinez is an infectious disease ecologist. Her primary focus is understanding the drivers that shape seasonality in infectious disease systems, with particular interest in the impact of biological rhythms (i.e., circadian and circannual rhythms) on disease. Her current projects aim to inform vaccination policy by revealing how demographic, physiological, and environmental factors intersect in epidemic-prone disease systems, including poliomyelitis, measles, and chickenpox. Dr. Martinez also conducts research on maternal immunity in infants and is building a statistical inference pipeline for studying vaccine modes of action. She utilizes cutting-edge statistical inference techniques and mathematical models to couple disease incidence data with clinical data to gain insight into the transmission dynamics of disease. 

Terry McGovern, JD

Harriet and Robert H. Heilbrunn Professor and Chair of Population and Family Health
Link: Faculty page

Professor McGovern brings expertise in the intersection of health, human rights and environmental justice.  From 2006 until 2012, she was a Senior Program Officer at the Ford Foundation, where she worked in New Orleans post hurricane Katrina.  She has also done work related to the legality of non-disclosure agreements and the role of indigenous women in tribal councils. Professor McGovern is leading a new, School-wide initiative on Global Health Justice and Governance to identify transformative opportunities to solve complex public health challenges in environmental health, food, and gender.  Professor McGovern also developed and teaches a course on Environmental Justice and Advocacy, looking at the disproportionate burdens of environmental contamination and resultant health disparities affecting marginalized communities across the U.S. and globally. 

Kinney newRachel L. Miller, MD, FAAAAI

Associate Professor of Medicine and Environmental Health Sciences (in Pediatrics)
Link: Faculty pageDivision of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine

Dr. Rachel Miller’s work concentrates on the mechanisms for the onset of asthma and allergies. A major emphasis is on the role of prenatal and early postnatal environmental exposure on pediatric asthma risk. Additional areas include environmental epigenetics on lung disease. Dr. Miller is particularly interested in studying the effect of  climate change on the allergic immune response and allergies in the urban environment.   Her medical office specializes in the treatment of asthma, allergies and conduction of clinical trials.


Associate Professor of Health Policy and Management
Link: Faculty page

Dr. Matt Neidell’s research focuses primarily on 1) understanding how individuals respond to changes in pollution, with an emphasis on understanding the role of public information in affecting these responses, and 2) how pollution affects a wide range of outcomes, including hospitalizations, mortality, school absences, and labor market outcomes.  A current line of research focuses on the impacts of air pollution on the productivity of agricultural workers.


Professor of Environmental Health Sciences
Director of the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health
Director of Disease Investigation Through Specialized Clinically-Oriented Ventures in Environmental Research (DISCOVER) Center
Link: Faculty pageColumbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health

Dr. Perera is internationally recognized for pioneering the field of molecular epidemiology, utilizing biomarkers to understand links between environmental exposures and disease. Currently, she and her colleagues are applying advanced molecular and imaging techniques within longitudinal cohort studies of pregnant women and their children, with the goal of identifying preventable risk factors for developmental disorders, asthma, obesity and cancer in childhood. A focus of her research is the impact of prenatal and early childhood exposure to toxic pollutants from fossil fuel burning on neurodevelopment and health of children.  She has written about the special vulnerability of the developing fetus and child to both toxic pollutants and CO2-related climate change, and the importance of accounting for these health costs as a co-benefit of reducing dependence on fossil fuel.

Kinney newPerry Sheffield, MD, MPH

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Environmental Medicine and Public Health at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Link: Mount Sinai

Dr. Perry Sheffield completed the Pediatric Environmental Health Fellowship at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine after graduating from the Medical College of Georgia and then training in Pediatrics in the Harriet Lane Program of Johns Hopkins University.  She conducts both qualitative and quantitative research on the health impacts of climate change and public understanding of these issues with a particular focus on children.  From 2008 to 2012, she co-instructed the Mailman course Public Health Impacts of Climate Change with Dr. Kinney.

Kinney newMadeleine Thomson, PhD

Senior Research Scholar Environmental Health Sciences
Senior Research Scientist at IRI Climate & Society
Link: International Research Institute for Climate and Society

Dr. Madeleine Thomson is  the Director of the IRI/PAHO-WHO Collaborating Centre (US 306) for Early Warning Systems for Malaria and Other Climate Sensitive Diseases and leads the health portfolio at the IRI “Climate Information for Public Health Action”. She trained originally as a field entomologist and has spent much of her career engaged in operational research in support of large-scale health interventions, mostly in Africa. Her research focuses on the development of new data, methodologies and tools for improving climate sensitive health interventions Her focus has been on vector-borne diseases (e.g. malaria, onchocerciasis, visceral leishmaniasis etc.) but in recent years has expanded to include air and water-borne infections as well as broader health challenges associated with food security and disasters. She is a founding member of the Meningitis Environmental Risk Information Technologies (MERIT) research consortium and the Vice-President of a non-profit 501(3)c, the Health and Climate Foundation.


Assistant Professor of Epidemiology

Dr. Yang is trained as an environmental engineer and infectious disease modeler, with further expertise in epidemiology, statistics, and computer science.  Broadly, she is interested in understanding how infectious diseases spread through the population, as well as methods to model and predict these epidemics. Her recent work applies mathematical modeling and Bayesian inference methods to study the transmission dynamics of influenza, Ebola, and measles. She also develops forecast systems to predict outbreaks of infectious diseases. In addition, Dr. Yang studies how climate and environmental factors influence the transmission of influenza, its seasonality, and the underlying mechanisms.