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November 8. 2007

Center for a Livable Future Names Predoctoral Fellows for 2007-2008

The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's Center for a Livable Future (CLF) has awarded predoctoral fellowships to eight students for 2007-2008. The awards in amounts up to $50,000 are given to Johns Hopkins University predoctoral students who are committed to the discovery and application of knowledge about the environmental, economic, social, and health impacts of industrial animal production and practices in the United States or abroad. The grants may be used for tuition, stipend and research expenses. The CLF Predoctoral Fellowship Program, now in its fifth year, is made possible by a generous donor.

clf fellows

Clockwise from right: CLF Director Dr. Robert Lawrence, D’Ann Williams, Yayi Guo, Carmen Arriola, Kristen Gibson, Julia DeBruicker, Sharon Nappier, Edward Broughton. Not pictured is Amy Peterson.

This year’s recipients are: Carmen Arriola, a third year student in International Health; Edward Broughton, a second year student in International Health; Julia DeBruicker, a second year student in Health, Behavior and Society; Kristen Gibson, a second year student in Environmental Health Sciences; Yayi Guo, a first year student in Environmental Health Sciences; Sharon Nappier, a fourth year student, also in Environmental Health Sciences; Amy Peterson, a fourth year student in Epidemiology and D’Ann Williams, a second year student in Environmental Health Sciences.
 
Carmen Arriola is a veterinarian with a DVM degree from San Marcos Major National University in Lima, Peru and a second year CLF Predoctoral Fellow. She is concerned about the vulnerability of human populations to the health and economic impacts of zoonotic (animal to human) diseases. Dr. Arriola’s proposed research is the first systematic study of the environmental and public health impact of the porcine industry in Peru. In addition, she will assess the stress level of hogs raised in facilities of different sizes in that country. She hopes to apply her research findings to practical uses, especially for underserved populations around the world. Her project advisors are Robert Gilman, MD, a professor in the Department of International Health and Ellen Silbergeld, PhD, professor in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences.

Edward Broughton’s experience with his family’s shellfish farms in Australia led to his interest in integrated aquaculture and poultry operations. His research will examine the association between mixed industrial animal production and zoonotic infections, particularly in the context of highly pathogenic avian influenza in developing countries. He would like to add to the body of knowledge that guides food production policy at the national and international levels. Broughton earned his B.App.Sci. degree from Curtin University in Perth, Australia and his MPH from Columbia University. His advisors are Damian Walker, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of International Health, and Ellen Silbergeld, PhD, professor in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences.

Julia DeBruicker will examine why Americans consume as much meat as they do. As a result of this research, Julia hopes to discover possible behavioral interventions that would generate greater demand for pastured, grass-fed and other sustainably raised meats. DeBruicker’s mixed-methods (quantitative + qualitative) methodology will build on her professional experience producing documentary media by involving visual and audio data gathering, analysis and reporting. Her faculty advisors are Jane Bertrand, PhD, director of the Center for Communication Programs and professor in the Department of Health, Behavior and Society, and Peter Winch, associate professor in the Department of International Health.

Kristen Gibson is interested in the environmental and public health impacts of industrial animal production through surface and groundwater transport of emerging human and animal pathogens. Over the past four years she has conducted research within the Johns Hopkins Center for Water and Health and has been involved in projects addressing some of the public health consequences of industrial animal production. As a second year doctoral student and a second year CLF Predoctoral Fellow, she plans to develop new methods to investigate emerging pathogens and their persistence and transport through surface and groundwater sources potentially impacted by industrial animal production. Gibson earned her bachelor’s degree in microbiology and molecular biology from the University of Central Florida. Her doctoral advisor is Kellogg Schwab, PhD, MS, associate professor in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences.

Yayi Guo is interested in investigating methods to detect and eliminate pollutants in drinking waters, interactions between multiple waterborne hazards, as well as multiple-source risk assessments.  She plans on further studying the efficacy of point-of-use water systems in removing both biological as well as chemical pollutants from contaminated water sources.  The appropriate selection and use of such systems to treat source water prior to ingestion can potentially alleviate much of the contaminant load in the water, thereby greatly reducing the risks of illnesses. Guo earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and her MHS degree from the Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her doctoral advisor is Kellogg J. Schwab, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences. 
 
Sharon Nappier is interested in the microbial assessment of untreated waste from animal and human sources now being deposited in surface waters. The environmental and public health impacts of pathogens include contamination of shellfish in the Chesapeake Bay. Nappier is currently comparing clearance of pathogens by native (Chesapeake Bay) and non-native oyster species to assess the risks of non-native oysters as a vehicle for human and zoonotic pathogens. This will help inform the State of Maryland and the commercial oyster industry about potential human health impacts of the introduction of non-native oyster species currently being proposed. This will be Nappier’s third year as a CLF Fellow. She earned her bachelor’s degree in biology and environmental studies from The George Washington University and a MSPH from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her doctoral advisors are Kellogg Schwab, PhD, MS, and Thaddeus Graczyk, PhD, MSc, both associate professors in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences.

Amy Peterson received her DVM from Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2001. She has worked in the field as part of a joint U.S./United Kingdom deployment to investigate and control the United Kingdom Foot and Mouth Disease epidemic of 2001 and spent two years in both large and small animal clinical practice. Peterson plans to investigate the transmission and transfer of antimicrobial resistant bacteria and resistance genes from swine farms to an estuarine environment, affecting both human populations who use the area for fishing and recreation and resident wildlife populations. Peterson’s research interests include wildlife conservation medicine, understanding the factors that drive disease transmission and emergence across species, and sustainable agriculture in developing countries. Her doctoral advisor is Ellen Silbergeld, PhD, professor in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences, and her faculty advisor is Kenrad Nelson, MD, professor in the school’s Department of Epidemiology.

D’Ann Williams is a DrPH student at the Bloomberg School of Public Health while also working in the Division of Environmental Health Engineering. She received an undergraduate degree in natural sciences from Towson University and a Master’s degree in Environmental Sciences from the Johns Hopkins University. At the Center for Asthma in the Urban Environment, she focuses on environmental sampling to evaluate source exposure and determinants of asthma. In 2001, working with a NIEHS/JHSPH team at the World Trade Center, she investigated airborne exposures of workers. She also worked in New Orleans to assess airborne mold levels within the city after Hurricane Katrina. Current research interests include community exposures to contaminants emitted by dairy IAP, mold, environmental tobacco smoke and GIS analysis. Her proposed research is to assess the exposure to contaminants from dairy concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO) in indoor and outdoor environments in Yakima Valley Washington. Her doctoral advisor is Patrick Breysse, PhD, MHS, professor in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences, and her faculty advisor is Alison Geyh, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences.

Contact for the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future: Chris Stevens at 410-502-7578 or dcsteven@jhsph.edu.
Public Affairs media contact for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: Tim Parsons at 410-955-6878 or paffairs@jhsph.edu.