Summary: My work is focused on the intersection between agricultural production and human health. The goal of my research is to develop evidence –based public health messages about how various agricultural systems affect the health of workers and consumers. The majority of my research focuses on pesticide exposures – including occupational exposures to workers; exposures to people living in agricultural communities; and dietary exposures to consumers from consumption of pesticide residues on food. My research has focused on organophosphate insecticides, methyl bromide as a nematicide, and most recently the herbicide glyphosate. Glyphosate is particularly interesting because most genetic engineering (e.g., GMO) is designed to create glyphosate-resistant crops. My work investigates the degree to which the development of GMO technology has increased glyphosate exposure in vulnerable populations and aims to understand whether there this increase has resulted in any adverse human health effects. I also study agricultural safety more generally, with projects focused on improving farmworker health and reducing illness and injuries in this population.

Minimum classes: N/A

Projects: 

By working in my lab, an INBRE fellow may be involved in projects such as:

  1. Understanding the effect of an organic diet on pesticide exposure in pregnant women. Fellows working on this project might be involved in participant recruitment; survey administration; urine sample collection; urinalysis for specific gravity, color and clarity; data management; data analysis; and/or manuscript preparation.
  2. Bromide uptake in crops. This project aims to determine the degree to which pesticide residues are present in crops grown subsequent to fumigation with methyl bromide. Fellows working on this project may travel to eastern Idaho to collect crop samples (alfalfa, corn, barley, wheat, etc.) and may be involved in data management, data analysis and/or manuscript preparation.
  3. Worker safety in potato production. Fellows involved in this project may administer surveys to potato growers about their perceptions of hazards at their farms; travel to potato farms to observe/film various growing practices; data management and analysis and/or manuscript preparation.
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