Environmental Science

Faculty Research

Read about the research of some of our faculty.

Professor Halina Brown studies whether public disclosure of information about companies' environmental performance can change their behavior by mobilizing civil society. She is also studying how new technologies can play a role in changing societal consumption patterns in the direction of greater sustainability.

Professor Tim Downs is interested in the impact of environmental pollution on human health. The focus of his recent studies has been the low income immigrant communities in the Worcester area. Dr. Downs also conducts work in Latin America on water management and environmental policy.

Biology Professor Susan Foster and her students study the threespine stickleback in the lab and in the field. These small fish provide big insights into evolutionary biology.

Professor Dominik Kulakowski and his students study the ecology of mountain forest ecosystems in the U.S. Rocky Mountains, the European Alps, and other mountain ranges. This research is based on integration of rigorous data collection in the field, remote sensing, and spatio-temporal analyses with the goal of improving our collective understanding of ecology as well as informing environmental policy.

Environmental science and policy Professor Dale Hattis studies the level of cancer risk associated with exposure to a wide variety of chemical substances. He and student Jennifer Ericson worked to compile a related database bringing together research on age-related differences in cancer susceptibility.

Professor Todd Livdahl studies several types of native and non-native mosquitos competing for habitat space in treeholes and discarded tires.

Environmental analyst Professor Gil Pontius and his students are hot on the heels of the ripple effects of changing land use. Using computers and geographic software, they simulate and make predictions about the environmental impact of land use changes.

Ecologist and hydrologist Professor Chris Williams and his students study how terrestrial ecosystems respond to climate change and disturbances such as droughts, beetle outbreaks, fires, and timber harvesting by combining measurements in the field with state of the art remote sensing and computer modeling.