Student Associates

The Climate Change and Health Initiative Student Associates are graduate, professional, and undergraduate students from public health, forestry and environmental studies, nursing, geology, medicine, management, divinity, and biology, who all share a passion for understanding the interface between climate change and health. The CCHI Student Associates program provides a venue for students across the university to discuss ideas in an interdisciplinary environment, learn from experts in the field, and grow together to ultimately perform research or implement interventions on pressing topics related to climate change and health.

Sappho Gilbert

Coordinator, CCHI Student Associate Program and CCHI Pre-doctoral Fellow

Sappho Gilbert

Sappho Gilbert is a CCHI Pre-Doctoral Fellow and doctoral student in the Department of Chronic Disease Epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health.  Her research interests include mental wellness, community health, food security, nutrition, and climate change in the Arctic.  Through her work in these areas, she aims to also address salient issues of humanitarian health, human rights, indigenous rights, and ethics.  Sappho earned her Master’s in Public Health from Dartmouth College and graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Science in biology with a minor in political science.

Alyssa Parpia

CCHI Pre-doctoral Fellow

Alyssa Parpia
Alyssa Parpia is a CCHI Pre-doctoral Fellow. She is a doctoral student in the Department of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases at the Yale School of Public Health concentrating in quantifying the impact of climate change on water-borne disease outbreaks and spread in Southeast Asia and East Africa. She also seeks to research the disproportionate communicable disease burden among climate refugee populations related to diarrheal diseases, and evaluate the impact of public health and sanitation infrastructure interventions in reducing these risks. Alyssa holds an M.P.H in Epidemiology from the University of Toronto and a B.A.H in Global Development Studies and Biochemistry from Queen’s University, Canada.

Annie Arbuthnot

Annie Arbuthnot
Annie is a second-year master’s student at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Her professional interests include climate change adaptation and ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction. Specifically, she is interested in the effects of increasingly severe weather events on public health and using conservation to increase resilience to natural hazards. Annie holds a BA in biology from Mount Holyoke College and is a leader for the student group Health and Environment at Yale (HEY).

Jillian Armstrong

Jillian Armstrong
Jillian Armstrong is a first-year doctoral student in the Department of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases at the Yale School of Public Health. Her research interests include maternal and child health in relation to vector-borne and zoonotic diseases and the impact of climate change on parasitic disease distribution and transmission. She received her Master’s in Global Health Science from the University of California, San Francisco where she did her capstone research on Chagas disease cardiomyopathy, congenital transmission, and vector distribution in the Bolivian Chaco. She hopes to incorporate climatic, geospatial, and epidemiologic data in an interdisciplinary approach to reduce morbidity and mortality from vector-borne diseases in underserved demographics.

Mikaela Bradbury

Mikaela Bradbury
Mikaela is a first-year Master of Environmental Management Candidate at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, studying business and the environment. Mikaela is interested in innovation, supply chain transformation, and educational experiences that deliver co-benefits for the environment and human health, through a systems-based holistic approach that integrates design, technology, culture and ecology. Mikaela currently serves as the Climate Change Entrepreneurship Coordinator at the Yale Center for Business and the Environment and is the Founder of a clothing start-up, ARJUNA.AG, a 21st century protective apparel company.

Laura Brush

Laura Brush
Laura Brush is a first-year Master of Environmental Management student at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. She is interested in climate-resilient cities, environmental justice, and science communications. Laura has experience supporting government initiatives that aim to increase the public’s awareness of flood risk mitigation and emergency preparedness.

Saskia Comess

Saskia Comess
Saskia is a first-year master's student in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at the Yale School of Public Health. She is interested in the impact of climate change on food systems and agriculture and would like to address issues in communicating climate and health science to the public. Saskia graduated from Vassar College with a Bachelor's in Science, Technology & Society and a minor in Mathematics.

Cassie Clark

Cassie Clark
Cassie is a doctoral student in the Environmental Health Sciences Department at the Yale School of Public Health. Her research interests include characterizing risks to human health from chemical contaminants in drinking water, particularly contamination associated with hydraulic fracturing. She is also broadly interested in the protection and sustainable use of drinking water resources.

Emilie Davis

Emilie Davis
Emilie is a first-year master’s student in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at the Yale School of Public Health. Her research interests include the impacts of natural disasters on human health and the environment, particularly in the context of environmental justice. Emilie has a background in environmental conservation and land management projects and in providing assistance during disaster response and recovery efforts.

Hanna Ehrlich

ehrlich image
Hanna is a second-year PhD student in the department of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases at the Yale School of Public Health. She studies the eco-epidemiology of vector-borne and zoonotic diseases: how pathogens are transmitted from wildlife to humans. At Yale, her research focuses on the emergence and spread of drug-resistant malaria. Critical to this is a broader understanding of the socio-ecological communities in which host-parasite interactions are embedded, and how environmental changes impact disease vectors and outcomes.

Jonathan Held

Jonathan Held
Jonathan is a second year master's student at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies focusing on the intersection between climate change science and policy. As a Student Associate, he is interested in learning about the public health impacts of climate change and the potential for health to serve as a narrative for climate change communication.

Sophia Kecskes

Sophia Kecskes
Sophia is a second-year master’s student in the Department of Health Policy at the Yale School of Public Health student focusing on health policy and global health through the accelerated 5-year BA/MPH program. She graduated from Yale College last spring with a major in Political Science. Her passions are in promoting children's health and working towards health equity in the US and abroad. She is particularly interested in learning more about the connections between climate change and early childhood health, as well as childhood trauma.

Sarah (Sadie) Meller

Sarah (Sadie) Meller
Sadie is an MD student at the Yale School of Medicine and a PhD student in the Yale Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program. She is interested in how environmental hazards impact brain development and is studying how immune cell activation alters neuronal migration. Sadie hopes to advocate for children and help communicate their vulnerability to the health effects of climate change.

Elsie Moore

Elsie Moore
Elsie Moore is a second-year master’s student in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Yale School of Public Health. Her academic focus is on planetary health and in particular climate change and health. She is interested in the co-benefits of sustainable urban design approaches and policies in cities around the globe.

Lindsay Olsen

Lindsay Olsen
Lindsay is a first-year master’s student at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Originally hailing from a commercial fishing family in Alaska, she is interested in the impacts of climate change on food security in coastal communities. She holds a B.A. in History from Williams College, and in 2013 completed a Watson Fellowship studying the cross-cultural identity of fishermen on the remote shores of New Zealand, Indonesia, Madagascar, Norway, and the Faroe Islands.

Dashni Sathasivam

Dashni Sathasivam
Dashni is a first-year master’s student in the Department of Health Policy at the Yale School of Public Health. Dashni has a background in providing community health outreach to underserved communities and is fluent in Spanish. Her interests include systems of power; the ways in which climate change exacerbates existing health disparities; and policy approaches that strengthen the environmental resilience of vulnerable communities while promoting health equity.

Rose Sulentic

Rose Sulentic
Rose is a second-year master’s student in the Department of Environmental Health Science at the Yale School of Public Health. Rose is interested in the environmental justice implications of climate change and planetary health. She is also interested in water systems impacts on health, building urban sustainability, and practical solutions to environmental problems.

Candice Taguibao

Candice Taguibao
Candice Taguibao is a first year master’s student in the Department of Health Policy at the Yale School of Public Health. She is interested in issues of health equity, global public health, and how climate change impacts access to healthcare.

Pamela Torola

Pamela Torola
Pam is a senior in Yale College majoring in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. She works for the City of New Haven on climate change mitigation and resilience planning, analytics, and stakeholder outreach. In addition, she is Head of the Center for Energy & Environment at Yale Roosevelt Institute, which partners with the City to research potential policies. Her research with Dr. Michael Donoghue includes modelling plant species’ climatic niches, and she hopes in the future to use the skills she’s learning to answer questions about climate change and agriculture. Pam is interested in ways food systems, climate change, and health interact – from the policy, ecology, and social justice standpoints.

Jonah Ury

photo of Jonah Ury
Jonah Ury is a junior in Yale College double majoring in Ethics, Politics & Economics and Ecology & Evolutionary Biology.  Through both majors he hopes to study issues of public health and the environment, with a particular focus on health-related ecosystem services. He is interested in sustainability in its broadest sense -- connecting economic, environmental, and public health sustainability via political and scientific institutions.

Natasha Wasim

Natasha Wasim
Natasha Wasim is a first-year master’s student in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at the Yale School of Public Health. Her academic and research interests are in occupational environmental health and the pollutant effects of professional sectors including healthcare industries, college campuses, and corporate fields. She hopes that by identifying mitigation strategies in occupational settings, prevention measures can be taken early for health disparities in the work field.

Siyu (Sue) Xiao

Siyu Xiao
Sue is a fourth-year MD Candidate at Yale School of Medicine. She serves as co-president of the YSM chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility. Sue is interested in raising awareness and supporting advocacy among health professionals and trainees about the effects of climate change on health, as well as the impact of healthcare on the environment. As her research focuses on doctor-patient communication, Sue is also interested in communication with the public, both patients and in general, on the effects of climate change on human health.