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.

Alyssa Parpia

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

Alyssa Parpia
Alyssa Parpia 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.

Annie Arbuthnot

Annie Arbuthnot
Annie is a first-year master’s student at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. Her professional interests include climate change adaptation and resilience to natural disasters. She is especially interested in the effects of increasingly severe weather events on public health, and how we can manage our natural systems in a way that will increase resilience to natural disasters.

Kelsie Cassell

Kelsie Cassell
Kelsie is a second-year master’s student in the Department of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases at the Yale School of Public Health. She is interested in the spatial patterns of respiratory disease and how climate change, particularly air pollution and atmospheric weather fluctuations, can affect the spread of respiratory infections such as influenza and legionella. She hopes that by identifying such spatial patterns, specialized surveillance and prevention measures can be taken early for high risk subpopulations and geographic areas.

Rona Chen

Rona Chen is a first-year master’s student in the Department of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases at the Yale School of Public Health. She is interested in the emergence of vector-borne and zoonotic diseases in the context of global health and environmental conservation; specifically, how anthropogenic change is related to the distribution and transmission of disease in both wildlife reservoirs and in human populations. She hopes to focus on how emerging infectious disease, socioeconomic determinants, and global change biology intersect and interact to find sustainable public health solutions.

Rachel Clare

Rachel Clare is a second-year master’s student in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Yale School of Public Health. Her research focuses on how urban agriculture can be used to mitigate the effects of climate change, improve population health outcomes in underserved areas, and reduce health disparities related to knowledge and food access for individuals with nutrition-related chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes.

Hanna Ehrlich

Hanna is a first-year doctoral 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 and aims to discover the micro and macro forces that affect how and why a pathogen is transmitted from insects or animals to human hosts. Critical to this research is a broader understanding of the socio-ecological communities in which host-pathogen interactions are embedded, and how environmental and climatic changes impact disease vectors and outcomes.

Lyndsay Gavin

Gavin Lyndsay
Lyndsay is a second-year master’s student in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at the Yale School of Public Health with a background in environmental engineering. She has worked for the California EPA Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, examining the association between temperature and mental health hospitalizations. Lyndsay is interested in the built environment and how urban design can be optimized to promote both environmental sustainability and human health.

Wonji Kim

Wonji Kim
Wonji Kim is a candidate for Master of Divinity at the Yale Divinity School. As a child of missionaries in rural Thailand, he witnessed the disproportionate effects of climate change and health outcomes. He is particularly interested in helping Christian communities reconcile the growing evidence of climate change and apocalyptic theology

Martha Longley

Martha Longley
Martha is a junior geology and geophysics major at Yale College. She is interested in using past and present earth system science to better understand how current climate dynamics will impact public health.

Victoria Lynch

Victoria Lynch
Tory is a second-year master’s student in the Department of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases at the Yale School of Public Health. She is interested in the epidemiological implications of climate change and how it will affect the transmission of water-borne infectious disease. In Dr. Ginny Pizer’s lab, she is studying the influence of seasonal precipitation and extreme weather events on the incidence of typhoid. In the future, she would like to focus her research on regions where marginalized communities are disproportionately affected by the ecological and social upheaval associated with climate change.

Maya Mahin

Maya Mahin
Maya is a second-year master’s student in the Department of Health Policy & Management at the Yale School of Public Health. She is interested in the effect of climate change on maternal health and reproductive outcomes. Her secondary interest in the health co-benefits of climate change mitigation in the agricultural sector.

Elsie Moore

Elsie Moore
Elsie Moore is a first-year master’s student in the Department of Social and Behavioral Science at the Yale School of Public Health. Elsie is interested in the intersections between public health and urban planning and specifically how climate change is impacting health in urbanizing cities around the globe.

Emma Phelps

Emma Phelps
Emma Phelps is a sophomore double major in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Ethnicity, Race and Migration at Yale College. After taking a class on public health, she became interested in the way that environmental problems, including climate change, impact health.

Brunilda Pizarro

Brunilda Pizarro is a first-year master’s student at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. Her research interests center on the impact of climate change on food security, displacement and community health in low-income urban communities.

Elise Rose

Elise Rose
Elise is a master’s student at Yale School of Nursing, studying Nurse-Midwifery & Women’s Health. She is interested in how the perceived threat of climate change and its associated impacts, including sea level rise, drought, and crop failure, impact women’s family planning decisions.

Jessica Scott

Jessica Scott
Jessica is a second-year master’s student at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. She is interested in the relationship between climate change and conflict. She focuses on the pathways through which climate change can exacerbate existing instabilities in societies, especially when those instabilities could result in conflict. It is through this lens that she engages with human security, the primary driver of which is human health.

Trevor Thompson

Trevor Thompson
Trevor is a joint Master of Environmental Management and Master of Business Administration (MEM/MBA) candidate at Yale University. He is interested in how the public health and environmental justice communities can respond to the threats of climate change, particularly in the contexts of extreme heat, forced migration, and vector-borne diseases. Trevor has experience in climate and health research, climate adaptation planning, creation of social equity indicators for climate adaptation, and scenario planning with regards to health and climate change.

Siyu (Sue) Xiao

Siyu Xiao
Sue is a MD Candidate at the Yale School of Medicine. She is interested in the effects of climate change on the burden of chronic disease, as well as the evolution of its diagnosis and treatment. She is also interested in the place of climate change within medical education as it relates to social determinants of health. As her research focuses on doctor-patient communication, Sue is interested in communication with the public, both patients and in general, on the effects of climate change on human health.