People

Principal Investigator, Dr. Amy J. Pickering

Dr. Amy J. Pickering is the Tiampo Family Assistant Professor of Environmental Health in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Tufts University. Dr. Pickering is also core faculty of the new Tufts Center for Integrated Management of Antibiotic Resistance (CIMAR). She studies enteric disease transmission pathways among households in low-income countries and develops low-cost and scalable interventions to interrupt them. Pickering's academic career has its foundation in biological and environmental engineering, while her doctoral training was at Stanford University's Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources. She has more than 10 years of experience conducting environmental health research in low-resource settings, and has led studies in both urban and rural sites in Kenya, Bangladesh, Mali, India, and Tanzania. Before arriving at Tufts, Pickering was a Senior Fellow at the Stanford Center for Innovation in Global Health and a Research Scientist in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University. She has previously worked as an environmental engineer in the Office of Water for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, D.C. and was a Fulbright Fellow in Malaysia in 2005.

 

Postdoctoral Fellows

Maya Nadimpalli

Maya Nadimpalli
Dr. Nadimpalli is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Tufts University. She received her B.A. & Sc. in Environment from McGill University, Canada, and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences and Engineering at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She uses genomic and epidemiological approaches to understand how exposures to food, animals, and the environment can impact human colonization and infection with antibiotic-resistant bacteria, particularly in low-resource settings. Prior to joining Tufts, she was a research fellow at the Institut Pasteur in Paris, France. Her most recent work focused on examining whether meat and fish could be sources of community exposure to multidrug-resistant Enterobacteriaceae in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Erica Fuhrmeister

Erica Fuhrmeister
Erica is a postdoctoral fellow in the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. She received her B.S in environmental engineering from Johns Hopkins University and her M.S. and Ph.D. in environmental engineering from UC Berkeley. She was awarded the NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biology to investigate the transmission of antibiotic resistance genes between humans, animals, and the environment in low-and middle-income countries using metagenomics. She is also interested in science education for undergraduates, especially from underrepresented minorities. Erica is part of the Pickering Lab team developing new molecular methods for the Prevalence of Antibiotic Resistance in the Environment (PARE) project at Tufts.

 

Graduate Students

Molly Cantrell

Molly Cantrell
Molly Cantrell is an Environmental Health M.S. student. Before coming to Tufts, she worked in project management for a clean cookstove company in Kenya, focusing on a sustainable fuel pilot project. She previously worked for DAI, an international development company in Washington D.C., supporting USAID programs in the Middle East and Africa. She holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Bucknell University. Molly is interested in WASH interventions in low-resource communities as well as disease transmission pathways.

Abby Harvey

Abby Harvey
Abby Harvey is a a PhD student in the Environmental Health program. She previously received her B.S. and MEng in Environmental Engineering from MIT and worked in the Environmental Preservation division within FEMA. Her previous work has involved analyzing water quality in low-income communities of the United States and Puerto Rico. She is interested in disease transmission pathways following natural disasters.

Julie Powers

Julie Powers
Julie Powers is an Environmental Health MS/PhD student and Abriola Fellow in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Tufts University. She received her bachelor's degree in Environmental Engineering from SUNY University at Buffalo in 2017, where she attended on a full Presidential Scholarship. Prior to coming to Tufts, Julie gained technical experience through part-time and summer work in remediation, environmental compliance, and public works. Julie became interested in pursuing graduate research after participating in the University at Buffalo Global Innovation Challenge, a week-long pitch-style workshop focusing on Water and Sanitation for All with emphasis on meeting the WASH needs of children with disabilities and adolescent girls. Julie's team won the Randwood prize for their innovation pitch. Julie's research interests include understanding disease transmission pathways in low-income countries and evaluating the effectiveness of appropriate WASH interventions.

Jenna Swarthout

Jenna Swarthout
Jenna Swarthout is a Ph.D. student in the Environmental Health program. She is interested in understanding the extent to which people are exposed to zoonotic pathogens in domestic and community settings and the resulting impacts on human health, as well as exploring potential mitigation options to reduce human exposure to zoonotic fecal pathogens. She holds an M.S. in Environmental Engineering and Science from Stanford University and B.S. in Environmental Engineering from SUNY University at Buffalo.

 

Undergraduate Students

Deeksha Bathini

Deeksha Bathini
Deeksha Bathini is an undergraduate student studying Community Health on a pre-medical track. She is interested in pursuing medicine through the lens of public health. In the Pickering lab she is involved with studying how antibiotic resistant bacteria is transmitted between animals and humans. When she is not working in the lab, she is a volunteer at the Brigham and Women's Hospital, studying gene expression in zebrafish. She is also a First-Year Assistant (FYA) and the Executive Editor of the Opinion/Editorial section of the Tufts Daily.

Scarlet Bliss

Scarlet Bliss
Scarlet is an undergraduate student studying Community Health and Biology at Tufts. She is interested in a combination of disciplines, including medicine, infectious disease transmission, global health, and climate and environmental health. At Tufts she also has worked as a Communications and Outreach Intern for the Environmental Studies Department, is part of Timmy Global Health, and runs for the Womens' Track & Field team. Her research experience also includes vector-borne disease research of the Semliki Forest Complex in Samoa with the Williams Lab at Smith College. Currently in the Pickering Lab she is a Laidlaw Scholar working on the PARE project, studying antibiotic resistance in the environment and working to develop a usable test for college curricula which will analyze soil and water samples to map antibiotic resistance nationally.

Elana Chan

Elana Chan
Elana Chan is a first year undergraduate student studying environmental engineering and community health at Tufts University. She is interested in exploring the intersection between environmental engineering and global health. Her interests in environmental health, coding, and geography inspired her curiosity in understanding disease transmission in community settings and assessing mitigation interventions. Currently she is a Global Research fellow working on a project to detect antibiotic resistance genes in environmental waters in India.

Magnifique Makundwa

Magnifique Makundwa
Magnifique is a senior studying environmental health engineering and entrepreneurship leadership studies. She is interested in the incorporation of business approaches in solutions for improving access to water, sanitation, hygiene, and nutrition (WASH-N). Magnifique is pursuing her endeavors of empowering communities through a social enterprise called To The Waters that she co-founded, which aims at tackling issues related to poor WASH-N in low-income communities. At Tufts, she has been part of the Laidlaw Research and Leadership program for 2018-2019, and her project aimed at assessing the status of WASH-N in Mbuye sector, Rwanda. As an intern in Pickering's lab, Magnifique is working on cost-analysis for the MSR Venturi Chlorine dosers. She was the 2018 president of the National Society of Black Engineers at Tufts, 2018 donations chair for the Timmy Global Health Tufts chapter, and more. Magnifique enjoys reading, traveling, singing, and playing guitar.