20 Pioneers under 40 in Environmental Public Health

About this award and webinar series

We are excited to have presented a series of 10 webinars featuring the work of the next generation of environmental health scientists and advocates. Running from October 2017 through June 2018, the monthly webinars featured cutting-edge work in topics of relevance and concern including climate change and health, chemicals linked to adverse birth outcomes and obesity, and disparities in toxic exposures between different social and racial groups. Our goal is to encourage new perspectives, creative discussions, and inspire students and young professionals who would especially enjoy hearing from younger researchers. 

“I believe that scientists have a responsibility to share their research as often as possible, especially when it relates to public health,” said nominator Linda S. Birnbaum, Ph.D. “These young scientists are doing exciting, innovative work that will influence how we address environmental challenges to our health in the future. Their webinars promise to be both interesting and informative.”

Chosen for exceptional levels of accomplishment in work that is rigorous, dynamic, and builds critical knowledge, the 20 speakers' work promises to drive environmental health science and advocacy in new directions that will demonstrate the many links between the environment and public health and catalyze policies and actions that will protect the health of children, families, and communities. 

Webinars in this series

June 28, 2018: Pesticide Exposure in Vulnerable Populations: New Horizons for Evaluating Sources and Health Outcomes, with Cynthia Curl, PhD, MS, and Ana Maria Mora, MD, PhD

May 31, 2018: Emerging Issues in Oil and Gas Production: Data Gaps, Policy Challenges, and Novel Threats to Health, with Seth Shonkoff, PhD, MPH, and Samantha Rubright, DrPH, CPH

April 24, 2018: Working with Communities to Strengthen the Public Health Fight for Environmental Justice, with Ana Mascareñas, MPH and Vanessa Galavíz, PhD, MPH

March 1, 2018: Environmental Chemicals and Preterm Birth: Emerging Threats and Priorities for Future Research, with Kelly Ferguson, PhD, MPH and Amy Padula, PhD

February 6, 2018: Using Molecular Epidemiology to Understand Chemical Threats to Early-life Children's Health, with Allan Just, PhD, and Joseph Braun, PhD, MSPH 

January 24, 2018: At the Crossroads: Forging New Intersections Between Environmental and Reproductive Justice Through Research and Advocacy, with Nourbese Flint, MA, and Ami Zota, ScD, MS

December 6, 2017: The Future of Environmental Health: Engaged Communities and Strengthened Partnerships, with Megan Latshaw, PhD, and Sara Wylie, PhD

November 9, 2017: Leveraging Open Data to Promote Environmental Health: Innovative Applications in Climate Change and Agriculture, with Brooke Anderson, PhD, and Joan Casey, PhD

October 24, 2017: Regrettable Replacements: The Next Generation of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals, with Laura Vandenberg, PhD, and Courtney Carignan, PhD

October 4, 2017: Chemicals in Consumer Products: Exposure Science at the Forefront of Regulation, with Simona Balan, PhD, and Todd Whitehead, PhD


Visit our YouTube playlist to watch recordings of all webinars from this series. 


The 20 speakers for the series were: 

Brooke Anderson, PhD, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at Colorado State University

Simona Balan, PhD, Senior Environmental Scientist at California Department of Toxic Substances Control

Joseph Braun, PhD, MSPH, RGSS Assistant Professor of Public Health, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at Brown University

Courtney Carignan, PhD, Assistant Professor, Food Science and Human Nutrition, Pharmacology and Toxicology at Michigan State University

Joan Casey, PhD, Postdoctoral Scholar at UC Berkeley

Cynthia Curl, PhD, MS, Assistant Professor, Department of Community and Environmental Health at Boise State University

Kelly Ferguson, PhD, MPH, Investigator of Perinatal and Early Life Epidemiology at NIEHS 

Nourbese Flint, MA, Program Manager at Black Women for Wellness

Vanessa Galavíz, PhD, MPH, Director of Community Engagement and Education at the University of Washington School of Public Health’s Pacific Northwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center and Staff Toxicologist at the California Environmental Protection Agency

Allan Just, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental Medicine and Public Health at Mount Sinai

Megan Latshaw, PhD, Assistant Scientist in the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Ana Mascareñas, MPH, Assistant Director for Environmental Justice at California Department of Toxic Substances Control

Ana Maria Mora, MD, PhDAssociate Professor at Central American Institute for Studies on Toxic Substances at Universidad Nacional, Costa Rica

Amy Padula, PhD, Assistant Professor at UCSF School of Medicine

Samantha Malone Rubright, DrPH, Manager of Communications and Partnerships at Fractracker Alliance

Seth Shonkoff, PhD, MPH, Executive Director at Physicians, Scientists and Engineers for Healthy Energy (PSE)

Laura Vandenberg, PhD,  Assistant Professor and Graduate Program Director at the School of Public Health and Health Sciences at University of Massachusetts Amherst

Todd Whitehead, PhD, Career Development Investigator at The Center for Integrative Research on Childhood Leukemia and the Environment (CIRCLE) at University of California, Berkeley

Sara Wylie, PhD, Assistant Professor Sociology and Health Science at Northeastern University

Ami Zota, ScD, MS, Assistant Professor Environmental and Occupational Health at George Washington University School of Public Health

These 20 pioneering researchers and advocates were nominated by a committee of senior leaders and luminaries in environmental public health. The nominating committee featured: John Balbus, MD, MPH, Claire Barnett, MBA, Linda Birnbaum, PhD, D.A.B.T., A.T.S., Dick Clapp, D.Sc, MPH, Terry Collins, PhD, Jeanne Conry, MD, PhD, Symma Finn, PhD, Shelly Hearne, DrPH, MPH, Jerry Heindel, PhD, Richard Jackson, MD, MPH, Genon Jensen, MA, Amy Kostant, MA, Bruce Lanphear, MD, MPH, Janet Maughan, MPA, Mark Miller, MD, MPH, Rachel Morello-Frosch, PhD, MPH, Pete Myers, PhD, Beate Ritz, MD, PhD, Gina Solomon, MD, MPH, Shanna H Swan, PhD .