I am a health geographer and demographer with additional training in public health and public policy. My research focuses in three areas – (1) health disparities and the socio-spatial determinants of health; (2) tobacco control and substance use; and (3) quantitative and geospatial research methods, particularly representative survey research and area-level observational studies. In my interdisciplinary work, I seek to understand contexts of health and place as foundational to perpetuating health disparities, as well as opportune for promoting health, through social engagement, built and natural environments, and multi-level policy infrastructures. In recent years, I have increasingly approached my research through the lens of sustainability; sustainable communities are those with equitable access to environments optimal for promoting health and preventing disease.
I have designed and implemented numerous probabilistic household surveys and environmental data collection projects, with which data I have published on topics such as tobacco control, cannabis use, migrant health and biological risk profiles in the context of urban neighborhoods. Presently, I am completing the second wave of a panel study of young adult substance use in the San Francisco Bay Area, which also includes tobacco, vape and cannabis retail data collection, and neighborhood assessments.
My work has been funded by the National Cancer Institute, National Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, FDA Tobacco Centers of Regulatory Science, California Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program, Binghamton University, and the California Endowment, among others.
Prior to joining Penn State, I was an Assistant Professor of Geography at the State University of New York at Binghamton from 2016-2020. I completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of California San Francisco in the Center for Tobacco Control Research & Education, and the Department of Medicine from 2013-2016. I earned my PhD in Geography at the University of Southern California in 2013.