• For the past 16 years, I've researched how the physical environment influences human health and well-being. I am a co-author of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Building Resilience Against Climate Effects (BRACE) Framework. This framework comprised a small portion of the President’s Climate Action Plan (2012). I frequently work with health departments to understand and adapt to climate change.

  • Research

  • Research Topics

    Extreme Heat & Vulnerability

    Extreme heat events cause more U.S. deaths (~600-1800) per year than any other weather hazard

    • How do indoor environments magnify heat exposure?
    • How can we proactively target public health interventions and responses to those most in need?
    • What are outdoor worker's heat exposures, knowledge, attitudes, and practices for coping with extreme heat?
    • How can social media augment heat related health surveillance?

    Adapting to Climate Change

    Three out of four U.S. health departments state they lack the expertise to understand how climate change will impact health

    • How can we work with health departments to develop rigorous evidence to inform adaptation planning using the Building Resilience Against Climate Effects (BRACE) framework?
    • The Climate-Ready States & Cities Initiative supports 16 state and local health departments.
    • Work with county health departments to evaluate the process and outcomes benefits of health interventions.
    • http://flbrace.org/

    Mosquitoborne Disease (Dengue, West Nile Virus)

    Dengue is the most important virus transmitted by a mosquito. 

    • How is the geographic range of mosquitoes that transmit dengue and the virus expanding in North America (with Dr. Mary Hayden, NCAR and Dr. Kacey Ernst, University of Arizona)?
    • How do changes in temperature and moisture impact mosquito population dynamics and disease transmission?

    Waterborne Disease

    In the U.S., untreated or minimally treated drinking water is delivered to 20 million people.

    • Do children in areas served by untreated drinking water see the doctor more during rainy compared to dry weeks?
    • What is the relationship between urban growth, degraded water quality, and the chances of getting sick while swimming?

    Other Projects

    • How did Hurricane Michael directly and indirectly impact neonatal health?
    • Do periods of hot weather promote foodborne disease?
    • How does influenza seasonality vary in the tropics compared to the mid-latitudes?  Are the differences in seasonality related to weather conditions (with Dr. James Tamerius)?
  • Research Group

    J.T. Bandzuh

    PhD Candidate

    • Critical health geography, political ecology, and mosquito-borne diseases
    • What are the theoretical implications of mosquitoes transcending borders and invading spaces in everyday lives?
    • What are the perspectives within the process of genetically modifying mosquitoes (using Actor Network Theory)?
    • What are the perceptions and attitudes of women involved in mosquito control in East Sumba, Indonesia?
    • Email:  jtb16e@my.fsu.edu

    Elaina Gonsoroski

    PhD Student

    • Vulnerability, climate, public health
    • How does the indoor environment magnify heat exposure?
      How  do we effectively identify vulnerable populations and implement public health interventions?
    • Email: edg17@my.fsu.edu

    Yoonjung Ahn

    PhD Student

    • Climate change, heatwaves, adaptation policy, big data
    • How do people react to heatwaves?
    • How can we adapt to heatwaves and prevent illness?
    • Email:  ya18d@my.fsu.edu 

    Bertram Melix

    PhD Student

    • Social Determinants of Health, Spatial Modeling, Life Expectancy, GIS

    • Which social determinants of health are most strongly associated with life expectancy rates at the census tract level in Florida?

    • How do the social determinants of health contribute to the observed variation in life expectancy rates in Florida?

    • Email:  blm17e@my.fsu.edu
  • Alumni (Reverse Chronological Order)

    Jihoon Jung (2019): Currently Postdoctoral Fellow @ University of Washington

    • Dissertation: Methods to Improve Existing Heat Wave Surveillance Systems
      Email: climategeo@gmail.com 

    Frank Annie (2019): Currently @ Charleston Area Medical Center

    • Dissertation: Structural Health Outcomes in the Appalachian Region
    • Email: Frank.H.Annie@camc.org 

    Karen Wertz (2018) ABD: Currently @ the U.S. Department of Defense

    • Dissertation Topic: Non-English Speakers and Emergency Management
  • Social Feed

  • Contact ME

    Florida State University, Bellamy Building, Room 323
    113 Collegiate Loop
    PO Box 3062190
    Tallahassee FL 32306-2190
  • Note to Prospective Students

    Thank you for your interest! 

    I will be on sabbatical in 2020-21. My lab will be accepting new students starting in Fall of 2021.


    Understanding how global environmental change may impact public health requires social, physical, and public health knowledge. Geography, which encompasses many of these perspectives, is well-positioned to train the next-generation of leaders.


    Graduate students often find it beneficial to study a topic related to my research agenda. Intuitively, I can provide better subject-area advice and access to a broader network of project partners. Every two out of three studies I conduct uses existing data collected by other institutions. The rest of my research relies upon observational field studies and social surveys. My laboratory includes basic equipment for conducting heat exposure and mosquito field studies.

    International Students

    The FSU Geography Program admits a couple of funded international students per year. There are fewer funded international compared to domestic student positions. That being said, I am currently working with one international student.

    Next Steps

    Please refer to the FSU Department of Geography webpage for more information on how to apply to the graduate program. Information about degree requirements and transferring credit can be found in the Graduate Student Guide.


    If you are interested in working with me, please send me an email before you submit your application that includes:

    • Research topic(s) you would like to study
    • Your resume or curriculum vitae (CV), including
      • Grade point average from your last degree
      • GRE scores, including the percentiles
    • Experience working with statistics
  • Quantitative Geography