Joe Brown’s research is largely focused on water contamination and its impact on public health. He travels to communities around the world measuring microbes in each environment to gather exposure data and determines what it means for the health and safety of residents. In a recent trip to India, Brown found aerosolized Giardia and Salmonella, pathogens not normally known to be transmitted via air. This discovery creates a new challenge in environmental engineering, one where microbes associated with water and sanitation are transmitted via the air (aerosols), potentially leading to new pathways of disease transmission.
Does providing some sort of improved latrine for children in developing countries actually improve their health? The obvious answer would seem to be “yes.” But the truth is, we don’t have the hard science to prove it.
Master’s student Aaron Bivins spent part of his summer traveling to Mozambique to help lay the groundwork for a study about the relationship between population density and the health effects of sanitation. This is part of an ongoing series of essays from across the globe written by CEE students who have traveled abroad with the support of the Joe S. Mundy Global Learning Endowment.