Gohlke Research Group

Julia M. Gohlke

Julia M. Gohlke, PhD

Associate Professor
Environmental Health
Department of Population Health Sciences

About the Lab

We are examining human health outcomes associated with large-scale environmental changes across urban and rural landscapes, particularly as it relates to climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies. We collaborate with earth scientists, environmental engineers, geographers, computer scientists, and statisticians.

Research Interests

Epidemiological, community-engaged, and toxicology methods are employed by our group to explore a wide range of approaches used in human health risk assessment applications.

For example, we utilize vital record and emergency department visit data for retrospective observational investigations to:

  • Develop risk estimates for preterm birth and mortality during heat waves using vital records, satellite-derived weather data, and fine-scaled geospatial data analysis techniques.
  • Characterize birth outcomes associated with living in close proximity to surface mining sites in Central Appalachia, on a fine spatial and temporal scale.
  • Elucidate changes in ED visits during and following Hurricane Harvey, to enhance the CDC Social Vulnerability Index (SVI).
Dr. Gohlke working with lab members in the field

Dr. Gohlke (right) and students plan deployment of neighborhood temperature and air pollution sensors. Photo by Mary Evans.

Prospective, community-engaged and experimental designs are being utilized to evaluate effects of time spent outdoors on heat exposure and physical activity in urban and rural settings. We are assessing differences in environmental health priorities and vulnerability to extreme heat events across urban and rural settings and between residents and public health professionals, with the translational goal of improving the design and effectiveness of environmental health interventions. Learn more about our ENACT Environmental Health for Alabama Communities project.