Biography

Dr. Sapkota is the Director of CONSERVE: A Center of Excellence at the Nexus of Sustainable Water Reuse, Food & Health, a multi-institution Center funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture (2016-2021). She is also the Principal Investigator of UMD Global STEWARDS (STEM Training at the Nexus of Energy, Water Reuse and Food Systems), a National Research Traineeship (NRT) program funded by the National Science Foundation (2018-2023). The mission of CONSERVE is to facilitate the adoption of transformative on‐farm water treatment solutions that enable the safe use of nontraditional irrigation water (e.g. reclaimed water, return flows) on food crops. And the overarching goal of the UMD Global STEWARDS program is for graduate trainees to become adept at working and communicating across food-energy-water (FEW) disciplines, enabling transformative discoveries that can only be realized through transdisciplinary approaches and systems-based thinking. 

Dr. Sapkota received a PhD in Environmental Health Sciences from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and an MPH in Environmental Health Sciences from the Yale School of Public Health. After completing her doctorate, she engaged in post-doctoral fellowships at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Environmental Microbial Genomics Group at Ecole Centrale de Lyon in Lyon, France.

She is the recipient of the 2012 Eric Mood New Professional Award from the Yale School of Public Health that recognizes the career of a Yale alumnus/a who demonstrates outstanding leadership potential and creativity in the practice of public health. Dr. Sapkota is also the recipient of the 2015 Jerry P. Wrenn Outstanding Service Award and the 2018 Research and Development Award from the University of Maryland School of Public Health. In 2017, she represented the Core Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program and the United States as a Fulbright Senior Researcher in Chitwan, Nepal.

Dr. Sapkota's research interests lie in the areas of environmental microbiology, environmental microbial genomics, exposure assessment and environmental epidemiology.  Her research group evaluates the complex relationships between environmental microbial exposures and human infectious diseases, with a special focus on assessing the public health impacts associated with water reuse. Much of her group's work seeks to 1) characterize the microbiome of recycled water sources, and 2) understand how direct and indirect exposures to these sources can impact the human microbiome and infectious disease risk. 

Dr. Sapkota is seeking talented undergraduates, graduate students and post-docs to join her group. In particular, her lab will have openings for Master's and Doctoral students entering in the 2020-2021 academic year. She currently serves as a mentor to students in the following programs: MPH, MS and PhD in Environmental Health Sciences. For more information, please contact Dr. Sapkota at ars@umd.edu.

Education and Training

Ph.D., Environmental Health Sciences, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (2005)

M.P.H., Environmental Health Sciences, Yale School of Public Health (1999)

B.S., Biology, University of Maryland College Park (1997)

Courses

MIEH 309 Environmental Health Research

MIEH 690 UMD Global STEWARDS: Experiential Exploration of Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water Systems (INFEWS)

MIEH 699 UMD Global STEWARDS: Seminal Findings, and Research and Policy in Progress at the Food, Energy, Water Nexus

MIEH 773 Foodborne, Waterborne and Airborne Infectious Diseases

MIEH 785 Internship in Public Health

MIEH 786 Capstone Project in Public Health

Honors and Awards
  1. Phi Sigma National Honor Society, 1994-97
  2. Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society, 1995-97
  3. Golden Key National Honor Society, 1995-97
  4. Phi Beta Kappa, University of Maryland College Park, May 1997
  5. Gamma Award, Phi Beta Kappa, University of Maryland College Park, May 1997
  6. National Network for Environmental Management Studies Fellowship, US EPA, 1998
  7. Outstanding Employee Performance Award, Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, 2000
  8. Cornelius W. Kruse Award for Outstanding Graduate Studies, Johns Hopkins, 2002
  9. Delta Omega, Alpha Chapter, Honorary Public Health Society, 2005
  10. Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Pre-doctoral Fellowship in Biological Sciences, 2001-2005
  11. Eric Mood New Professional Award, Yale School of Public Health, 2012
  12. Honoree, 6th Annual University-Wide Celebration of Scholarship & Research, University of Maryland College Park, May 2013
  13. Honoree, 7th Annual University-Wide Celebration of Scholarship & Research, University of Maryland College Park, May 2014
  14. Honoree, 8th Annual University-Wide Celebration of Scholarship & Research, University of Maryland College Park, May 2015.
  15. Jerry P Wrenn Outstanding Service Award, University of Maryland School of Public Health, May 2015.
  16. Honoree, 9th Annual University-Wide Celebration of Scholarship & Research, University of Maryland College Park, May 2016
  17. Fulbright Senior Researcher Scholarship, Nepal, U.S. Department of State, January to June 2017
  18. Research and Development Award, University of Maryland School of Public Health, May 2018.
  19. Honoree, 11th Annual University-Wide Celebration of Scholarship & Research, University of Maryland College Park, May 2018.
  20. Exemplary Researcher Recognition, Inaugural Maryland Research Excellence Celebration, University of Maryland College Park, February 2019.
  21. Leda Amick Wilson Mentoring Award, University of Maryland School of Public Health, June 2019.
Publications: 

Selected Publications Within the Past Five Years (†denotes corresponding author; § denotes shared first or senior authorship; #denotes advised undergraduate students; *denotes advised graduate students; **denotes advised post-doctoral students):

Jiang C, Shaw KS, Upperman CR, Blythe D, Mitchell C, Murtugudde R, Sapkota AR, Sapkota A. 2015. Climate change, extreme events and increased risk of salmonellosis in Maryland, USA: Evidence for coastal vulnerability. Environment International. 83:58-62. 

Carey SA*, Rosenberg Goldstein RE**, Gibbs SG, Claye E, He, X, Sapkota AR. 2016. Occurrence of vancomycin-resistant and –susceptible Enterococcus spp. in reclaimed water used for spray irrigation. Environmental Research. 147:350-355. 

Shaw KS**, Cruz-Cano R, Jiang C, Malayil L, Palmer A, Blythe D, Ryan P, Sapkota AR. 2016. Presence of animal feeding operations and community socioeconomic factors impact salmonellosis incidence rates: Foodborne diseases active surveillance network (FoodNet), 2004-2010. Environmental Research. 150:166-172. 

Rosenberg Goldstein RE**, Cruz-Cano R, Jiang C, Palmer A, Blythe D, Ryan P, Hogan B, White B, Dunn JR, Libby T, Tobin-D’Angelo M, Huang J, McGuire S, Scherzinger K, Lee MLT, Sapkota AR.  2016. Association between community socioeconomic factors, animal feeding operations and Campylobacteriosis incidence rates: Foodborne diseases active surveillance network (FoodNet), 2004-2010. BMC Infectious Diseases. 16:354. 

Rosenberg Goldstein RE**, Cruz-Cano R, Jiang C, Palmer A, Blythe D, Ryan P, Hogan B, White B, Dunn JR, Libby T, Tobin-D’Angelo M, Huang J, McGuire S, Scherzinger K, Lee MLT, Sapkota AR.  2016. Association between community socioeconomic factors, animal feeding operations and Campylobacteriosis incidence rates: Foodborne diseases active surveillance network (FoodNet), 2004-2010. BMC Infectious Diseases. 16:354.

Chopyk J*, Chattopadhyay S*, Kulkarni P*, Claye E*, Babik KR*, Reid MC*, Smyth EM**, Hittle LE, Paulson JN, Cruz-Cano R, Pop M, Clark PI, Sapkota AR§, Mongodin EF§,†. 2017. Mentholation affects the cigarette microbiota by selecting for bacteria resistant to harsh environmental conditions and selecting against potential bacterial pathogens. Microbiome. 15;5(1):22. 

Chopyk J*, Chattopadhyay S, Kulkarni P*, Smyth EM**, Hittle LE, Paulson JN, Pop M, Clark PI, Mongodin EF§, Sapkota AR§,†. 2017. Temporal variations in cigarette tobacco bacterial community composition and tobacco-specific nitrosamine content are influenced by brand and storage conditions. Frontiers in Microbiology. 7(8):358. 

Boyle M*, Sutyajeet S**, Quiros-Alcala L, Dalemarre L, Sapkota AR, Sangaramoorthy T, Wilson S, Miton D, Sapkota A. 2017. A pilot study to assess residential noise exposure near natural gas compressor stations. 2017. PLoSOne. 12(4): e0174310. 

Rosenberg Goldstein RE**†, Kleinfelter L*, He X, Micallef SA, George A, Gibbs SG, Sapkota AR. 2017. Higher prevalence of coagulase-negative staphylococci carriage among reclaimed water spray irrigators. Science of the Total Environment. 595(1):35-40. 

Rosenberg Goldstein RE**†, Kleinfelter L*, He X, Micallef SA, George A, Gibbs SG, Sapkota AR. 2017. Higher prevalence of coagulase-negative staphylococci carriage among reclaimed water spray irrigators. Science of the Total Environment. 595(1):35-40.

Smyth EM**, Kulkarni P*, Claye E*, Stanfill S, Tyx R, Mongodin EF, Sapkota AR†. 2017. Smokeless tobacco products harbor diverse bacterial communities that differ across products and brands. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology. Jul;101(13):5391-5403. 

Kulkarni P*, Olson N*, Raspanti G*, Rosenberg Goldstein R**, Gibbs SG, Sapkota A, Sapkota AR. 2017. Antibiotic concentrations decrease during wastewater treatment but persist at low levels in reclaimed water. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. Jun 21;14(6).

Huang JY, Patrick ME, Manners J, Sapkota AR, Scherzinger KJ, Tobin-D’Angelo M, Henao OL, Cole DJ, Vieira AR. 2017. Association between wetland presence and incidence of Salmonella enterica serotype Javiana infections in selected US sites, 2005-2011. Epidemiology and Infection, 145(14):2991-2997.

Chopyk J*, Allard S**, Nasko DJ**, Bui A#, Mongodin EF, Sapkota AR. 2018. Agricultural freshwater pond supports diverse and dynamic bacterial and viral populations. Frontiers in Microbiology, 9: 792. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2018.00792

Kulkarni P**, Olson ND*, Paulson JN, Pop M, Maddox C, Claye E, Rosenberg Goldstein RE, Sharma M, Gibbs SG, Mongodin EF, Sapkota AR†. 2018. Conventional wastewater treatment and reuse site practices modify bacterial community structure but do not eliminate some opportunistic pathogens in reclaimed water. Science of the Total Environment, 639:11261137. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.05.178.

Murray R*, Rosenberg Goldstein RE, Maring E, Pee D, Aspinwall K, Wilson S, Sapkota AR†. 2018. Prevalence of microbiological and chemical contaminants in private drinking water wells in Maryland, USA. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 15, 1686. doi: 10.3390/ijerph15081686. 

Sapkota AR†. 2019. Water reuse, food production and public health: Adopting transdisciplinary, systems-based approaches to achieve water and food security in a changing climate. Environmental Research, 171, 576-580. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2018.11.003. 

Zhu L*, Torres M, Betancourt WQ, Sharma M, Micallef SA, Gerba C, Sapkota AR, Sapkota A, Parveen S, Hashem F, May E, Kniel-Tolbert KE, Pop M, Ravishankar S. 2019. Incidence of fecal indicator and pathogenic bacteria in reclaimed and return flow waters in Arizona, USA. Environmental Research, 170, 122-127. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2018.11.048. 

Chattopadhyay S*, Smyth EM**, Prachi Kulkarni*, Kelsey R. Babik*, Molly Reid*, Hittle LE, Clark P, Mongodin EF, Sapkota AR†. 2019. Little cigars and cigarillos harbor diverse bacterial communities that differ between the tobacco and the wrapper. PLoSONE, 14(2):e0211705. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0211705. 

Kulkarni P*, Raspanti GA**, Bui AQ#, Bradshaw RN*, Kniel K, Chiu P, Sharma M, Sapkota A, Sapkota AR†. 2019. Zerovalent iron-sand filtration can reduce the concentration of multiple antimicrobials in conventionally treated reclaimed water. Environmental Research, 172, 301-309. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2019.02.012. 

Allard SM**, Callahan MT, Bui A*, Ferelli A*, Chopyk J*, Chattopadhyay S*, Mongodin EF, Micallef SA, Sapkota AR†. 2019. Creek to Table: Tracking fecal indicator bacteria, bacterial pathogens, and total bacterial communities from irrigation water to kale and radish crops. Science of the Total Environment, 666, 461-471. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.02.179. 

Allard S**, Solaiman S*, Callahan MT*, Bui A, Kelbick HC*, Haymaker J*, Foust D*, Duncan R*, Smyth E**, Mongodin EF, Hashem F, Micallef S, Sapkota AR†. 2019. Quenching by sodium thiosulfate does not influence 16S rRNA gene sequencing profiles of reclaimed water from three sites in the Mid-Atlantic, United States. Environmental Research, 172:296-300. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2019.02.022. 

Haymaker J*, Sharma M, Parveen S, Hashem F, May E, Handy E, White C, East C, Bradshaw R*, Micallef SA, Callahan MT, Allard SM**, Anderson B*, Craighead S*, Gartley S*, Vanore A*, Kniel KE, Solaiman S*, Bui A, Murray R*, Craddock HA*, Kulkarni P**, Foust D*, Duncan R*, Taabodi M, and Sapkota AR. 2019. Prevalence of Shiga toxin-producing and atypical enteropathogenic Escherichia coli in untreated surface water and reclaimed water in the Mid-Atlantic U.S. Environmental Research, 172:630-636. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2019.02.019. 

Hosgood D, Mongodin EF, Wan Y, Hua X, Rothman N, Hu W, Vermeulen R, Seow WJ, Rohan T, Xu J, Li J, He J, Huang Y, Yang K, Wu G, Wei F, Shi J, Sapkota AR, Lan Q. 2019. The respiratory tract microbiome and its relationship to lung cancer and environmental exposures found in rural China. Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis, 60(7):617-623. doi: 10.1002/em.22291. 

Chopyk J*, Kulkarni P**, Nasko DJ**, Bradshaw R*, Kniel KE, Chiu P, Sharma M, Sapkota AR†. 2019. Zero-valent iron sand filtration reduces concentrations of virus-like particles and modifies virome community composition in reclaimed water used for agricultural irrigation. BMC Research Notes, 11;12(1):223. doi: 10.1186/s13104-019-4251-y. 

Panthi S*, Sapkota AR, Raspanti G**, Allard S**, Bui A#, Craddock H*, Murray R*, Zhu L, East C, Handy E, Callahan MT, Haymaker J*, Kulkarni P**, Anderson B, Craighead S, Gartley S, Vanore A, Betancourt WQ, Duncan R, Foust D, Sharma M, Micallef SA, Gerba C, Parveen S, Hashem F, May E, Kniel K, Pop M, Ravishankar S, and Sapkota A. 2019. Pharmaceuticals, herbicides and disinfectants in agricultural water sources. Environmental Research, 174:1-8. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2019.04.011. 

Smyth EM**, Chattopadhyay S, Chopyk J*, Malayil L*, Kulkarni P**, Hittle LE**, Clark PI, Sapkota AR Mongodin EF†. 2019. The bacterial communities of little cigars and cigarillos are dynamic over time and varying storage conditions. Frontiers in Microbiology, 10: 2371. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2019.02371

Craddock HA*, Panthi S*, Rjoub Y, Lipchin C, Sapkota A, Sapkota AR†. 2020. Antibiotic and herbicide concentrations in household greywater reuse systems and pond water used for food crop irrigation: West Bank, Palestinian Territories. Science of the Total Environment, 699:134205. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.134205

Chopyk J*, Nasko DJ, Allard S**, Bui A, Treangen T, Pop M, Mongodin EF, Sapkota AR†. 2020 Comparative metagenomic analysis of microbial taxonomic and functional variations in untreated surface and reclaimed waters used in irrigation applications. Water Research, 169:115250.

Chopyk J*, Nasko CJ, Allard S**, Callahan MT, Bui A, Ferelli AMC*, Chattopadhyay S, Mongodin EF, Pop M, Micallef S, Sapkota AR†. 2020. Metagenomic analysis of bacterial and viral assemblages from a freshwater creek and irrigated field reveals temporal and spatial dynamics. Science of the Total Environment, 205:135395. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.135395.

Sharma M, Handy ET, East CL, Seongyun K**, Jiang C, Callahan MT, Allard SM**, Micallef SA, Craighead SA*, Anderson-Coughlin B*, Gartley S*, Vanore A*, Kniel KE, Haymaker JR*, Duncan R*, Foust D*, White C*, Taabodi M, Hashem F, Pareen S, May EB, Bui A, Craddock H, Kulkarni P, Murray RT**, Sapkota AR. 2020. Prevalence of Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes in non-traditional irrigation waters in the Mid-Atlantic United States is affected by water type, season, and recovery method. PLOS One [In Press].

Malayil L*, Chattopadhyay S, Kulkarni P, Hittle L, Clark PI, Mongodin EF§, Sapkota AR§. 2020. Mentholation triggers brand-specific shifts in the bacterial microbiota of commercial cigarette products. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology [In Press].

Murray R**, Cruz-Cano R, Nasko D, Blythe D, Ryan P, Boyle M, Wilson S, Sapkota AR†. 2020. Association between Private Drinking Water Wells and the Incidence of Campylobacteriosis in Maryland: An Ecological Analysis Using Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet) Data (2007-2016). Environmental Research [In Press].

Craddock HA*, Chattopadhyay S, Rjoub Y, Rosen D, Grief J, Lipchin C, Mongodin EF, Sapkota AR. 2020. Antibiotic-resistant Escherichia coli and Klebsiella spp. in greywater reuse systems and pond water used for agricultural irrigation in the West Bank, Palestinian Territories. Environmental Research [In Press].

Kim S**, Bradshaw R*, Kulkarni P**, Allard S**, Chiu P, Sapkota AR, Newell MJ, Handy ET, East CL, Kniel KE, Sharma M. 2020. Zero-valent iron filtration reduces Escherichia coli in surface water and leafy green growing environments. Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems [In Press].