Devon C. Payne-Sturges
I am an Assistant Professor with the Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health at the University of Maryland, School of Public Health. I also hold joint appointment in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. My initial academic training was in environmental engineering. However, after travels to West Africa where I witnessed clear links between environmental conditions and health, I decided to pursue public health. I earned my Master of Public Health and Doctor of Public Health degrees in environmental health sciences from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Maryland, I served as Assistant Commissioner for Environmental Health with the Baltimore City Health Department then later as the Assistant Center Director for Human Health with U.S. EPA’s National Center for Environmental Research where I focused on biomonitoring for policy analysis, cumulative risk assessment, health impact assessment, environmental health indicator development, children’s environmental health and environmental health of minority populations.
My research focusses on racial and economic disparities in exposures to environmental contaminants and associated health risks with the aim of improving the science our society uses to make decisions about environmental policies that impact the health of communities and populations, especially vulnerable, low income and minority populations. I have developed frameworks and methods for characterizing social disparities in environmental contaminant exposures, health risks and their determinants; applied models for assessing the cumulative impacts of multiple environmental contaminant exposures; and have contributed to improved policy decision frameworks that address environmental justice concerns and improve protection for vulnerable lifestages. I recently completed a Fulbright Senior Specialist project with Hochschule für Gesundheit (HSG) - University of Applied Sciences in Bochum, Germany on cumulative risk assessment and environmental justice. I am currently evaluating the combined effects of social and environmental contaminant exposures on disparities in children’s neurological development and conducting a study on food insecurity as a determinant of poor academic outcomes and exposure to food contaminants among emerging adults. I am energized by the challenge of cumulative environmental health risks and social disparities in environmental health because these issues are difficult, complicated and sometimes controversial, from both science and policy perspectives. Understanding cumulative effects of multiple risk factors on health is critical for establishing environmental policies that are truly public health protective.
I welcome intellectually curious and motivated undergraduates, graduate students and post-docs to join my Environmental Health and Society Lab. Undergraduate students interested in a mentored independent research experience in environmental health and policy, please see this link for a Research Assistant Application. I also mentor students in the MPH and PhD in Environmental Health Sciences programs. For more information, please contact me directly.
Dr.P.H., Environmental Health Sciences, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public
Health, Baltimore, Maryland, 2002.
Thesis: “ Personal Exposure Monitoring Meets Risk Assessment: A Comparison of Measured and
Modeled Exposures and Risks in an Urban Community.”
M.P.H., Environmental Health Sciences, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public
Health, Baltimore, Maryland, 1997.
M.Engr., Environmental Engineering, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, 1990.
B.S., Civil Engineering , University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, 1989.
MIEH 770 Environmental Law and Policy
MIEH 300 Introduction to Environmental Health: A Public Health Perspective
MIEH 309 Environmental Health Research
Fulbright Specialist Award, Germany, 2017
Philip Merrill Presidential Scholar Faculty Mentor, 2017
Johns Hopkins Woodrow Wilson Award for Government Service, 2012.
US EPA Scientific and Technological Achievement Award, Level III, 2012 for Advancing health
risk interpretation of biomonitoring data for evaluation of policy actions to protect children’s
EPA Bronze Medal for Commendable Service for Outstanding Performance and Contribution in
Developing and Finalizing EPA’s Six-Year Review of Existing Drinking Water Standards, EPA,
Editor’s Choice Award as Environmental Science and Technology’s Best Paper of 2009 2nd
runner up for science.
US EPA Scientific and Technological Achievement Award, Level II, 2007 for advancing the
interdisciplinary study of racial/ethnic disparities in environmental health and cumulative risk.
EPA Bronze Medal for Commendable Service for Outstanding Performance and Contribution in
Developing and Finalizing EPA’s Roadmap for Mercury, EPA, 2007.
QSI Award in Recognition of Outstanding Achievements and High Quality Performance, US
Environmental Justice Award for Science of EJ Working Conference: National Planning
Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Public Health Fellow, 1997
Johns Hopkins School of Public Health Pre-doctoral Fellowship, 1997
** = corresponding author
*** = share first author
Payne-Sturges DC**, Tjaden A, Caldeira KM, Vincent KB and Arria AM. (2017) Prevalence and Health-related Correlates of Food Insecurity among College Students and Implications for Academic Institutions. American Journal of Health Promotion. [Epub ahead of print]PMID: 28699401
Bruening M, Argo K*, Payne-Sturges D, Laska MN. The struggle is real: a systematic review of what is known about food insecurity on post-secondary campuses and what is being done about it. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 28754200
Kellner MN*, Tchangalova N, Gammons GW, Carroll AJ, Payne-Sturges DC. (2016). Collaborating for Success: A Case Study on Mentoring, Partnering, and Teaching. Collaborative Librarianship. 8 (4):202-223.
Shenassa E, Rossen LM, Cohen J, Morello-Frosch R, Payne-Sturges D+. (2016). Income Inequality and U.S. Children’s Secondhand Smoke Exposure: Distinct Associations by Race-Ethnicity. Nicotine and Tobacco Research. PMID: 27811157
Bennett D, Bellinger DC, Birnbaum LS, Bradman A, Chen A, Cory-Slechta DA, Engel SM, Fallin MD, Halladay A, Hauser R, Hertz-Picciotto I, Kwiatkowski CF,Lanphear BP, Marquez E, Marty M, McPartland J, Newschaffer CJ, Payne-Sturges D, Patisaul HB, Perera FP, Ritz B, Sass J, Schantz SL, Webster TF, Whyatt RM, Woodruff TJ, Zoeller RT, Anderko L, Campbell C, Conry JA, DeNicola N, Gould RM, Hirtz D, Huffling K, Landrigan PJ, Lavin A, Miller M, Mitchell MA, Rubin L, Schettler T, Tran HL, Acosta A, Brody C, Miller E, Miller P, Swanson M, Witherspoon NO; American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG); Child Neurology Society; Endocrine Society; International Neurotoxicology Association; International Society for Children’s Health and the Environment; International Society for Environmental Epidemiology; National Council of Asian Pacific Islander Physicians; National Hispanic Medical Association; National Medical Association. (2016). Project TENDR: Targeting Environmental Neuro-Developmental Risks The TENDR Consensus Statement. Environmental Health Perspectives. 124(7):A118-22. PMID:4937840.
Sangaramoorthy T, Jamison A, Boyle MD, Sapkota A, Payne-Sturges DC, Milton D, Wilson S. Place-Based Perceptions of the Impacts of Fracking along the Marcellus Shale. Social Science and Medicine. (2016). 151:27-37. PMID:26773295.
Boyle MD, Payne-Sturges DC***, Sangaramoorthy T, Wilson S, Milton D, Nachman K, Babik K, Jenkins CC, Trowell J, and Sapkota A.(2016). Hazard Ranking Methodology for Assessing Health Impacts of Unconventional Natural Gas Development and Production: The Maryland Case Study. PLoS One. 11(1):e0145368. PMID:26726918.
Payne-Sturges DC**, Korfmacher KS, Cory-Slechta DA, Jimenez M, Symanski E, Carr Shmool JL, Dotson-Newman O, Clougherty JE, French R, Levy JI, Laumbach R, Rodgers K, Bongiovanni R and Scammell MK. Engaging communities in research on cumulative risk and social stress-environment interactions: Lessons learned from EPA’s STAR Program. Environmental Justice. Dec 2015, 8(6): 203-212
Yuen T*, Park A, Seifer S and Payne-Sturges D (2015). A Systematic Review of Community Engagement in US Environmental Protection Agency’s Extramural Research Solicitations: Implications for Research Funders. Am J Public Health. 2015 Dec;105(12):e44-52.
Harper S, Ruder E, Roman HA, Geggel A, Nweke O, Payne-Sturges D and Levy JI. (2013). Using Inequality Measures to Incorporate Environmental Justice into Regulatory Analyses. Int. J.
Environ. Res. Public Health 2013. 10(9), 4039-4059.
Yuen T* and Payne-Sturges DC (2013). Using Health Impact Assessment to Integrate Environmental Justice into Federal Environmental Regulatory Analysis . New Solutions. Vol.
Alves S, Tilghman J, Rosenbaum A, Payne-Sturges DC (2012). U.S. EPA Authority to Use
Cumulative Risk Assessments in Environmental Decision-Making. International Journal of
Environmental Research and Public Health. 9(6), 1997-2019.
Payne-Sturges D, Turner A, Wignall J, Rosenbaum A, Dederick E, Dantzker H (2012) A Review of
State-Level Analytical Approaches for Evaluating Disproportionate Environmental Health
Impacts. Environmental Justice. 5(4): 173 – 187.
Payne-Sturges D (2011) Humanizing Science at the US Environmental Protection Agency.
American Journal of Public Health. 101 Suppl 1:S8-12.
Muennig, P, Song, X, Payne-Sturges, DC, Gee, GC (2011) Blood and urine levels of long half-life
toxicants by nativity among immigrants to the United States. Science of the Total Environment.
Nweke, O. C., Payne-Sturges D., Garcia, L., Lee, C., Zenick, H., Grevatt, P., Sanders, W., Case, H.,
Dankwa-Mullan, I. (2011). “Symposium on Integrating the Science of Environmental Justice in
Decision Making at EPA: An Overview.” American Journal of Public Health. 101 Suppl 1:S19-26.
Gordon L*, Payne-Sturges D, Gee G (2010). Environmental Health Disparities: Select Case Studies
Related to Asian and Pacific Islander Americans. Environmental Justice. 3(1): 21-26.
Baron S, Sinclair R, Payne-Sturges D, Phelps J, Zenick H, Collman GW, O'Fallon LR (2009).
Partnerships for environmental and occupational justice: contributions to research, capacity and
public health. Am J Public Health.99 Suppl 3:S517-25.
Payne-Sturges D, Cohen J, Castorina R, Axelrad DA, Woodruff TJ (2009). Evaluating cumulative
organophosphorus pesticide body burden of children: a national case study. Environ Sci Technol.
Payne-Sturges, D and D Kemp (2008). Ten Years of Addressing Children’s Health through Regulatory Policy at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Environ Health Perspect. 116 (12):1720 – 1724.
Payne-Sturges, D.C. and G. C. Gee (2006). National environmental health measures for minority and low-income populations: tracking social disparities in environmental health. Environ Research. 102(2): 154-71.
Payne-Sturges, D.C., G. C. Gee, et al. (2006). Workshop summary: connecting social and environmental factors to measure and track environmental health disparities. Environ Research. 102(2): 146-53.
Gee, G. C. and D. C. Payne-Sturges (2004). Environmental health disparities: a framework integrating psychosocial and environmental concepts. Environ Health Perspect. 112(17): 1645-53.