Jill R. Stewart, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Environmental Sciences and Engineering
Jill Stewart is a microbiologist who focuses on the development of novel tools to detect and track microbes of public health concern, She uses these tool to evaluate the manner in which human activities such as development, industrialized agriculture, and stormwater management affect human exposures to microorganisms. Recent research also includes work to evaluate the evolution and dissemination of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the environment and in human and animal populations. Overall, this research is leading to a greater understanding of how environmental conditions can affect human health, and how humans themselves influence this process.
Jill Stewart's research focus is on environmental health microbiology and her work crosses multiple disciplines, methodologies and continents. She studies the links between ecosystems and human health and, in particular, the impact of environmental conditions and human behavior on water quality. In a number of ongoing projects situated locally (North and South Carolina) and internationally (Ecuador and Mozambique), she examines the impacts of land-based activities, such as development, water management, and agricultural practices, on water contamination and its subsequent impact on human exposure to microbial contaminants. This research traces the development and spread of multi-drug resistant pathogens across human environments and their potential impacts on health. Stewart has collaborated with other CPC Fellows on work in the Galapagos that examines the interconnections between human behavior, environmental conditions, and health, bringing strong methodological expertise.