Past Faculty Research Fellows

Pardee Center Faculty Research Fellows lead two- or three-year interdisciplinary research projects that are aligned with the Center’s mission and interests in topics related to improvements in the human condition over the long-term. The Pardee Center provides “seed funding” for project support and in most cases works with the Faculty Research Fellows to seek additional external funding for continuation of the research.  The Faculty Research Fellows produce Pardee Center publications and lead seminars or other events related to their research. Click here to read about current Faculty Research Fellows projects. 

Gallagher_0822Prof. Kevin P. Gallagher, Pardee School of Global Studies
Faculty Research Fellow (2015-2018)

Pardee Center Task Force on Trade, Investment, and Climate Policy

The Pardee Task Force on Trade, Investment, and Climate Policy comprised an interdisciplinary group of experts to examine the extent to which proposed trade and investment treaties are compatible with global climate change goals, and articulated a series of policy recommendations that could incorporate progressive climate policy into trade and investment treaties. The Task Force completed its work before the current Administration took office, and focused on the extent to which the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and bilateral investment treaties (BITs) between the U.S. and India, and the U.S. and China presented opportunities and barriers to advancing progressive climate change policies among the parties. As part of this project, Prof. Gallagher convened an international experts’ workshop titled “Reconciling Trade and Climate Change Policy: Opportunities and Challenges” at the Pardee Center in the spring of 2016, and last fall, Prof. Gallagher and the co-organizers synthesized the experts’ findings in a Pardee Center Task Force Report, titled “Trade in the Balance: Reconciling Trade and Climate Policy,” published in electronic format in November 2016. The report emphasizes that trade and investment treaties can be instruments to advance the global climate and development agenda, but that the prevailing model of trade and investment treaties is largely incompatible with the world’s broader climate goals. The authors recommend that the model rules for trade and investment treaties need to be redesigned with an overriding principle to reward climate-friendly modes of economic activity, curb activity that worsens climate change, and provide the proper policy space so that nation states can adequately address the climate challenge.

Prof. Sucharita Gopal, Earth & Environment
Prof. Les Kaufman, Biology
Prof. Bruce Anderson, Earth & Environment
Prof. Susan Foster, School of Public Health
Faculty Research Fellows (2015-2018)

Climate Change and Health Issues in Cambodia and India

This research explored the connections between climate change and human health impacts in India and Cambodia to help inform policies that may be developed to reduce morbidity and mortality. The project included a meta-analysis of the literature from multiple fields that have examined the connections between climate change and disease, and an analysis of monthly temperature extremes in each country over the past 40 years. This work provides an understanding of the frequency and distribution of extreme heat in India over that period. As part of this project, Prof. Gopal gave a lecture titled “Geospatial Technologies for Public Health Research” at Sri Ramaswami Memorial University in Chennai, India, in July 2016. As a result of this talk, Prof. Gopal established connections with in-country scholars to further collaborate on research on the health impacts of climate changes, leading to better informed policy decisions in the areas of public health and related fields. In addition, Profs. Gopal, Anderson, and Foster participated in a Pardee Center seminar titled “Public Health Impacts of Climate Change in India” in April 2016.

Prof. Joseph Harris, Sociology
Faculty Research Fellow (2015-2018)

First Symposium on Global Health and the Social Sciences (Fall 2017)

The project convened the First Symposium on Global Health and the Social Sciences, bringing together anthropologists, sociologists, and political scientists working on global health from around the nation and world. The two-day gathering took place November 9-10, 2017 and was intended to expose participants to colleagues from other disciplines, to new ideas, and to provide the opportunity for scholars to create new research pathways and chart new agendas in conference sessions with both disciplinary and interdisciplinary themes.

Prof. Ian Sue Wing, Earth & Environment
Faculty Research Fellow (2015-2018)

Sustainable Energy Transitions Research

Prof. Ian Sue Wing assisted the Pardee Center in pursuing collaborative research partnerships on sustainable energy transitions. In particular, he hosted Bas van Ruijven, a Project Scientist II with the Integrated Assessment Modeling group at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), for a six-month appointment from January to July 2016 at the Pardee Center to research climate change impacts on household energy use and on energy transitions in developing countries. The collaboration led to two research articles. Following this appointment, Prof. Sue Wing and van Ruijven, with the help of Center Director Anthony Janetos, intend to further develop a simple global economic model that will be used to explore different approaches to modeling climate change impacts and energy transitions.

Prof. Min Ye, Pardee School of Global Studies
Faculty Research Fellow (2015-2018)

China’s Silk Road Diplomacy: Studying and Shaping China’s Long-Term Economic Footprints in Asia and Beyond

The aim of this project was to establish a coordinated, multidisciplinary, policy-relevant program of research on the impacts of various aspects of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in other developing countries in Asia and elsewhere. Prof. Ye investigated the bureaucratic sources of the BRI in Beijing and localized implementation of the BRI by Chinese commercial actors. The research provides important knowledge on China’s elite politics governing the country’s globalization and first-hand discovery of how local governments and companies influence national policies. Together, Prof. Ye’s research explains how China rises in the world economy through market globalization, and how the economic process strengthens political autocracy in the nation. The effort included fieldwork in China, annual events, and the development of sustainable networks of scholars and practitioners who collectively identified important issues and policy-relevant insights related to China’s BRI. In 2017, Prof. Ye convened two Pardee center forums titled “China’s Global Future and the Future of the Globe: How the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative is Quietly Changing China and Surrounding Countries” and “Economic Expansions, Past and Present: How America’s Experience Connects to Modern-Day China.”

Prof. Wendy Heiger-Bernays, Environmental Health
Prof. David Glick, Political Science
Faculty Research Fellows (2016-2019)

Integrating Science, Health and Policy to Engineer Global Sustainable Water Access

Global sustainable water management efforts are hampered by technological limitations, insufficient health risk assessments, and untenable policy solutions that lack public support. Access to pathogen-free water is a challenge in rapidly urbanized developing nations where underdeveloped infrastructure encourages water stagnation and microorganism growth. Compounding these issues, both industrialized and developing cities suffer water scarcity (an early implication of climate change) and are investigating water resource management solutions such as recycled water, but technological failure of such water reuse systems could lead to drinking water contamination of pharmaceuticals and illicit drugs known in the water supply. The team developed novel materials and processes for the degradation of such potential contaminants in water for household to industrial scale use in developing and industrialized urban areas. Laboratory results informed a risk assessment model to predict the impact the technology would have to reduce human health risk due to exposure to a suite of pharmaceutical compounds. As part of this project, the Pardee Center hosted a public seminar on the group’s research findings to date on October 25, 2017. The team published a paper in Resources Conservation and Recycling and presented a paper at the American Chemical Society (ACS) National Meeting in 2019 focused on identifying barriers to water reuse.

Richard B. Primack, Biology
Faculty Research Fellow (2016-2019)

Addressing Urban Environmental Challenges

More than half of the world’s population lives in urban environments, and cities will continue to grow faster than rural areas in the coming decades. People in cities face serious environmental threats from air and water pollution, and such threats will increase in the future due to climate change and extreme weather events, most notably heat waves, drought, and sea level rise. Dealing with these threats and changing public policy requires increased communication and cooperation among researchers, government officials, and the general public. An interdisciplinary approach is needed that brings together expertise from the fields of Biogeoscience and Environmental Health with policy makers, the private sector, and the people who live and work in cities. Boston University received a National Science Foundation Research Traineeship (NRT) grant to train 60 Ph.D. students, 20 of whom will receive NRT stipends, in the areas of Biogeoscience, Environmental health, and Statistics. This project strengthened the BU URBAN program by providing interdisciplinary summer fellowships to graduate students whose research addresses urban environmental challenges including, but not limited to, air and water quality, noise pollution, citizen science, and environmental modeling.