Mary Willis

Mary Willis, PhD, MPH

Assistant Professor, Epidemiology - Boston University School of Public Health


Mary D. Willis, Ph.D., M.P.H., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the Boston University School of Public Health. Her expertise lies at the intersection of environmental epidemiology, spatial exposure assessment, and applied data science. Much of her work also leverages econometric-based causal inference methods. She is particularly interested in how epidemiological studies can be best designed to inform health-protective policy decisions. To date, Dr. Willis has primarily focused on how on exposures from the energy sector (e.g., oil and gas development, traffic-related air pollution) and other aspects of the built environment (e.g., green space, neighborhood disadvantage) influence reproductive health outcomes.

Dr. Willis is PI of an NIH Director’s Early Independence Award that examines how oil and gas development may impact fertility and pregnancy. She is also a co-investigator on an accountability study of vehicle emission regulations and birth outcomes that is funded by the Health Effects Institute.


  • Oregon State University, PhD Field of Study: Public Health
  • University of Rochester, MPH Field of Study: Public Health - Epidemiology
  • University of Rochester, BA Field of Study: Epidemiology/Environmental Studies

Classes Taught

  • SPHEP857
  • SPHEP911
  • SPHEP912


  • Published on 3/28/2024

    Hill E, Harleman M, Harris L, Sventek G, Ritz B, Campbell EJ, Willis M, Hystad P. Roadway construction as a natural experiment to examine air pollution impacts on infant health. Environ Res. 2024 Mar 28; 118788. PMID: 38555097.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 2/20/2024

    Savitz DA, Wise LA, Bond JC, Hatch EE, Ncube CN, Wesselink AK, Willis MD, Yland JJ, Rothman KJ. Responding to Reviewers and Editors About Statistical Significance Testing. Ann Intern Med. 2024 Mar; 177(3):385-386. PMID: 38373303.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 2/1/2024

    Bond JC, Coleman CM, Yland JJ, Wesselink AK, Wang T, Willis M, Hatch EE, Rothman KJ, Savitz D, Eisenberg ML, Wise LA. Preconception sleep duration, non-daytime work schedules, and incidence of spontaneous abortion: a prospective cohort study. Hum Reprod. 2024 Feb 01; 39(2):413-424. PMID: 38059518.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 12/27/2023

    Wesselink AK, Kirwa K, Hystad P, Kaufman JD, Szpiro AA, Willis MD, Savitz DA, Levy JI, Rothman KJ, Mikkelsen EM, Laursen ASD, Hatch EE, Wise LA. Ambient air pollution and rate of spontaneous abortion. Environ Res. 2024 Apr 01; 246:118067. PMID: 38157969.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 11/28/2023

    Sabbath EL, Willis MD, Wesselink AK, Wang TR, McKinnon CJ, Hatch EE, Wise LA. Association between job control and time to pregnancy in a preconception cohort. Fertil Steril. 2024 Mar; 121(3):497-505. PMID: 38036244.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 11/27/2023

    Willis MD, Harris L, Campbell EJ, Chaskes M, Sawyer E, Harleman M, Ritz B, Hill EL, Hystad P. A population-based cohort study of electronic tolling, traffic congestion, and adverse birth outcomes. Environ Int. 2024 Jan; 183:108355. PMID: 38056094.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 10/26/2023

    Wise LA, Wang TR, Mikkelsen EM, Wesselink AK, Calafat AM, Wegienka G, Geller RJ, Coleman CM, Willis MD, Marsh EE, Schildroth S, Botelho JC, Messerlian-Lambert G, Hatch EE. Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances and Anti-Müllerian Hormone Concentrations in Two Preconception Cohort Studies. Environ Health Perspect. 2023 Oct; 131(10):107703. PMID: 37882725.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 10/4/2023

    Wesselink AK, Hystad P, Kirwa K, Kaufman JD, Willis MD, Wang TR, Szpiro AA, Levy JI, Savitz DA, Rothman KJ, Hatch EE, Wise LA. Air pollution and fecundability in a North American preconception cohort study. Environ Int. 2023 Nov; 181:108249. PMID: 37862861.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 9/5/2023

    Sims KD, Willis MD, Hystad PW, Batty GD, Bibbins-Domingo K, Smit E, Odden MC. Neighborhood Characteristics and Elevated Blood Pressure in Older Adults. JAMA Netw Open. 2023 Sep 05; 6(9):e2335534. PMID: 37747730.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 8/31/2023

    Willis MD, Buonocore JJ. Fossil Fuel Racism: The Ongoing Burden of Oil and Gas Development in the Shadows of Regulatory Inaction. Am J Public Health. 2023 Nov; 113(11):1176-1178. PMID: 37651657.

    Read At: PubMed

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