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


  • Published on 12/11/2022

    Harper T, Kuohung W, Sayres L, Willis MD, Wise LA. Optimizing Preconception Care and Interventions for Improved Population Health. Fertil Steril. 2022 Dec 11. PMID: 36516911.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 12/2/2022

    Willis MD, Carozza SE, Hystad P. Congenital anomalies associated with oil and gas development and resource extraction: a population-based retrospective cohort study in Texas. J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol. 2023 Jan; 33(1):84-93. PMID: 36460921.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 10/28/2022

    Willis MD, Schrank D, Xu C, Harris L, Ritz BR, Hill EL, Hystad P. A population-based cohort study of traffic congestion and infant growth using connected vehicle data. Sci Adv. 2022 Oct 28; 8(43):eabp8281. PMID: 36306359.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 9/14/2022

    Geller RJ, Wesselink AK, Upson K, Claus Henn B, Schildroth S, Wright R, Coleman CM, Willis MD, Bethea TN, Williams PL, Harmon QE, Baird DD, Wegienka G, Wise LA. Correlates of whole blood metal concentrations among reproductive-aged Black women. J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol. 2022 Sep 14. PMID: 36104525.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 8/11/2022

    McKinnon CJ, Joglekar DJ, Hatch EE, Rothman KJ, Wesselink AK, Willis MD, Wang TR, Mikkelsen EM, Eisenberg ML, Wise LA. Male personal heat exposures and fecundability: A preconception cohort study. Andrology. 2022 Nov; 10(8):1511-1521. PMID: 35924639.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 7/23/2022

    Wesselink AK, Hatch EE, Rothman KJ, Wang TR, Willis MD, Yland J, Crowe HM, Geller RJ, Willis SK, Perkins RB, Regan AK, Levinson J, Mikkelsen EM, Wise LA. A Prospective Cohort Study of COVID-19 Vaccination, SARS-CoV-2 Infection, and Fertility. Am J Epidemiol. 2022 Jul 23; 191(8):1383-1395. PMID: 35051292.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 6/1/2022

    Willis MD, Orta OR, Ncube C, Wesselink AK, Ðoàn LN, Kirwa K, Boynton-Jarrett R, Hatch EE, Wise LA. Association Between Neighborhood Disadvantage and Fertility Among Pregnancy Planners in the US. JAMA Netw Open. 2022 Jun 01; 5(6):e2218738. PMID: 35771576.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 5/9/2022

    Willis MD, Hill EL, Kile ML, Carozza S, Hystad P. Associations between residential proximity to oil and gas extraction and hypertensive conditions during pregnancy: a difference-in-differences analysis in Texas, 1996-2009. Int J Epidemiol. 2022 05 09; 51(2):525-536. PMID: 34897479.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 12/10/2021

    Wesselink AK, Wang TR, Ketzel M, Mikkelsen EM, Brandt J, Khan J, Hertel O, Laursen ASD, Johannesen BR, Willis MD, Levy JI, Rothman KJ, Sørensen HT, Wise LA, Hatch EE. Air pollution and fecundability: Results from a Danish preconception cohort study. Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol. 2022 Jan; 36(1):57-67. PMID: 34890081.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 7/21/2021

    Willis MD, Hill EL, Boslett A, Kile ML, Carozza SE, Hystad P. Associations between Residential Proximity to Oil and Gas Drilling and Term Birth Weight and Small-for-Gestational-Age Infants in Texas: A Difference-in-Differences Analysis. Environ Health Perspect. 2021 07; 129(7):77002. PMID: 34287013.

    Read At: PubMed

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