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Kirsten Koehler, PhD, research seeks to improve exposure assessment methods to inform occupational and public health policy.

Contact Info

615 N. Wolfe Street, Room E6632

Research Interests

exposure assessment; aerosols; air quality; spatial statistics

Experiences & Accomplishments
Colorado State University
Colorado State University
University of California, Los Angeles

As an Associate Professor in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health my goals are to improve exposure assessment methods to inform occupational and public health policy. My research goals involve the use of direct-reading instrumentation to improve spatiotemporal exposure assessment. Direct-reading (i.e. “real-time”) monitors can rapidly assess exposures to various hazards.  I am interested in spatiotemporal exposure assessment by pairing direct-reading instruments with a GPS unit to apportion exposures to different microenvironments. While I believe there is great potential for direct-reading instruments to aid in the identification of exposure hazards, it can be dangerous to apply such a methodology without understanding the uncertainties associated with this new form of exposure assessment. My continuing research interests include investigating the use of traditional spatial statistical methods like Kriging and more novel methods. 

I am also interested in developing novel aerosol samplers to improve the relationship between exposures and health effects. I have investigated two novel, low-cost aerosol technologies in the laboratory and field. First, we have deployed a network of low-cost air pollution monitors throughout Baltimore to understand the between neighborhood variability in pollutants and greenhouse gases.  The second uses polyurethane foams to mimic the size-specific deposition of aerosol in the human respiratory tract. We have shown that estimating aerosol deposition provides a more biologically-relevant estimate of dose and risk than traditional samplers that estimate aerosol intake. This sampler represents a large decrease in cost of the exposure assessment because the foam substrate is inexpensive and the low pressure-drop through it eliminates the need for costly personal sampling pumps. 

Honors & Awards

Recipient of the Dept. of Atmospheric Science Alumni Award for Best Paper, CSU (May, 2007).

Recipient of Shrake-Cullor Scholarship, CSU (2005-2006).

Recipient of 3-F Scholarship CSU (2002-2003).

Select Publications

Recent publications:

  • Zamora, M., F. Xiong, B. Kerkez, J. Kohrman-Glaser, D. Gentner, K. Koehler. Field and Laboratory Evaluations of the low-cost Plantower Particulate Matter Sensor. Environ Sci Technol, 53(2): 838-849, 2019.

  • Checkley, W., K.N. Williams, J. L. Kephart, M. Fandiño-Del-Rio, N.K. Steenland, G.F. Gonzales, L.P. Naeher, S.A. Harvey, L.H. Moulton, V.G. Davila-Roman, D. Goodman, C. Tarazona-Meza, C.H. Miele, S. Simkovich, M. Chiang, R.T. Chartier, K. Koehler. Effects of a cleaner energy intervention on cardiopulmonary outcomes in Peru: A randomized controlled trial, Am J Respir Crit Care Med, 203(11), 1386-1397, DOI: 10.1164/rccm.202006-2319OC, 2021.

  • Zuidema, C., L. Stebunova, S. Sousan, A. Gray, O. Stroh, G Thomas, T.M. Peters, K. Koehler. Estimating Personal Exposures from a Multi-Hazard Sensor Network. J Exposure Sci Environ Epidemiol, DOI: 10.1038/s41370-019-0146-1, 2019.

  • Majd, E., M. McCormack, M. Davis, F. Curriero, J. Berman, F. Connolly, P. Leaf, A. Rule, T. Green, D. Clemons-Erby, C. Gummerson, K. Koehler. Indoor air quality in inner-city schools and its associations with building characteristics and environmental factors. Environ Res, 170: 83-91, 2019

  • Newton, A., K. Adams, B. Serdar, L.M. Dickinson, K. Koehler. Personal and area exposure assessment at a stainless steel fabrication facility: an evaluation of inhalable, time-resolved PM10, and bioavailable airborne metals. J Occup Environ Hyg, 18(2): 90-100, 2021

Center for Advancing Research on Transportation Emissions, Energy and Health
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