Fellowship Project: Improving Assessment of Residential Exposures for Home Energy Efficiency and Health Studies
Ellison is an environmental engineer, and her current research combines interests and expertise in indoor and outdoor air quality, exposure science, and chemistry. She aims to answer questions relevant to energy, environmental health, and housing policy. She is working to understand patterns and predictors of variability in environmental exposures.
Ellison is keen to develop studies through the JPB fellowship that would allow her to understand the joint and independent roles of those environmental exposures that she observes in context with other social, physical, and psychological stressors. A common setting for her work has been low- to moderate-income housing in the U.S. and other countries outside the U.S.
Improving Assessment of Residential Exposures for Home Energy Efficiency and Health Studies
Rigorous evaluation of well characterized housing interventions and the extent to which they achieve their intended benefits is crucial to shaping effective housing policy and investments in the United States. Although home energy efficiency upgrades are anticipated to positively influence health through multiple physiological and psychological pathways, only a very limited number of studies have been able to provide evidence to support this hypothesis. One major obstacle to this work has been a lack of clear indicators to track that bear robust relationships with residential exposures to physiological stressors of chemical and psychosocial origin. Another major obstacle is a lack of methods and tools that are low-burden to implement in a large number of homes for sufficient follow up periods. The proposed pilot study seeks to lower persistent barriers to measurement and modeling of home-based exposures and narrow key knowledge gaps on relationships between housing and health by leveraging an existing field-based housing study and developing foundational datasets needed for larger-scale housing studies through the blended application of measurement tools from the engineering, health, and social sciences.