Three new faculty recently joined Indiana University as part of the Prepared for Environmental Change (PfEC) Grand Challenge, augmenting IU’s research capabilities in key areas spanning environmental policy, environmental philanthropy, and disease ecology.
The new hires bring the total number of Grand Challenge-sponsored faculty to ten and adds to the expertise of more than 100 faculty, postdocs, and students affiliated with the Environmental Resilience Institute. Together, these researchers are working to inform and help communities in Indiana and the Midwest address the challenges of environmental change.
The three Grand Challenge-sponsored faculty are:
Marco Ajelli, a mathematical epidemiologist and an associate professor with the IU School of Public Health. Ajelli uses models and data science to better understand, predict, and control the spread of infectious diseases, such as COVID-19. The results of his work provide public health decision makers with evidence to address public health questions and develop informed disease prevention and mitigation strategies.
Most recently, Ajelli has been studying the COVID-19 pandemic and the effectiveness of various strategies to combat the virus. An Italian native, Ajelli earned his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees at the University of Trento, Italy.
Nathan Cook, an assistant professor at the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IUPUI. Cook studies environmental policy and sustainability, exploring how policy and interventions lead to changes in environmental conservation, human well-being, and public participation in environmental governance.
A key focus of Cook’s work is understanding how policy reforms can alleviate environmental inequalities. In some of his current research, he is partnering with local organizations in India and Nepal to evaluate environmental reforms and interventions in those countries.
Cook comes to IU after earning a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Colorado, where he also completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Institute of Behavioral Science.
Ash Enrici, an assistant professor at the IUPUI Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Enrici is an expert in environmental philanthropy, with past work including empirical studies of environmental justice, payment for ecosystem services, and ecosystem-based fisheries.
At IUPUI, Enrici’s research will focus on how shifts in funding impact communities, organizations, and conservation agendas. Another focus will be to assist marine conservation practitioners, donors, and other stakeholders by enhancing understanding of the factors that contribute to effective, equitable, and enduring ocean philanthropy and conservation.
Enrici earned an M.A. in applied anthropology and a Ph.D. in geographical sciences, both from the University of Maryland.