Elizabeth Carlton smiling next to a tree
Colorado School of Public Health

Elizabeth Carlton is an Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at the Colorado School of Public H​ealth. She is an environmental epidemiologist who uses diverse datastreams to study the ways in which social and environmental processes, from urbanization to climate change, impact infectious diseases. She is interested in improving surveillance tools for infectious diseases and identifying vulnerable populations and high-risk environments. Her research over the past decade has documented the impact of climate, particularly heavy rainfall events, on water-borne diseases. She is a member of the Colorado COVID-19 modeling team and leads a study of the reemergence and persistence of the water-borne parasitic infection, schistosomiasis, in southwest China. Dr. Carlton collaborates with the Mortenson Center on a project to evaluate efforts to improve safe water services in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Professor Carlton teaches graduate courses on environmental epidemiology, global infectious diseases, and the health impacts of climate change. She received her PhD in Environmental Health Sciences from the University of California Berkeley, her MPH from the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University and her BS in biology from Yale University. Prior to graduate school, she was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Honduras.

Research Interests

  • Surveillance and control of infectious diseases
  • Estimating the health impacts of climate change, particularly on water-borne diseases
  • The use of diverse data sources – from genomic data to cell-phone based mobility data to monitor infectious diseases including schistosomiasis, arboviruses and SARS-CoV-2

Courses Taught

  • EHOH 6617 Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology
  • EHOH 6635 Climate Change and Health
  • EHOH 6624 Infectious Diseases, Environmental Contexts


  • PhD Environmental Health Sciences, University of California, Berkeley
  • MPH Environmental Health Sciences, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University
  • BS Biology, Yale University

Honors and Awards

  • M. Donald Whorton Writing Award, Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, 2013
  • International Journal of Epidemiology Photoessay Competition. Runner-up. 2015.
  • Delta Omega National Honorary Society in Public Health, Inducted 2017

Recent Publications

  • Buchwald AG, Adams J, Bortz DM, Carlton EJ. 2020. Infectious disease transmission models to predict, evaluate, and improve understanding of SARS-CoV-2 trajectory and interventions. Ann Am Thorac Soc.
  • Buchwald AG, Grover E, Van Dyke J, Kechris K, Lu D, Liu Y, Zhong B, Carlton EJ. 2021. Human mobility associated with risk of Schistosoma japonicum infection in Sichuan, China. Am J Epidemiol.
  • Shortt JA, Timm LE, Hales NR, Nikolakis ZL, Schield DR, Perry BW, Liu Y, Zhong B, Castoe TA, Carlton EJ, Pollock DD. 2021. Population genomic analyses of schistosome parasites highlight critical challenges facing endgame elimination efforts. Sci Rep 11:6884.
  • Hess JJ, Ranadive N, Boyer C, Aleksandrowicz L, Anenberg SC, Aunan K, et al. 2020. Guidelines for modeling and reporting health effects of climate change mitigation actions. Environ Health Perspect 128:115001.
  • Buchwald AG, Hayden MH, Dadzie SK, Paull SH, Carlton EJ. 2020. Aedes-borne disease outbreaks in West Africa: A call for enhanced surveillance. Acta Trop 209:105468.