As the CU Boulder community responds to the global COVID-19 pandemic, our researchers are available to discuss various aspects of this disease and its impact on people in Colorado and beyond.

For ongoing updates, frequently asked questions and more on how COVID-19 is impacting campus, visit the CU Boulder coronavirus resource page.

To schedule interviews, contact CU Boulder media relations at


Areas of Expertise

Coronavirus Research News

UV light
Ultraviolet light can annihilate COVID-19 aerosols, but there’s a tradeoff with air quality

Dec. 15, 2022

A new CIRES-led study finds germicidal ultraviolet light disinfection can be used to fight COVID-19 in high-risk environments. However, the technique produces harmful secondary chemicals in indoor air, with a significant but not overwhelming impact. There are multiple strategies that can be used to minimize the air quality impact, which are now under investigation.
People gathering for a holiday
Got the sniffles? Here’s how to make the right decision about holiday gatherings

Nov. 15, 2022

A new international study conducted at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic shows when people simply take a moment to reflect on the consequences of their behavior, they’re more likely to make choices that benefit public health.
Corrie Detweiler in her lab
How COVID spawned a surge in superbugs—and what we can do about it

Aug. 12, 2022

"Don’t pressure your doctor for an antibiotic unless there's evidence that you need one," says Corrie Detweiler in this Q&A on the threats of antibiotic-resistance pathogens.

Business Impacts

How people will spend stimulus checks

Tony Cookson, co-director of the Leeds School of Business Center for Financial Decision Making, can talk about what people will likely do with their stimulus payments. His recently published research into how people spend financial windfalls shows many people will likely pay down debt, lower delinquencies and improve their credit, rather than spend their check immediately.

Q&A: Why did you get money from the federal government and what should you do with it?

Paid sick leave

Emily Gallagher, assistant professor of finance in the real estate track of the Leeds School of Business, can discuss how changes in paid sick leave, especially for those in low-income households, could impact the spread of the virus as well as mortgage and rental delinquencies longer-term. 

Flooding assistance left Houston residents on uneven ground

Coronavirus impact leaves Steamboat area businesses looking for help in uncertain times

Working remotely

Christina Lacerenza is an assistant professor of organizational leadership and information analytics at the Leeds School of Business. Her work focuses on identifying effective leadership and teamwork practices for the 21st century and beyond. She can speak about how to best lead and work in a remote team, the transition from face-to-face to virtual teaming, and unique challenges faced by virtual teams.   

5 things to know for work-from-home newbies

Webinar: "Unlocking your virtual team's potential"

Impacts on Colorado’s economy

Brian Lewandowski works in the Leeds Business Research Division (BRD). BRD collects some of the most comprehensive information on the Colorado economy through various regular reports and forecasts, including the Colorado Business Economic Outlook, the Leeds Business Confidence Index and Colorado Secretary of State’s Quarterly Indicators report.

Colorado economy adding new businesses more slowly, new report shows

What brands are doing to respond

Kelty Logan is an associate professor of advertising, public relations and media design. Logan can discuss approaches brands are taking to address the COVID-19 pandemic, from Amazon removing products making false claims to Starbucks providing coffee to first-responders to clothing manufacturers pivoting to make masks and distilleries producing hand sanitizer. She can also discuss how brands will need to change their ads and messaging to remain successful going forward. Logan has more than 20 years of experience as a marketing executive in the advertising, broadcast network and product marketing industries. She studies changing patterns of media usage resulting from digital technology and its impact on the advertising industry.

Impacts on global supply chains

Gregg Macaluso is an instructor of supply chain management and faculty director of the Leeds School of Business Masters in supply chain management. He focuses on creating supply chains for Fortune 1000 companies across several industries. He can speak to the coronavirus’ impacts on global supply chains.

Front Range industrial revolution: Big warehouse projects sprouting across Denver and beyond 

Closure Of Several Meatpacking Plants Not Expected To Impact Customers 

Entrepreneurship, COVID and climate change

Jeffrey York is an associate professor of entrepreneurship and sustainability at the Leeds School of Business. He can explain how entrepreneurship can help solve some of the crises stemming from COVID-19. He can also talk about the similarities between solving COVID-19’s challenges and beating climate change.
COVID-19 is a dress rehearsal for entrepreneurial approaches to climate change

Engineering & Health

How COVID-19 is affecting the electric power grid

Kyri Baker, assistant professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering and Electrical, Computer, and Energy Engineering (by courtesy), can speak about how increased residential electricity consumption and decreased commercial electricity consumption due to stay-at-home orders and social distancing is dramatically changing the way the electrical grid operates, as well as how this impacts the generation and use of renewable energy.

Webinar: How is COVID-19 Affecting the Electric Power Grid?

Risks of splitting ventilators

Mark Borden, a mechanical engineering professor, can explain how ventilators work and how car companies could begin manufacturing them. He can also talk about the risks of splitting ventilators between patients.

Immune health

Barbara Demmig-Adams is professor of distinction in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. She studies plant antioxidants, and can discuss how different types of nutrients affect the human immune system and its response to infection and disease. 

3 simple steps to support your immune health

Disinfection of the built environment

Mark Hernandez is the SJ Archuleta Professor of Civil Engineering, and his expertise is in the characterization and control of bioaerosols and fomites in the built environment. He can speak about the detection, distribution and abundance of indoor microbes and their persistence in response to different cleaning practices. 

Environmental engineering researchers study airborne coronavirus disinfection

Disease networks and evolutionary strategies

Daniel Larremore, assistant professor in the BioFrontiers Institute and Department of Computer Science, is available to discuss the theory behind how diseases spread in networks. He uses mathematical tools to understand how pathogens evolve to evade the human immune system, with a focus on malaria. His work also probes the theory behind the spread of information, disease or neural excitations, all of which grow as cascades in complex networks. 

Mathematician using Facebook data in the fight against COVID-19

Indoor air quality and infectious disease transmission

Shelly Miller, professor in the Paul M. Rady Department of Mechanical Engineering, can speak about how people can minimize their exposure to indoor air pollutants, even in the age of social distancing. She also studies how hospitals and other facilities combat the spread of airborne diseases through engineering tools like ultraviolet light.

How to keep your indoor air quality healthy when you are social distincing and staying home

Using stimulus funds for disaster preparedness

Keith Porter, research professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering, can speak about using COVID-19 recovery stimulus funds to reduce Colorado's risk from inevitable future natural disasters. Wise investment of stimulus funds could help the state to recover from the current disaster while saving lives and money in the future, Porter says.

Flood, fire preparations could save U.S. billions of dollars

COVID-19 in the developing world

Evan Thomas, associate professor of environmental engineering and director of the Mortenson Center in Global Engineering, is an expert on water, sanitation and hygiene interventions in the developing world. He can discuss how underlying, chronic inequalities such as access to safe water may accelerate the spread of COVID and steps researchers, governments and NGOs can take to improve outcomes.

Air quality and ventilation

John Zhai is a professor of building systems engineering in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering. He can speak to the effectiveness of and reasoning behind the use of face masks, even for those who are not sick, in public spaces (elevators, stores, public transportation) where social distancing is not easily possible. Although the CDC has not changed its official guidance on the matter, it now recommends the use of face masks for the general public. 

Masks are having a moment in Colorado, though safety accessory also brings risks

Facial mask: A necessity to beat COVID-19


Mental Health Impacts

Supporting your mental health

Sona Dimidjian, a professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, can discuss strategies for supporting mental health. Dimidjian is director of the new Renée Crown Wellness Institute, with a research focus on wellness for women, children and families. Her work examines the clinical application of contemplative practices, including mindfulness meditation, and behavioral approaches in healthcare settings, as well as social emotional learning in schools. 

CU professors say we could be more vulnerable to depression, anxiety

Crown gift to establish a unique wellness research institute at CU Boulder

On mental health for working parents, college students

June Gruber, an assistant professor of psychology, can discuss the mental health challenges facing working parents and college students amid the pandemic. Gruber specializes in the study of emotion, happiness and mood disorders and is currently conducting research on emotional wellness among undergraduate college students in Colorado. 

6 questions: Navigating life as a working mom in a pandemic

Mental health in a time of disaster

Courtney Welton-Mitchell, can speak about mental health challenges—particularly for vulnerable groups including children, adults with pre-existing mental health issues and recent immigrants—in the time of disaster. She can also discuss how different groups interpret and comply with public health messaging. She is a research associate at the Natural Hazards Center on the CU Boulder campus and an assistant professor in the Public Health Preparedness and Disaster Response Certificate Program at the Colorado School of Public Health at the Anschutz Medical Campus.

Education & Remote Learning

Experts on K-12 school year amid pandemic

As K-12 schools across the country face tough decisions on how to reopen, continue remotely or offer hybrid models, education experts from CU Boulder are available for media interviews on a variety of pandemic-era topics.

Environmental impacts

Impacts on air quality

Joost de Gouw is an atmospheric chemist and CIRES Fellow who works on air pollution. He can speak to the impacts of the lockdowns in various affected countries on air pollution levels as measured on the ground and from satellites.

Your home is a hidden source of air pollution

Satellite observation

Barbara Dix is a CIRES research scientist who works with satellite data to analyze anthropogenic emissions. She can speak to how the effects of the lockdowns are reflected in satellite images.

Coronavirus Has Slashed Global Air Pollution. This Interactive Map Shows How.

Global climate change

Kris Karnauskas is a climate scientist and CIRES Fellow who works on the dynamics of climate change, from its basic causes to its impacts on humanity. He can speak to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on carbon emissions, measured CO2 concentrations and the bigger picture of climate change mitigation and emissions targets.

Coronavirus could trigger biggest fall in carbon emissions since World War Two

Coronavirus won’t make a dent in the climate problem

Opportunities for urban streets and transport

Kevin J. Krizek, professor of transport in the programs of Environmental Design and Environmental Studies, can speak to how the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted what is acceptable and possible with street space in cities, and how urban planners, elected officials and researchers could use this time to build stronger networks for cycling infrastructure, and create opportunities for human-scaled transport for decades to come. 

Impacts on climate change research

Bruce Vaughn, research associate and fellow at the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR), can discuss how COVID-19 is impacting measurements of global greenhouse gases and causing disruptions to ongoing international scientific research projects, such as the East Greenland Ice-core Project.

Widening pandemic shuts down climate expeditions


Society & Religion

On Zoom funerals, online grief and technology at the end of life

Jed Brubaker, an assistant professor in the Department of Information Science and director of the Identity Lab studies how life and death are experienced online. He can discuss how technologies like Zoom and social media platforms like Facebook are enabling people to grieve loved ones in the age of social distancing, and some of the challenges that arise. 

American Indian response

Carla Fredericks, director of the American Indian Law Clinic at the University of Colorado Law School, has represented Indian tribes on a variety of litigation and policy matters. She can speak to the unique issues facing tribes as they navigate their COVID-19 response.

'It’s Like Bringing Smallpox Blankets In': Tribes Fight Keystone XL Amid Covid-19

Native Americans Unite To Make Their Voices Heard This Election 

Anti-Asian discrimination and racial profiling

Jennifer Ho is a professor in the department of Ethnic Studies and the director of the Center for Humanities & the Arts (CHA) at CU Boulder, and the president of the Association for Asian American Studies effective April 8, 2020. She can discuss the history of Asian discrimination in the U.S. and the causes and effects of racial profiling and anti-Asian racism related to COVID-19, as well as general history, culture and literature associated with Asian Americans in the U.S.

Anti-Asian discrimination amid pandemic spurs Jennifer Ho to action

COVID-19 Pandemic (Communication Matters: The NCA Podcast)

Coloradans howling to connect

Joanna Lambert, a professor in the Program of Environmental Studies, can discuss how wolves communicate, what the purpose is of their howls and how this relates to the recent phenomenon of Coloradans howling each night to connect with each other while staying at home. 

The real reason we’re seeing more wildlife during the pandemic

Why are we acting like wolves at night?

Adapting Passover traditions

Jewish Studies professor Samira Mehta is available to speak about how religious institutions and the Jewish community are adapting holiday traditions amid the COVID-19 global pandemic. 

Boulder County religious organizations adapt to coronavirus despite ‘swimming in uncharted waters’

Anti-Asian discrimination, impacts on vulnerable populations

Sociology Professor Lori Peek, director of the Natural Hazards Center, can discuss ongoing anti-Asian discrimination and the social impact the epidemic could have longer-term on vulnerable populations, including children, the elderly, and low-income families. Peek is the author of two books: Behind the Backlash: Muslim Americans after 911; and Children of Katrina, which documents the long-term impacts of Hurricane Katrina on children.

Is ‘social distancing’ the wrong term? Expert prefers ‘physical distancing,’ and the WHO agrees.

CU Boulder hazards center launches registry on coronavirus research​

K-12 schools ill-prepared for natural disasters, warns CU professor

Deciphering fake news and impacts on the presidential campaign

Associate Professor Elizabeth Skewes, chair of the journalism department in the College of Media Communication and Information (CMCI), is available to discuss how to identify reliable news sources and spot fake news amid the coronavirus crisis. Skewes, a former newspaper reporter and author of Message Control: How News Is Made on the Presidential Campaign Trail, can also discuss how the situation is impacting the presidential campaign. 

How to be a better voter (TEDxCU)

On conflicting messaging around stay-at-home orders

Burton St. John III, a professor of advertising, public relations and media design, can discuss conflicting messaging coming from public officials around stay at home orders, what’s driving it and the potential consequences. St. John studies public relations and the management of risk and crisis at the CU Boulder College of Media, Communication and Information and is the author of the 2017 book, Crisis Communication and Crisis Management: An Ethical Approach.

On coronavirus and the radical right

Benjamin Teitelbaum is an assistant professor of ethnomusicology and international affairs and a scholar of the radical right. He can discuss the role extremist groups are playing in protesting stay-at-home orders and exploiting the pandemic to recruit new members. He can also discuss how the coronavirus pandemic fits into the spiritual worldview of one ultraconservative ideology known as Traditionalism. Teitelbaum is the author of a new book about Traditionalism, War for Eternity: Inside Bannon’s Far-Right Circle of Global Power Brokers

Covid-19 Is the Crisis Radical ‘Traditionalists’ Have Been Waiting For


On faith and religion

Deborah Whitehead is an associate professor in the Department of Religious Studies and a senior research fellow in the Center for Media Religion and Culture. She can discuss how religious institutions are coping with the cancellation of large gatherings via technology, the role of religion in times of persistent uncertainty, and the role emergency-preparedness has historically played among certain religious groups.

Historical Perspective

On the flu epidemic of 1918

Susan Kent, a professor in the Department of History, can discuss the origins, spread, impacts and global consequences of the influenza epidemic of 1918. Kent is an expert in British, European and global history and author of the book, The Global Influenza Pandemic of 1918–1919 (2012).

Not Colorado’s first pandemic: What we can learn from the Spanish flu

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