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

Business Impacts

Paid sick leave and small business impacts

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. She can also discuss the toll on small businesses.  

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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.   

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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.

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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 (The Denver Post)

Engineering & Health

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. 

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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.

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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. 

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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. 

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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

The switch to remote education

José Lizárraga, assistant professor in the School of Education, can talk about the challenges and opportunities of virtual education. He examines how digital new media has changed the way that children and adults learn, sometimes in innovative ways. He also studies how these new tools affect the learning opportunities of people from historically marginalized groups. 

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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.

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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.

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.

Studying the distant past in the Galápagos Islands

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.


Society & Religion

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.

Native Americans Unite To Make Their Voices Heard This Election (Colorado Public Radio)

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.

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Adapting Passover traditions

With Passover quickly approaching, 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. 


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.

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 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).

Schedule an interview

CU Boulder Media Relations