University of South Florida
Dr. Erin M. Symonds is an environmental microbiologist, who recently earned her doctorate in Marine Science at the University of South Florida (2016) with support from the US Environmental Protection Agency Science to Achieve Results fellowship program (2011-2014). Her research focuses on health-related, water microbiology; specifically, Erin researches the viruses in wastewater and their presence throughout wastewater treatment systems and in aquatic environments as a means to quantify the health risks associated with exposure to these pathogens. In addition to studies within the United States, Erin has worked throughout the Americas. As a U.S. Fulbright Student Researcher (2015), Erin recently completed the first microbial source tracking fecal pollution study in Costa Rica. In addition to her research, Erin helped establish a water quality laboratory and monitoring program for Lake Atitlan, Guatemala as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer (2009-2011). She joins the global community dedicated to sustainable development and the conservation of planetary health through scientific investigations that inform policy decisions, outreach, and education.