"Humans are impacting our environment in unprecedented ways, which in turn has impacts on human health. In this dynamic network of influence between people, animals, and our ecosystem, some equilibria are more dangerous than others. My work at EcoHealth Alliance analyzes patterns and interactions between these three arenas in order to model, predict, and prevent the conditions that make disease spillover more likely."
As a research scientist, Brooke Watson studies how anthropogenic change affects infectious disease emergence and transmission. In her work, Brooke applies epidemiological methods to study the distribution and determinants of diseases in both humans and wildlife. Using observational and experimental data on land use, species distributions, and demographic shifts, Brooke builds mathematical models to forecast longitudinal changes in disease risk and its economic impacts.
Brooke works to uncover the ways in which environmental factors can exacerbate or ameliorate the risk of disease spillover and spread. At EcoHealth Alliance, she works to quantify the economic impacts of viral pandemics, predict risk factors for antimicrobial resistance, and identify behavioral risk factors for zoonotic infection.
Prior to joining EcoHealth Alliance, Brooke worked as global health consultant, helping organizations including Merck & Company, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation expand access to health services in low-resource settings. Previously, she worked in off-grid solar energy provision, medical research, and environmental conservation and education, which informs her intersectional approach to study design and analysis.
Brooke Watson received her B.S. in Microbiology with Honors from the University of Tennessee and her MSc in Epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Her MSc thesis explored risk factors for diarrheal disease and stunting among shared sanitation users in peri-urban settings in Maputo, Mozambique.