Student Research Opportunities with Professor Bartell


Graduate Programs at UC Irvine
I recruit students primarily through the Graduate Programs in Public Health and Environmental Health Sciences. I am also affiliated with the following graduate programs: Statistics, Epidemiology, and Social Ecology.

Research Interests
Methods in environmental health: probabilistic models and statistical methods for exposure assessment, environmental epidemiology, and risk/decision analysis

Exposure Science Project
My interest in exposure science methods centers on the development and application of statistical methods for estimating chemical exposure rates using biomarkers such as blood lead or hair mercury concentrations. One major challenge in this area is that the computational complexity and large number of parameters in toxicokinetic models (using systems of differential equations) makes formal statistical estimation difficult in settings with complex exposure variation over time. Much of my research in this area is centered on the use of discrete linear approximations to more complex continuous-time models, facilitating formal statistical estimation using estimating equations and Bayesian approaches. Application of these methods include epidemiologic studies of environmental exposures to mercury and perfluorooctanoate.

Scope of Work

Prerequisites

Air Pollution Epidemiology Project
Exposure to air pollutants such as particulate matter (PM) has been linked to a variety of adverse health outcomes including cardiovascular deaths, but the mechanisms underlying these relationships remain unclear. In recent work with one of Prof. Ralph Delfino's panel study populations, we've found strong associations between mean-centered PM and cardiac arrhythmia but no link between mean-centered PM and heart rate variability, a measure of autonomic function that is commonly used in air pollution epidemiology. Futher analysis using alternate measures of PM exposure, including forward-lagged exposure, may help elucide the potential for uncontrolled confounding in these analyses.

Scope of Work

Prerequisites

Spatial Epidemiology I collaborate with a variety of researchers and students in the Spatial Epidemiology Research Group.