Our staff

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Aubrey Thompson

Program manager, Community Engagement Core (CEC)

abthompson@ucdavis.edu

Contact for:

  • Community engagement of EHSC-funded pilot projects
  • Environmental Health Science Academy Day workshop planning

Aubrey Thompson

Aubrey serves as a liaison between community-based organizations and scientists conducting research to better meet the needs of Californians affected by environmental contaminants. 

At UC Davis for nearly a decade, Aubrey was a graduate student in the Community Development program, focusing her work on risk communication and public outreach around mercury contamination in fish in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. After grad school, she spent seven years at the Agricultural Sustainability Institute, working on communications, stakeholder engagement and mentoring faculty and staff to improve how they communicated about agricultural science.

When not at work, Aubrey and her family are building their own home (Sacramento’s first strawbale house) and growing much of their own food. Aubrey sometimes jokes that her personal hobby is manual labor, and is raising an infant son who already has dirt under his fingernails. 

Ruth Williams

Project policy analyst

ruwilliams@ucdavis.edu
(530) 752-4708

Contact for:

  • Programs and planning
  • AIMS review meetings
  • CLG meetings

Ruth WilliamsRuth Williams is a project policy analyst for the UC Davis Environmental Health Sciences Center (EHSC). As administrative chief, she organizes meetings, projects and seminars for EHSC researchers and keeps all of our operations running smoothly.

Ruth began her career at UC Davis in 2012 as an executive assistant in the Department of Public Health Sciences. Her interest in working with researchers began years ago when she helped to manage an environmental science lab in the Bay Area. A critical thinker and problem solver, Ruth loves her current job because she gets to facilitate research collaborations as they're developing.

Ruth studied business and human resources at the University of Phoenix, where she also earned her masters in business administration.

Yonathan Kefelegn

Project policy analyst

ykefelegn@ucdavis.edu

Contact for:

  • Wildfire research
  • Pilot and seed grants

Yonathan KefelegnAt EHSC, Yonathan works on protocol implementation, data collection and data analysis for wildfire research projects. He also coordinates pilot and seed grant funding opportunities.

Yonathan studied cultural anthropology at UCLA, then obtained his master's in global environmental health from the Milken Institute of Public Health at George Washington University. While a student, he was a fellow at the National Cancer Institute, researching air pollution in the Washington, DC area.

After finishing grad school, Yonathan worked for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services as an environmental epidemiologist, providing data management and evaluation for the state's Climate and Health Adaptation Program. His job involved surveying private water well owners about their attitudes and behavior.

When not in the office analyzing the environment, Yonathan enjoys his free time exploring it. New to Northern California, he likes to tour his new surroundings on his bike and loves trying out the abundance of fresh, local produce.

Camille Burlaza

Staff research associate

ciburlaza@ucdavis.edu

Contact for:

  • Wildfire research
  • Student internships

Camille BurlazaCamille coordinates research efforts for the WHAT NOW-CA and B-SAFE studies and works with student interns and volunteers helping to collect data.

Camille knew immediately public health was her career path after taking her first course as an undergrad at UC Irvine. She graduated with a double bachelor's in biological sciences and Asian American studies, then worked for Covered California doing outreach and education in the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities of Orange County.

Camille returned to school to get her master's in public health at San Jose State University, where she focused her studies on mental health issues affecting the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. After grad school, she worked for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health through a non-profit doing outreach and education around prescription drug and over-the-counter medication misuse and abuse by students in the San Gabriel Valley. 

When not pursing her passions at work, Camille spends most of her time with her family and dog Winston, a Shih Tzu and Maltese mix. She loves being creative in her spare time, and is an accomplished sketch artist, painter and photographer.  

Daniel Young

Data analyst

dthyoung@ucdavis.edu

 

Daniel YoungAt EHSC, Daniel provides data analysis and programming support for the WHAT-NOW CA and B-SAFE wildfire projects.

Daniel's penchant for puzzles led him to study mathematics and statistics at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo and North Carolina State University in Raleigh. After finishing school, he spent nearly six years doing statistical programming in early stage oncology trials in the clinical research industry.

Daniel moved back to the West Coast in the Spring of 2014. Before landing at UC Davis, Daniel made brief stops in Portland, Oregon, Spokane, Washington and his hometown of Redding, California.

When Daniel manages to peel himself away from the computer, he's likely running somewhere, preferably in a forest.

Jennifer Biddle

Science writer & video producer

jsbiddle@ucdavis.edu

(530) 754-9906

Contact for:

Jennifer BiddleJennifer Biddle is a science writer and video producer, Center for Health Journalism Fellow and long-standing member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.

A Bay Area native with a passion for writing from a tender age, Jennifer studied journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After college, she resettled in San Francisco where she first developed an interest in science on a dare by taking an aeronautics class at City College. Smitten with aviation, naturally she decided to become an FAA-licensed aircraft mechanic then worked in the industry for a decade building satellites and wrenching on planes for major carriers. Eventually, she returned to her first love, working her way up at various San Francisco health websites and becoming an editor.

At EHSC, Jennifer runs the website, social media, video production and other communications projects. She's avid about leveraging the good that can come from health data, and often marvels at the striking similarities between mechanical and biological systems.

Maddie Hunt

Editorial assistant

mmhunt@ucdavis.edu

(530) 752-9954

Contact for:

  • Website
  • Social media 

Maddie HuntMaddie Hunt is a sophomore at UC Davis, pursuing a bachelor's in animal science. She plans to attend veterinary school to study pathology and zoonotic diseases

At EHSC, Maddie assists in running the website and social media accounts. She also blogs on a range of environmental health topics, from wildfire safety tips to the health effects of sunscreen.

In her downtime, you can find Maddie in her cowboy boots at her professional agricultural sorority Sigma Alpha. A farm girl at heart, she has a passion for teaching others about the importance of the agriculture industry.

Jasmine Montes

Student assistant

jgmontes@ucdavis.edu

  • Wildfire research
  • Social media (en español)

Jasmine MontesJasmine Montes is a senior at UC Davis pursuing a bachelor's in global disease biology. After some hands-on experience in a microbiology lab, she's become particularly interested in bacteria and viruses. Jasmine plans to get her master's in public health, and her dream is to one day work for the US Centers for Disease Control preventing disease outbreaks.

At EHSC, Jasmine is helping to recruit study participants in wildfire research and using her fluency in Spanish to do social media outreach to the Latino community. 

In her free time, Jasmine enjoys biking around the UC Davis campus. She's especially fond of the Arboretum, where she likes to take pictures of wildlife and the beautifully diverse flora.  

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