Meet the Experts

Find experts across Johns Hopkins involved in research and teaching related to environment, energy, sustainability and/or health. The following list is organized by the expert's last name. You can also search by area of expertise.

Learn more about the support E²SHI provides to Hopkins faculty, staff researcher or instructors.

Waste/Resource Use

Thomas Kempa

Assistant Professor, Dept of Chemistry
Krieger School of Arts & Sciences

tkempa@jhu.eduFaculty Website

Research Areas:
  • Synthesis of solid-state materials to help address extant challenges in environmental sustainability and in human health.
  • Development of diverse synthetic methods to make solid-state structures and devices embodying new phases, architectures, and topologies. Since these materials can exert unique control over critical physical processes (e.g. mass, charge, and energy transport), they can be used to study un-answered questions in basic science and to define advances in solar cells, catalysts, thermoelectrics, self-assembly, optics, electronics, and biological imaging.
Keywords: Energy, Air Pollution, Water, Waste/Resource Use

Roni Neff

E²SHI Executive Committee member
Assistant Professor, Dept of Environmental Health and Engineering
Director of Research Program and Food System Sustainability & Public Health Program, Center for a Livable Future
Bloomberg School of Public Health

rneff1@jhu.eduFaculty Website

Research Areas:
  • Policy and social science research on themes relevant to understanding and changing food systems, including promoting environmental sustainability and addressing disparities.
  • Food and ecological concerns, including climate change, peak oil, and soil.
  • Public health and agricultural policy, especially the Farm Bill.
  • Access to sustainably produced and healthy food.

Selected Publications

Laestadius, L., Neff, R.A., Barry, C.L, Frattaroli, S. (2013). "Meat Consumption and Climate Change: The Role of Non-Governmental Organizations." Climatic Change, 120(1), pp. 25-38.

Neff, R. (2014). Introduction to the US Food System: Public Health, Environment, and Equity. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Keywords: Food systems, Climate and health, Equity/justice, Behavior interventions, Policy

Christopher Overcash

Instructor, Engineering for Professionals, Whiting School of Engineering
Vice President, Environmental Discipline, KCI Technologies Inc.

covercash@jhu.eduFaculty Website

Research Areas:
  • Water and wastewater infrastructure sustainability, reliability and design
  • Infrastructure adaptation to climate change
  • Corporate environmental and social responsibility
  • Aeration of open water system to improve quality
  • Tidal pumping systems
  • Renewable energy systems
  • Atmospheric water generation system analysis
  • Marine and dredging projects and sustainable design
  • Analysis of environmental site contamination and remediation
Keywords: Infrastructure and Built Environment, Civil Engineering, Climate Change, Ecosystem/ Environmental Management, Environmental Policy, Resource Management, Transportation, Waste and Resource Use, Water

Meng Zhu

Associate Professor of Marketing
Carey Business School

mengzhu@jhu.eduFaculty Website

Research Areas:
  • Behavioral determinants of waste in consumption as well as contextual factors that trigger conservation behavior, such as incidental resource cues, marketing cues, and color cues. 
  • Impact of the abundance psychology on the consumption of physical and mental resources.

Selected Publications

Mehta, R. and M. Zhu (2016), “Creating When You Have Less: The Impact of Resource Scarcity on Product Use Creativity,” Journal of Consumer Research, 42(5), 767-782.

Keywords: Behavior change/analysis, Waste & resource use

We never know the worth of water till the well is dry.
— Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia, 1732