Melissa J. Scott

Post Doctoral Associate


Room A117, Erwin Mill

Dr. Melissa Scott’s research interests are in environmental health, population health, bioethics, race, climate change, energy, and health inequalities. At the Cook Center for Social Equity, Melissa is a Postdoctoral Associate researching the relationship between religion and cardiovascular disease risk factors in the black community, specifically depression. Here she works with a team of scholars in the Bentley-Edwards Research Group to examine (1) whether denominational and gender differences effect depression among Black Christians, and (2) whether environmental variables such as air pollution, neighborhood crime, walkability, bike-ability, and access to green space effect depression among Black Christians. Prior to her current work at the Cook Center for Social Equity, Melissa was a Postdoctoral Associate at the Nicholas School of Environment at Duke University. During this time she worked with colleagues in the Shindell Lab to estimate heat-related mortality across the entire contiguous U.S. under various greenhouse gas emissions trajectories and climate change scenarios. Melissa received her PhD in Environment & Resources at the University of Wisconsin – Madison’s Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies where she was advised by Jonathan Patz. Her dissertation research focus was on ‘National Energy Choices: Opportunities for Improvements in Health, Ethics, and Prioritizing Vulnerable Populations.’ Melissa also holds a M.A. in Bioethics from New York University and B.A. in Philosophy from DePaul University.

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