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Lab Members

DiSalvoRichard DiSalvo is a PhD candidate in the Department of Economics at the University of Rochester. His dissertation focus is on education and health policy, and includes joint work with Dr. Hill analyzing the relationship between drinking water contamination and birth outcomes. As a member of Dr. Hill's team Richard's work consists of managing and maintaining code across diverse projects and programming languages, in order to support quantitative research studies on healthcare, hydrofracking and the environment.

DenhamAlina Denham is a PhD candidate in Health Services Research and Policy at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. Alina earned her MS in International Management with a focus on Health Systems from the University of Liverpool in 2013. Her dissertation research aims to investigate the economic relationship between primary care and emergency department (ED) care in the Medicaid population and to estimate the effect of Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act on ED utilization for primary care treatable conditions in New York State. Her work as a member of Dr. Hill’s team lies in identifying and analyzing changes in healthcare utilization patterns associated with shale gas development, through air and water pollution pathways as well as through the pathway of income increases due to oil and gas royalties receipt by lessors.

WillisMary Willis is a PhD candidate in Environmental and Occupational Health in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences at Oregon State University. Mary previously attended the University of Rochester to earn her BA in Epidemiology and Environmental Studies in 2015 and her MPH with a focus on Epidemiology in 2016.  As a member of Dr. Hill’s team, Mary focuses on the impacts of air pollution from shale gas development on infant and children’s health in Pennsylvania. Through ongoing collaborations between Dr. Hill’s lab and the Spatial Health Lab at Oregon State University, Mary’s dissertation research examines the effects of energy policy decisions on perinatal health in Texas using econometric causal inference methods and spatial exposure assessment.

ZavezAlexis Zavez is a statistics PhD student in the Department of Biostatistics and Computational Biology at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. She received her BA in Economics and Statistics from Swarthmore College. Alexis currently studies drinking water quality and patterns in drinking water contamination. Her research interests also include quantifying the adverse economic and health outcomes that result from contaminated drinking water.

HernandezVictor Hernandez Martinez is an economics PhD student at the University of Rochester. He received his BA in Economics from Universidad Carlos III de Madrid and his MS in Public Policy & Economics from the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics. Victor’s work as a member of Dr. Hill’s research group analyzes the employment, income, wealth and consumption changes generated by hydraulic fracturing development in the US. His research interests include understanding the role of technological development and education in the labor market and its effects on inequality in developed countries.

LiuLinxi Liu joined the Epidemiology PhD program at University of Rochester in 2016. Prior to entering the department, she received her BS in Preventive Medicine from Sichuan University, China, in 2013. She also received an MS in Epidemiology from University of Pittsburgh in 2016. Her current research is focusing on cardiovascular health issues in Unconventional Natural Gas Development (UNGD) industry.

ZhangLujia Zhang is currently an undergraduate at the University of Rochester, she is pursuing a double major in Economics and Environmental Health. Her research focuses primarily on the environmental and health impacts of natural gas production. She is currently looking at emissions levels and the health effects of natural gas compressor stations.

SonneDevin Ellen Sonne is a recent graduate of the University of Rochester where she earned dual degrees, a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and a B.A. in Environmental Studies. Devin transferred to UR from Mohawk Valley Community College, where she attained an A.S. in Chemistry. While there, Devin served as Student Congress President, and was awarded the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence. She is a nontraditional student who has a background in management, marketing, and sales. As a member of Dr. Hill’s team, she acts in part as a team coordinator, while also supporting multiple research projects and working to develop a national drinking water quality database. Devin is passionate about education, the environment, and has an untreatable addiction to potato chips.

EsbrookEleanor Esbrook is a junior at the University of Rochester studying microbiology and public health with a concentration in health, behavior, and society. She is currently working on a project that explores how exposure to fracking related chemicals in water sources is related to health outcomes. In addition, she is the data librarian for the team. Besides her interests in health effects in response to shale oil drilling, Eleanor is also interested in infectious disease public health. 

DingElliot Ding is a recent graduate of the University of Rochester where he majored in Economics and minored in Chemistry. His current projects include an effort to collect oil and gas production data from counties across the US for the purpose of creating a national database and an investigation into the effects of fracking on crime. Outside of research, Elliot is a competitive rower and enjoys, reading, cooking and the company of cats.  After graduation, he will be moving to Washington DC to work at The Lewin Group, a healthcare policy research and consulting firm.

Lala MaLala Ma is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics in the Gatton College of Business and Economics at the University of Kentucky. Dr. Ma’s primary research field is environmental economics with a focus on non-market valuation. Her work deals with estimating the values placed on improving environmental quality using a combination of reduced-form and structural methods. Specifically, she has worked on projects to recover the value of brownfield remediation, of flood risk changes, and, more recently in collaboration with Dr. Hill, of mitigating the health and environmental costs of shale gas development. Dr. Ma received her Ph.D. in Economics from Duke University in 2014.​