Welcome to the Cairns Lab
I am an applied environmental anthropologist studying the intersection of environment, infrastructure, and health, particularly socio-ecological interactions in polluted waterscapes and the impact of various types of human-generated waste.
I am an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Southern Methodist University. My research is focused at the intersection of environment, infrastructure, and health. My work examines socio-ecological interactions in polluted waterscapes, giving specific attention to the sustainability and efficacy of infrastructure development. I have completed projects within these theme areas in Latin America & the Caribbean, the Western Balkans, and the United States. My most recent work in Costa Rica focuses on placing ethnographic information at the forefront of mathematical modeling and mixed-methods research poised to understand the impact of wastewater on enviro-social spaces and human health. Before coming to SMU, I was an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science & Technology Policy Fellow hosted at the US Environmental Protection Agency, and was a Postdoctoral scholar at Northeastern University’s Social Science Environmental Health Research Institute.