Meet the Researchers

J. Glenn Morris, Jr., leads the Healthy Gulf, Healthy Communities team.
He is director of the University of Florida Emerging Pathogens Institute and has worked in public health fields for more than 30 years.

Dr. Morris started his public health career at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention where he was an epidemic intelligence service officer and focused his attention upon cholera and other water- and food-borne illnesses. He has served on four National Academy of Sciences expert committees dealing with food safety, and in the mid-1990s he worked with the Food Safety Inspection Service in the U.S. Department of Agriculture on the first major revision of food safety regulations since 1906; he currently is a member of the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine.

Dr. Morris received his B.A. from Rice University in Houston in 1973, and his M.D. degree and a master’s degree in public health and tropical medicine from Tulane University, New Orleans, in 1977. He is board certified in both internal medicine and infectious diseases. Prior to joining the University of Florida, he was a professor and chairman of the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive medicine at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, as well as an interim dean of their School of Public Health. In addition to his position as director of the Emerging Pathogens Institute, Dr. Morris is a professor of infectious diseases in the University of Florida College of Medicine.


Grattan Head shotLynn Grattan is a psychologist (neuropsychology subspecialty) and Associate Professor of Neurology, Psychiatry, Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

After obtaining a B.A in Psychology and Sociology and a Master’s Degree in Clinical/Community Mental Health, her professional career started as a provider of psychotherapy services to children, adults, couples and families in distress. Eventually, Grattan became Executive Director of a regional community mental health center. Grattan then returned to school and received advanced training in Psychology and Neuropsychology from the University of Connecticut (Ph.D.) and Brown University (Psychology Internship, Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Clinical Neurosciences, Research Scientist) where she developed expertise on the influence of the brain on behavior.

Grattan joined the Neurology faculty at the University Of Maryland School Of Medicine in 1991. Since that time, she has been the Director of the Neuropsychological Diagnostic and Research Laboratory for the University of Maryland Hospital and Medical School.  There she is actively engaged in teaching, research and clinical practice.  Research interests and experience are in brain-behavior relationships and memory disorders, developmental neuropsychology, frontal lobe syndromes, adjustment to neurologic illness, behavioral neurotoxicology, and the psychological and neuropsychological impacts of coastal communities in environmental distress.

Grattan has 25 years of clinical experience in community mental health and the diagnostic assessment and management of patients with a wide range of neurological illnesses, In addition to her peer reviewed research, she has authored numerous chapters in the diagnosis and intervention of people with neuropsychological deficits.  Over the past 12 years, Grattan has been involved in combining her expertise in community mental health and neuropsychological research with epidemiology and public health, as particularly it relates to coastal communities in distress as a result of marine biotoxins or other environmental problems.  Grattan currently leads an epidemiological cohort study of neurotoxicity in Native Americans after domoic acid poisoning in the Pacific Northwest and is a co-investigator of clinical studies of the health impacts of ciguatera poisoning in the U.S. Virgin Islands. She has served on many regional and national advisory committees in coastal environmental health.


Brian Mayer received his Ph.D. in sociology from Brown University in 2006 and is an associate professor of sociology in the College of Social and Behavioral Science, School of Sociology at the University of Arizona. Brian Mayer’s research interests focus on the social production of environmental health risks and the contestations that emerge around environmental problems in the areas of science, policy, and medicine. His work in environmental sociology has examined the role of community activism and participation in the identification and management of potential environmental health risks. In addition, Mayer is interested in social stratification and inequality, especially the distribution of environmental inequalities in our society.

Currently, Mayer is working on a book examining the formation of social movement coalitions between labor and environmental organizations in the United States. Other projects include an analysis of the public’s perception of the relationship between asthma and air pollution and a new project investigating the role of environmental discourses in the national debate over chemical safety and security.


Andrew S. Kane is an associate professor in the Department of Environmental and Global Health, College of Public Health and Health Professions, at the University of Florida. Kane is also the director of the UF Emerging Pathogens Institute’s Aquatic Pathobiology Laboratories. He teaches courses in Aquatic Systems and Environmental Health, and Scientific Communications. Prior to coming to the University of Florida, Kane researched aquatic and environmental health as faculty of the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine.  Kane received his B.S. degree in Aquatic and Marine Sciences from Cornell University, an M.S. in Aquaculture and Aquatic Toxicology from the Ohio State University, and his Ph.D. in Aquatic Pathobiology from the University of Maryland. His research focuses on environmental toxicology and pathology, and infectious diseases of aquatic organisms with emphasis on effects of contaminant and water quality stress on both hosts and pathogens.


Tracy A. Irani is a professor in the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication at the University of Florida. She is also development director for the Center for Public Issues Education in Agricultural and Natural Resources (, based at UF’s Institute for Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS).She teaches courses in agricultural communication theory and campaigns, organizational change management, and critical and creative thinking. Prior to teaching at the University of Florida, Irani worked in marketing, public relations and advertising. Irani received a B.A. in Journalism and Communications from Point Park College, an M.A. in Corporate Communications from Duquesne University, and a Ph.D. in Mass Communications from the University of Florida. Irani joined UF in 1999, and currently holds a teaching and research appointment in the area of agricultural communications. Irani’s research interests focus on critical thinking, problem solving and decision making with respect to controversial science, communications and technology issues. Irani is a certified administrator of the Kirton Adoption Innovation (KAI) inventory, one of the most widely used assessments of cognitive style/problem solving. She is a past chair of the Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Human Sciences (ACE) Research and Academic Programs Special Interest Groups, and is a past president of UF’s chapter of Gamma Sigma Delta, the international agricultural honorary society. In addition, she is past head of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication’s Science Communication Interest Group.


Dr. Laura Scaramella is a professor in the Psychology Department at the University of New Orleans.  Dr. Scaramella received her Ph.D. from the University of Arizona in Family Studies and Child Development. Dr. Scaramella is the graduate coordinator of the psychology department and is actively involved in a number of studies designed to examine how the quality family relationships and the quality of family social interactions impact the lives of children, particularly in response to environmental stress. She studied how the stress associated with coping with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina affected very low income mothers and their toddler and preschool aged children who were residing in the New Orleans area during and after the storm. She also is currently an investigator on the Family Transitions Project. The Family Transitions project began in the early 1990’s and examined how families coped with the economic downturn that occurred during the farm crisis. The study shaped our understanding of the impact of economic hardship on family functioning; interestingly, families have been participating in this study for almost 25 years and participants now include the spouses and children of the original child participants.


Lindsey Angela.Angie B. Lindsey received her Ph.D. from the Agricultural Education and Communication Department at the University of Florida in December 2012. Her research emphasis includes barriers to effective communication experienced by community resource organizations in the Florida Panhandle during the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

Prior to returning to UF,  Lindsey served as the executive director with the North Florida Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure.  Before joining Komen North Florida, Lindsey served as the Marketing and Communications Manager at the Jacksonville Zoo and was responsible for all public relations efforts for the Zoo.

Lindsey is a native of Columbia, South Carolina and received her undergraduate degree in Corporate Communications from the College of Charleston in Charleston, SC.  She obtained her Masters, specializing in crisis communication, from the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL.  She currently lives in Jacksonville with her husband, Wade and their three sons, Cooper, Greyson, and Thad.


Sebastian Galindo-Gonzalez is a research assistant professor in the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication (AEC) of the University of Florida (UF). Galindo-Gonzalez earned his PhD degree from AEC in 2009, with a concentration in extension program development and evaluation. He recieved his MS degree from the Department of Animal Sciences at UF and the DVM degree from the School of Veterinary Medicine at the Universidad Veracruzana (Veracruz, Mexico). He is currently responsible for designing and executing the evaluation components for a variety of multidisciplinary projects in collaboration with a number of scientists across UF. Galindo-Gonzalez’ experience also includes being a consultant on methodology and evaluation for projects conducted by the Rehabilitation Outcomes Research Center of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the Southeastern National Tuberculosis Center, and the Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants at UF.


Samuel R. Mathews is an associate professor in the School of Psychological and Behavioral Sciences (  and director of the Center for Applied Psychology at The University of West Florida in Pensacola, Florida. Mathews received his Ph.D. at The University of Wisconsin—Madison in Educational Psychology and teaches courses in research methods, developmental psychology and psychology of adolescence. His research interests center around development of critical thinking across adolescence and emerging adulthood and across cultures, risk reduction among high risk adolescents, and community engagement in support of high risk youth. Mathews’ experience in community participatory research includes a formative evaluation of a Community Managed Educational program in Naryn Oblast, Republic of Kyrgyzstan sponsored by UNICEF.




Joan D. Flocks is Director of the Social Policy Division at the Center for Governmental Responsibility, University of Florida College of Law. Her areas of teaching and scholarship include environmental and social justice, poverty law, community-based participatory research,. She is also affiliate faculty at the School of Natural Resources and Environment and the Center for Latin American Studies. She has worked with low income and minority communities in Florida for more than 25 years, previously as a UF College of Medicine assistant professor and as a legal services attorney. She received an M.A. in Latin American Studies and a J.D. from the University of Florida.



Paul Monaghan is an assistant professor in the department with an appointment in the Center for Landscape Conservation and Ecology (CLCE), which promotes the protection and preservation of Florida’s natural resources and quality of life through responsible landscape management.  He specializes in community based social marketing and utilizes the methodology to develop research and Extension programs with the clientele of the CLCE.  He has an MA in Latin American Studies and a PhD in Anthropology, both from the University of Florida.  He has conducted extensive research with farmers in Florida, including dairy, organic and vegetable producers as well as nursery and fernery operators.  In addition to his interests in social marketing and community participation in the service of natural resource conservation, he has experience working with migrant farm worker communities and has spent time in Haiti conducting anthropological research.


Babette Brumback received her Ph.D. in Statistics in 1996 from the University of California, Berkley, followed by postdoctoral training in Biostatistics and Epidemiology at the Harvard school of Public Health. She was on the Biostatistics faculty at the University of Washington, Seattle, and then at the University of California, Los Angeles, before joining the department of Health Services Research, Management, and Policy of the College of Public Health and Health Professions at the University of Florida in Summer of 2004 as Associate Professor of Biostatistics. Her statistical research has concentrated on methods for longitudinal data analysis, casual modeling, bias adjustment, and analysis of data from complex sampling designs. She has also collaborated on public health and medical studies in the areas of reproductive epidemiology, environmental health, cancer epidemiology, infectious disease epidemiology, alternative medicine, community health, clinical trials in children’s oncology, cardiovascular medicine, health services, occupational therapy, clinical psychology, and physical therapy.


Jason K. Blackburn is Assistant Professor of Geography and an investigator in the UF Emerging Pathogens Institute.  He is the director of the Spatial Epidemiology & Ecology Research Laboratory (SEER Lab), a GIS/remote sensing facility, and BSL-2 and BSL-3 laboratory complex jointly housed in Geography and EPI dedicated to the integration of field-based epidemiology, spatial analysis, and molecular genetics.  He has extensive experience working with sharks and fishes of commercial interest in the Gulf of Mexico, including experience working in the Louisiana marshes and oil platforms in the northern Gulf.  His current focus is on the transmission dynamics and spatio-temporal patterns of zoonoses in wildlife, including both terrestrial bacterial pathogens (such as anthrax, brucellosis, plague, and tularemia) and aquatic systems.  His terrestrial work includes using wildlife telemetry and field diagnostics to understand the transmission dynamics of anthrax in wild deer, elk, and bison in the western US. In aquatic systems, he has worked on characterizing antibiotic resistance patterns in sharks and game fishes in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea and more recently co-investigated spatial patterns of white-band disease in corals (with a doctoral student at Louisiana State University).  Dr. Blackburn received his B.S. in Geography from Louisiana State University in 2001. He completed his master’s degree in medical geography at LSU in 2003 and his doctorate in medical geography (with a minor in pathobiology) at LSU in 2006. From 2007 – 2009 he was on the faculty of Geography at California State University Fullerton before moving to the University of Florida.

Our team of researchers and community partners is always expanding. Please check back with us as we make additions to Healthy Gulf, Healthy Communities.