Dr. Elsie Sunderland is the Gordon McKay Professor of Environmental Chemistry, Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering & Applied Sciences, and within the Department of Environmental Health, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Dr. Sunderland received her Bachelor of Science degree from McGill University in Environmental Science and her PhD in Environmental Toxicology from Simon Fraser University's School of Resource and Environmental Management. Prior to joining the faculty at Harvard, she held several positions at the headquarters for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, where she worked on regulatory impact assessments and the development and application of models to inform policy decisions. She became a faculty member at HSPH 2010, and joined SEAS in 2014. In 2018, she became a faculty affiliate of the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard.
Dr. Sunderland's research focuses on how biogeochemical processes affect the fate, transport, and food web bioaccumulation of trace metals and organic chemicals. She is currently developing models at a variety of scales, ranging from ecosystems to global applications, to help characterize the impacts of past and future changes in climate and environmental releases of contaminants on human and ecological health.