Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
Department of Preventive Medicine and Biometrics
4301 Jones Bridge Road
Bethesda, Maryland 20814-4799
AFRRI Bldg., Rm. 3176A
Phone: (301) 319-6988
Dr. Jennifer D. Roberts is an Assistant Professor at Uniformed Services University, F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine in the Department of Preventative Medicine and Biometrics, Division of Occupational and Environmental Health Sciences.
Formally, Dr. Roberts was a Senior Scientist in Exponent's Health Sciences Center for Exposure Assessment and Dose Reconstruction (2007-2011). She has more than 10 years of experience working in the fields of public health, environmental and occupational health, exposure assessment, toxicology, and industrial hygiene. Dr. Roberts has been involved with researching and reconstructing exposures, as well as, the quantification of dose among occupational and non-occupational communities in order to assess the risk of exposure to chemicals such as hexavalent chromium, nickel, benzene, and diacetyl. Most recently, she has examined the risks of exposure to a physical agent, specifically low frequency sound generated by wind turbines in communities. Dr. Roberts has also been heavily engaged in research involving the risks of exposure to pathogens, such as Cryptosporidium, in a variety of urban waterways.
Prior to joining Exponent, Dr. Roberts was a Senior Health Scientist with ChemRisk? (2005-2007), where she provided risk assessment expertise in order to assist clients with their environmental and occupational health challenges. Dr. Roberts also completed a post-doctoral fellowship at The National Academies (2004-2005), Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology in Washington, D.C., where she reviewed and contributed to the research of several projects including the toxicity review of iodotrifluoromethane and the evaluation of the current and future trends of toxicity testing.
Dr. Roberts research interests are divided into two themes. The first theme centers around the areas of human health risk assessment, environmental epidemiology, risk communication and risk perception. These interests are within the context of environmental and occupational health at the local, regional and global levels. Additionally, Dr. Roberts has a considerable interest in the area of climate change as related to human health effects, coupled with the global impacts of the built environment on public health and overall sustainability. As there is a push to a more sustainable environment, there will be continuous efforts to use and rely on alternative energy sources which may introduce new environmental exposures and human health risks.
Wind Turbines and Health Study
Some residents in various parts of the United States, as well as within other countries, believe that they are experiencing "Wind Turbine Syndrome", a constellation of symptoms (e.g. dizziness, headache, insomnia) as a result of living near industrial wind turbines and the exposure to the sound produced by these turbines. Many wind farms have sprung up in the Midwestern part of the United States and other parts of the country in recent years to generate "greener energy". Likewise, a setback of 1,500 feet has often been used by many ordinances as an acceptable and safe distance between a residence and a wind turbine siting.
A cross-sectional study will examine the possible physiological health effects and risks associated with exposure to low frequency sound and infrasound generated from wind turbines. The specific research aim of this study is to address the question of whether living near wind turbine(s) can adversely affect health, directly or indirectly through a state of annoyance. This study will also examine if residents living near wind turbines are at risk specifically for adverse cardiovascular health outcomes. This work is essential to determine if there are human health effects, including annoyance-associated health effects as a result of exposure to sound generated by wind turbines.
Dorevitch S, Doi M, Hsu F-C, Lin K-T, Roberts JD, Liu LC, Gladding R, Vannoy R, Li H, Scheff PA. A comparison of rapid and conventional measures of indicator bacteria as predictors of waterborne protozoan pathogen presence and density. J of Environmental Monitoring. [Epub ahead of print].
Roberts M and Roberts J. (2009, October 20). Evaluation of the scientific literature on the health effects associated with wind turbines and low frequency sound (White Paper Prepared for Wisconsin Public Service Commission Docket No. 6630-CE-302). Retrieved from http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/boh/documents/Wind-Turbine-Wisconsin-Assessment.pdf.
Roberts JD. Have "green" U.S. automobile drivers made an impact on greenhouse gases? Natural Resources and Environment. 2009; 24(2).
Donovan E, Unice K; Roberts JD, Harris M, Finley B. Risk of gastrointestinal disease associated with exposure to pathogens in the water of the Lower Passaic River. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2008; 74(4):994-1003.
Donovan E, Staskal D, Unice K, Roberts JD, Haws L, Finley B, Harris M. Risk of gastrointestinal disease associated with exposure to pathogens in the sediments of the Lower Passaic River. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2008; 74(4):1004-1018.
Gaffney SH, Roberts JD. (2008). Occupational Risks. In: Encyclopedia of Quantitative Risk Analysis and Assessment. Section Eds. Jennifer Roberts and Dennis Paustenbach. (Wiley Publishers), West Sussex, England, Volume 3.
Roberts JD, Silbergeld EK, Graczyk TK. A probabilistic risk assessment of Cryptosporidium exposure among Baltimore urban anglers. J Toxicol Environ Health A. 2007; 70(18):1568?1576.
Graczyk TK, McOliver C, Silbergeld EK, Tamang L, Roberts JD. Risk of handling as a route of exposure to infectious waterborne Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts via Atlantic blue crabs (Callinectes sapidus). Appl Environ Microbiol. 2007; 73(12):4069?4070.
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences - University of Illinois at Chicago, School of Public Health, 2008-present
Member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Children's Health Protection Advisory Committee (CHPAC), December 1, 2009 - December 1, 2011
Society of Toxicology
International Society of Exposure Science
Society of Risk Analysis
Dr. Roberts has also served as a peer reviewer for the Environmental Research and Risk Analysis journals and as a co-editor for the Encyclopedia of Quantitative Risk Analysis and Assessment (2008), Wiley Publishers.