In the Spotlight: New Faculty
The School of Public Health and Health Sciences welcomed several new faculty members into its ranks this year. They include Eliza Frechette (Kinesiology), Richard Peltier (Public Health), J. Richard Pilsner (Public Health), Tobin Silver (Kinesiology) and Ezra Wood (Public Health).
Eliza Frechette joins the Department of Kinesiology. She received a master's degree in Exercise Science and Sport Studies from Smith College in 2010.
Eliza currently teaches Writing Seminar in Kinesiology and provides academic advising to kinesiology students. Her areas of interest include minority populations in sport, gender and sexuality in sport, physical conditioning, stress management and wellness, exercise physiology, and coaching and leadership in sport.
Richard Peltier joins the Environmental Health Sciences Division in the Department of Public Health. Dr. Peltier is an alumnus of the University of Massachusetts Amherst (BS Biology, 1997). He completed his MPH in Environmental Health from Columbia University. In 2007, Dr. Peltier finished his PhD in Atmospheric Chemistry from Georgia Tech where his research focused on applying engineering and chemistry principles to the development and deployment of novel aerosol measurement instruments. After receiving his PhD, he was an NIEHS National Research Award postdoctoral fellow at NYU School of Medicine.
Dr. Peltier's work investigates why exposure to some chemical components of aerosols can be hazardous, yet exposures to other types of aerosols have no significant health effect. He continues these interests in Amherst, where he will be starting a study looking at which components of diesel exhaust are associated with markers of cardiovascular disease.
J. Richard Pilsner joins the Environmental Health Sciences Division in the Department of Public Health. Dr. Pilsner received his MPH and PhD degrees in Environmental Health Sciences from Columbia University. Most recently, Dr. Pilsner served as a Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society (RWJHS) Research Fellow for three years at the University of Michigan where he continued his investigation of the role of prenatal environmental exposures on epigenetic processes.
Dr. Pilsner’s primary research focuses on the Early Life Exposures in Mexico to Environmental Toxicants (ELEMENT) study, a multidisciplinary birth cohort study with the mission of investigating the influence of environmental toxicant exposures on the development and future health of the fetus.
Tobin Silver joins the Department of Kinesiology. He received his master’s degree in sport biomechanics from Barry University and a PhD in Health and Kinesiology from Purdue University in 2010.
Dr. Silver’s research goal is to better understand how the human postural system works to maintain balance. He conducts research that examines both static and dynamic human balance throughout the aging process while recovering from trips and slips, in sport, as well as in pathological physiological subjects. He teaches Anatomy and Physiology 1, Exercise Testing and Programming, and Writing Seminar in Kinesiology. Dr. Silver also serves as the Director of the Body Shop Fitness Center.
Ezra Wood joins the Environmental Health Sciences Division in the Department of Public Health. Dr. Wood received his PhD in Atmospheric Chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley in 2004. For his PhD, Dr. Wood worked on the development of novel instrumentation for the detection of nitrogen oxides.
After receiving his PhD, he worked as a postdoctoral researcher and subsequently a research scientist at Aerodyne Research Lab in Billerica, MA. His work involved various aspects of air pollution research, including quantification of pollutant emissions from aircraft, on-road vehicles, and petrochemical flares; air quality in Mexico City, Mexicali and Houston; the mechanisms of ozone and secondary organic aerosol (particulate matter) formation; exposure of soldiers to pollutants released from munitions; characterization of near-roadway pollutant gradients; and development of new analytical techniques for the detection for several air pollutants. Dr. Wood's research at UMass Amherst will focus on studies of both indoor and outdoor air pollution using new analytical instrumentation.