The College of Public Health has welcomed ten new faculty this fall, and we will be introducing them over the next few weeks, beginning with Keri Lydon, Ph.D., who has joined the Department of Environmental Health Science as a lecturer.
What brought you to the field of public health?
I initially started out in biological oceanography and made my way into public health because I was interested in the impact humans were having on infectious disease in coastal ecosystems. Over the years, I have worked in labs studying in this area by investigating antibiotic resistant aquatic pathogens, water quality, and the impacts of coastal pollutants on pathogen ecology. After I finished graduate school, I went to work for the Gulf Coast Seafood Laboratory at the FDA. There, I worked on projects relating to the current research needs in seafood safety to protect public health.
What excites you or motivates you about being in the classroom?
One of the most exciting things about being in the classroom and working within public health is watching students make real life connections between course content and their everyday lives. Public health and environmental health are so important to understanding the world around us. Knowing that my students will walk away with knowledge and empowerment to make a difference in public health is what motivates me to teach.
How have you partnered with communities to improve health? Is there service or outreach work you’d like to do in Athens or Georgia?
I have previously been involved with the Upper Oconee Watershed Network (UOWN), the UGA Office of Public Service and Outreach (PSO), and the Georgia Sea Grant/Marine Extension in Brunswick, Georgia. Partnerships with UOWN have engaged UGA students in citizen science to examine bacterial water quality in local waterways. Moving forward, I am hoping to identify opportunities and partnerships within Athens that can be incorporated into a service-learning course.
What are you looking forward to this Fall semester?
I am looking forward to my daughter starting kindergarten, attending the Wild Rumpus, and getting to be a part of the UGA community again! I came to UGA for my graduate work and missed being in Athens and a part of the UGA community. I am also excited to be able to step back into the classroom and share my experiences working in public health.
Last one – what do you do for fun?
I like to crochet, draw, paint, and spend time with my family enjoying the outdoors.
Posted on September 15, 2022.