PhD Student, Environment and Resources246 Enzyme Institute, 1710 University Ave
Valerie Stull is a PhD student advised by Dr. Jonathan Patz in the Nelson Institute's Environment and Resources program at UW-Madison. She is also the Teaching Assistant for Dr. Patz's graduate course in Health Impact Assessment of Global Environmental Change.
Valerie studied English (poetry in fact!) and Nutritional Science as an undergraduate at Colorado State University. During that time she also interned with the United Nations World Food Programme and worked for several years as a bench research assistant in a biochemistry and horticulture lab. Valerie completed her Master's degree in Public Health (MPH) at Kansas State University in 2009, where she focused on small-scale agriculture programs intended to improve food security for HIV and AIDS-affected populations. Her training in public health and interest in sustainability fueled her return to academia for a PhD in the Nelson Institute.
Valerie has worked on numerous community development projects in the United States and abroad, with both non-governmental organizations and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Valerie has helped to design, manage, and evaluate various projects, including work in health systems strengthening, nutrition and health education, civic engagement, and agricultural development. She has international work experience through projects in Palestine, Peru, Zambia, Kenya, Rwanda, and South Africa.
Valerie in interested in interdisciplinary research regarding the linkages between agricultural practices and health. She is particularly interested in perennial crop alternatives that may be resilient to climate change, as well as investigating sustainable intensification that promotes healthy people and healthy environments. Currently, Valerie is investigating the potential for edible insect farming (also called microlivestock farming) to sustainably improve year-round food security in Southern Africa. Insects are a more environmentally friendly source of protein than traditional livestock, and they can be reared using agricultural byproducts. Valerie's true passion lies in social justice, and she hopes to use her research and work in environmental health to support health globally. Following graduation, Valerie wants to help improve the sustainability and success of development programs in the United States and abroad.
In her spare time, Valerie enjoys meditation, poetry, stand-up comedy, and exploring the great outdoors.