Environment and Public Health Division

Voluntary Faculty

Gunter Muller

Muller Gunter

Voluntary Associate Professor, Department of Public Health Sciences



Lauren Murphy, PhD

Lauren Murphy, PhD

Voluntary Assistant Professor, Department of Public Health Sciences

Dr. Lauren A. Murphy is a voluntary assistant professor of public health sciences in the Division of Environment and Public Health at the UM Department of Public Health Sciences and an industrial/organizational psychologist whose research focuses on occupational health psychology topic areas, including safety climate and work-life integration. Her work has examined employees in high-risk blue-collar occupations such as long-haul trucking and commercial construction. Dr. Murphy uses both quantitative and qualitative methods to conduct research, with an emphasis on mixed methods study designs. Her postdoctoral fellowship at the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health extended Dr. Murphy’s expertise to macroergonomics and sociotechnical systems theory. She also serves as a preceptor for UM MD-MPH and traditional graduate public health students.

Karen Polson-Edwards

Karen Polson-Edwards

Voluntary Assistant Professor, Department of Public Health Sciences



Rui-De Xue, PhD

Rui-De Xue, PhD

Voluntary Professor, Department of Public Health Sciences



Tara Zolnikov

Tara Zolnikov

Voluntary Associate Professor, Department of Public Health Sciences

Dr. Tara Rava Zolnikov is an internationally published expert on qualitative research methods; she concentrates on providing vulnerable populations with a voice and uses autoethnographic, ethnographic, and phenomenological perspectives to understand or live through these experiences to recreate them for a widespread audience. She focuses on diverse and cultural populations, who suffer indiscriminately from adverse effects due to various problems. Dr. Zolnikov works internationally on issues in low- and middle-income countries, including Kenya, Ghana, India, Colombia, and Brazil. She has worked on a variety of public and global health projects, ranging from infectious diseases (e.g. Ebola and HIV/AIDS) to the effects of access to water and relationships stemming from interventions. Dr. Zolnikov earned a Ph.D in Developmental Science from North Dakota State University and an M.S. in Environmental Health from Harvard School of Public Health and a second M.S. in Industrial Hygiene from Montana Tech of the University of Montana. She also earned a B.S. degree in Biological Sciences from Montana Tech of the University of Montana. Additionally, Dr. Zolnikov is the vice president of a nonprofit organization, The Shepherd’s Village, which focuses on providing access to water to Maasai communities around Narok, Kenya. Dr. Zolnikov has published extensively in some of the world’s most renowned public health and global health journals, including the Lancet Oncology, American Journal of Public Health, AIDS and Behavior, Science of the Total Environment, and many more. She has also written and published two books, which focus on qualitative research and environmental health. In 2017, she received Editor’s Choice Reviewer of the Year Award at the American Journal in Public Health.