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B.S., Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Rhode Island
B.A., German, University of Rhode Island
M.S., Civil Engineering, University of Rhode Island

Emily attended the University of Rhode Island where she earned bachelor’s degrees in German and Civil and Environmental Engineering as well as a master’s degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering.

It was during her master’s studies that she first became interested in interdisciplinary research, ultimately building a thesis committee which included faculty from engineering, entomology, and computer science. Her thesis work on regional climatic and human influences on dengue fever transmission in Puerto Rico led to internships and collaborations with scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where she was introduced to the field of influenza research.

Emily has a broad interest in infectious disease epidemiology and the impacts of place, socioeconomic status, and environment on disease transmission. Her dissertation addresses the role of humidity on the onset of seasonal influenza epidemics, demographic trends in influenza hospitalizations and emergency department visits, as well as the combined effect of humidity, demographics, socioeconomic status, and space on influenza outbreaks.


Serman, E., Thrastarson, H. Th., Franklin, M., Teixeira, J. (2021), Spatial Variation in Humidity and the Onset of Seasonal Influenza Across the Contiguous United States, GeoHealth (pending publication).

Puggioni, G., Couret, N., Serman, E., Akanda, A.S., Ginsberg, H. (2020) Spatiotemporal Modeling of Dengue Fever in Puerto RicoSpatial and Spatio-temporal Epidemiology, Vol. 35.