Superfund Research Program

January 2024

Jennifer Richmond-Bryant
“The most valuable work I’ve done is in response to what I learned from community members. If your work isn’t consistent with what the community is experiencing, then it doesn’t make sense to pursue,” said Richmond-Bryant. “It’s our responsibility to support the communities that let us in and allowed us to collect data. Their observations are paramount.” (Photo courtesy of Jennifer Richmond-Bryant)

While Jennifer Richmond-Bryant, Ph.D., was studying for a degree in civil and environmental engineering at Cornell University, she heard that workers in nearby municipal offices were experiencing “sick building syndrome.” This experience highlighted for her that environmental issues were really health issues.

Richmond-Bryant is now an investigator with the Louisiana State University (LSU) Superfund Research Program (SRP) Center, where she studies the effects of air quality on health. Her current research focuses on environmentally persistent free radicals and other air pollutants that may be contributing to the health problems of residents in a community in Colfax, Louisiana.

Additionally, Richmond-Bryant’s team collected oral histories from the members of the Colfax community about their own health experiences to map the historical effects of the waste plant. These oral histories highlighted social inequalities that also concerned Colfax residents.

Read more in her NIEHS Grantee Highlight.