Profile: Michael Emch

Dr. Michael Emch, Associate Professor of Geography, Fellow of the Carolina Population Center, and Adjunct Associate Professor of Epidemiology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC, USA. His expertise is in infectious disease ecology, neighborhood determinants of health, and geographic information science applications of public health.

Michael Emch earned his BA in Biology from Alfred University, his MA from Miami University, and his PhD (both in Geography) from Michigan State University. His research on the dynamics of infectious diseases has been published in a wide range of public health and geography journals, and he co-authored the 3rd Edition of Medical Geography (Summer, 2010, Guilford Press ) with Melinda Meade.

He leads the Spatial Health Research Group which conducts research that explores spatio-temporal patterns of disease, primarily infectious diseases of the developing world. Disease patterns are studied using a holistic approach by investigating the role of natural, social, and built environments in disease occurrence in different places and populations. Diverse statistical and spatial analytical methods are informed by theory from the fields of medical geography, epidemiology, ecology, and others. These theories and methods are used to examine diverse topics such as the role of population-environment drivers in viral evolution, how social connectivity contributes to spatial patterns of disease incidence, and using environmental indicators to predict disease outbreaks.

Michael may be contacted at For more information, see the Spatial Health Research Group site .

Updated: January 2010