Mary D. Willis, PhD, MPH

Postdoctoral Research Associate in Epidemiology @ Boston University

High quality existing data sources can be efficiently integrated to assess the population health impacts of emerging environmental hazards. However, assimilating these sources into a coherent data set for health analysis presents many challenges. My goal is to utilize environmental data integration to pursue health-based investigations of environmental hazards and evaluate these issues in a policy-relevant framework to inform population health.


My research examines the health impacts of environmental and energy sector exposures, including oil and gas development, traffic-related air pollution, and emerging hazards. These projects broadly leverage policy-relevant methods related to spatial exposure assessment and econometric-based causal inference techniques. Below, you'll find a list of my published work and manuscripts under review.

Peer Reviewed Journal Articles

  1. Willis M, Hill E, Boslett A, Kile M, Carozza S, Hystad P. Associations between Residential Proximity to Oil and Gas Drilling and Term Birth Weight and Small for Gestational Age Infants in Texas: A Difference-in-Differences Analysis. Environ. Health Perspect. 2021:129(7). DOI: 10.1289/EHP7678.
  2. Denham A, Willis M, Croft D, Liu L, Hill E. Unconventional Natural Gas Development Associated with Acute Myocardial Infarction Hospitalizations and Mortality. Environ. Res. 2021: 195. DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2021.110872.
  3. Willis M, Hill E, Kile M, Carozza S, Hystad P. Assessing the Effectiveness of Vehicle Emission Regulations on Improving Perinatal Health: A Population-Based Accountability Study. Int. J. Epidemiol. 2021 Jan; 49(6) 1781-1791. DOI: 10.1093/ije/dyaa137.
  4. Willis M, Hystad P, Denham A, Hill E. Natural Gas Development, Flaring Practices, and Pediatric Asthma Hospitalizations from 2000 to 2010 in Texas, USA. Int. J. Epidemiol. 2021 Jan; 49(6) 1883-1897. DOI: 10.1093/ije/dyaa115.
  5. Thessen AE, Grondin CJ, Kulkarni RD, Brander S, Truong L, Vasilevsky NA, Callahan TJ, Chan LE, Westra B, Willis M, Rothenberg SE, Jarabek AM, Burgoon L, Korrick SA, Haendel MA. Community Approaches for Integrating Environmental Exposures into Human Models of Disease. Environ. Health Perspect. 2020 Dec; 28(12):e125002. DOI: 10.1289/EHP7215.
  6. Denham A, Willis M, Zavez A, Hill E. Unconventional Natural Gas Development and Hospitalizations: Evidence from Pennsylvania, United States, 2003–2014. Public Health. 2019 Mar; 1(168):17–25. DOI: 10.1016/j.puhe.2018.11.020
  7. Willis M, Hystad P. Hazardous Air Pollutants and Adverse Birth Outcomes in Portland, Oregon. Environ Epidemiol. 2019 Feb; 3(1):e034. DOI: 10.1097/EE9.0000000000000034.
  8. Willis M, Jusko T, Halterman J, Hill E. Unconventional Natural Gas Development and Pediatric Asthma Hospitalizations in Pennsylvania. Environ Res. 2018; 166: 402-408. DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2018.06.022.

Manuscripts Submitted & Under Review

  1. Willis M, Hill E, Kile M, Carozza, S, Hystad P. Associations between Residential Proximity to Oil and Gas Extraction and Hypertensive Conditions during Pregnancy: A Difference-in-Differences Analysis in Texas, 1996-2009. Revise and resubmit at Int. J. Epidemiol.
  2. Wesselink AK, Wang TR, Ketzel M, Mikkelsen EM, Brandt J, Khan J, Hertel O, Laursen ASD, Johannesen BR, Willis M, Levy JI, Rothman KJ, Sørensen HT, Wise LA, Hatch EE. Air Pollution and Fecundability: Results from a Danish Preconception Cohort Study. Revise and resubmit at Paediatr. Perinat. Epidemiol.
  3. Willis M, Cushing L, Casey J. A Life Course Perspective on Gas Development: Is It Time to Move Gas to the Grave? Under review at Epidemiology.