M. Cairns

Welcome to the Cairns Lab

Dr. Maryann Cairns heads the Cairns Lab, based in SMU’s Department of Anthropology.

I am an applied environmental anthropologist studying the intersection of environment, infrastructure, and health, particularly socio-ecological interactions in polluted waterscapes.

I am an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Southern Methodist University.  My research is focused at the intersection of environment, infrastructure, and health.  My work examines socio-ecological interactions in polluted waterscapes, giving specific attention to the sustainability and efficacy of infrastructure development.  I have completed projects within these theme areas in Latin America & the Caribbean, the Western Balkans, and the United States.  My most recent work in Costa Rica focuses on placing ethnographic information at the forefront of mathematical modeling and mixed-methods research poised to understand the impact of wastewater on enviro-social spaces and human health.  Before coming to SMU, I was an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science & Technology Policy Fellow hosted at the US Environmental Protection Agency, and was a Postdoctoral scholar at Northeastern University’s Social Science Environmental Health Research Institute.  I am a Board member for the American Anthropological Association’s Anthropology & Environment Society (A&E).

CV (last updated November 2017)