Maryann Cairns is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Southern Methodist University. Dr. Cairns’ research is focused at the intersection of environment, infrastructure, and health. Her work examines socio-ecological interactions in polluted waterscapes, giving specific attention to the sustainability and efficacy of infrastructure development. Cairns has completed projects within these theme areas in Latin America and the Caribbean, the Western Balkans, and the United States. Her 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, Cairns 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. Cairns is a Board member for the American Anthropological Association’s Anthropology & Environment Society (A&E).