Dr. Evans has served on the Harvard faculty since 1983. His teaching and research has focused on assessing human health risks from exposure to pollutants such as fine particulate matter, methyl mercury, chloroform, perchloroethylene, ethylene oxide and radon. His primary interests are in the use of risk assessment to inform environmental decisions and in the characterization of scientific uncertainty in support of decision making.
He recently returned from the Technical University of Denmark, where he worked with leaders in life cycle impact assessment on improving approaches for estimating the public health consequences of air pollution exposure. From 2009 until 2014, Dr. Evans was the Academic Director / Director of Harvard’s Cyprus International Institute for Environment and Public Health. From 2002 through 2008 he directed Harvard’s Kuwait Public Health Project – which attempted to characterize the public health impacts of Iraq’s 1990 invasion and occupation of Kuwait. For the past four years, Dr. Evans has worked with Profs. Dockery and Hammitt and a team in Mexico City in an effort to quantify the public health benefits of the dramatic improvement in air quality achieved there between 1990 and 2015 and to assess the cost-effectiveness of diesel retrofits and other controls which could contribute to further improvements in air quality.
He serves as a member of the board of the Agency for Public Health Education Accreditation; is a charter member and fellow of the Society for Risk Analysis and was the first recipient of their Outstanding Educator award; served on the US EPA’s Science Advisory Board; and was a member of the NAS Committee on Estimating the Health Benefits of Air Pollution Regulation.
Dr. Evans studied engineering and water resources management at the University of Michigan (BSE – 1969 / MS – 1971) and environmental health sciences at Harvard (SM – 1977 / ScD – 1980). He served as a bioenvironmental engineer in the US Air Force from 1972 until 1976.