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Montira Pongsiri

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Department of Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences

Senior Research Associate

Department of Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences
Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine
Ithaca, NY 14853

Office: 202.594.5473

Research Interest

Montira Pongsiri’s primary research and science policy interests are in applying scientific understanding of the relationships between the condition of natural systems and human health to inform decision-making and policies for long-term sustainability impact. She received her PhD and MPH from Yale University. She has a background in infectious diseases epidemiology and environmental health policy. Dr. Pongsiri served on The Rockefeller Foundation-Lancet Commission on Planetary Health. Dr. Pongsiri was the first Science Advisor at the U.S. Mission to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), based in Jakarta, where she led the Mission’s efforts to apply science and technology to support ASEAN’s sustainability goals and to improve the capacity and quality of science-based policy making. She developed science programming including a sustainable cities partnership to support climate adaptation and resilience planning, as well as the U.S.-ASEAN Science and Technology Fellows Program aimed at improving science capacity in ASEAN member countries.

Dr. Pongsiri was on assignment at the U.S. Mission to ASEAN from her base at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Research and Development. As an Environmental Health Scientist at the EPA, she developed an interdisciplinary research initiative on biodiversity and human health. She was the agency’s lead on partnerships with the Smithsonian Institution focused on biodiversity-health research and education/outreach activities. Dr. Pongsiri also led EPA’s partnership with The Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities to apply science-based tools and strategies to support community resilience.


  • Yale University, New Haven, CT. Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Ph.D. 2003.
    Department of Public Health, M.P.H., 1998
  • School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, M.E.S., 1998.
  • Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH. B.A., Neuroscience, December 1992.

Biography/Professional Experience

  • Senior Research Associate, Planetary Health Science Policy Advisor, Cornell University, Washington, D.C., December 2016-present.
  • Director, Health & Ecosystems Analysis of Linkages (HEAL) Program, Planetary Health Science Policy Advisor, Wildlife Conservation Society, Washington, D.C., December 2015-December 2016.
  • Environmental Health Scientist, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, Washington, D.C., May 2005- Dec 2015.
  • Science Advisor, U.S. Mission to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), U.S. Department of State, Jakarta, Indonesia, Apr 2012-Jul 2012, Dec 2012-March 2014.
  • Acting Deputy Representative, U.S. Mission to ASEAN, U.S Department of State, Jakarta, Indonesia, July-August 2013.


  • Osofsky, S. A. and M. J. Pongsiri, 2018. “Operationalising Planetary Health as a Game-Changing Paradigm: Health Impact Assessments Are Key,” The Lancet Planetary Health, vol. 2 (2): e54-e55.
  • Pongsiri M.J., Gatzweiler F.W., Bassi A.M., Haines A., Demassieux F. 2017. “The need for a systems approach to planetary health.” The Lancet Planetary Health 1 (7): e257-9.
  • Loaiza J.R., Dutari L.D., Rovira J.R., Sanjur O.I., Laporta G.Z., Pecor J., Foley D.H., Eastwood G., Kramer L.D., Radtke M., Pongsiri M. 2017. “Disturbance and mosquito diversity in the lowland tropical rainforest of central Panama.” Scientific Reports 7: 7248.
  • Koplitz S., Mickley L., Marlier M., Buonocore J., Kim P., Liu T., Suprizio M., DeFries R., Jacob D., Schwartz J., Pongsiri M.J., Myers S. 2016. “Public health impacts of the severe haze in Equatorial Asia in September-October 2015: Demonstration of a new framework for informing fire management strategies to reduce downwind smoke exposure." Environmental Research Letters 11 (9).
  • Eastwood G., Loaiza J.R., Pongsiri M.J., Sanjur O.I., Pecor, J.E., Auguste A.J., Kramer L.D. 2016. “Enzootic Arbovirus Surveillance in Forest Habitat and Phylogenetic Characterization of Novel Isolates of Gamboa Virus in Panama.” Am J Trop Med Hyg 94 (4):786-93.
  • Whitmee S., Haines A., Beyrer C., Boltz F., Capon A., Ferreira de Souza Dias B., Ezeh A., Frumkin H., Gong P., Head P., Horton R., Mace G., Marten R., Myers S., Nishtar S., Osofsky S., Pattanayak S., Pongsiri M., Romanelli C., Soucat A., Vega J., Yach D. 2015. “Safeguarding Human Health in the Anthropocene Epoch: Report of The Rockefeller Foundation-Lancet Commission on Planetary Health.” The Lancet 386 (10007): 1973-2028.
  • Carden D.L. and M.J. Pongsiri. 2015. “ASEAN’s Sustainable Future: Science and Technology.” Strategic Review 5(4): 12-24.
  • Grear J.S., Koethe R., Hoskins B., Hillger R., Dapsis L., Pongsiri M. 2014. “The effectiveness of permethrin-treated deer stations for control of the Lyme disease vector Ixodes scapularis on Cape Cod and the Islands: a Five Year Experiment.” Parasites and Vectors 7: 292.
  • Loaiza J.R., Miller M.J., Bermingham E., Sanjur O.I., Jansen P.I., Rovira J.R., Alvarez E., Rodriguez E., Davis P., Dutari L.C., Pecor J., Foley D., Radtke M., Pongsiri M.J. 2013. “Amblyomma tapirellum (Acari: Ixodidae) collected from tropical forest canopy.” F1000 Research (2): 194.
  • Pongsiri M.J., Hellyer G.H., Hillger R., Snook H., Levinson S. “Proceedings from Biodiversity,
    Landscape Change and Lyme Disease: Science and Application Workshop.” January 2010.
  • Pongsiri, M.J., Roman J., Ezenwa V.O., Goldberg T.L., Koren H.S., Newbold S.C., Ostfeld R.S., Pattanayak S.K., and D.J. Salkeld. 2009. “Biodiversity Loss Affects Global Disease Ecology.” Bioscience 59(11): 945-954.
  • Alger, K., Pattanayak, S., and M. Pongsiri. “Health for All: Disease Regulation.” The Wealth of Nature: Ecosystem Services, Biodiversity, and Human Well-Being. Ed. Mittermeier, C.G. Arlington, VA: ILCP, 2009. 155-162.
  • Foley G., Pongsiri M., and A. Ferster. “Human Health and Biodiversity: Making the Connection.” The Full Picture. Ed. Group on Earth Observations Secretariat. Geneva: Tudor Rose, 2007. 182-3.
  • Pongsiri, M.J. and J. Roman. “Examining the Links Between Biodiversity and Human Health: An Interdisciplinary Research Initiative at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.” EcoHealth, Vol.4(1): 82-5, March 2007.
  • Pongsiri, M.J. “Institutional Capacity to Assess and Manage Risk-Tradeoffs: the DDT/Malaria Dilemma.” Ph.D. dissertation, Yale University, 2003.

Awards and Honors

  • National Honor Award – Science Achievement Award, Health Sciences, U.S. EPA, June 2015.
  • Embassy Science Fellowship, U.S. Department of State, U.S. Mission to ASEAN, Apr-July 2012.

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