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Kathryn Fiorella, PhD, MPH

Department of Public & Ecosystem Health

Associate Professor

Research Page

Cornell Public Health News

Department of Public & Ecosystem Health
Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine
Ithaca, NY 14853

Office Location: S2-004 Schurman Hall

Research Interest

Planetary Health/One Health, Fisheries, Livelihoods, HIV/AIDS, Nutrition, Environmental change


Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 2015
Department of Environmental Science, Policy & Management

Masters of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, 2013
Epidemiology, Certificate in Public Health Nutrition

A.B., Princeton University, cum laude, 2006
Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Certificate in Environmental Studies

Biography/Professional Experience

Assistant Professor, Master of Public Health, Department of Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences, Cornell University, 2018-present

Lecturer, Program in Public Health, Department of Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences, Cornell University, 2017-2018

Postdoctoral Fellow, Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, Cornell University, 2015-2017

Adjunct Postdoctoral Fellow, Earth Institute, Columbia University, 2015-2017

Immersion Fellow, Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC), 2015-2016

Professional Appointments

UN World Food Programme, Program Associate, Kampala, Uganda, 2008

The Food Project, Community Outreach Fellow, Lynn, Massachusetts, 2006-2008

Selected Publications

For more publications see Dr. Fiorella's Google Scholar page.

Edited Book

  • Burnside, WR, Pulver, S*, Fiorella, KJ*, Avolio, ML*, Alexander, SM* (Editors; listed in reverse alphabetical order connoting equal contributions). 2022. Foundations of Socio-environmental Research: Legacy readings with commentaries. Cambridge University Press.

Selected Peer Reviewed Publications

  • Fiorella, KJ, Magnuson, H, Finney-Stable, A, Chork, S, Voleak, P, Fox, E. 2023. Environmental change and resource access in aquatic food systems: A photovoice case study of Cambodian fisheries. Ecology and Society. 28(4): 25.
  • Heilpern, S, Rafael, M, Fiorella, KJ, Flecker, A, Williams, D, McIntyre, PB. 2023. Hidden nutritional challenges of substituting farmed animals for wild fish in human diets. Environmental Research Letters. 18: 114030.
  • Vuong, VT, Fiorella, KJ, Jones, AD, Trinh, HT, Khoury, CK, Huynh, TTT, Hoang, KT, Nguyen, KT. 2023. The association among food environment, diet quality and nutritional outcomes of low- and middle-income adult populations along the rural – urban transect in Vietnam. Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics. 36: 2201-2218.
  • Heilpern, S, Herrera, RG, Fiorella, KJ, Moya, L, Flecker, A, McIntyre, P. 2023. Species trait diversity sistians multiple dietary nutrients supplied by freshwater fisheries. Ecology Letters. 26: 1887-1897
  • Coffin-Schmitt, J, Clements, N, Marshall, G, Liu, L, Trombitas, A, Wang, X, Yuan, S, Safi, AG, Hanson, K, Fiorella, KJ. 2023. Wild and Backyard Food Use in Upstate New York During COVID-19. Frontiers in Nutrition. 10. 
  • Okronipa, HO, Bageant, ER, Baez, J, Onyango, HO, Aura, CM, Fiorella, KJ. 2023. COVID-19 Impacts on Small-scale Fisheries in 2020-2021: The Case of Lake Victoria, Kenya. Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems. 6
  • Secaira Ziegler, C, Roegner, AF, Aura, CM, Fiorella, KJ. 2023. Social Constructions of Health-Environment Risks: A Comparison of Fishing Community and Expert Perceptions of Cyanobacterial Blooms. Society & Natural Resources. 1-22
  • Robinson, JPW, Mills, D, Adiedu, GA, Byrd, K, del Mar Mancha Cisneros, M, Cohen, P, Fiorella, KJ, Graham, NAJ, MacNeil, MA, Maire, Mbaru, EK, E, Nico, G, Omukoto, JO, Simmance, F, Hicks, CC. 2022. Small pelagic fish supply abundant and affordable micronutrients to low- and middle-income countries. Nature Food. 3: 1075-1084.
  • Fiorella, KJ (2022) Understanding interactions between wild fisheries and aquaculture is essential to sustainable and equitable aquaculture development. Fisheries Management and Ecology. 1-5.
  • Wang, Q, Byrd, K, Thilsted, SH, Navin, C, Kim, M, Fiorella, KJ. 2022. Nutrient composition and microbial food safety of a locally-processed fish product in Cambodia. Aquatic Ecosystem Health and Management. 25(3): 73-81.
  • Heilpern, SA, DeFries, R, Fiorella, KJ, Flecker, AS, Sethi, S, Uriarte, M, Naeem, S. 2021. Declining diversity of wild-caught species puts dietary nutrient supplies at risk. Science Advances. 7(22): eabf9967.
  • Fiorella, KJ, Bageant, ER, Schwartz, N, Thilsted, SH, Barrett, CB. 2021. Fishers’ response to temperature change reveals the importance of incorporating human behavior in climate change analysis. Science Advances. 7(18): eabc7425.
  • Fiorella, KJ, Bageant ER, Mojica, L, Obuya, J, Olela, P, Ochieng, J, Otuo, P, Onyango, HO, Aura, C, Okronipa, H. 2021. Small-scale fishing households facing COVID-19: the case of Lake Victoria, Kenya. Fisheries Research. 237: 105856.
  • Fiorella, KJ, Okronipa, H, Baker, K, Heilpern, S. 2021. Contemporary aquaculture: Implications for human nutrition. Current Opinions in Biotechnology. 70: 83-90 
  • Byrd, K, Thilsted, SH, Fiorella, KJ. 2020. Fish nutrient composition: A review of global data from poorly assessed inland and marine species. Public Health Nutrition. 1-11
  • Fiorella, KJ, Bageant, E, Kim, M, Vichet, S, Try, V, Baran, E, Kura, Y, Brooks, A, Barrett, C, Thilsted, S. 2019. Analyzing drivers of fish biomass and biodiversity within community fish refuges in Cambodia. Ecology and Society. 24(3).
  • Fiorella, KJ, Desai, P, Miller, JD, Okeyo, N, Young, SL. 2019. A review of transactional sex for natural resources: Under-researched, overstated or unique to fishing economies? Global Public Health. 1-12
  • Fiorella, KJ, Milner, EM, Salmen, CS, Hickey, MD, Omollo, DO, Mattah, B, Adhiambo, A, Bukusi, EB, Fernald, LCH, Brashares, JS. 2017. Human health alters the sustainability of fishing practices in East Africa. PNAS. 114(16): 4171-4176.  
  • Fiorella, KJ, Milner, EM, DO, Bukusi, E, Fernald, LCH. 2017. Quantity and species of fish consumed shapes breast milk fatty acid concentrations around Lake Victoria, Kenya. Public Health Nutrition. 21(4): 777-784.
  • Seto, K & Fiorella, KJ. 2017. From sea to plate: the role of fish in a sustainable diet. Frontiers in Marine Science. 4(74).
  • Fiorella, KJ, Chen, R, Milner, EM, Fernald, LCH. 2016. Agricultural Interventions for Improved Nutrition: A Review of Environmental and Livelihood Dimensions. Global Food Security. 8: 39-47.
  • Fiorella, KJ, Camlin, CS, Salmen, CR, Omondi, R, Hickey, MD, Omollo, DO, Milner, EM, Bukusi, EA, Fernald, LCH, Brashares, JS. 2015. Transactional Fish-for-Sex Relationships Amid Declining Fish Access in Kenya. World Development. 74: 323-332.
  • Fiorella, KJ, Hickey, MD, Salmen, CR, Nagata, JM, Mattah, B, Magerenge, R, Cohen, CR, Bukusi, EA, Brashares, JS, Fernald, LCH. 2014. Fishing for Food? Analyzing links between fishing livelihoods and food security around Lake Victoria, Kenya. Food Security. 6(6): 851-860.


  • Dauphin Sea Lab/University of South Alabama. (2024)
  • Human-Environment Seminar. Boise State University. Presented via Zoom. (2023)
  • Keynote, Aquatic Resources and Blue Economy presented by Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute, Kisumu, Kenya, Presented via Zoom (2022)
  • Southeast Asia Program, Gatty Lecture, Cornell University (2022)
  • Johns Hopkins University, Graduate Nutrition Seminar, Presented via Zoom (2022)
  • Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (Kenya), Scientific Community Seminar (2022)
  • National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC), SESYNC Community Research Seminar (2020)
  • National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC), Public Health Scholars Workshop (2020)
  • WorldFish (Penang, Malaysia), ‘Fish for Thought’ Seminar (2019)

Awards and Honors

  • 2021-2022, Faculty Fellow, Cornell Center for Social Sciences
  • 2015-2017, Cornell Atkinson Center Postdoctoral Fellowship, Cornell University
  • 2014, NSF Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement, Geography & Spatial Science
  • 2014, Philomathia Fellow, University of California, Berkeley
  • 2011, Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship (FLAS), Dholuo2011, Meaningful Modeling of Epidemiological Data Fellow
  • 2009-2012, NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP)

Research Funding

  • NSF Coupled Human and Natural Systems (CNH2), Award Number 2009658, “Spoiling fish as food: feedbacks between ecosystem and human responses to harmful algal blooms”
  • USDA NIFA: Hatch, “Assessing the food security benefits and food safety risks of fish from the Great Lakes”
  • Mellon Foundation (Cornell Migrations Initiative), “Food Beyond Borders: Visions of Hunting and Fishing in the Myanmar Diaspora”
  • Cornell Center for Social Sciences, “Mapping Aquaculture and Wild Fishery Interactions in a Changing Aquatic Food System”
  • Public and Ecosystem Health Impact Award, “Aquaculture-driven impacts on public and ecosystem health in Lake Victoria, Kenya”
  • Cornell Atkinson Center, Atkinson Venture Fund, “Spoiling Fish as Food: Harmful Algal Blooms in Lake Victoria”
  • National Geographic, Explorer Grant, “The Value of Biodiversity in Cambodian Flood Plain Fisheries”
  • Conservation, Food & Health Foundation, “Analyzing Benefits of Community Fish Refuges in Cambodia”

Professional/Academic Affiliations

  • Cornell Atkinson Center
  • Center for Health Equity
  • Cornell Center for Social Sciences
  • Graduate Fields: Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Natural Resources, Global Development
  • Southeast Asia Program