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Erica Fuhrmeister

Faculty Photo

Assistant Professor
Civil & Environmental Engineering

Assistant Professor
Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences

Pronouns: She/her


  • Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering, UC Berkeley
  • M.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering, UC Berkeley
  • B.S. in Geography and Environmental Engineering, Johns Hopkins University

Previous appointments

  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Biology, Tufts University/UC Berkeley

Research Statement

Waterborne pathogens are a threat to global human health. In resource constrained settings, diarrheal illness is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality due to lack of access to adequate safe drinking water, sanitation facilities, and hygiene. In the U.S., waterborne pathogens pose an emerging risk to public health as climate change increases the stress on aging water and sanitation infrastructure. The global spread of antimicrobial resistance further compounds this threat and will severely limit our ability to respond to infections. We aim to understand transmission of pathogens through the environment and how antimicrobial resistance proliferates in order to develop adequate barriers at local and global scales. 

Select publications

  1. Harvey, A.P.*; Fuhrmeister, E.R.*; Cantrell M.; Swarthout, J.M.; Nadimpalli, M.; Powers, J.; Pitol, A.K.; Julian, T.R.; Pickering, A.J. Longitudinal monitoring of SARS-CoV-2 RNA on high touch surfaces in a community setting. Environ. Sci. Technol. Lett. 2021, 8 (2), 168-175. DOI: 10.1021/acs.estlett.0c00875
  2. Fuhrmeister, E. R.; Larson, J. R.; Kleinschmit, A. J.; Kirby, J. E.; Pickering, A. J.; Bascom-Slack, C. A. Combating Antimicrobial Resistance Through Student-Driven Research and Environmental Surveillance. Front. Microbiol. 2021, 12, 126. DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2021.577821.
  3. Fuhrmeister, E.R.; Ercumen, A.; Grembi, J.A.; Islam, M.; Pickering, A.J.;Nelson, K. L. Shared bacterial communities between soil, stored drinking water, and hands in rural Bangladeshi households. Water Res. X 2020, 9. DOI: 10.1016/J.WROA.2020.100056.
  4. Fuhrmeister, E.R.; Ercumen, A.; Pickering, A.J.; Jeanis, K.M.; Crider, Y.; Ahmed, M.; Brown, S.; Alam, M.; Sen, D.; Islam, S.; Kabir, M.H.; Islam, M.; Rahman, M.; Kwong, L. H.; Arnold, B. F.; Luby, S. P.; Colford, J. M.; Nelson, K. L. Effect of sanitation improvements on pathogens and microbial source tracking markers in the rural Bangladeshi household environment. Environ. Sci. Technol. 2020, 54 (7), 4316–4326. DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.9b04835.
  5. Fuhrmeister, E.R.; Ercumen, A.; Pickering, A.J.; Jeanis, K.M.; Ahmed, M.; Brown, S.; Arnold, B.F.; Hubbard, A. E.; Alam, M.; Sen, D.; Islam, S.; Kabir, M. H.; Kwong, L. H.; Islam, M.; Unicomb, L.; Rahman, M.; Boehm, A. B.; Luby, S. P.; Colford, J. M.; Nelson, K. L. Predictors of enteric pathogens in the domestic environment from human and animal sources in rural Bangladesh. Environ. Sci. Technol. 2019, 53 (17), 10023–10033. DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.8b07192.
  6. Fuhrmeister, E.R.; Schwab, K.J.; Julian, T.R. Estimates of nitrogen, phosphorus, biochemical oxygen demand, and fecal coliforms entering the environment due to inadequate sanitation treatment technologies in 108 low and middle income countries. Environ. Sci. Technol. 2015, 49 (19), 11604–11611. DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.5b02919
  7. Julian, T.R.; Islam, M.A.; Pickering, A.J.; Roy, S.; Fuhrmeister, E.R.; Ercumen, A.; Harris, A.; Bishai, J.; Schwab, K.J. Genotypic and phenotypic characterization of Escherichia coli isolated from feces, hands, and soils in rural Bangladesh using the Colilert Quanti-Tray System (IDEXX). Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 2015, 81 (5), 1735–1743. DOI: 10.1128/AEM.03214-14

Honors & awards

  • NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biology, 2019
  • NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, 2014