Gretchen Loeffler-Peltier was a Visiting Graduate Research Fellow in the Hopkins laboratory in 2005 while she pursued her Ph.D. with Dr. Judy Meyer (University of Georgia). Dr. Loeffler-Peltier moved on to a postdoctoral fellowship in the Center for Global Health and Economic Development at Columbia University where she studied arsenic in drinking water in Bangladesh.
While working in the Hopkins laboratory, Gretchen focused on the impacts of discharge from coal ash basins into lotic environments. She used an indicator organism, the Asiatic clam (Corbicula fluminea), to determine contaminant uptake, growth, and stress responses downstream of point sources. Her work included a comprehensive examination of the food web response downstream of the point source inputs in the Savannah and the Chattahoochee Rivers.
Gretchen is driven by the belief that accessibility to clean water is a basic human right, and improving water quality is instrumental in diminishing health disparities. Her research is focused on this principle, and draws upon her diverse backgrounds in engineering, public health, and ecology.
Gretchen is currently an adjunct faculty member in the Environmental Health Science Program at the University of Massachusetts. She teaches course work in Environmental Health Sciences.