Skip to Main Content

Colin J. Carlson, PhD

Assistant Professor of Epidemiology (Microbial Diseases)

Contact Information

Colin J. Carlson, PhD

Office Location


Dr. Carlson is an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at Yale University School of Public Health. His work explores the challenges faced by health systems in the Anthropocene, with a focus on how climate change increases risks from both infectious diseases of poverty and pandemic threats. His research also explores problems in global health governance, with several ongoing projects focused on the legal, political, and scientific determinants of outbreak reporting and scientific data sharing.

Dr. Carlson is also the co-founder and executive director of Verena, a cross-university collaboration of over a dozen early career scientists developing a data science-driven approach to assessing which viruses pose a risk to human health, and where, when, and why they might emerge in human populations. In 2019, Verena was selected as an NSF Biology Integration Institute, a five-year, $12.5m cooperative agreement that has supported a global study of bat immunology, a cohort of eight doctoral students at five universities, and new open platforms for data sharing.

Prior to joining Yale University, Dr. Carlson was research faculty at Georgetown University’s Center for Global Health Science and Security, and earlier, a postdoctoral fellow at the National Socioenvironmental Synthesis Center at the University of Maryland. He has also contributed to reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). He holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management from the University of California, Berkeley.

Education & Training

  • Postdoctoral Fellow
    Georgetown University (2020)
  • Postdoctoral Fellow
    The National Socioenvironmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC), University of Maryland College Park (2018)
  • PhD
    University of California Berkeley, Environmental Science, Policy, and Management (2017)

Professional Service

PEPFAR Scientific Advisory Board, Subcommittee on Global Health SecurityMember2024 - Present
International Union for the Conservation of Nature Species Survival Commission (IUCN SSC)Member, Parasite Specialist Group2023 - Present
npj Climate ActionEditorial Board Member2021 - Present
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)Contributing author, Sixth Assessment Report (WGII)2019 - 2022
Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)Contributing author, Assessment Report on Land Degradation and Restoration2016 - 2018

Departments & Organizations