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T.S. Harvey

Associate Professor of Anthropology

Expert in cross-cultural doctor-patient interactions, public health communications, disaster relief and crisis management.


With training in medical and linguistic anthropology, Harvey’s research focuses on expanding scientific partnerships, developing innovative technologies and building local capacities to tackle large scale global public-health and environmental challenges. He is particularly interested in these challenges as they relate to vulnerable populations, health disparities, disease, risk, environmental degradation, water, sanitation, and infrastructure. The evolution of Harvey's inter-disciplinary approach is the product of over a decade of funded collaborative research, capacity-building work, and global engagement on a wide range of topics that include cross-cultural doctor-patient communication, language and culture in global public health, waterborne diseases, enteric illnesses, disaster prevention and relief, neighborhood approaches to risk reduction, crisis management, sustainability, resilience, and environmental protection. He has conducted long-term field research in Guatemala with K’iche Maya, and comparative studies on environmental pollution in the U.S. Great Lakes region.

Media Appearances

  • Why Metro Nashville schools must make masks mandatory for unvaccinated children | Opinion

    Imagine for a moment a thriving city, your city, announcing that in the fall of 2021 it will be shifting its previously held responsibilities for providing safe public drinking water onto its residents, adding that moving forward all water testing and remediation, while highly recommended, will not be required but instead optional and left to the individual choices of residents.

    July 22nd, 2021

  • COVID vaccine hesitancy threatens push to end pandemic. How experts say NY can stop it

    “In an ideal world, we would have already been working on this long before the roll out,” said T.S. Harvey, a risk-communication expert and Vanderbilt University associate professor.

    January 12th, 2021

  • First Vaccinations in US Offer New Hope

    Doses of the first federally approved coronavirus vaccine were administered to front-line health care workers in the United States Monday. That signals what health officials call a significant turn in the fight against the virus that has claimed more than 300,000 lives in the U.S. alone.

    December 15th, 2020

  • Vanderbilt researchers create virtual self-screening tool for COVID-19

    Vanderbilt University launched a new virtual self-screening tool this week that will help individuals assess their risk of being infected with COVID-19. In addition, the app could expedite testing and collection of public health data. Both T.S. Harvey, associate professor of anthropology and expert in risk reduction and global public health and Thomas Scherr, a research professor of chemistry and expert in mobile health, are hoping to give people access to resources, understand who COVID-19 is impacting and how it evolves over time.

    June 2nd, 2020


M.A., Old Dominion University

Ph.D., University of Virginia


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