Dr. Evelyn O Talbott, DrPH, MPH

Professor, Epidemiology


A526 Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15261
R-znvy: rbg6@cvgg.rqh
Primary Phone: 967-179-8529
Fax: 967-179-2842

Melanie Stangl, zif74@cvgg.rqh, 967-179-6044

Personal Statement

Evelyn O. Talbott, Dr. PH, MPH, is a Professor of Epidemiology at the University Of Pittsburgh, Graduate School of Public Health with a secondary appointment in the Department of Communication Science and Disorders. Her areas of expertise are in cardiovascular and environmental epidemiology and she has authored 200 peer reviewed articles and book chapters that relate to these two areas.


From 2002 until 2014 she was the Director of one of the CDC funded Academic Centers of Excellence in Environmental Public Health Tracking at the University of Pittsburgh. Several of her efforts have included the use of US EPA modeled daily air pollution levels of PM2.5 and ozone for the continental US modeled by Zip code and census tract in order to study the relationship of environmentally mediated health effects such as asthma, heart attack and stroke.


Dr. Talbott has had a longstanding interest in environmentally mediated diseases and has been pursuing the study of risk factors for ALS and autism since 2003, publishing several articles and book chapters on the subject.


She has recently (2017-2018) been successful in obtaining two research grants. One is from the CDC (RO1) to partner with the CDC/ATSDR ALS registry and bio repository to carry out a case control study to consider pesticide and other environmental exposures in ALS cases compared to controls who are matched by age, gender and residential area ( county). The second grant funded by the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Society will use data from the Women’s Health Initiative cohort study as a platform to study the relationship of Air toxics and ALS risk working with Angela Malek, PhD and Eric Whitsel, PHD (UNC) and the WHI air pollution research group.


She received both her Master’s and Doctorate degrees from the Department of Epidemiology from the University of Pittsburgh and has worked closely with both the state and local health departments to conduct health studies investigating potential linkage of environmental exposures and health effects. She conducted the Three Mile Island Mortality and cancer incidence study with the Pennsylvania Department of Health. She served on a National Academy of Science committee entitled “NRC Committee on Estimating Mortality Risk Reduction and Economic Benefits from Controlling Ozone Air Pollution” (2008).


Dr. Talbott is the primary instructor for the Environmental Epidemiology Course and Geospatial Analysis course within the Department and also primary advisor for students in this area. She was one of the founding members of ISEE, The International Society for Environmental Epidemiology and served as its Secretary-Treasurer for four years. ISEE is a 2000-member organization dedicated to environmental epidemiology research.


Dr. Talbott serves on numerous advisory boards including the PA Department of Health Rare Disease Advisory Council. She has a longstanding interest in cardiovascular disease in women and the risk of CHD in women with Polycystic ovary syndrome. This condition affects approximately 10% of all reproductive aged women and has been shown to be associated with increased risk for T2 diabetes, hyperlipidemia and overweight, making this group at higher risk for cardiovascular disease. She is a fellow of the American Heart Association and the Council on Epidemiology and Prevention.


She has mentored and advised more than 75 doctoral and masters students within the Department of Epidemiology.


  • Bethany College - B.S. Biology, 1969
  • University of Pittsburgh - M.P.H. Epidemiology, 1971
  • University of Pittsburgh - Dr.P.H. Epidemiology, 1976
  • Fellow of the American heart Association, council on Epidemiology and Prevention, 2001 to present


  • Geospatial Mapping and Spatial Analysis in Epidemiology 2221
  • Introduction to Environmental Epidemiology 2223

Current Projects

Identification and Characterization of Potential Environmental Risk Factors for ALS Using the ATSDR/CDC Registry:  Case Control Study: 

I have recently( (2017-2018) been successful in obtaining two research  grants ; 
one  from the CDC (RO1 )  to partner  with the CDC/ATSDR  ALS registry and biorepository  to  carry out a case controls study  to consider pesticide  and other environmental exposures  in  ALS cases compared to controls who are  matched by age, gender and  residential area ( county).   The second grant  funded by the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Society will  use data from the Women's Health Initiative cohort study as a platform to study the relationship of Air toxics and ALS risk  working with Eric Whitsel ,PHD (UNC) and the WHI air pollution research group.   


Relationship between Air Pollution and Asthma with other Acute Respiratory Hospitalizations/Emergency Department Visits in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Department of Health
We will utilize Emergency Department discharge data obtained from local hospitals and hospital systems (which include Children’s Hospital, UPMC, and Allegheny Health Network) for residents of Allegheny County for the period 1999-2011. Data includes age, gender, ZIP code of residence, date of visit, and disposition.  This data will be linked to daily modeled air pollutant predictions at the ZIP code level for PM2.5, O3, NO2, SO2 and CO which were specifically developed for the PARIES project and corresponding temperature.  A case-crossover / time series analysis will be performed to examine the effects of short-term exposure to the specific air pollutants on Emergency Department visits for asthma and other acute respiratory conditions. Compared to an earlier investigation, 1 this analysis will use data from more than one hospital system, including data from Children’s Hospital where a majority of children in the area are treated, and will also have more geographically refined exposure estimates.

Use of Linked Data to Investigate Opioid-Related Hospitalizations and Mortality in PA in conjunction with the PA Department of Health

Dean’s office, GSPH, University of Pittsburgh.

The Department of Epidemiology  team headed by Drs  Thomas Songer and Evelyn Talbott  are collaborating with the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PADOH) to conduct the first ever investigation of hospitalizations of  opioid  overdose/abuse  that are also linked to causes of death for individuals within Pennsylvania for 2000-2011. The group will be conducting a study to track individuals from the first hospitalization due to an opioids overdose to subsequent hospitalizations and possible death.  By using a linked a dataset from the Pennsylvania health department, we can track individual trajectories related to opioid abuse.  This dataset links all hospitalizations in Pennsylvania from 2000 to 2011 where the individual had a least one opioid hospitalization during this period to all-causes of death for these individuals in PA from 2000 to 2014


CDC Academic Partners in Environmental Public Health Tracking: U19 EH000103-05

This CDC funded project has as its primary goals to 1) facilitate environmental health capacity building, 2) evaluate existing environmental health surveillance methodologies, and 3) foster development of innovative strategies and tools to assess possible links between hazards, exposures and health effects. The projected date for initial national implementation is June of 2009. The project will involve the evaluation of data linkage of health outcomes including childhood birth defects, autism, blood lead levels, childhood cancer and adverse reproductive outcomes such as low birth weight and 1UGR with environmental hazard and environmental exposure data for use by health departments for surveillance and potential public health

Pittsburgh Aerosol Research Inhalation Epidemiology Study:
Long Term Heath Impact of Fine Particulate matter (Allegheny County Clean Air Fund) 1999-2011 (funded 2014-2016)

This is an offshoot of a previously funded study called the Pittsburgh Aerosol Research Inhalation Epidemiology Study (PARIES) which examined the relationship between air pollution and several health endpoints, particularly cardiovascular and respiratory morbidly and mortality for the period 1999-2006. This study will extend the time period though 2011 and will focus on Allegheny County daily mortality and emergency department visits. The principal investigator and co-principal investigator are Richard Bilonick, PhD, Department of Ophthalmology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Evelyn Talbott, DrPH, MPH Department of Epidemiology,  GSPH 

Heinz-Endowments – Environmental and Personal Risk Factors in Childhood Autism

The primary objective of this epidemiological study is to investigate the association of specific environmental factors with the risk of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) by conducting a population based case-control study of ASD In Southwestern Pennsylvania with cases recruited from autism clinics and treatment centers as well as local pediatric and family medicine practices. 

CDC - 2000-2010-37443 - Air Quality and Biomarkers of Cardiovascular Effects

The aim of this project is to advance the understanding of the association of ambient fine particulate air pollution with cardiovascular effects and make recommendations for further data and research needs within the Environmental Public Health Tracking program. 

CDC - 200-2010-37444 - Development of Environmental Exposure Assessment Methods

This study will assess the impact of air lead on childhood lead poisoning through an ecological county level study, a case-control study, and an assessment of additional biomonitoring data through NHANES individual data on a US sample of children aged 1-5 for 1999-2004.

Past Projects

  • Risk of CHD in Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
  • Allegheny County Air Pollution Study

Positions and Honors

1971 - 1972
Research Assistant, University of Illinois, Department of Community Medicine, Chicago, IL

1972 - 1975
Teaching Fellow: Doctoral Student, Department of Epidemiology, GSPH, Univ of Pittsburgh

1976 - 1978
Instructor, Department of Epidemiology, GSPH, Univ of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA

1978 - 1989
Assist. Prof., Department of Epidemiology, GSPH, Univ of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA

1983 - 1990
Assistant Director, Center for Environmental Epidemiology, Environmental Protection Agency

1992 - Present
Member, Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA

1997 - Present
Associate Professor, (Secondary Appt.) Department of Speech Communication Sciences and Disorders

1990 - Present
Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology, GSPH, Univ of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA

2002 – Present ( with tenure) 
Professor, Department of Epidemiology, Graduate School of Public Health, Univ of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA

1997 - Present
Professor, Secondary Appointment, Department of Communication Science and Disorders, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 


1988 - Present
Delta Omega, Public Health Society 

1989-1994 Founding MEmbe of the Internatinal Society for Environmental Epidemiology, secretary Treasurer, 1992-1994

1984 - 1987
Special Emphasis Research Career Award (CDC/NIH)

1970 - 1972
U.S. Public Health Service Training Grant

Elected Fellow, American Heart Association, Council on Epidemiology and Prevention

Pittsburgh Business Times, Health Care Hero in Health Care Innovations and Research (Hospital Council of Western PA) 

Member, National Academy of Science Panel on Estimating Mortality Risk Reduction and Economic benefits from Controlling Ozone Air Pollution,NRC 


  • American Heart Association
  • International Society for Environmental Epidemiology
  • Androgen Excess and PCOS Society
  • American Academy of Endocrinology

Evelyn O Talbott