Research Areas Environmental health sciences carotid body chemotransduction cardiopulmonary control acetylcholine catecholamines gene-based differences in ventilator response to hypoxia and in morphology function of the carotid body causal inference in complex systems behavioral science economics environmental policy biodiversity water agriculture

Paul J. Ferraro is the Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Human Behavior and Public Policy at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Ferraro has a joint faculty appointment in the Carey Business School and the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering, a joint department of the Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Whiting School of Engineering. Ferraro’s research focuses on building a credible evidence base about the environmental and social impacts of public and private programs. Combining the approaches of epidemiologists, with their naturally occurring data, and clinical trial health scientists, with their randomized controlled trials, Ferraro seeks to identify the causal links between the actions we take to improve our world and the impacts of those actions. He also has broad interests in behavioral science and causal inference. Because these research areas are multi-disciplinary and applied, he collaborates with scientists and engineers from a variety of social, natural and physical science disciplines, as well as practitioners in the field.

Ferraro’s work has led to the development of evidence-based programs that tackle some of society’s most pressing problems. His research has helped determine how societies can best address clean water scarcity, quantified the impacts of environmental regulations on the poor, and improved the effectiveness of conservation programs. He is currently collaborating with natural and physical scientists to elucidate causal relationships in ecological and hydrological systems.

He is the director of the Environmental Program Innovations Collaborative (EPIC) and co-director of the Center for Behavioral and Experimental Agri-Environmental Research (CBEAR). A former biodiversity science advisor to the Global Environment Facility, he serves as a Commissioner on the State Children’s Environmental Health and Protection Advisory Council to Maryland’s General Assembly, as well as on the scientific advisory committees for Blue Water Baltimore, the Collaboration for Environmental Evidence, the U.S. EPA’s Evidence-Based Compliance Assurance Working Group, and the Forests and Livelihoods: Assessment, Research, and Engagement (FLARE) network.

His awards include an EPA STAR fellowship, Bellagio Fellowship, Provost’s Faculty Fellow Award, Fulbright Scholarship, and a Cozzarelli Prize from the National Academy of Sciences. He also served as a USDA Visiting Scholar, Distinguished Scholar-Lecturer for the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, and the University of Cambridge’s Humanitas Visiting Professor in Sustainability Studies.

Ferraro earned an undergraduate and master’s degree from Duke University in 1990 and 1994, respectively. He graduated from Cornell University with a PhD in 2001. Prior to joining Johns Hopkins in 2015, he was a Regents’ Professor in the Economics department at Georgia State University.