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About Us

The Lab

The Curl Agricultural Health Lab is located in the Environmental Research Building, Room 3106, and is a part of the College of Health Sciences.

Inside the lab 1

Inside the lab 2



The People

Cynthia Curl, PhD, MS

“The goal of our research is to develop evidence-based public health messages about how various agricultural systems affect the health of both workers and consumers.”

Cynthia Curl with vegetable produce

Cynthia Curl earned her PhD (Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences) from the University of Washington in 2014, and her MS from the same program in 2000. She earned her BA (Chemistry) from Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania in 1998.

Dr. Curl’s research interests are focused on environmental health and exposure science, with a particular emphasis on understanding exposures to agricultural chemicals and their effects on farmworkers, agricultural communities and the general public. She has authored numerous peer-reviewed publications on this topic, describing studies of the effectiveness of various agricultural re-entry periods on worker exposures, research on the “take-home” pathway of exposure on families of agricultural workers, and investigations of the effect of organic diets on pesticide exposures to the general public.

Dr. Curl joined Boise State University in the spring of 2015 as an Assistant Professor after earning her doctoral degree in environmental and occupational health sciences at the University of Washington (UW). Dr. Curl also worked for several years as a researcher for the Pacific Northwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center at UW. She also spent time working in both the private and non-profit sectors as an environmental consultant and as a researcher.

Carly Hyland – Post-Doctoral Fellow

Carly Hyland earned her PhD (Environmental Health Sciences) in 2021 and her MS (Global Health and Environment) in 2017 from the University of California Berkeley. She earned her BA (Environmental Science) from Carthage College in Wisconsin in 2015.

Dr. Hyland’s dissertation work focused on the neurodevelopmental impacts of prenatal and early-life exposure to pesticides and social adversity among youth living in an agricultural community in California. She has conducted fieldwork in agricultural communities in Costa Rica and Guatemala and is broadly interested in farmworker health, global health, and children’s health. She aims to continue research highlighting methods to reduce exposure to pesticides and environmental chemicals among children, those living in agricultural communities, and the general public.

Meredith Spivak – Lab Coordinator

Meredith earned her BS in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2009. She worked at a medical facility for many years before completing her MS in Epidemiology from the State University of New York at Albany in 2018. She is currently an epidemiologist for the Center for Environmental Health and Safety at Boise State University, and oversees the Curl Agricultural Health Lab. Her research interests include environmental research, developmental origins of health and disease, and women and children’s health.


Alejandra Hernandez – HERC Fellow

Alejandra recently graduated from Boise State University with her BS in Health Studies (General Emphasis) and minors in sociology, psychology, and family studies. She is an incoming graduate student at the University of Arizona and will be working on her MPH in community health. Her research interests include women’s health, social inequalities, health disparities, and machismo and marianismo.


Elysia Watkins – INBRE Fellow

Picture of Elysia Watkins

Elysia is from San Diego, California but loves the winter sports that Boise has to offer! She recently completed her sophomore year at Boise State University and will be starting her junior year in the fall of 2022 in the the Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Program at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine. She is focused on a pre-medicine and pre-professional track and hopes to attend medical school and specialize in anesthesiology. She is primarily interested in research in preventative healthcare and environmental risk factors.


Lorely Lira – Volunteer photo of Lorely Lira

Lorely is a second year Boise State University student pursuing a degree in biology with a molecular, cellular, and biomedical emphasis. After college, she plans to attend dental school and specialize in oral and maxillofacial surgery. Her research interests include environmental research, women’s health, mental health, and research involving the Latino community.