E. Christian Wells

Professor and Director: Center for Brownfields Research & Redevelopment


Office: SOC 385
Phone: 813/974-2337



Ph.D., Anthropology, Arizona State University
M.A., Anthropology, Arizona State University
B.A., Anthropology, Archaeological Studies, and Latin American Studies, Oberlin College


Environmental Justice, Anthropological Approaches to Human-Environmental Health, Quantitative Methods, Advanced Quantitative Methods


I am an environmental anthropologist with an interdisciplinary background in the social and natural sciences. My current research seeks to improve human and environmental health outcomes of WaSH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) infrastructure transitions in underserved communities. My portfolio of research projects includes work on environmental justice, sustainable and equitable development, brownfields communities, landscape legacies, anthrosol formation, water/wastewater management, and science-policy interactions. Over the past 20 years, I have undertaken social and environmental science research throughout the United States, Central America, and the Caribbean with over $7 million in funding from the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and other organizations.

Recent Articles:

Wells, E. C., W. A. Webb, C. M. Prouty, R. K. Zarger, M. A. Trotz, L. M. Whiteford, and J. R. Mihelcic. 2019. Wastewater Technopolitics on the Southern Coast of Belize. Economic Anthropology 6(2):277-290.

Prouty, C., E. S. Koenig, E. C. Wells, R. K. Zarger, and Q. Zhang. 2017. Rapid Assessment Framework for Modeling Stakeholder Involvement in Infrastructure Development. Sustainable Cities and Society 29:130-138. 

Mihelcic, J. R., C. C. Naughton, M. E. Verbyla, Q. Zhang, R. W. Schweitzer, S. M. Oakley, E. C. Wells, and L. M. Whiteford. 2017. The Grandest Challenge of All: The Role of Environmental Engineering to Achieve Sustainability in the World's Developing Regions. Environmental Engineering Science 34(1):16-41. 

Wells, E. C., R. K. Zarger, L. M. Whiteford, J. R. Mihelcic, E. S. Koenig, and M. R. Cairns. 2016. The Impacts of Tourism Development on Perceptions and Practices of Sustainable Wastewater Management on the Placencia Peninsula, Belize. Journal of Cleaner Production 111:430-441. 

Recent Grants:

Jones, D., and E. C. Wells. 2020-2022. “Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training Program for East Tampa.” Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training (EWDJT) Program, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; $200,000.

Wells, E. C. 2017-2019. "Brownfields Area-Wide Planning Project for the University Area Community, Hillsborough County, Florida." Brownfields Area-Wide Planning Grant Program (BAWPG), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; $200,000. 

Zhang, Q., E. C. Wells, S. Mohebbi, X. Ou, and Q. Lu. 2016-2018. "Integrative Decision Making Framework to Enhance the Resiliency of Interdependent Critical Infrastructures." Critical Resilient Interdependent Infrastructure Systems and Processes (CRIISP), National Science Foundation; $1,963,542.

Mihelcic, J. R., E. C. Wells, M. Trotz, and C. McKayle. 2013-2017. "Context Sensitive Implementation of Synergistic Water-Energy Systems." Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE), National Science Foundation; $3,920,644. 

Graduate Students

Eric Koenig, Abby Vidmar, Alex Webb