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Past Predoctoral Member: Molly C Bernhard

Department of Environmental Health Sciences
UAB School of Public Health
Ryals School of Public Health Building
Full CV

Molly earned her B.S. in the field of Biology from Sewanee: The University of the South and her Master in Public Health in Environmental Health Science from The University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health. She aspired to build upon her academic foundation by exploring research opportunities in the environmental health science field with a focus in obesity as she began her doctoral program in the fall of 2013. Her particular area of research interest is the relationship between heat exposure and body composition in humans. Molly is investigating whether food intake is influenced by thermal environment in a simulated office setting during summer months. In addition, she is interested in determining whether the difference between core and peripheral temperature, as measured by infrared thermography, is related to thermal preference and body composition. Finally, she plans to develop, seek funding for, and execute a randomized trial to test whether increased exposure to heat decreases weight, appetite, food preference, and/ or food consumption.


  1. Bernhard MC, Li P, Allison DB and Gohlke JM (2015) Warm ambient temperature decreases food intake in a simulated office setting: a pilot randomized controlled trial. Front. Nutr. 2:20. [doi: 10.3389/fnut.2015.00020] E pub 2015 Aug 24.[PMCID PMC4500895]
  2. MC Bernhard, MB Evans, ST Kent, ME Sloan, JM Gohlke (2015). Measuring personal heat exposure in an urban and rural environment.  Environmental Research. 2015 Feb;137:410-8. [doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2014.11.002] Epub 2015 Jan 22. [PMCID PMC4355189]
  3. MC Bernhard, MB Evans, ST Kent, E Johnson, SL Threadgill, S Tyson, SM Becker,  JM Gohlke. (2013) Identifying environmental health priorities in underserved populations:  a study of rural versus urban  communities. Public Health. 2013 Nov;127(11):994-1004. [doi: 10.1016/j.puhe.2013.08.005] Epub 2013 Nov 14. [PMCID PMC3851598]

Acknowledgement and Disclaimer
The trainee's projects are supported by Grant Number T32HL105349 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute or the National Institutes of Health.

Years: 2013 - 2016
Mentor(s): Dr. David Allison (primary mentor), Dr. Julia Gohlke (co-mentor), Dr. & Daniel Smith (co-mentor)

She is now a postdoctoral scholar with Virginia Tech, mentor Julie Gohlke, PhD