Roxolana Kashuba
Roxolana Kashuba, Ph.D.
Managing Scientist
Ecological & Biological Sciences
  • Washington, DC

A seasoned deterministic and statistical modeler with 10 years of experience in environmental data analysis (water, air, ecosystems), Dr. Kashuba specializes in the development and application of modeling techniques such as probabilistic risk assessment, decision analysis, linear and nonlinear regression, multilevel hierarchical modeling, and Bayesian networks. She has applied such models to quantify the effect of urbanization on aquatic stream biota (macroinvertebrates, algae, and fish), predict the probability of meeting water quality criteria in complex interacting systems given different management interventions, describe larval survival in a river in time and space as affected by covariate data (temperature, discharge) and multiple error terms, assess ecological risk of pesticide fate and transport, and predict 24-hour gravimetric PM2.5 ambient concentrations from hourly air quality measurements, accounting for meteorological influence (temperature and humidity).

With her strong interdisciplinary background in chemistry, public health, environmental science, pesticide risk assessment, air and water quality modeling, and environmental statistics, Dr. Kashuba has provided integrated technical advice on the application of environmental models to address environmental risk questions in Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, North Carolina, Massachusetts, and Ukraine. She has experience programming in R, Matlab, SAS, Hugin, Nettica, Mathematica, Simulistics, and Vensim, as well as experience applying pre-programmed models such as PRZM-EXAMS, SCI-GROW, QUAL2E, WQSTAT, and LSPC.

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Water Quality Modeling, Duke University, 2010
  • M.S., Environmental Health Science, University of Illinois, Chicago, 2003
  • B.A., Chemistry, Northwestern University, 2001
  • International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX) Embassy Policy Specialist (EPS) Program fellowship funded by the US Department of State (Title VIII Program) to conduct environmental risk assessment research in Ukraine

    United States Department of Interior STAR (Special Thanks for Achievement) Award

    United States Environmental Protection Agency Office of Pesticide Programs Superior Accomplishment Recognition Monetary Award for assessment of Prothioconazole Ecological Risk

    Chair of United States Environmental Protection Agency Office of Pesticide Programs Environmental Fate and Effects Division Fate and Transport Technology Team

    United States Environmental Protection Agency Office of Inspector General Superior Accomplishment Recognition Monetary Award for instrumental contribution to BioWatch preliminary research

    Elected to Delta Omega Public Health Honor Society

LANGUAGES

  • Ukrainian

Publications

Kashuba R, McMahon G, Cuffney TF, Qian S, Reckhow K, Gerritsen J, Davies S. Linking urbanization to the Biological Condition Gradient (BCG) for stream ecosystems in the Northeastern United States using a Bayesian network approach. U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2012–5030, 48 p. (http://pubs.usgs.gov/sir/2012/5030/)

Cuffney TF, Kashuba R, Qian SS, Alameddine I, Cha Y, Lee B, Coles J, McMahon, G. Multilevel regression models describing regional patterns of invertebrate and algal responses to urbanization across the United States. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 2011 Sept; 30(3):797–819.

Kashuba RO. Bayesian methods to characterize uncertainty in predictive modeling of the effect of urbanization on aquatic ecosystems. Ph.D. dissertation, Duke University, 2010. (http://hdl.handle.net/10161/2366)

Kashuba R, Cha Y, Alameddine I, Lee B, Cuffney T. Multilevel hierarchical modeling of benthic macroinvertebrate responses to urbanization in nine metropolitan areas across the conterminous United States. U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2009-5243, 88p. (http://pubs.usgs.gov/sir/2009/5243/)

Cuffney TF, McMahon G, Kashuba R, May JT, Waite IA. Responses of benthic macroinvertebrates to environmental changes associated with urbanization in nine metropolitan areas of the conterminous United States. Proceedings, 3rd Interagency Conference on Research in the Watersheds, September 8–11, 2008.

Kashuba RO, Scheff PA. Nonlinear regression adjustments of multiple continuous monitoring methods produce effective characterization of short-term fine particulate matter. Journal of the Air and Waste Management Association 2008 Jun; 58(6):812–820.

Salice C, Kashuba R, Steeger T, Jones RD. Environmental fate and ecological risk assessment for the Section 3 registration decision of Prothioconazole. (PC code: 113961, DP barcode: D324660, Decision number 341716), Part of EPA-HQ-OPP-2005-0312; FRL-8113-6. Joint review with Canadian Pest Management Regulatory Authority (PMRA), June 1, 2006.

Kashuba R, Sutton C, Jones RD. Drinking water assessment for the Section 3 registration decision of prothioconazle. (PC Code: 113961, DP barcode: D324659), Part of EPA-HQ-OPP-2005-0312; FRL-8113-6. Joint review with Canadian Pest Management Regulatory Authority (PMRA), April 26, 2006.

Kiernan B, Kashuba R, Steeger T, Jones RD. Environmental fate and ecological risk assessment for the Section 3 registration decision of aminopyralid. (PC codes: 005100, 005209, DP barcodes: D301658, D301682, D301691, D306825, Decision number 341121), Part of EPA-HQ-OPP-2004-0408; FRL-7690-9, May 10, 2005.

Kashuba R, Jones RD. Drinking water assessment for the Section 3 Registration decision of aminopyralid. (PC codes: 005100, DP barcode: D301682), Part of EPA-HQ-OPP-2004-0408; FRL-7690-9, February 3, 2005.

Kashuba RO, Scheff PA, Rizzo M. Characterization of nephelometer- measured short-term fine particulate matter in Region 5. Proceedings, AWMA Symposium on Air Quality Measurement Methods and Technology, Durham, NC, April 2004.

Selected Presentations

Kashuba R, Menzie C, Cerreto K, Palmquist K, Kessel C. Challenges in deriving causal relationships from field observational data: A case study in West Virginia headwaters. Presented at the Session: Bayesian Networks and Other Probabilistic Methods Applied to Ecological Risk, at the Society for Risk Analysis (SRA) 2014 Annual Meeting, Denver, CO, December 10, 2014.

Kashuba R, Cerreto K, Palmquist K, Kessel C, Menzie C. Cautions for deriving causal relationships and water quality benchmarks from field observational data: A case study in West Virginia headwaters. Presented at the Session: Assessing Contaminant Effects in Multi-stress Ecosystems, at the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) North America 35th Annual Meeting, Vancouver, BC, Canada, November 9–13, 2014.

Kashuba R. Career talk: Early career professional opportunities for PhD and Master’s degrees. Invited industry representative. Noontime seminar at the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) North America 35th Annual Meeting, Vancouver, BC, Canada, November 9–13, 2014.

Kashuba R, Fairbrother A, Carbone J, Hillwalker W. Don’t raise your voice; Strengthen your argument: Basing biological opinions on sound science (with already available information). Presented at the Session: Implementing the National Academy of Sciences Recommendations for Protecting Threatened and Endangered Species, at the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) North America 35th Annual Meeting, Vancouver, BC, Canada, November 9–13, 2014.

Kashuba R, Menzie C. Developing effect-based conceptual models for Cumulative Risk Assessment (CRA) that can accommodate diverse stressors. Presented at the Symposium: Proposed Methods for U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s Cumulative Risk Assessment (CRA) Guidelines, at the Society for Risk Analysis (SRA) 2013 Annual Meeting, Baltimore, MD, December 8–11, 2013.

Kashuba R, Fairbrother A, Tinsworth R. Probabilistic methods to address ecological risk of secondary ingestion exposure to chemicals. Presented at the Session: Updates in Ecological Risk Assessment Models, at the Society for Risk Analysis (SRA) 2013 Annual Meeting, Baltimore, MD, December 8–11, 2013.

Menzie C, Kashuba R. A conceptual model for cumulative risk analysis using CVD as an example. Presented at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Methods Workshop to Integrate Chemical and Non-Chemical Stressors in Cumulative Risk Assessment (CRA): Cardiovascular Disease (CVD), EPA Laboratories, Research Triangle Park, NC, November 26–27, 2012.

Kashuba R. Probabilistic air pollution risk assessment in Ukraine: challenges and opportunities. Presented at US Embassy Briefing for International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX) Embassy Policy Specialist (EPS) fellowship, Kyiv, Ukraine, 2012.

Kashuba R. Bayesian methods of modeling the interacting ecological pathways leading to impaired stream biology in urban watersheds. Presented in Bayesian Approaches to Water Modeling special session at American Water Resources Association (AWRA) Annual Water Resources Conference, Albuquerque, NM, session chair, 2011.

Kashuba R. Quantifying a conceptual model of ecosystem functionality using a Bayesian network approach. Presented at George Wright Society Conference: Bayesian methods workshop, New Orleans, LA, 2011.

Kashuba R. How to build a Bayesian network to model the complex interactions of stream ecosystems in urban watersheds. Guest lecturer for Northwestern University, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, class CEE-448: Chemical and Biological Complexity in Aquatic Environments, Evanston, IL, 2011.

Kashuba R. Linking urbanization to the Biological Condition Gradient using Bayesian statistics. Presented at Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Program (APNEP) Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee (STAC), Washington, NC, 2011.

Kashuba R. Using a Bayesian network to model the interacting ecological pathways leading to impaired stream biology in urban watersheds. Presented at Geological Society of America (GSA) Annual Meeting, Integrated Approaches to Modeling Geochemical, Hydrological, and Ecological Processes in Watersheds topical session, Denver, CO, 2010.

Kashuba R. Using a Bayesian network approach to model the system of effects of urbanization on aquatic ecosystems. Presented at 3rd USGS Modeling Conference: Understanding and Predicting for a Changing World (Denver, CO, 2010.

Kashuba R, Cuffney TF, McMahon G, Reckhow K, Gerritsen J, Davies S. Parameterizing the biological condition gradient in the Northeast U.S. using a Bayesian network approach. Presented at North American Benthological Society (NABS) Annual Meeting, Special Session – Applying the Biological Condition Gradient for Protecting Our Waters: Regional and State Experiences, Grand Rapids, MI, 2009.

Cuffney T, Kashuba R. Modeling in support of the EUSE (Effect of Urbanization on Stream Ecosystems studies). Presented at United States Geological Survey (USGS) National Water Quality Assessment Program (NAWQA) Ecological National Synthesis (ENS) modeling meeting, Reston VA, 2009.

Kashuba R. Using a Bayesian network approach to model the effects of urbanization on the condition of benthic macroinvertebrate assemblages. Presented at USGS Water Science Center Water Table Seminar, Raleigh, NC, 2009.

Kashuba R, Lee B. Multilevel modeling clarifies effects of urbanization on stream macroinvertebrates. Presented at American Water Resources Association (AWRA) Annual Water Resources Conference, New Orleans, LA, 2008.

Kashuba R, Lee B. Macroinvertebrate community responses to urbanization. Presented at Water Resources Research Institute of the University of North Carolina Annual Conference: Drought Management and Water Conservation, Raleigh, NC, 2008.

Kashuba R. A Poisson problem: Killing fish with statistics. Presented at Duke University Nicholas School of the Environment Ph.D. Graduate Afternoon Seminar, Durham, NC, 2007.

Kashuba RO. Synthesizing multiple sources of data on hydrolytic, photolytic, and metabolic breakdown of pesticides to predict aquatic environmental concentrations. Presented at United States Environmental Protection Agency Environmental Fate and Effects Division Drinking Water Assessment Training Conference, Washington, DC, 2005.

Kashuba R, Scheff PA, Rizzo M. Characterization of nephelometer- measured short-term fine particulate matter in Region 5. Presented at Air and Waste Management Association Symposium on Air Quality Measurement Methods and Technology, Research Triangle Park, NC, 2004.

Kashuba R, Scheff PA, Rizzo M. Using linear and non-linear regression to compare PM2.5 measurements from different monitoring technologies across varying time scales. Presented at American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exhibition, Dallas, TX, 2003.


Prior Experience

Research Hydrologist and Environmental Modeler, United States Geological Survey, 2008–2012

Water Quality Modeling and Decision Analysis Research Assistant, Duke University, 2006–2008

Environmental Scientist and Modeler, United States Environmental Protection Agency, 2003–2006

Air Quality Modeler, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, 2002–2003

International Occupational Health Research Assistant, University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health, 2001–2002

Professional Affiliations

Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment – WCEE, (2012–present)

  • WCEE Board member
  • Chair, WCEE’s Special Interest Group Committee as (2014–present)

Society for Risk Analysis—SRA, (2012–present)

Society of Women Environmental Professionals—SWEP

  • North Carolina chapter Communications Committee Chair, 2010–2012

American Water Resources Association—AWRA, (2008–present)

Water Environmental Federation—WEF, (2009–2010)

North Carolina Association of Environmental Professionals—NCAEP, (2009–2010)

Statistical and Applied Mathematical Sciences Institute—SAMSI, (2006–2008)

Air and Waste Management Association—AWMA, (2002–2004)

American Public Health Association—APHA, (2001–2003)

American Industrial Hygiene Association—AIHA, (2001–2003)


Project Experience

Environmental Modeling

Created, parameterized, and verified innovative hierarchical multilevel models and Bayesian networks to quantify the effect of urbanization on aquatic stream biota (macroinvertebrates, algae, and fish) at both basin-level and region-level scales. Developed a method for linking system-level urbanization-induced ecosystem response to predictive probability of meeting water quality criteria for application to watershed management and adverse scenario planning. Programmed statistical models from scratch in R and Hugin software.

Designed and implemented hydrological models to characterize:

  • Water flux through soil columns of different hydraulic conductivities 
  • Effect of land use on infiltration and subsequent ground water recharge 
  • River and stream dissolved oxygen deficit as a function of wastewater discharge 
  • Rainfall-driven runoff as affected by different watershed properties 
  • Water quality contaminant trend analysis and watershed nutrient loading

Programmed models in R, Matlab, Mathematica, Simulistics, Vensim, and Nettica software.

Synthesized multiple scientific sources of information (data from lab studies, models, expert judgment) to predict integrated pesticide fate and transport in various application scenarios. Reviewed pesticide environmental fate studies for scientific validity, logic, and coherence. Modeled loading and hydrolytic, photolytic, and metabolic breakdown of pesticides of varying acidity, solubility, and mobility using complex, process-based terrestrial and surface and groundwater models (PRZM-EXAMS and SCI-GROW).

Planned, researched, and conducted evaluation to determine effectiveness of EPA's participation in the BioWatch program and in setting coal-fire mercury emission standards. Identified and determined usefulness of data sources internal and external to the EPA.

Collected, quality controlled and analyzed complex data sets of air pollution concentrations. Developed linear and nonlinear multivariate regression models to predict 24-hour gravimetric PM2.5 concentrations from hourly TEOM, beta-gauge and nephelometer measurements, accounting for meteorological influence (temperature and humidity). Programmed models in SAS software.

Translated and statistically analyzed Ukrainian, Russian, and Belarusian medical data collected as part of an epidemiological study to link occupational exposure to effects on coal miner lungs. Collaborated with doctors who administered physical exams and x-rays to demonstrate the detrimental effects of coal mine exposure on miners. Informed occupational health regulations in Eastern Europe.


Additional Information

Peer Reviewer

Estuarine, Coastal and Self Science

Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management

Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology

Wetlands

Knowledge

News & Events

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Water Quality Modeling, Duke University, 2010
  • M.S., Environmental Health Science, University of Illinois, Chicago, 2003
  • B.A., Chemistry, Northwestern University, 2001
  • International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX) Embassy Policy Specialist (EPS) Program fellowship funded by the US Department of State (Title VIII Program) to conduct environmental risk assessment research in Ukraine

    United States Department of Interior STAR (Special Thanks for Achievement) Award

    United States Environmental Protection Agency Office of Pesticide Programs Superior Accomplishment Recognition Monetary Award for assessment of Prothioconazole Ecological Risk

    Chair of United States Environmental Protection Agency Office of Pesticide Programs Environmental Fate and Effects Division Fate and Transport Technology Team

    United States Environmental Protection Agency Office of Inspector General Superior Accomplishment Recognition Monetary Award for instrumental contribution to BioWatch preliminary research

    Elected to Delta Omega Public Health Honor Society

LANGUAGES

  • Ukrainian