Ami Zota


Ami Zota

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New York, NY


Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health

Area of Focus

Public Health, Environmental Health Sciences, Environmental Justice, Reproductive Health

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Dr. Ami Zota is an Associate Professor with tenure in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. Ami Zota is a population health scientist with expertise in environmental health, environmental justice, and maternal and reproductive health. Her research focuses on understanding social and structural determinants of environmental exposures and their consequent impacts to women’s health outcomes across the life course. Her long-term goal is to help secure environmental justice and health equity among systematically marginalized populations by advancing scientific inquiry, training next generation leaders, increasing public engagement with science, and supporting community-led solutions for structural change.

Dr. Zota is a pioneer in beauty justice. Dr. Zota was among the first to frame the disproportionate burden of toxic chemical exposures from beauty and personal care products among women of color as an environmental justice concern. She co-developed an intersectional framework called “the environmental injustice of beauty”, which links systems of power and oppression, such as racism, sexism, and classism, to Eurocentric beauty norms, racialized beauty practices, and adverse environmental health outcomes. She currently partners with environmental and reproductive justice organizations, such WE ACT for environmental justice in New York City and Black Women for Wellness in New York City in Los Angeles, to reduce risks from unregulated chemicals in consumer products among Black, Latinx, and Asian women and femme-identifying individuals.

Ami is equally committed to science communication and training scientists from marginalized backgrounds. Dr. Zota created the Agents of Change in Environmental Justice program to empower environmental justice leaders from historically excluded backgrounds in science to reimagine solutions for a just and healthy world. Agents of Change seeks to increase diversity in environmental and climate sciences, spur innovation in environmental science and policy, and increase accessibility of scientific information for marginalized communities.



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