Our Staff


Ellen Cooper is the former manager of the Analytical Chemistry Core for the Duke University Superfund Research Center.  She holds a PhD in Environmental Science from Duke University, a Master’s of Science in Plant and Soil Sciences from the University of Delaware, and a Bachelor of Science in Plant and Soil Sciences from the University of Delaware.  Her primary interests are the analyses of organic environmental contaminants in a range of biological and environmental matrices, and, in particular, the degradation products of these contaminants.

Catherine Kastleman joined the Center in June 2016 as the Program Coordinator for Research Translation, Outreach, and Engagement. At the SRC, Catherine focuses on community engagement and translating research related to early-life exposures to toxins that have impacts in later life. Catherine earned her Master’s degree in public health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, where she gained skills in environmental health sciences and risk assessment and served as a Research Assistant at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future. Her professional background is in sustainable food systems and community organizing, and she has experience in non-profit and government settings using community-based participatory research methods, communicating scientific research to the public and decision makers, and conducting utilization-focused evaluation to build organizational capacity and improve community health outcomes. She holds a BA in American Studies from Yale University with a concentration in Food, Health, and Environment. Catherine is a North Carolina native, and she is thrilled to be working with the team at DUSRC to promote public health in her home state by facilitating knowledge-sharing between researchers and communities.

Bryan Luukinen is the Senior Program Coordinator for Research Translation, Outreach, and Engagement. He works to accelerate the application of research conducted at the SRC and find ways to effectively engage communities and other stakeholders around the research findings. Prior to joining Duke, he worked in environmental health consulting for federal clients, including EPA and NIEHS. Before that, he worked at the National Pesticide Information Center at Oregon State University where he communicated with diverse audiences about topics in pesticide toxicology and regulation. Bryan has an MSPH in Environmental Health Sciences from UNC-Chapel Hill. Before graduate school, he was a research fellow at the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) in the Division of Toxicology. He has a BA in Biology from Willamette University in Salem, OR. Bryan is passionate about science communication and greatly enjoys working with the brilliant people at the Duke SRC to communicate research findings to audiences that are affected by those findings.

Sarah Phillips joined the Administrative Core in July 2017. As the Center’s Manager, Sarah is responsible for facilitating Center activities including communications, events, undergraduate and graduate training opportunities, as well as pre- and post-award grants management. She recently moved inland from the NC coast where she was an Admissions and Recruiting Program Coordinator at the Duke University Marine Laboratory in Beaufort, NC, working with undergraduate and master’s student programming and academics. Prior to joining Duke, she worked in Habitat Restoration, Outreach and Education for the NC Coastal Federation, an environmental non-profit organization, from 2004-2013. She is excited to be surrounded by and learn from new and innovative research projects at SRC.