Dr. Julia Wester


For her thesis research, Julia applied social psychology and behavioral economics research findings to decisions about water recycling. She was specifically interested in the role of emotional disgust and its interaction with ideas of morality and normative behavior. She completed a series of large national surveys on attitudes toward water reuse on this topic, including hierarchical modeling to inform the role of disgust reactions over and above other factors and framing experiments to determine the degree to which attitudes may be mutable. She also completed a project employing ethnographic research methods, discourse and policy analysis to explore the connection between public attitudes, changing regulations and policy decision making in Texas where direct potable water reuse projects were first successfully implemented in the US.
Since graduating Julia has helped found Field School (www.getintothefield.com), a company dedicated to facilitating research and experiential education aboard a 55’ liveaboard research vessel, the R/V Garvin. As part of Field School Julia develops hands-on research field courses for students of all ages and coordinates logistics for marine scientists working in Florida and the Bahamas.

For free salsa lessons, contact Julia at: jwester@rsmas.miami.edu

Find her CV here


UM Graduate Fellowship

UF Water Institute Conference Poster Competition Winner 


Hammerschlag N., Skubel R., Calich H., Nelson E.R., Shiffman D.S., Wester J., Macdonald C., Cain S., Jennings L., Enchaelmaier A., Gallagher A.J. (2016) Nocturnal and crepuscular behavior in elasmobranchs: a review of movement, habitat use, foraging, and reproduction in the dark. Bulletin of Marine Science, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5343/bms.2016.1046

Shiffman, D.S., Gallagher, A.J., Wester, J., Macdonald, C.C., Thaler, A.D., Cooke, S.J., Hammerschlag, N. (2015). A letter of clarification from the authors of “trophy fishing for species threatened with extinction”. Marine Policy 53: 213-214.

Shiffman, D.S., Gallagher, A.J., Wester, J., Macdonald, C.C., Thaler, A.D., Cooke, S.J., Hammerschlag, N.  (2014). Trophy fishing for species threatened with extinction: A way forward building on a history of conservation. Marine Policy 50: 318-322.

Wester, J., Timpano, K., Cek, D., Lieberman, D., Fieldstone, S., & Broad, K. (2015). Psychological and Social Factors Associated with Wastewater Reuse Emotional Discomfort. Journal of Environmental Psychology. 42: 16-23.

Wester, J., Timpano, K., Cek, D., & Broad, K. (2016) The Psychology of Recycled Water: Factors Predicting Disgust and Willingness to Use. Water Resources Research. 52, 3212–3226, doi:10.1002/2015WR018340.

Hammerschlag N, Gallagher AJ, Wester J, Luo J, Ault JS. (2012, Cover) Don’t bite the hand that feeds: assessing ecological impacts of provisioning ecotourism on an apex marine predator. Functional Ecology 26(3): 567-576.

Wester, J. Morality, Emotion, and Policy Making: Environmental Decision Making about Recycled Water (doctoral thesis). University of Miami, United States.

Thesis poster.compressed.jpg