Sarah McKune, PhD

Assistant Professor

Office: HPNP 4158 (EGH), Grinter Hall 472 (Center for African Studies)
Phone: EGH (352) 273-9449;  Center for African Studies (352) 273-4757


Areas of Expertise

Food Security and Nutrition

Livelihood Resilience


African Sahel



About Dr. Sarah McKune

Sarah L. McKune, MPH, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental and Global Health and the Center for African Studies. She holds a B.A. in French and Sociology from Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C., and earned a Master’s in Public Health from Emory University in 2002. She completed a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Ecology at the University of Florida’s School for Natural Resources and the Environment in 2012 and was a Post-Doctoral Fellow for a collaborative effort between UF and the CGIAR’s collaborative research program on Climate Change, Agriculture, and Food Security (CCAFS).

Dr. McKune joined PHHP in 2013 as the Director of Public Health Programs, a position from which she ran the campus and online MPH and Public Health Certificate programs for the College. In 2016, she joined the Department of Environmental and Global Health in a joint appointment with the Center for African Studies at the University of Florida. She is affiliate faculty in the School for Natural Resources and the Environment and advises students from a variety of units across campus, including Sustainable Development, Anthropology, Food and Resource Economics, Medical Geography, and Sociology, as well as those operated by EGH, including Public Health and One Health.

Dr. McKune’s background in development informs her research, most of which is applied and focuses on global health nutrition and food security. She has significant experience in project design, implementation, training facilitation, and monitoring and evaluation. Her research utilizes mixed methodologies, both quantitative and qualitative in nature, and seeks to explain the complex, system dynamics that affect child growth and nutritional outcomes, including factors such as household hygiene and sanitation, livestock ownership, climate change, and gender dynamics within the household. For the past 15 years she has worked with global health development programs, largely in the West African Sahel, but also in Nepal, Haiti, Uganda, and Ethiopia. She serves as the Health and Human Nutrition Cross Cutting Theme leader for the USAID Feed the Future Livestock System Innovation Laboratory, working with an interdisciplinary team of scientists to improve the nutrition of children under five and pregnant and lactating women through increased consumption of animal source foods.

Current Research Projects:

  • Un Enfant, Un oeuf, Par Jour
    • Improve nutrition of children under two in Burkina Faso by increasing egg consumption among children 6-12 months of age through an innovative behavior change approach which focuses on gifting of chickens to children by community champions.
  • Livestock Systems Innovation Lab
    • Serves as Health Human Nutrition Cross Cutting Theme leader
    • Assisting PIs on funded projects to better integrate human nutrition outcomes into their research for development projects
  • Campylobacter Genomics and Environmental Enteric Dysfunction (CAGED)
    • Research shows that young children who eat chicken eggs grow better and gain life-long benefits
    • Benefits of improved poultry production may be bolstered by protecting children from chicken droppings through use of coops, which should further improve health and growth of the children.


  • Ph.D., Interdisciplinary Ecology, University of Florida 2012
  • M.P.H., International Health, Emory University 2002
  • B.A., Sociology and French, Wofford College

Recent Publications